Things To Do in Los Angeles with Kids

Exploring the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
40 Presidential Dr., Simi Valley, CA 93065

Hours: The Museum is open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day of the year
(closed only on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day)

Description:

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum offers visitors the opportunity to learn about our country’s 40th President. Exhibits include a look at Mr. Reagan’s life — from his childhood, to his days as a GE spokesperson, to his acting days, and his time in politics — as the governor of California and then later as our nation’s President.

Oval Office at the Reagan Library (photo by Wendy Kennar)

Permanent exhibits include personal artifacts, photographs, documents, and more. There is also a full-size replica of the Oval Office (as it was decorated when Reagan was President, complete with jars of jelly beans), interactive opportunities, as well as artifacts dedicated to First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Outside, visitors will stand in awe at a section of the Berlin Wall and stand in quiet contemplation at the memorial site for Mr. and Mrs. Reagan.

Perhaps most exciting to many young visitors is the site of Air Force One. The Air Force One on display is the same one that President Reagan (and six other Presidents) flew in. Families are able to step aboard, have a fun photo opportunity, view the cockpit, and walk the length of this extraordinary plane! The Air Force One Pavilion also houses Marine One which families are welcome to step aboard as well (but watch your head!)

egyptian statues at special exhibit at Reagan library

Special Exhibit: Visitors to the Reagan Library will also have the chance to view a special exhibit, Egypt’s Lost Cities, on view through April 12, 2020.

This fascinating exhibit tells the story of “two bustling cities in ancient Egypt known throughout the world as cultural centers of power, of wealth of trade, and novel artistry. One day as the Mediterranean sun beat down on the bay of Aboukir, the cities slipped into the sea without a whisper of wind, buried for centuries.” 

Families will view more than 200 artifacts including “three colossal 16-foot sculptures of a pharaoh, a queen, and a god.”

Other objects on display include “precious gold coins and jewelry, bronze vessels, objects inscribed in the ancient Egyptian or Greek languages, and statues from the sunken and forgotten ancient cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus.” You’ll also find ancient artifacts on loan from museums in Cairo and Alexandria. 

statue from Egypt at Reagan library

Price: General admission to the Reagan Library also includes admission to the Lost Cities exhibit. General adult admission is $29.95, youth ages 11-17 are $22.95, children ages 3-10 are $19.95, and children under 2 are free. An optional audio tour rental is also available at a fee of $7 each and includes over 50 stops within the Museum. (The tour is narrated by President and Mrs. Reagan).

Membership options are available allowing for unlimited visits to the Reagan Library. (However, members must pay a slight fee for admission to the temporary exhibits). Members also receive special benefits throughout the year including  discounts to the Museum store and cafe, a newsletter, and advance notice to special events. In addition, membership at the Reagan Library also provides free annual admission to all NARA (National Archive and Records Administration) Presidential Libraries.  A family membership begins at $15 per year.

Parking: Parking at the Reagan Library is free!

Food: You’ll find two dining options at the Museum. The Ronald Reagan Pub is located adjacent to Air Force One. It’s a convenient spot to stop for a quick snack including self-service sandwiches and salads, fudge, speciality teas and coffees. The Reagan Country Cafe has a more extensive menu, including self-service items as well as made-to-order items. Families can choose to sit inside or dine outside while admiring the views of the Santa Rosa Valley. Menu options include sandwiches (grilled or deli-style and all made-to-order), soups, salads, pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs, and more.

Nearby Attractions: The Reagan Library and Museum is located atop a hill and isn’t located near any other major attractions. Some families prefer this isolation so they can focus their energy and attention on this one site and not feel pressured to have enough time to get to another destination.

Reagan Library sign (photo by Paul Kennar)

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