Despite L.A.’s sand-and-sea reputation, sometimes getting your kids out into nature is harder than it ought to be. Think schlepping across five freeways to get to the zoo or down to the aquarium, or even running a real distance race to get to a national forest or a cactus-rich state park. Drive no more!  The Natural History Museum’s outstanding new Nature Garden and Lab is central to everything (including transit–really!), and your kids will love chasing dragonflies through the garden, squealing at the caged rats in the lab, and then finishing off a rewarding day with a picnic on the lawn.

Even if you think you know the Natural History Museum, you’ll find that this new addition is a transformative update, morphing the elegant old building into an incredibly hip and “now” space. Find out how to make the most of L.A.’s latest must-visit family destination:

Butterfly Girl

The end of summer doesn't need to mean the end of fun! Prevent Nature Deficit Disorder: Dose your kids with fresh air, cool critters and green growing things by visiting the Nature Garden and Lab at the Natural History Museum. The brand-new exhibit and garden space is a super-inspiring, super-local weekend field trip that will leave your kids feeling refreshed and reconnected with the outside world, even if they do have to spend most of their days inside a classroom.

  • Butterfly in jar at Natural History Museum
  • Boardwalk bridge at the Natural History Museum Nature Gardens
  • Otis Booth Pavilion and Nature Gardens, Natural History Museum
  • Hummingbird feeders and food plants
  • Artichokes in bloom have radiant purple flowers
  • Green beans and cosmos in the garden
  • Video display at Natural History Museum's Nature Lab
  • Natural History Museum's Nature Lab
  • Natural History Museum's Nature Lab

Natural History Museum
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90007
Phone: (213) 763-3466

Hours: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm daily
Admission: Adults, $12; Kids under 12, $5; Kids under 2 are free.

We can’t decide which we love more: the new Nature Gardens and Lab or the new-ish Dino Hall.  What’s your favorite spot at the Natural History Museum?

Copy and photos by: Jennifer Arrow