Visiting The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, CA

Our visit to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles was an unexpected surprise. Walking the grounds, you can’t help but think of the giant mastodon elephants and saber-tooth tigers that once shared this space. The museum’s split of indoor and outdoor exhibits makes you feel like you’re part of a real experience. Making it easy to imagine animals getting stuck in the tar some 50,000 years ago. Their unfortunate encounter eventually led to their discovery and creation of this unique museum. Even today, researchers continue to make discoveries throughout the property’s many pits.

La Brea Tar Pits visitor info

Website

https://tarpits.org/

Hours

Everyday 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m (closed major holidays)

Address

5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Price (At the Door.  $1 Cheaper if purchased online)

  • Adults $15
  • Seniors $12
  • Students (13-17 or with ID) $12
  • Child (3-12) $7
  • Child (2 and under) FREE

Visit For Free

Free First Tuesdays

You can visit the La Brea Tar Pits for free very first Tuesday of every month (except July and August).  The museum highly recommends reserving tickets for that day to guarantee entrance.  Visit the link below to get your tickets

https://tarpits.org/plan-your-visit/tar-pits-free-admission

Free visiting Hours for LA County Residents

L.A. County residents get free museum admission Monday – Friday from 3 – 5 pm. Free hour tickets available at the museum. Bring a valid ID or utility bill the day of your visit.

Parking

$15 flat rate if you use the museum’s parking lot.  The parking lot entrance is located behind the museum on the corner of Curson Avenue and 6th Street.  If the parking lot is full, Overflow parking is directed the LACMA’s underground Parking.

The museum also stresses that visitors not park along Wilshire Boulevard between the hours of 7-9 am and 4-7 pm (Monday – Friday).  Cars will be ticketed and towed.

Our Experience

We visited the La Brea Tar Pits on a free museum day, and it was packed. Walking up from the LACMA parking structure, we strolled the entire grounds before we entered the museum. As we read the plaques and took in the different Tar Pits, we were surprised by how many animals were caught by such un-threatening looking puddles.

While outside, the most significant feature to see is Pit 91. Pit 91 is an active dig site where you can observe how paleontologists uncover the animals. From the viewing window, you can easily see the remains of horses and sabertooth tigers.

Once you’re inside, there are a lot of interactive stations for the kids and staff members offering up facts about the various fossils around the museum. Kairi had a great time inside, asking a lot of questions as she moved from one display to another. Once we got to the Fossil Lab, her questions increased as she saw all the paleontologists sorting and cleaning the newly discovered bones.

The museum did an outstanding job explaining various facts to its younger visitors. Offering a great mix of hand on interactivity that kids crave. The staff was terrific with the kids. We even saw a puppeteer animating a baby sabertooth tiger that had all the kids’ smiling.

Things to do nearby

If you plan to spend the whole day visiting the LA area, be sure to take advantage of the other family-friendly things to do around the county.  We’ve got plenty of other Family Friendly things to do on the blog.  Check out our latest posts Here.

Should you go?

We think so. The Museums designed for younger visitors. So a lot of the concepts are easy for them to understand and enjoy. Plus, it’s a smaller museum, so you don’t have to carve out a significant portion of your day to see it.

The outside park also has plenty of space to relax or even have a picnic and LACMA is right there. Although LACMA isn’t really an excellent place to visit with younger kids.

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