What a blessing filled day we had at The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. I would have given a thousand bucks to have a picture of the boys’ reaction to seeing their first full size dinosaur skeleton. They were blown away.
I was stunned, too, at the large stack of bones looking down at me looking as if it was sizing me up for a snack.
Since I wasn’t that fast acting I had to settle for a staged picture. It kind of loses something after the fact. Trust me, their jaws dropped and their eyes bulged.
Then we walked into the California history room and Logan remembered the history that he had learned and Jordan remembered the science he had learned. Even RestaurantMan was awed by everything there was to see.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Their admission is quite reasonable, ranging from $5 to $12 per person, depending on age. Like everything in SoCal, the entry may be free but you have to pay for parking. Bring $10, in cash, with you for that expense. They don’t take American Express, or any other credit card.
The museum is located on the campus of UCLA and is right across from the California Science Center. You may be able to do both if you plan right but the NHM is pretty huge and extensive so don’t feel bad if you can’t.
I was excited to take the boys because NHM has a great collection of large dinosaur bones as well as history about Los Angeles County and the surrounding area. Everywhere we looked there was something awe inspiring.
We knew pretty much what exhibits we wanted to spend time really exploring and which ones we could kind of gloss over before we ever got there. The museum has a ton of resources online, especially this page “Only Have An Hour?” that explains their most important things you just have to see.
They also have an online color map that shows you where everything is and that made our “game plan” easier to create.
Even though the museum’s lesson plans are Theory of Evolution based I did look through them. They gave me great questions to ask the boys and what things to really look at in-depth. This also allowed the boys to be knowledgeable when talking to the museum staff that was on hand everywhere we went in the building.
It was March in Southern California when we were there but I’m glad I made all of us bring a light jacket. The museum has to keep the temperature steady for the exhibits and that means your comfort is outweighed by the dinosaurs’ needs.
Did I mention this place is huge? Wear very comfortable shoes! Be prepared for your kids to want to spend most of their time looking at all of the dinosaur exhibits. Every. Single. Last. Bit.
OK, some exhibits were too hard to not play with. We spent a lot of time in the Discovery Center.
The offices of the paleontologists are walled in by glass. That means you can see what they are working on as they are working. It was funny to see the desks strewn with “works in progress”. I was kind and didn’t include all of the desks.
Scientists do go off the ranch and forge discoveries from time to time. case in point, this brass plate was supposed to be a major discovery. It’s about Sir Francis Drake’s “Plate of Brasse” that recorded him finding the California coastal landing in 1579. Eh, not so much apparently! Still, it was fun to see it up close.
One of the original Gutenberg Bibles was there, along with a Gutenberg printing press. The colors in this photograph aren’t as clear as they were in real life. It was just glorious to see. We talked about how the printing press worked and what it meant for so many Christians to be able to have their very own Bible.
THE BEST PART
I was so glad my husband could come on this trip! Field trips are just made that much more special when he can get the day off and explore with us. I can’t hoard all the fun to myself.
RestaurantMan just had to stand in front of this polar bear because he’s not used to something else being taller than he is.
The boys still talk about how much fun we had exploring the The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
OK, mostly, they tease about me wearing the antlers.