If you think you’ve done the La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum, think again. The iconic Los Angeles destination has revamped its old theater and is now offering an eye-popping 3-D experience. The whole family will love Titans of the Ice Age, the first film to screen here. It’s a new view of the Ice Age, the tar pits and how this LA treasure can help unlock mysteries of our past, present and future. Put on your 3-D glasses and step back in time.

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photo credit: Page Museum

If you’re like us, you didn’t even realize the Page Museum had a theater!  After a complete overhaul, the theater has opened this summer and the first film they’re showing is a thrilling overview of what the ancient history of the area.

Have you ever visited the Tar Pits and left without a real understanding of the place? Titans of the Ice Age will clear things up for you and the littles. First, meet some of the scientist who have dedicated their lives to unearthing this great mystery. You may leave with little paleontologists in the making. Then enter a North America covered in ice 10,000 years before modern civilization. You will be introduced to the harsh conditions of Pleistocene era and the beasts like mammoths, ground sloths, saber Tooth Cats and Dire Wolves that adapted to survive this icy fate—all up close and personal with that 3-D touch.


photo credit: Page Museum

Watch as dire wolves go on the hunt and a pack of saber tooth cats seize the opportunity for some nourishment of their own. The food chain was not the only factor to contend with; learn how many of these beasts were trapped in liquid asphalt or the “tar pits” as we know them, which provides us with so much of the information we have today.

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photo credit: Page Museum

If your little explorers are obsessed with what the paleontologist are working on behind the glass at the museum they will gain a bit more insight with this film. Meet Zed, the almost complete Columbian Mammoth whose skull was recently discovered nearly whole—an exciting find. Page Scientists and volunteers sift through fossils daily to recreate these beasts and a piece of their lives.

The Pleistocene wouldn’t be complete without humans. This film provides an opportunity to see how our kind survived these harsh conditions by harnessing fire, hunting mammoths and using every piece of those great beasts to create warm clothing, weapons and other tools for daily living and trade. Humans, climate change (it’s nothing new) and the natural shift of the earth contributed to the end of the Ice Age and the beginning of the Holocene era in which we live today. These great lessons of the past are clues to the changes our planet continues to experience. Everyone will leave the theater with something to chew on.


photo credit: LeTania Kirkland

While you’re here, be sure to explore the rest of the museum…from the hour-long Excavator Tour (where kids can see the work that continues in the pits today) to the Ice Ages Encounter (on Fri.-Sun, which features a life-size adult Saber-toothed Cat puppet and live performance) to rolling down the giant hill, there’s loads of interactive explorations on the site.  When you come, be sure to dress kids in old play clothes; they’ll love to really experience the tar by finding a big stick and poking in the actual puddles of tar that still bubble up all over the park. (And we can tell you from experience, this stuff does not come out in the wash!)

The film is appropriate for kids 2 & up, but Ice Age Encounters is even more realistic and immediate and can frighten kids under 5.

The Page Museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The 25 minute film screens multiple times each day. Admission to the museum is $12 for adults, $5 for kids 3-12, and $9 for 13-17 year olds.  Tickets to the 3D Movie Titans of the Ice Age are an additional $3-$5.  However, your NHM membership not only gets you into the Page Museum for free, it also gets you unlimited viewings of the movie!

La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum
5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Online: tarpits.org

Have you been to the new show at the Tar Pit Museum?  What’s your favorite part of a visit to this “only in LA” site?  Let us know in the comment section below.

—LeTania Kirkland