Today Alaric skipped school and we went to the Natural History Museum! We’ve been meaning to go there for a while but always end up skipping it in favor of something like the California Science Center and Rose Gardens next door. Finally, I thought of Googling to find out when is the free day for this one (most LA museums have at least one free day per month) and lucky for us it was the first Tuesday of the month!
The only thing I knew about the museum was that it had dinosaurs. It was quickly decided that it would be totally appropriate for Alaric to dress as a dinosaur for our trip to the museum. We took the train since there’s stop right in front of the museum (Expo/Vermont station) and just because the train is always fun for Alaric.
Alaric got a bit overwhelmed by giant dinosaurs at first and hid in the basket of the stroller. He quickly got over his fear, realizing those are “not real” which was good and bad since he kind of lost interest in them after that. The fossil figures of the dinosaurs were too big and abstract to keep his attention. Luckily, there were other halls such as one with African mammals, which was pretty entertaining to him since he knew most of the animals. Those looked more “real” so he was able to appreciate the experience.
We had a quick snack in the shade of the garden outside, which was really nice. Then we moved on to the Nature Lab which was definitely his favorite part of the museum. Nature Lab is an interactive space where you can look at different bugs under magnifying glass, see smaller animals up close, draw, touch and turn things. We must have spent an hour just in that pavilion. It was a really fun visit! I am really glad it was free though because for someone who is not super nerdy about the whole dinosaur/natural history theme, the price is a little high especially for tickets for kids his age.
After the museum, we went next door to the Rose Garden. Now is the time to go, everything is blooming so pretty and the big fountain there is working! We hung out in the gazebo, washed his little car that we just got at the museum in the fountain and moved along to the playground nearby. That whole area around Expo/Vermont and Expo Park/USC stations is actually pretty great for a family visit. There’s playgrounds, the museum and the California Science Center that is free for most exhibits and has kid’s playrooms. USC and the Coliseum are also nearby, which we have yet to explore.
It was a great day and I look forward to more fun days like this now that I am on maternity leave for the next 4 months;)