La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Los Angeles

4.5
#3 of 7 in Childrens Museums in Los Angeles
Natural History Museum · Hidden Gem · Science Museum
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At the only active Ice Age excavation site in the world, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, you can see ancient fossils that have been discovered below the museum itself, right in the heart of Los Angeles. Plants and animals, like dire wolves, mammoths, and saber-tooth cats, are on display. You can also witness paleontologists at work in the Fossil Lab. While the height of excavation at Rancho La Brea occurred in the early 20th century, scientists are still uncovering more fossils at this site, and the museum continues to grow and educate the public on its discoveries and methods. A visit to La Brea Tar Pits and Museum represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Los Angeles route planner to plot your vacation.
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La Brea Tar Pits and Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
3,195 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • It's like a visit to Jurassic Park, we were supposed to go to academy award museum but they wouldnt let my son in (really) two years after covid while no masks are required in public places in... 
    It's like a visit to Jurassic Park, we were supposed to go to academy award museum but they wouldnt let my son in (really) two years after covid while no masks are required in public places in...  more »
  • The pits are outside in the park and are free. Going inside the museum, you see the bones and fossils. 
    The pits are outside in the park and are free. Going inside the museum, you see the bones and fossils.  more »
Google
  • Mixed impressions. Cool to see the fossils in the museum, but really was hoping to see a excavation site from an elevated cat walk or similar. A few active surface tar pits to see, tar bubbling etc. Made for good conversation with my kids. Large bubbling lagoon in front, but staff informed it was simulated. 4D movie was informative. All in all, it was OK. Including 30 minute movie felt I got through the rest of the exhibits in under 90 minutes.
  • Awesome place to visit. Imagine finding this treasure located in the heart of L.A. on Wilshire Blvd. Active bubbling tar pits outside and a huge collection of early, north American animal fossils inside of the museum (not dinosaurs). Displays of full sized saber toothed tigers and mammoth skeletons, all excavated from the pits outside. When we visited, there were 3 technicians cleaning and cataloging bones. Very interesting to watch them work. Plenty of displays and hands on items to explore.

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