Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits has a Kidscore of 80. What’s a Kidscore?

If you have any natural history lovers in your family, you can’t miss a stop at the Page Museum (home of the La Brea tar pits) during a visit to the Los Angeles area. I’m going to go ahead and fill you in now, although you’ll hear it a hundred times at the museum: there are no dinosaurs in the La Brea tar pits! This is a common misunderstanding (Dinosaurs became extinct about 65 million years ago, and these tar pits formed about 40,000 years ago), and from the number of times this information is posted, it’s clear that many kids come to the museum hoping for dinos and are greeted instead by a woolly mammoth. Also very cool, but no dinosaur. You heard it here first.

La Brea tar pits

The actual Page Museum is a nice, relatively small, natural history museum with some good exhibits, and a “fishbowl” window where you can look into a lab and watch scientists and volunteers working on the bones and fossils found most recently in the tar pits. The really interesting part of the museum, though, is outside at the actual tar pits. Walking around the grounds, you can see bubbling lakes of tar, smell the sulfur and methane, and even look into an actual dig site and see the current excavation work. This is the part that makes the Page Museum unique: you can move a sabertooth cat skeleton from one city to the next, but you can’t move a tar pit. And the fact that these huge pits are bubbling away right in the middle of downtown LA makes the whole experience even more fascinating!

page museum la

Date last visited:

July 29, 2012

Distance from the interstate:

The Page Museum is about 3 miles off I-10 near downtown Los Angeles. The museum parking lot is located at the rear of the building, on the corner of Curson Ave. and 6th St. and is a flat rate of $7 (bring ticket in with you Monday–Friday for validation).

Hours of operation:

9:30am–5pm, 7 days a week. Open every day except July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Admission:

$11 for adults, $8 for youth 13–17, $5 for children 5–12, and children under 5 and free.

Food services:

There are no food services at the Page Museum, but across the grounds at the LACMA there was a café with breakfast/lunch items.

Directions:

The Page Museum and tar pits are located at 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles.

About the author

Kate Lepore AUTHOR: Kate Lepore is Pit Stops for Kids' east coast editor and a mother of two preschool-aged children. Kate makes her home in Western Massachusetts when not traveling. Find Kate at Google.

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