Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Jocelyn Murray September 26, 2010 2 Comments

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Tyrannosaurus Rex Natural History Museum Los Angeles

Kids are encouraged to touch the Tyrannosaurus Rex and other displays

There is something almost magical about visiting the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. From its grand entrance with the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops, to its fantastic exhibits surrounded by gleaming marble tiled floors and ornate molded ceilings, this museum offers something for the whole family.  

The 15 permanent exhibits are very realistically displayed and superbly informative, as they support the educational standards of the State of California, and include: Mammals from around the world, Ancient Latin American Art, Birds, California and American History, Gems and Minerals, Dinosaurs, Zuni Fetishes, Haaga Family Rotunda, Inter/Act, Insect Zoo and Shells.  There are also special seasonal exhibits that include: the Dino Lab, Fin Whale Passage, Pavilion of Wings, and the Spider Pavilion.  My family’s personal favorites are the African Mammal Hall, the North American Mammal Hall, the Bird Hall, and the Discovery Center. 

Musk Ox Natural History Museum Los Angeles

The Musk Ox Exhibit

The dioramas in the African Mammal Hall and the North American Mammal Hall are stunningly realistic and state-of-the-art.  You feel like you are standing face-to-face with the animals in their natural environments, and the effect is simply breathtaking. The Savanna elephants and cape buffalo, for example, are set in a waterhole near the Tana River, Kenya.  Nearby, the lion exhibit shows a pride of lions lounging after a kill on the Maswa Reserve, in Tanzania, while the western lowland gorilla pauses to reflect in another exhibit set in the dense equatorial forest near Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo.   

Arabian Oryx Exhibit Natural History Museum Los Angeles

Arabian Oryx exhibit

The Bird Hall offers more than 600 species of birds from around the world, many of them native to the Southern California region.  Here you can learn about bird anatomy, the mechanics of flight and the amazing intricacy of their nests.  What is nice about this hall is that you can open the drawers under the cases where you will find many bird specimen parts including: eggs, nests, wings, feet and more. It is very interactive and educational this way.  Our children in particular found this fascinating, as it was an up-close and personal view into the world of birds. 

Tarantula Natural History Museum Los Angeles

Tarantula Display

The Discovery Center is a fantastic hands-on experience for children to play and learn about different artifacts including minerals, bones, rocks and furs - and  everything is touchable!  It reminds me of our visit to the Arizona Museum of Natural History where the kids were also allowed to touch the various displays.  There are also puppets, puzzles, storybooks and more to keep children’s hands occupied, and their minds growing.  A live animal collection of local and exotic fish, amphibians, reptiles,  snakes, turtles, and more, is housed there as well.  There is a dig pit that contains replicas of fossil parts of the T. Rex and Hadrosaurs that were found in the Montana Badlands 

Lions Natural History Museum Los Angeles

Lion Exhibit

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is by far one of my family’s favorites in Southern California.  We go there often as museum members, and never tire of the captivating exhibits because there is always something new to be found and learned.  We plan on remaining members so that we can continue to come to this museum time after time, learning something new upon every visit. I highly recommend this museum to people of all ages, with or without children. But if you do have small children, know that it is open and spacious, making it stroller-friendly, safe, and very exciting! 

Archaeology Site Natural History Museum Los Angeles

Archaeology Site Natural History Museum Los Angeles

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avatarAbout the Author:

Jocelyn Murray is a travel writer and historical fiction novelist. She holds two university master's degrees in both English and Education, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and European Studies. She also has a teaching credential and taught at the elementary school level.

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2 Comments to “Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County”
  1. avatar Marie says:

    Yes, I love that museum also and my family has enjoyed it often and learned a lot from its many exhibits. Thank you for a great article.

  2. avatar La Brea Tar Pits - Page Museum says:

    [...] Be sure to read about our visit to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County! [...]