What used to be an every-museum in the 1920s is now our Natural History Museum, in Exposition Park.
Once, it was the Museum of History, Science, and Art. But that was in 1913.
By 1961, the Museum of History, Science, and Art was split up. The Art part became the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The rest became the Museum of History and Science, and later the Natural History Museum.
It’s weird. When I was a kid, growing up in D.C., the museum that me and a most other boys and girls (okay, mostly boys) wanted to go to was the Air and Space Museum. But that was before a little film called Jurassic Park opened up. Once the T-Rex hit the big screen, all of the sudden the National Natural History Museum became the toughest ticket in town.
Okay, that’s not fair. Tickets are free in D.C. It just became crowded as hell.
There’s just something…well…I don’t know what else to call it. I think Kids are fascinated by things that can eat them. How else do we explain he perennial fascination with stories like Hansel and Gretel, and the primordial killing machine that is the T-Rex?
The Museum itself is a bit of a Frankenstein. As you’ve read, it stared as one thing in 1913, grew and mutated into something else by 1961, and grew and grew and grew some more. By 2010, the 1913 wing was reopened after lengthy seismic retrofitting. In 2011, it opened up it’s new Dinosaur Hall. This past year (2013), it opened a new multimillion dollar annex. It’s an old school, old world Natural History Museum. It’s even got the old school of old school room of Paleontological Dioramas like you’d see at the American Museum of Natural History and National Natural History Museum.
So things are always happening there. It’s also got a few new exhibitions on display that we’ll be paying special attention to in the coming days. But as a Native DCer, it’s hard not to like Exhibition Park, with all it’s museums crammed into one walkable area. The California Science Center is right next door. The California African American Museum is right down the street. It’s a great area. Granted, it’s not as large (or cost free) like the Smithsonian, but at least Los Angeles had the right idea.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: The real only safety tip is the price of admission, which you should probably know before going in.
Members and Children 2 and under are FREE
Children 3-12 are $5.00
Youth 13-17 are $9.00
College Students with ID still apparently count as Youth are charged $9.00
Seniors (62 and over) are also Youth: $9.00
Adults (aka the rest of us) are $12.00
PARKING: Is widely available in one of the two open air lots at Exhibition Park. One is hugged up next to the Natural History Museum itself, and another is right across from the California Science Center and the California African-American Museum.
But…for once, the Natural History Museum joints the slender ranks of place with information about Parking on their website. Thus, I will quote them directly:
Parking is available for $10 (cash or credit card) in the Museum’s Car Park on Exposition Blvd. and Bill Robertson Lane. If the Car Park is full, patrolled lots are also available directly across from the Museum on Bill Robertson Lane for $10 (cash only), as well as in lots throughout Exposition Park.
Parking rates and availability may vary during special events in Exposition Park. NHM has designated parking during USC games.
Natural History Museum
900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Tel: (213) 763-3466
Daily 9:30 am – 5 pm