Museum Free-For-All- Free Admission Days Oct 3rd and 4th!

I love sharing Free events and the Los Angeles Museum “Free-For-All” is one that is not to be missed! I have a little dinosaur lover that would absolutely love to visit the Natural History Museum in LA. I can’t wait to take him. It’s going to be a busy and Free weekend for us!

Let me share a little about the “Free-For-All”. In a joint effort to present the arts and culture to the diverse and myriad communities in Southern California, the Museum Marketing Roundtable announces the fifth annual “Museums Free-For-All” on Saturday and Sunday, October 3 and 4, 2009. The following museums – presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science – will open their doors wide and invite visitors free of charge.*

Participating Museums:

Autry National Center of the American West

Last week I had the opportunity to take my kiddos to the Autry National Center of the American West in Los Angeles. It was a place I had been wanting to visit for some time and finally got around to visiting.
The Autry National Center of the American West is located inside of Griffith Park and across from the Los Angeles Zoo. We loved the museum from first sight. The grounds are absolutely beautiful!! We started our excursion by taking a stroll through the upper level exhibits. The kids loved looking at the different cowboy costumes!!
The upper level of the museum is interesting and great to look at – but it can’t compare to the ground floor- a.k.a- The Family Discovery Gallery- or kid heaven!! There is an outside area that your kiddos will love. There is an actual stagecoach that you and your kids can climb on and a recreated setting of gold rush country. My kiddos loved it and did not want to leave. They ran around for quite some time.
After exploring the outside area we headed to the Family Discovery Gallery which was the highlight of our excursion. In this special gallery, families step back in time to discover what life was like for the See family, a Chinese American family in the 1930s. You will explore the family’s antique store, restaurant, and home. This was the coolest little exhibit I have ever explored with my family. I could not tear the kids apart from the restaurant and home section. They played for at least an hour in the restaurant section. They loved “cooking and serving us”. It was also a blast to play house with them inside the replica California Bungalow. We had so much fun and I’m sure your kiddos will too.
We finished our excursion with lunch at the Golden Spur Cafe. I usually don’t like to recommend museum cafe’s because they are usually quite pricey- but the Golden Spur Cafe is the exception. The food was fantastic and the prices were unbelievably reasonable. I think my lunch with drink was around $6.00 and the kids meals(which are huge by the way!!) were $4.00. The kids shared a meal and I think the total for an amazing lunch was $11.00- not bad at all!!
After lunch I let the kids run wild and burn off some energy by running around in the gorgeous field adjacent to the museum. You could bring a picnic and your kids would love to eat and run around the field.
I can’t rave enough about this fantastic place. If you have never been – make sure to visit soon.
Autry National Center of the American West
700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA, 90027-1462
T. 323.667.2000
F. 323.660.5721
$9.00 for Adults
$5.00 for students (13-18) and seniors
(60+)$5.00 Adult Students (18 and over with ID)
$3.00 for children (3-12)
Free for children under 3
For additional information click here

Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology

Did you know that there is new museum in the inland empire dedicated to creatures from a long time ago? Yep, if your kiddos love anything related to big creatures that roamed the Hemet area some 230,000 years ago , this is the spot for you.

The Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology came about 10 years ago when the Metropolitan Water District started drilling 270-feet below the earth’s surface to build Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet. While Digging for the lake they found more than a million fossils and artifacts.

The new state of the art museum is home to 33,000 square feet of permanent and special exhibits that are sure to delight your kiddos. Current exhibits are

The Big Dam Hole

Use the interactives to learn about the people and animals that inhabited the Diamond Valley Lake site over time. Discover how scientists uncovered evidence of their existence.

Postcards from the Past

Learn about a typical 1880s house in the Diamond Valley region.

Travel farther back in time with the artifacts created and used by the earlier Native American residents.

Movies in the Theater Two short films are shown regularly in our circular, immersion theater with its 270-degree screen.

Enjoy the animated Echoes of the Past, which transports viewers to a time when giant creatures roamed the area. The informative, ten-minute documentary, Discovery and Recovery provides an eyewitness view of the excavation at Diamond Valley Lake.

photo by Jim Watters, Sr.

photo by Jim Watters, Sr.
Snapshots in Time

Be amazed by the size of mammoths and mastodons that used to live in the Diamond Valley Lake area. See the real fossils of some very large animals:

• A 10ft tall mastodon, nicknamed Max
• A 12ft. tall mammoth, nicknamed Xena,
• And a giant ground sloth nearly 7ft. tall.

Use the magnifying glass to see fossils from some very small critters including birds and lizards.

Walk over a re-created quarry site that holds the remains of “Little Stevie”, a mastodon that lived nearly 50,000 years ago.

Discovery Labphoto by Jim Watters, Sr.

Follow the trail of these animals from their discovery in the field to curation and research in the museum.

Explore discovery sites and the “Tools of the Trade” that archaeologists use in the field.

Understand techniques used to date fossils and artifacts by using an interactive “Dating Game.”

Learn why “Not Everyone Gets to Be a Fossil” and make your own fossil cast using air-dry clay and one of our molds.

The museum special exhibit- The Music behind the magic-explores Disney’s legacy and draws inspiration from Disney animation, television programming, theme parks, live-action films and Broadway musicals.

.The museum is amazing and a must for that little explorer in your family.

.Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology-2345 Searl Parkway, Hemet

Open Tuesday-Sunday 10AM to 5PM- Admission $8.00 Adults, $6.00 Youths (5-13), under 4 -Free

For additional information click here