Interested in adding more to your visit? Consider signing up for additional programming, including:
- Dinosaur Hall
- Butterfly Pavillion and Spider Pavilion
- Dinosaur Encounters, Ice Age Encounters, and Encounters, Jr.
- Fossil Detectives and more!
These require advance reservations, so request a visit now, they fill up fast!
Our diorama halls are just one place where teachers and chaperones can meet State Standards! To download easy-to-use field trip guides that are aligned with Standards.
Give a wide berth to the T. rex prowling around the Museum. Our Dinosaur Encounters experience features an astoundingly realistic life-sized puppet of a juvenile dinosaur — a 14-foot T. rex. Be sure to time your Museum visit with its stalking schedule.
For more information about bringing your class or other group to the Spider Pavilion.
Refer to this handy guide if you only have a short time to visit the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. We have carefully selected items, exhibits and activities to help you locate and experience some of the most wondrous, weirdest, biggest, smallest, most surprising, and extraordinary things at the Museum.
The new Dinosaur Hall is one of the most extraordinary dinosaur exhibits in the world, and the premier dinosaur experience in the western United States. Inside are more than 300 real fossils, and 20 complete dinosaurs and ancient sea creatures. The complete mounts have either never been on display before, or have been re-posed according to the latest research.
Catch a glimpse of the largest gold nugget in captivity, the 156 troy ounce, “Mohave Nugget.” With subtle lighting and design effects you can imagine what it was like underground as you explore our Native Gold exhibit. Ours is one of the largest exhibits of all-natural gold in the world, and features over 300 pounds total weight in gold, displayed in many of its most surprising forms.
Have you ever wondered what is the oldest thing in the Museum? Just around the corner from all that gold you’ll discover something really old! Great balls of fire! The Museum’s meteorite exhibit features specimens that are 4.5 billion years old, easily some of the oldest objects you’re likely to see anywhere.
The exhibit displays some of NHM’s — and the world’s — most awe-inspiring fossil mammals, many of them exhibited for the first time. On view are the 50,000-year-old Simi Valley mastodon, shown for the first time since it was discovered in 2001; the mysterious paleoparadoxiid, an extinct relative of elephants and sea cows, which lived on the California coastline 10 to 12 million years ago and is as new to scientists as it is to Museum visitors; and an ancient species of sperm whale, its fossilized bones never before assembled by any institution, which floats high overhead in the beautifully restored, soaring hall.
NHM's new, permanent exhibition, Becoming Los Angeles, chronicles how people and the land affected each other over 500 years and transformed a remote pueblo into the L.A. we know today. In the 14,000-square-foot exhibition, visitors will discover stories about L.A.'s Native Americans, colonists, and settlers; rancheros, citrus growers and oil barons; captains of industry, boosters, and radicals; filmmakers, innovators, and more.
The world-class dioramas in both of our North American Mammal Halls are breathtakingly realistic and offer a wide range of fascinating environments. It’s like taking a continental vacation all in one place. Visit offshore islands, grasslands, prairies, desert, mountains, tropical rainforests, redwood forests, and arctic ice flows where the polar bears roam. Did you know that hidden below a polar bear’s beautiful white fur is black skin? But don’t let the polar bear distract you so much that you miss the arctic fox — he’s foxy and tough to spot.
The second of our North American Mammal halls is located just one level above and features more of these incredible dioramas jam-packed with so many specimens and environmental details that you’ll always discover something you haven’t seen before. Many of our dioramas were first created in the 1930s, but we’ve created new ones since then. Can you tell which are the newest displays?
Take a minute to notice the magnificent backdrops for the dioramas. They were painted by noteworthy artists, and are valued pieces of fine art in their own right.
Don’t miss more than 40 different butterfly and moth species and an array of plants take up residence every summer for our much-anticipated seasonal exhibit, the Butterfly Pavilion. This breathtaking exhibit is a beautifully landscaped enclosure where live butterflies and moths fly free, and where plants live and grow in a thriving ecosystem.
Discover the truth about spiders. You may be surprised at how much false information about spiders has been buzzing around in your head. Examine our free-range spiders up close and personal in a comfortable, safe and immersive environment. Our one-of-a-kind seasonal Spider Pavilion is a beautifully landscaped area on the Museum’s South Lawn where spiders freely spin their spectacular webs for all to see.
On view from our storage: more than 600 of the most fascinating artifacts and treasures from Ancient America illustrating the sophistication and diversity of the civilizations that thrived throughout the Americas prior to European exploration.
We’ve displayed the exhibit’s objects in a non-traditional way to give visitors a sense of the museum behind-the-scenes. Artifacts are protected for safekeeping as they would be in our actual storeroom. Dim, dramatic exhibit lighting showcases the artifacts, which are largely ceremonial in nature, as they might have been viewed in the past — within the confines of dark temples for instance.
Witness first hand the fascinating dinosaur preparation process at the Dino Lab on Level 2. Everything you see in the lab is real. Check out authentic fossils and see our staff working on the day-to-day details. We’re restoring, remounting and repositioning the dinos from our existing collection. And we’re preparing numerous new specimens collected within the last decade via our field program.
Did you know that swiftlet nests are made entirely from bird saliva? And if you think that sounds outlandish: Climbers in Southeast Asia collect these nests by ascending ladders that go up hundreds of feet into caves. And then they use them to make soup. Not everyone wants to go to such lengths for a bowl of soup, but perhaps the swiftlet nest specimen in our case will whet your appetite.
The Nature Lab is hands-on indoor space where visitors can discover the natural processes and human activity that shape L.A.’s constantly changing nature. The airy, modern exhibit features live animals, including turtles, newts, crayfish, frogs, snakes, and insects, in custom-built terrariums. There are also science specimens, learning activities, and interactive platforms where visitors can contribute to NHM citizen science projects that explore nature outside the Museum and in the streets, parks, and backyards of Los Angeles.