6 Best Science Museums for Kids in Los Angeles

Much ado has been made about the lack of qualified graduates in the so-called STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering, and math. Traditionally, it’s the geeky, smart, and socially inept kids that study these subjects, but times are changing. So how to get your kids interested in such lucrative and essential career paths? Start them young.

Early learners are in for a treat at some of the best science and technology museums in Los Angeles, with hands-on, creative, and interactive ways to appreciate the STEMs.

La Brea Tar Pits

Unearth some old bones at the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum. The central-city swamp is home to hundreds of fossilized Ice Age remains, with new discoveries still being made. Kids will love the life-sized dino replicas outside the museum, and of course, getting up-close and personal with paleontologists at the Fossil Lab.

Volunteer programs, overnight stays at the museum, and guided tours will get your kids excited about future opportunities in the natural sciences.

Exposition Park

The museum complex in Los Angeles’ 1984 Olympic Village, Exposition Park, blends athletic opportunity with technology, science, and biology for a well-rounded experience. Pillars of the park are the California Science Center, an IMAX cinema, and the Natural History Museum.

See the Endeavour space shuttle in its earthy home, visit a variety of sea life and animals in their natural eco-zones and learn about space, technology, and creativity in endless exhibit space inside the California Science Center. Parents love the Discovery Centers for little ones, with activities tangential to most of the exhibits.

Summer science camp, professional development programs, and daily live shows at the museum get kids involved and personally motivated to make science an every day discovery.

Watch and learn with 3D films at the IMAX, where entertaining features find kids hurtling through space with the Hubble Telescope or dodging humpback whales in the sea. All movies are great for learning, as well as for entertainment.

Dive into the John C. Argue Swim Stadium for a little fresh air and exercise between exhibits. The two Olympic-sized pools in Expo Park have lanes for lap swimming, as well as areas for diving and playing in the water. Beach recliners give parents a little time to lounge at the pool, too.

Back in learning mode, the Natural History Museum has undergone a recent rebranding that takes it from wholesome to happening. Nature and biology come to life in gardens, growing exhibitions, and outdoor events open to the whole city.

Step into “Jurassic Park”, with life-sized skeleton models of popular dinos, or watch a T. Rex puppet come to life at a dinosaur puppet show. Visit the Butterfly Pavilion or Nature Lab to see plant and insect life on full display.

Discovery Cube Los Angeles

Dive into hands-on science at the Discovery Cube, where STEM proficiency, early learning, healthy living, and environmental stewardship are the core skills every exhibit promotes. Exhibits are tailored to different ages and utilize participatory experiences and familiar characters like Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George.

Riding in a helicopter simulator, sorting recyclables in a fast-paced game, and climbing a rock wall in a virtual park are just some of the things that will get your kids excited about science learning.

Griffith Observatory

Travel to infinity and beyond at the peak of Griffith Park, Griffith Observatory. Museum-style galleries chronicle the history of space exploration and telescope inventions. The planetarium takes you on a journey to distant planets and galaxies for a space mission like no other.

Wait until dark to look through a telescope at the real stars. Consult your calendar of equinoxes, eclipses, and meteor showers to find the perfect night for a star party.

Kidspace Children’s Museum

Science-minded CalTech grads founded this interactive museum in Pasadena with the aim of sharing science fun with kids. See the world through the eyes of bugs and insects at the Digging Deeper Gallery. Visitors to the Physics Forest will learn to be future innovators; and the Nature Exchange allows kids to bring rocks, shells, and plants to real scientists in exchange for other natural items.

Different play zones, climbing walls, gardens, and outdoor gardens inspire kids to think creatively and get involved with their natural environment. Hopefully, it inspires them to do their math homework, too.

Do you have any favorite science museums in or out of L.A.? Share them with us in the comments below!

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