Leslie Cook

Here Be Dragons: My Trip to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

In My Favorite Things, Random Thoughts on September 8, 2011 at 6:48 am

If you’re like me and grew up in the Los Angeles area, you’ll remember those wonderful school trips to the Natural History Museum (NHM). Once a year, we’d board our school buses and head off toward Exposition Park, bound for a day of learning. Mostly it was a day away from school, which was always welcome. I was always overwhelmed by the giant bones of modern and ancient creatures, and by the ancient man displays. The Neanderthal display always looked a little dusty and molted, but it was still fun to see.

This week, I returned to the NHM for the first time in years. They’ve done an amazing job of redoing the museum and are still in the process of building. We took a look at the future plans and if they complete them, the NHM should be a world-class museum. The new Dinosaur Hall was opened in July and it’s beautiful. Along with the dinosaur bones that were on display for years, they’ve added some new ones, specifically Thomas the T. rex. And, even with the older bones, they’ve changed their positioning, based on current research on how the various species walked and hunted. They’ve added interactive displays, video of digs and current dinosaur science, and they’ve updated the explanations presented in front of the exhibits.. Norm and I spent a few hours wandering around the new exhibit and I, for one, was very impressed. The place was packed with adults and children marveling at the giant creatures. I spent some time looking down on them from above, wondering what they’d be like with skin and bones, chasing me through the grasslands. Scary!

The great thing about NHM is that they have free days, which Norm and I took advantage of. To find out what those days are, check their website (http://www.nhm.org/, but, when I last checked, each Tuesday in September is free, saving you the $12.00 adult admission. Even if you do have to pay, it’s well worth the price.


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