La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036- Map It
Phone: (323) 934-7243

AAA Editor Notes

La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, 5801 Wilshire Blvd., is the site of sticky asphalt pools that trapped and preserved prehistoric plant and animal life; these tar pits are among the world's richest sources of ice-age fossils—more than 3 million have been recovered. Life-size replicas of extinct mammals sit in some of the still-bubbling tar pits. Pit 91, the country’s only urban fossil excavation site, is observed by a self-guiding walking trail. The museum is part of the Natural History Family of Museums and exhibits fossils of ice-age animals such as mammoths, dire wolves and saber-toothed cats. Through the windows of the indoor lab, visitors can watch fossils being cleaned, identified and catalogued. The 15-minute Ice Age Encounters show includes a live performance, a film and a life-size saber-toothed cat puppet. Another museum highlight is the 3-D film “Titans of the Ice Age.” During the guided Excavator Tour guests visit the Fossil Lab and then head outside to the lake pit, observation pit and Project 23, an active excavation site. Rental wheelchairs are available. Guided tours are available.
Museum (includes Excavator Tour) $12; $9 (ages 13-17, ages 62+ and students with ID); $5 (ages 3-12); free (active military with ID and to all first Tues. of the month, Sept.-June). Ice Age Encounters additional $4; $3 (ages 3-12). Advance ticket purchase recommended for Ice Age Encounters and Excavator Tour. Combination tickets with Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County are available.
Hours: Museum daily 9:30-5. Excavator Tour departs daily at 1 and 3 (also Sat.-Sun. at noon and 2); timed-entry ticket required. Ice Age Encounters Sat.-Sun. at 11, 1 and 2, Fri. at 10:30, 11:15 and noon. Project 23 excavation daily 9:30-5. Pit 91 excavation daily 9:30-5, early July-early Sept. Closed Jan. 1, July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas.