Children (3-12) $5
Kids Under 3 FREE
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
I’m gunna come on out and say it: The Natural History Museum is boring. The NHM is not a children’s museum, it’s not a science center; it is an honest-to-goodness museum. And museums are for grownups…not kids. All look. No touchy. So if there is a compelling exhibit you just HAVE to see, then enjoy, but don’t plan on filling up the day with the rest of the museum.
J’s fascination with gemstones prompted us to revisit the NHM (it had been a few years). Previously, we’ve attended the T-Rex encounter, the dinosaur wing, and butterfly pavilion. So we figured it was time for another shot.
Overall, the displays in the NHM are really well done…but they’re just that…displays. Museums are for grownups…not children. It was expensive and crowded and in the end you’re dragging kids around, trying to find something that can hold their interest for more than two-seconds. We showed J the gold and gemstones, but there are only so many cool rocks you can look at before the kids are wondering what else there is to do…and the answer is…not much.
Taxidermy displays? Bones? Useless children’s room? Ancient South American Pottery??? Fetish carvings???? If the place wasn’t packed with other families also trying to desperately entertain their unraveling kids, I might enjoy the displays. But in the end, it’s a lot of money and travel time for the reward of disappointed kids.
Downtown LA is crowded. Families on the Weekend, Field Trips on the Weekdays, and Traffic no matter what time of day. The best time to hit the NHM is a weekday at 12pm…it’s when the field trips eat lunch before reload their buses.
The California Science Center is also in Exposition Park and admission is free. So if you’ve had you’re fill of the NHM (and it’s only been 10 minutes), try next door.
They’ve removed the build-it-yourself dino skeleton from the children’s room…which was the room’s only entertaining display.