Family-Friendly Guide to Museum Row in Los Angeles
Museum Row is the stretch of Wilshire Boulevard that extends between Fairfax Avenue and La Brea Avenue. It’s too much to do in one day, but with winter break approaching you can make plans for several days of fun family outings.
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Segments of the Berlin Wall
5900 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
History comes to you in the opportunity to view a portion of the original Berlin Wall. These segments are among the largest pieces of the Berlin Wall outside of Berlin. Artists were commissioned to paint along the wall segments making for an eye-opening, though-provoking, free experience.
Craft and Folk Art Museum
5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) strives to be a place for families to see art as well as make art. Creativity is all around us, and CAFAM is consistently striving to broaden the definition of “art.” “Paperworks” is a current exhibit (running through January 3, 2016) that features the many ways artists use paper-cutting techniques. An upcoming exhibit (beginning January 24, 2016) “Little Dreams in Glass and Metal” will explore the history of enameling. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students, children under ten are free, and on Sundays the museum offers a “pay what you can” program. (They are closed on Mondays).
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Wander through the Museum and feel like you’re walking back in time. On display you’ll find thousands of different fossils from 650 different species, including dire wolves, ancient horses, the Columbian mammoth, coyotes, and more. Additionally, at the Fossil Lab, families are given the chance to see paleontologists at work right in front of your eyes! Basic admission prices are $12 for adults, $9 for students ages 13-17, and children 3-12 are $5. However, if you opt to participate in an extra activity (such as viewing “Titans of the Ice Age 3D”) there are additional fees. Tuesdays are free admission days, and California teachers with valid i.d. are free every day.
Outside the Museum building, be sure to wander through the Tar Pits — “the world’s most famous Ice Age excavation site.” You’ll find excavators at work sorting through fossils at Project 23 as well as sculptures and large grassy areas perfect for picnics.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Adjacent to the Tar Pits, you’ll find the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). LACMA is home to more than 120,000 objects from around the globe and dating back to ancient times all the way to the present. You’ll find Asian art, Latin American art, Islamic art, European art, and modern art. Many kids’ programs are offered including NexGen, which provides free youth membership to children 17 and under (admission is also free for one accompanying adult). The Boone Children’s Gallery allows kids and adults to pick up a paint brush and make some art of their own. Story time is also offered on certain days as well. And be sure to visit “Metropolis II,” the ongoing kinetic sculpture that represents the pace and noise of living in a busy city. Kids will love watching the miniature cars zooming around the roadways.
Admission is $15 for adults and free for children seventeen and under. There are also on-site dining options available, including the LACMA cafe (a cafeteria-style, family-friendly eatery).
Petersen Automative Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Petersen Automative Museum has been closed for over a year for an extensive renovation, both inside and out. Families will view more than 25 exhibits showcasing more than 300 cars, including famous Hollywood cars, vintage cars, Hot Rods, and Pixar Cars. The Museum’s design includes three floors (the History floor, the Industry floor, and the Artistry floor). Perfect for kids is the Cars-themed Mechanical Institute Discovery Center — a fully interactive experience. The Museum’s official grand opening is December 7th. Admission is $15 for adults, $7 for children 3-12, children 13-17 are $12, and children under 3 are free. (Teachers with valid i.d. are free as well). A special offer for museum membership is available online.
Where to Eat
When you’re ready to eat, Museum Row offers several options. You can take advantage of the large grassy areas at the Tar Pits and enjoy a picnic. Pack one from home or stop by Ralphs (corner of Wilshire and Hauser) to pick up some sandwiches and salads. There are also eateries at Museum Square (corner of Wilshire and Curson) including The Counter, Johnnie’s New York Pizza, and Callender’s Grill. IHOP is right on the corner of Wilshire and Hauser, and a few doors down you’ll find a neighborhood favorite — Black Dog Coffee serving coffee, sandwiches, salads, and hot dogs.
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