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“So interesting”

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
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General Admission Ticket: La Brea Tar Pits and...
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La Brea Tar Pits Tour by Segway
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Small Group Highlights Tour of Los Angeles
Ranked #21 of 590 things to do in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Explore the world's only active, urban Ice Age excavation site. Inside the Page Museum is where we showcase the best fossils, animals, and plants that have been discovered here - mammoths, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and more. Experience the Ice Age come to life with our Ice Age Encounters show. Outside check out the La Brea Tar Pits where tar is still bubbling and our active fossil excavation sites to see what our excavators have uncovered today. Make the most of your visit with our Excavator Tour. Get the behind-the-scenes story and see scientists working on recently excavated fossils, walk around our famous Lake Pit, and visit our live dig site where scientists discover new Ice Age specimens every day. Free with museum admission.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed February 25, 2014

I visited the La Brea Tar Pits as part of the Hop on Hop off tour in LA. It was so interesting to walk around the park and see the tar pits. I didn't go into the museum as I ran out of time, but I definitely recommend a stop here when in LA. There is information and signs around the park to read about the tar pits and their ongoing work there.

Thank Peta M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 21, 2014

Total surprise. I'd heard about La Brea Tar Pits decades ago and wanted to see what the commotion was about. This visit to L.A. we finally made time.

My visual had always been oozing, bubbling, scalding ponds of thick gooey tar, situated on unsettled terrain miles out in the desert, where the ground was unfit for building. Reality is nothing like that.

The tar pits and museum are located on maybe two acres, smack in the middle of dense LA construction and population. Several wrought iron fence squares, maybe 2 feet by 2 feet, keep visitors from stepping into unexplored tar spots. Some ooze and bubble a bit. There is no steam, so I don't know how hot they might be.

Two large, partially excavated pits are fenced off because you don't want to get your foot stuck in there. Digging started a hundred years ago, in 1914 at both sites, and thirty (30) mammoths were discovered in the first year in just one pit.

The very large Lake Pit on the grounds is filled with water, and oil bubbles to the surface in several areas. This is where the museum situated a display of an elephant getting stuck, to eventually be swallowed whole by the tar.

Page Museum has incredible specimens of in tact whole animal skeletons (including a juvenile mastadon) - because they were so well preserved in tar before the archaeological digs. Who knew that mastadons lived in LA ?

The tar pits reminded me of the Beverly Hillbillies TV show ... "up from the ground came the bubbling crude." It looks more like oil than tar but, maybe when exposed to air, it thickens.

The museum is fascinating. Skeleton after skeleton is on display, with historical facts related to each find. And you can watch museum employees and volunteers doing current research through the viewing windows of the Fishbowl Lab.

Admission to the grounds is free. If you want to tour the museum, it's well worth the $12 (and only $9 for seniors).

2  Thank FancyFree55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2014 via mobile

It was a lovely park with a very small museum. What we found inside kept my three boys attention glued. The readers read and the non readers had plenty to see. Us old folk even found it interesting seemed to paint a historic picture. Nice place to picnic but beware tar holes kids can easily poke sticks in and get messy so come prepared for that.

1  Thank Hope_carter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2014

I had read about this place in NG magazine and had wanted to stop here. The walk outside is short and very interesting. There are even two spots where the hot spring with its tar has burst through to the surface recently. Museum was good with a number of exhibits. Very important to note is that there is $10 parking directly behind the museum so do not go to one of the 'public' parking garages or you will most likely pay double or triple that price for your visit. Kids should like this.

1  Thank SteveT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2014

I love history, and the La Brea Tar Pits and Page museum did not let me down. Very cool and you'll learn a lot. The gift shop is cool but a little pricy, other than that its a very good place to go.

Thank bsanderson81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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