Guide to the Griffith Observatory
The Griffith Observatory is a great place to spend the day with kids, visiting family or to just go by yourself. There’s plenty to do including walking through the observatory exhibits, seeing a planetarium show or looking through telescopes.
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2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Tuesday through Friday – 12:00 pm (noon) to 10:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Closed on Mondays
The Griffith Observatory is described as “Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos!” The Observatory originally opened back in 1935. It closed in 2002 for a four year renovation and expansion. Families will wander the Observatory as observers, asking themselves “what do we observe, how do we observe it, and why it is important.” Exhibits include public telescopes, the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky, the Wilder Hall of the Eye, the Edge of Space, and the Gunther Depths of Space to name a few.
The Griffith Observatory hosts special events throughout the year including presentations for the winter and summer solstice and monthly public star parties. Additionally, each month the Observatory offers a Park Ranger-led sunset hike. Before visiting the Observatory, be sure to click here for a schedule of daily demonstrations and talks offered for visitors.
Admission to the Observatory is always free. However, there is a slight fee for programs offered in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. Eight performances are offered each weekday, and ten performances are scheduled each weekend day. The Planetarium shows are Water Is Life, Light of the Valkyries, and Centered in the Universe. Adult tickets are $7, students and seniors are $5, and children ages 5-12 are $3. Children under 5 are only admitted to the first show of the day and must sit on an adult’s lap.
Families may opt to become a member of the Friends of the Observatory (FOTO). Members receive discounts to Planetarium shows, invitations to special members-only events, discounts on purchases made at the Café and gift shop, and more.
Parking near the Observatory is quite limited and gets very congested. Parking costs $4.00/hour. Therefore, the Observatory suggests public transportation whenever possible including the DASH Observatory public bus service.
Families may wish to eat onsite at The Café at the End of the Universe, by Wolfgang Puck. Families may choose to dine inside or outside while enjoying the view of the city and the nearby Hollywood Sign. Menu choices include soups, salads, fresh sandwiches and wraps, a self-serve salad bar, and kid-friendly fare such as macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. Keep in mind that outside food and drinks are not permitted in the Observatory.
The Observatory is located within Griffith Park which means there’s no shortage of things to do nearby, including hiking, riding the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, and enjoying a picnic. Click here to read our post “9 Things To Do With Kids in Griffith Park.”
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