A Free Lesson in History – Visiting the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
I’m a total museum junkie (if you haven’t already noticed). Big or little, archaic or up-to-date, near or far – if it’s a collection of objects housed in a public space I want to go to there. As there are more museums than I can see in a life time I rarely visit a museum more than once. But, there are some I so enjoy that I can’t help but make repeat visits. One of these is the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. A few years ago I went on a whim and it totally exceeded my expectations. So when I found out about its free admission days, I was so there.
There are 13 free admission days per year. They generally are the first Tuesday of every month, excluding July and August. As there is no free admission in those months, every Tuesday in September is free. As an adult admission price is $12, that’s a pretty good savings. Now, the museum is a typical field trip museum. That being said, there are many many school children there. I did spend much of my time dodging munchkins but for free admission, I can’t really complain.
One things I love about the museum is that it covers all your bases – you’ve got your dinos, your gems, your animals, and your California history. It’s a potpourri of the natural world. My favorite part of the museum would definitely be the animal dioramas.
Don’t worry about those babies attacking you cus they are 100% stuffed. Now, I’m no taxidermy aficionado, but there is something delightfully old school about this exhibit. And rightfully so as the first dioramas date to 1925. I just love that rather than decide that these exhibits were too outdated the museum embraced them and actively ensures their preservation. And they are sure fun to look at.
As much as I love the dioramas, I find the most beautiful part of the museum is the rotunda where the statue in the photo up top is housed. This area is the original museum building. It was built in 1913 and is just as beautiful today as I imagine it was then.
This beautiful stained glass window crowns the top of the rotunda. So so lovely. It’s the only area of the museum where the building draws more attention that the exhibits within.
Now as delightful as the Natural History Museum is, there is an added bit of loveliness just outside it’s door. The Exposition Park Rose Garden has existed since 1928 and is a beautiful oasis in the city.
A large lawn filled with several varieties of roses it’s a wonderful place to wind down after exploring the museum.Grab a seat in the gazebo, relax, and view the loveliness that surrounds you.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
900 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90007
open 9:30am-5pm every day
Exposition Park Rose Garden
701 State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
open 9am-Sunset every day (closed January 1st – March 15th)
both are located in Exposition Park, parking is $8