top of page

Natural History Museums of L.A. County | Fall Programming.

This fall the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) are providing visitors the opportunity to learn about “the science of scary” in the new exhibition Natural History of Horror at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in Exposition Park; experience the Mammoths and Mastodons installation and visit the new Second Home Serpentine Pavilion by SelgasCano at La Brea Tar Pits; and explore the home of silent film actor William S. Hart at the Hart Museum.

Just in time for Halloween, NHM will present Natural History of Horror. The exhibition links science, history, and the art of movie making by exploring scientific discoveries—from early experiments in animal electricity to the excavation of King Tut’s tomb—that inspired some of cinema’s most iconic monsters. Featuring seventeen objects from NHM’s collection and four early Universal monster movies: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and Creature from the Black Lagoon, visitors will explore the scientific inspiration for each of these classic monsters through rare movie props, film footage, hands on interactives, and specimens from the extraordinary collections at the NHM. Free with general admission. For more information, visit NHM.ORG/horror. Antarctic Dinosaurs Get ready to travel to Antarctica in search of dinosaurs! This exhibition puts visitors in the shoes of Antarctic adventurer-scientists, engaging them in the preparation, peril, and discovery of remote field work. It follows the journey of modern-day paleontologists, NHM’s Dr. Nathan Smith and Dr. Pete Makovicky, Curator of Dinosaurs at the Field Museum, as they mount an expedition to Antarctica’s Mount Kirkpatrick in 2010-2011 and discover a new species of dinosaur—and a better understanding of connections among dinosaur species discovered around the world. After experiencing the human side of modern Antarctic exploration, immersive environments transport visitors millions of years into the past to Antarctica’s lush, temperate prehistoric environment where crocodile-sized amphibians and elephant-sized dinosaurs once roamed. Tickets required. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit NHM.ORG/dinos. Antarctic Dinosaurs was developed by the Field Museum, Chicago in partnership with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Discovery Place – Charlotte, NC, and the Natural History Museum of Utah. Generous support was provided by the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund. Frozen in Time: Images of Antarctica

This exhibition showcases the work of artist Diane Tuft through 13 large-scale photographs taken in 2012 while Tuft was in Antarctica on a National Science Foundation (NSF) Antarctic Artists & Writers grant. Tuft visited Antarctica intending to photograph the depletion of the ozone layer, but instead focused on the history of climate change recorded within Antarctica’s icy landscape. Tuft’s photographs capture Antarctica’s landscape in abstracted ways—confronting the viewer with a new perspective. Tuft went through the same rigorous training all Antarctic explorers must undertake to prepare for her trip, reaching the continent’s rarely witnessed remote landscapes by braving minus 40F temperatures and 67mph winds. Complementing the journey of Antarctic adventurer-scientists featured in the ongoing exhibition Antarctic Dinosaurs, the photographs in Frozen in Time: Images of Antarctica give visitors another way to experience the continent—through the eyes of an artist. Free with museum admission. For more information, visit NHM.ORG/frozenintime Spider Pavilion Our seasonal Spider Pavilion (only on view in the fall) is a one-of-a-kind experience! Walk through an open-air pavilion and marvel at these shy and fragile creatures. The spiders are out in the open, but they rarely leave their magnificent webs. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to get a glimpse inside spiders’ private lives. Tickets required. For more information and pricing, visit NHM.ORG/spiders Dino Fest

Join us for a two-day festival celebrating dinosaurs, their prehistoric past, and the science that brings their world back to life! Meet world-renowned paleontologists from the Museum and beyond as they discuss historic and ongoing fossil discoveries from around the world. Visit exhibitors and see anything from dinosaur inspired jewelry and artwork, to geology kits and dig pits. Catch a glimpse of rare specimens from the Museum’s collections, dig into hands-on activities, explore our world renowned Dino Hall with the world’s only T.rex growth series, and much more! Free with museum admission. For more information, visit NHM.ORG/dinofest. Night in the City: L.A. After Dark

Tuesday, October 15 and October 29: Talk at NHM

Saturday, November 16: Conference at USC

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West are delighted to present a three-part series considering Los Angeles after dark. Topics will include the noir landscapes of films and novels, nocturnal creatures, the astronomy of our evening L.A. skies, and more. What is it about Los Angeles that has so captivated writers and filmmakers, and what can we learn when we throw shade on our famed sunshine to investigate the city in darkness? L.A. doesn’t sleep at night, so join us for two evenings and a full-day conference as we unmask our city after sunset. Visit

for updated information. Sponsors: The Collections Convergence Initiative and the Harman Academy of USC Libraries. Haunted Museum: Monsters Among Us Join us at Haunted Museum to help find who, or what, has been searching through the collections late at night. Participate in a ghostly scavenger hunt with museum researchers, brave the Spider Pavilion on a flashlight tour, drop in for hands-on crafts, and explore the exhibits. Learn more at NHM.ORG/hauntedmuseum. Free for Members at the Naturalist, Explorer, Adventurer, and Fellows levels. Individual, Individual Plus, Dual, Dual Plus, Family, Family Plus, and Patron level Members may purchase tickets for those listed on their membership. $25 adults, $15 children. Become a Member here. Oceans 3D: Our Blue Planet Go further into the ocean’s depths than ever before. Travel beneath the surface in this 3D oceanic adventure, narrated by Kate Winslet. Explore a vast uncharted world of vibrant coral cities, enchanted underwater forests, and deep waters. (Run time: 25 minutes) Titanosaur 3D Viewers will go back in time to the end of the dinosaur age! This film uses vividly realistic animation to allow viewers to travel back over 100 million years to see Titanosaurs and how the long-necked sauropods moved, ate and interacted in their Cretacious environment. Much of the research featured in this film was conducted by Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County scientists, led by Senior Vice President of Research and Collections, Dr. Luis Chiappe. (Run time: 20 minutes) All 3D films are free for Members. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit NHM.ORG/3dtheater.

LA BREA TAR PITS (Mid-Wilshire / Hancock Park) Mammoths and Mastodons The museum at La Brea Tar Pits has totally changed its visitor experience with a new installation focusing on mammoths and mastodons based on a traveling exhibit organized by Chicago’s Field Museum. New experiences include life-sized models, hands-on interactives, and the latest discoveries and research relating to these extraordinary Ice Age animals—found both at the Tar Pits and around the world. This interactive experience invites visitors into the world of titans that lived across Asia, Africa, Europe, the L.A. Basin and California’s Channel Islands before they went extinct thousands of years ago. Free with museum admission. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Titans of the Ice Age 3D

Journey to a world lost in time, buried in ice, and ruled by giants. In this exciting 3D adventure, discover an icy world on the brink of extinction, where humans share the frozen tundra with majestic beasts. Encounter some of the Earth’s most awe-inspiring mammals, from saber-toothed cats and dire wolves to giant sloths and the iconic mammoths that lived 10,000 years before modern civilization. See how these magnificent creatures became trapped in tar, preserved in time, and are being unearthed today.

All 3D films are Free for Members. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Second Home Serpentine Pavilion by SelgasCano at La Brea Tar Pits

June 28-November 24, 2019 La Brea Tar Pits Second Home, the London-based social business committed to supporting entrepreneurship, and creativity in cities around the world, and the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) have collaborated to bring the acclaimed 2015 Serpentine Pavilion designed by Selgascano to Los Angeles. The Second Home Pavilion offer the public a flexible, multi-purpose social space in which to enjoy free public programs and events focusing on the intersection of art, design, science, and nature, co-organized by Second Home and NHMLAC. The 866-square-foot Second Home Serpentine Pavilion is set on the grassy ellipse in the park adjacent to the museum at La Brea Tar Pits. Designed by Madrid-based architects Selgascano for the 15th annual presentation of the prestigious Serpentine Gallery program, the Pavilion creates an immersive, chrysalis-like structure covered in a translucent, multi-colored fabric membrane, allowing the public to experience architecture through shape, light, transparency, color, and materials. Share your experience using #lovelettertoLA and tag @secondhome_la and @thelabreatarpits on Instagram for a chance to take over the Pavilion. Show your post at any Tar Pits ticket counter to receive $2 off general admission to the museum.

Admission is free and walk-ups are welcome. Plan your visit by reserving timed express entry at For more information, visit TARPITS.ORG/secondhome. LA Against the Mountains

Tuesday, September 24, 6:30-8:30 pm Second Home Serpentine Pavilion by SelgasCano at La Brea Tar Pits Let us take you on a journey of Earth, Water, Air and Fire inspired by John McPhee’s New Yorker essay, Los Angeles Against the Mountains. Curated by LA’s first Chief Design Officer, Christopher Hawthorne.

Speakers include Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, President and Director of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County; Nicola Twilley, host of the Gastropod podcast and the author of a recent New Yorker magazine article on California megafires; and Dr. Joshua West, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences at USC.

There’s more! We will also be celebrating the release of the Natural History Museum’s new book Wild LA, which explores the diverse expressions of nature in and around Los Angeles. This event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, click here. Presented by Second Home in partnership with the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County and USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.


Open House: Day of the Bison

Saturday, October 19, 11 am–4 pm Hart Museum

This day will be another way to explore the Hart Museum. Bring the questions you've always wanted to ask, and challenge our volunteers and staff. Explore the mansion as quickly, or for as long, as you want. We will also have a simple craft activity on the back patio for everyone in the family to try.

Free. For more information visit HARTMUSEUM.ORG/calendar. Day at the Ranch: The Mighty Oak Saturday, November 9, 11 am-2 pm Hart Museum

Join us for this event where we will be highlighting William S. Hart's collection of Native American baskets. Learn about the materials, process, and cultural significance of basketry in California's indigenous communities and try your hand at basket weaving as well. Free. For more information visit HARTMUSEUM.ORG/calendar.

FOLLOW NHMLA Facebook: @nhmla | @tarpits | @hartmuseum Instagram:@nhmla | @thelabreatarpits | @hartmuseum Twitter: @nhmla | @labreatarpits | @hart_museum ABOUT THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUMS OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (NHMLAC) The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) include the Natural History Museum, La Brea Tar Pits, and the William S. Hart Museum. They operate under the collective vision to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds. The museums hold one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history—more than 35 million objects. Using these collections for groundbreaking scientific and historic research, the museums also incorporate them into on- and offsite nature and culture exploration in L.A. neighborhoods, and a slate of community science programs—creating indoor-outdoor visitor experience that explore the past, present, and future.

bottom of page