There’s a reason the California Science Center made our list of the all-time best science museums for kids—and it’s not just because general admission is free. It also happens to be the only LA museum where you can touch a starfish, see a chick hatch, catch a 3-D IMAX movie and board a space shuttle—all in one location. And starting Feb. 28, the museum will open its newest exhibit: The Art of the Brick. Read on for the details on the soon-to-arrive Lego extravaganza, plus find out about everything else the California Science Center has to offer.
Art of the Brick
See the world’s largest display of LEGO art in this special exhibit that CNN called “one of the top twelve must-see exhibitions in the world.” We’re talking a 20-foot T-Rex skeleton, life-size statues, 3-D recreations of iconic paintings and more. While admission to the California Science Center is free, this special exhibit is $19.75 for adults and $12.75 for children ages 4-12 (kids 3 and under are free). Get your tickets here.
Science of the Brick
Learn about all the wondrous things humans have invented with hands-on activities and experiments. Kids can try building a structure to withstand an earthquake and learn how a car turns on. Added bonus: Currently on display in Creative World: Science in Toyland, where little ones can spin tops, set up dominoes, build a mini roller coaster and more.
Air & Space
The highlight of this part of museum: the Space Shuttle Endeavour in the Samuel Oschin Pavillion. Here, little ones can not only get up close and personal with the shuttle itself, but also learn about the space shuttle program and see artifacts from its voyages. This part cost $3 per person and timed tickets are required.
World of Life
Stop by this area of the museum to for the hatchery, where—if you're lucky—you might just see some newborn chicks. There's also a chance to see the world through the eyes of a bee, pump blood to the brain of a model giraffe and more.
The Ecosystems Gallery features 11 different environments, including a rainforest, a 188,000-gallon kelp tank filled with marine animals native to the Pacific, and a desert filled with live chuckwallas, tortoises and a flash flood every ten minutes. Be sure to venture outside where there's a touch tank with starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and more.
Keep an eye out for the Discovery Rooms specially designed for children Pre-K - 2nd grade with age-appropriate hands-on activities, books, and toys. You can find them in the Ecosystems, World and Life, and Creative World areas of the museum.
See a film projected on the museum's massive-story screen. The latest must-see 3-D movie? The award-winning Turtle Odyssey, following an Australian green sea turtle named Bunji and her incredible journey across the open ocean. Get all the details here.
Tickets purchase at the box office are $8.95 for adults; $6.75 for kids and include admission to Endeavor. Combine IMAX tickets with exhibition tickets for a special discount.
To help make your visit easy peasy, check the California Science Center website ahead of time to see if there are any alerts about events in Exposition Park that may impact parking or your experience. Parking cost $12 but if you’d rather skip parking all together, the Metro Expo Line. Expo Park/USC Station has a stop right in front of the Science Center.
Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Cost: Free, special exhibits and films may have additional costs
700 Exposition Park Dr.
–Shannan Rouss & Jennifer O’Brien
Explore the Cosmos at the Griffith Observatory