Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

5/03/2011

Picture This: 3 Cool Things Not To Miss at NHM

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

You can usually spot me inside art-type museums, but my family was in town and my uber-cute nieces wanted to see dinosaurs (dinosaurs!) I naturally took them to one of the best institutions on the West Coast for all things dino, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM).

Currently undergoing a major multi-year transformation, NHM has been opening new pavilions and programs every few months. There's a lot of new things to see; here's a quick round up to keep in mind for your next family trip. On your next trip, be sure to:

Roar out loud along with (almost) real-life dinos during Dinosaur Encounters

This is the closest you'll get to seeing dinos come to life. Dinosaur Encounters is essentially a puppet show that lets visitors get up close and personal with a realistic, life-sized juvenile T. rex. "Tamed" by an engaging NHM staff member, the T. rex is a real crowd-pleaser, especially when it gets uncomfortably close to the audience members. Plan your trip to watch the limited showtimes every day.


Marvel at how large mammals got thousands of years ago
I didn't catch all the names of mammals there, but what I do remember were super huge camels, whose skeletons were articulated to their full glory. Large turtle-like skeletons, mastodons and mammoths also hung around the light-filled space. We're all used to super gigantic dinosaurs, but before I was on this planet, other ginormous mammoths certainly ruled the land.

Hold a butterfly in your hand
Not everything is amazing in size at NHM, but what butterflies lack in size, they make up in sheer fragile beauty. The Butterfly Pavillion lies just outside NHM and commands a separate ticket for entrance, but it's worth it. Inside an enclosed (double sealed) garden, butterflies in all shapes and sizes abound. If you're really gentle, you can even coax them to land on you.


Look up!
Los Angeles was abuzz about NHM's re-opening of its 1913 Beaux-Arts building last year, but it is still a constant source of wonder. Right before you drop by the Age of Mammals exhibit, take time to look up in the rotunda. You'll see a beautiful stained glass ceiling that just begs to be gazed at.


Honestly, there were more cool finds at the NHM. The gemstones exhibit, the discovery, the Dino Lab to name a few. Plan to spend a day there and I think you won't regret it. Bring all your kids, everything (or close to everything) was made especially with kids in mind.

Admission: $9

900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Phone: (213) 763-DINO

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