Tag Archives: Natural History Museum

Last Chance to Travel the Silk Road in Los Angeles

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You don’t need to cross the whole world in order to experience traveling along the famous and ancient ‘Silk Road’. The Natural History Museum in L.A. has brought this part of the world to you with an amazing exhibition. If you haven’t seen it yet, get on the road and pay it a visit this weekend. “Traveling the Silk Road” is closing and the last camel caravan will have left on Sunday afternoon when the museum closes at 5 pm .

Experience the Silk Road as it was 1,000 years ago, and travel from Xi’an in eastern China through the desert sands of Central Asia to your final destination Baghdad in the Middle East. Find out about silkworms and precious silk in ancient Xi’an, and discover how an amazing irrigation system in Turfan made an oasis city blossom. Stop at Turfan’s night markets and take in the sounds of a bustling bazaar with all its different smells of various spices and perfumes before you move on with your caravan to stop over at Samarkand and finally arrive in Baghdad to observe ancient science tools designed by sailors and scholars!

The last days of ‘Traveling the Silk Road’ will be celebrated with a Silk Road Bazzar on Sunday, April 13th, with musical performances, Persian Dance Performances, weaving, spinning and silk reeling demonstrations and much more.

Source:  ‘Traveling the Silk Road’ at the Natural History Museum , Los Angeles, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007
Picture: Natural History Museum , Los Angeles

 

Autumn Fun in Southern California

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Enjoy Fall in Southern California

Before the colder weather sets in be sure to visit some great destinations in and around Los Angeles and San Diego. Southern California has a lot to offer when it comes to outdoor activities. We are close to the ocean but also near the mountains. The options are plentiful.

In the following you’ll find four different locations that we have enjoyed in the past and which are always worth a visit, but fall is just a perfect time to check them out.

Safari Park San Diego

The Safari Park in San Diego is a must in October. Not only since San Diego county has its great “Kids FREE in October” promotion all month long, which lets you visit nearly 40 museums and great destinations like the San Diego Zoo, and also the Safari Park for a fraction of the usual price. But what’s really nice about visiting zoos in fall is, that you can actually see the animals! It happened so many times to us; we are in one of the great zoos around California in the summer and… all the animals are hiding from the scorching heat and from us. Frustrating!

SAMSUNGSo this time we actually could witness antelopes run around the “plains” , a rhino taking a walk with its cute and playful little toddler rhino, watch some California bisons picking a fight amongst each other, see a lion lazily catching some of the rare sun rays that day, and have a laugh at the Gorilla encounter. In fact I have never seen any gorillas ever more engaged than these here at the Safari Park. There is so much more to see and for children and adults to explore than we can mention here. It’s definitely a great alternative to the famous San Diego Zoo.

National History Museum

We have mentioned and dedicated a whole article to the newly re-done Natural SAMSUNGHistory museum in L.A.,  which became one of our favorite museums. It means hours of great engaging education on wildlife that’s in our closest neighborhood and beyond. With Halloween coming up, the Spider Pavilion is an exhibit not to be missed. One that gets you into the eerie mood.  Before you go into the actual exhibit where you can observe spiders in their natural habitat eating their prey and be eye-to-eye with them (watch out that you don’t run into a freshly constructed spiderweb!), check out the various display cases outside with Tarantulas from different countries and other venomous spiders. Spider Pavilion is only open until November 3rd!

On November 5 and 6, the museum celebrates its 100th anniversary and the opening of the L.A. Aqueduct with FREE admission and a new aqueduct-themed exhibition.

Griffith Observatory

If you want to make it a day in L.A. head over to the Griffith Observatory once you are finished with visiting the Natural History Museum. The observatory at SAMSUNGGriffith Park is open until 10 pm and watching the sun set over Los Angeles from this location is phenomenal. Plan having dinner at “The Cafe at the End of the Universe” which is operated by Wolfgang Puck, and you can enjoy the sunset while sipping on a glass of wine! While the location itself is stunning, the exhibit inside the observatory is extraordinary, not to mention looking through one of the high-quality public telescopes. Once a month, the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and Sidewalk Astronomers hold a star party at the Observatory in which many more telescopes are available for public viewing. Find out more online.

Julian – Charming Gold Rush Town

Fall is the best time to visit Julian, a quaint mountain town famous for its warm apple pies, apple cider, apple butter and anything else that’s made of apples.  Nestled in the scenic Cuyamca Mountains, it is just one hour east of downtown San Diego. Julian found its beginning during the 1870‘s gold rush and is an official California Historical Landmark. It’s a charming little town that is home to many historic buildings, and is unique since you can experience the changes of the four seasons. Watch the changing colors of fall leaves and experience Christmassy snowfall in winter.   Don’t miss the annual fall apple harvest that runs from mid-September to November when fresh apple pies and just-pressed cider await you.

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New Highlight on L.A.’s Museums Scene – The New Natural History Museum

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Exciting New Additions Mark Los Angeles Natural History Museum’s Centennial

My family and I found a new hang out in Los Angeles: The Natural History Museum ! Just a few weeks ago the museum opened doors to its brand new SAMSUNGNature Lab and Nature Gardens and, wow!, are we impressed! My kids spent hours just in the Nature Lab exhibit alone. Here visitors can find out more about L.A.’s wildlife that’s starting right outside our front door, or should we say right inside our own homes, speaking of silverfish, cockroaches, bed bugs , etc. . Visitors learn about which foreign species (be it animal or plants) took over the habitat from its California native counterparts making life for those unbearable and sometimes pushing them even close to extinction, like in the case of the Western Pond Turtle which is being pushed out of its habitat by the Red-Eared Slider Turtle.

SAMSUNGAll this information is delightfully packaged into little messages on walls and displays, but one can find more in-depth articles as well. Visitors can observe the behavior of live animals in glass terrariums, like native rats, spiders, lizards, snakes and more while interactive games and movies invite to get deeper into the subject.  So much information everywhere, but so perfectly displayed and in so many appealing variations that one doesn’t get tired of exploring. The different information bites entice the viewer to read on, keep on listening and wanting to find out more!

Throughout the museum visitors get reminded to take an active role in discovering nature all around them, and get encouraged to share their new findings via email directly with NHM scientists.

Did you know we had parrots flying around L.A. and OC? Well, today I learned that the Red Crowned Parrot has in fact become LA’s most common wild parrot!! Another interesting fact I came across was that black widows are slowly being SAMSUNGreplaced by their grayish looking cousins, the Brown Widow, which luckily are not as poisonous as the California native black one. In 2003 school children in Los Angeles discovered the first brown widow in L.A. . And so on…

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A new science experience for the 21st century minds of young and old

Having covered the California Science Center for CaliforniaGermans, which is right next door to the Natural History Museum, as well as San Francisco’s Exploratorium (before its move to the Pier this year) and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, I must say that this is an addition Los Angeles’ museums world can be so proud of.

Designed by German architect Fabian Kremkus the new addition to the Natural History Museum also features a beautiful Nature Garden, which unfortunately we ran out of time to explore today. We will have to tame our curiosity and wait for next time to visit the “Listening Tree”, where one can hear the water flowing inside the trees!  However, we did take a tour of the little Butterfly Pavilion, SAMSUNGwhere kids can experience various kinds of butterflies flying around them and witness their different stages of development. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff is right there to answer all kinds of questions one might have.

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Dinosaur Galore in Dinosaur Hall

Should you have enough time to treat your kids to the extraordinary dinosaur exhibit, definitely do so. Completely redone, the exhibit opened in 2011 and is impressive. Yes, there is a lot to read, but if you like to dig in to the whole history, this is the way to do it. The complete dinosaur age is exceptionally well explained mailand recounted. This being said, even younger kids will love to spend time here since there is simply so much to see.  And just envisioning those huge animals roaming about the same ‘habitat’ that we are walking on today, is an adventure in itself.

With the architectural design of its new additions the Natural History Museum also supports Los Angeles’ urban development with a new entrance (the Otis Booth Pavilion) right on the side of Exposition Boulevard and the light-rail Expo Line, which shall entice pedestrians to stop by the museum.

All in all the Los Angeles Natural History Museum has become a gem of a museum, one you don’t want to miss! It’s inspiring, and with its innovative design so ready to take on 21st century audiences.

Don’t miss putting it on your summer To Do list !

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Upcoming new exhibits and events at the NHM:

  • “Becoming Los Angeles” exhibit covering 500 years of LA history, opens on July 14. LA.
  • A Friday night film series of L.A.centric movies starts July 13.

Kids ‘Approved’ Museum Shows around L.A. – Kindgerechte Ausstellungen in Museen rund um L.A.

Museums are a great way to educate children about science, history, music and art, and in fact about life in general. If these shows are even fun on top of it, the learning experience is even more impressive. A trip to the musuem can be a great adventure for the whole family and will give you stuff to talk about for days to come.

There are a few shows here in Southern California that I wanted to mention and which are definitely worth while to take your kids to. The Natural History Museum in LA has a great exhibition that opened during the summer. Age Of Mammals goes back in history and tells the story of the extinction of the dinosaurs to the evolution of the  mammals. In a superbly researched exhibit one can read about and see historical mammals’ skeletons that used to live here in our neighborhood, like a Smilodon fatalis, a sabor-toothed tiger that was found in the Brea Tar Pits. The exhibition is great for kids, even though in my opinion children above the age of eight might get more out of it and value it more, since there is much to read and explore on panels and computer screens. (read more about the show in a LA Times article)

Aside from the Age of Mammals show the Natural History Museum in LA has a lot more to offer. My six-year old loves to walk through the permanent exhibits of animals of the world, standing close to elephants in the Sahara or in the big plains next to grazing Bisons. In the Discovery Center on the ground floor, kids can get hands-on experience as a paleontologist and dig for dinosaur bones. Another popular attraction is the Insect Zoo, which features anything from weird spiders to scorpions to velvet ants.

Next to the Natural History Museum is the California Science Museum, an impressive museum in and out, with mind-blowing shows, like Mummies of the World or Ecosystems . We have yet to visit the Mummies of the World show, but couldn’t hear enough good about it from other parents while visiting the Ecosystems. While Ecosystems and so many other special exhibits are all free at the California Science Center, the Mummies of the World exhibition does have a ticket fee. In fact it is advisable to buy tickets in advance, since the show is in high demand. Don’t delay and visit it soon. Mummies of the World is only open for a limited time and very popular! (Read Article below: ‘Mummies of the world welcomes 100,000 visitor’)

Ecosystems is another exhibit you want to make sure to bring your kids to. Eight zones illustrate a different ecological principle. “Explore the varied ecosystems of land and sea, and discover how the physical and living worlds are connected and shaped by the same fundamental ecological principles.” (California Science Museum website) Lots of hands-on displays make the information digestible also for little kids. Ecosystems is a show you can go back to several times and find yourself discovering new things every time you are there.

Another museum that deserves great attention is the El Muzeo in Anaheim. A small museum with only a limited exhibition space , compared to the big museums just mentioned above, this museum is putting on various shows throughout the year that are stunning as well as admirably researched in detail. The latest one is Frogs: A Chorus of Colors. The exhibition features over 100 live frogs, many interactive displays (great for younger & older kids!) and various movies on different topics of frogs’ lives but also on the topic of how frogs are an indicator of environmental changes on our planet earth. The kids station that offers several frog games as well as computers with special frog animation games and a computer with a special program for virtually dissecting a frog, is very popular with children of all ages. Great, great exhibit! Hurry to not miss this wonderful, colorful show, since it is only open until September 12th, 2010.

Another museums where kids can have a lot of fun is the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. A great attraction among the many regularly changing shows is for sure the permanent Dino Quest, where kids can earn little token once they have mastered the Dino Quest. On our list to visit next is the Natural Science Musuem in San Diego with its Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries and The Art Shack at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach.

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