A guide to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

The La Brea Tar Pits alongside the Page Museum is a fascinating destination to explore in Los Angeles. It not only offers a glimpse of Ice Age fossils, but also provides an experience of observing seeping tar at close quarters. Find all necessary details for your visit in our comprehensive guide to the La Brea Tar Pits.

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

  • Location: 5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Roaming through the premises of the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum could make you feel like you’ve stepped back into a different era. Indeed, the venue is renowned as one of the most abundant repositories of Ice Age fossils. The display boasts an impressive array of Ice Age relics from over 650 distinct species, such as dire wolves, prehistoric horses, the Columbian mammoth, coyotes, and more. You’ll gain insights into how creatures could get ensnared in minimal amounts of tar. The Fossil Lab offers families an exclusive opportunity to witness paleontologists immersed in their work. Additionally, make sure to pay a visit to the Atrium, an enclosed courtyard adorned with trees, located at the heart of the museum. Keep your eyes peeled for the koi fish in the pond, hummingbirds, and more.

Guide to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

Opening Hours:

  • Open daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm throughout the year, barring four exceptions.
  • The museum remains closed on Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Guide To The La Brea Tar Pits

There’s more to discover in the outdoor vicinity as well. Be amazed by the statues scattered across the landscape and the Lake Pit, which showcases a live, bubbling asphalt seep alongside life-size fiberglass replicas of mammoths and an American mastodon. Gain knowledge about the excavation process and explore the Pleistocene Garden that houses plants from the Ice Age era that once thrived in Los Angeles. Visit the Observation Pit for a firsthand look at a genuine La Brea fossil deposit and indulge your senses as you stroll through the Tar Pits, pausing at Project 23 and Pit 91.

Expansive green patches make for ideal picnic spots, and the sloping hills are irresistible to children who love to roll down them.

Special Attractions:

The museum presents two special attractions requiring a supplemental fee (complimentary for members). Ice Age Encounters is a theatrical performance held on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The 15-minute multimedia show features a full-sized adult Saber-toothed Cat puppet that narrates the tale of the Ice Age inhabitants that once roamed this area. Seating is limited, so it’s recommended to secure tickets in advance. Additionally, visitors have the option to view Titans of the Ice Age 3D, a film that depicts the journey of diverse Ice Age creatures from being “trapped in tar, preserved in time, to their present-day discovery.” Unearth the creatures that resided in this region 10,000 to 40,000 years ago.

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

Entry Fees:

General admission to the museum is priced at $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students (aged 13-17), and $7 for children. The ticket price also includes a guided Excavator Tour, providing insights about the Fossil Lab, the Lake Pit, the Observation Pit, and Project 23.

The museum provides complimentary daily entry to teachers from California who can present an I.D., currently serving or retired military personnel with an I.D., and infants aged 2 years and below. Furthermore, inhabitants of Los Angeles County, equipped with a legitimate identification or utility bill, can enjoy a gratis visit to the museum every weekday between 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The museum opens its doors free of charge to all visitors on the first Tuesday of every month (excluding July and August), and every Tuesday in September. It’s advisable to reserve your tickets online due to the high influx of visitors on these cost-free days.

Membership schemes are available which offer several perks including unlimited free access to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the William S. Hart Museum; complimentary entrance to Ice Age Encounters and Titans of the Ice Age 3D; a special discount on Museum store purchases; exclusive invitations to members-only events; among other benefits.

La Brea Tar Pits & Museum Discover Los Angeles


Guests have the option to park in the Museum’s parking area (entrance via Curson Avenue) for a fee of $15. The availability of street parking might also be possible depending on the day and time of your visit, though make sure to carefully interpret the signage for any specific rules and adhere to the limitations of the meters. Be aware of the ongoing construction activities in the vicinity due to the Metro’s Purple Line Extension project. This could affect road access, therefore, plan for some extra time to circumvent any road or lane blockages.


The museum does not host an in-house dining facility. Nonetheless, directly across from the Tar Pits, visitors can opt for dining establishments such as The Counter, Baja Fresh, or Callender’s Grill. Also, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), located right next to the Tar Pits, offers a variety of choices at the LACMA Café for families to enjoy.

Stepping Back in Time at the La Brea Tar Pits with Kids

Nearby Attractions:

The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is situated along the renowned Museum Row. While there are numerous other museums in close proximity, it’s often more convenient for families to plan separate days for visiting these venues. For a detailed guide to Museum Row in Los Angeles designed for families, please click here. This locality is also known as Mid-Wilshire. To learn about the top 9 activities to undertake in or near Mid-Wilshire with children, you can refer to our post here. These suggestions should provide some ideas on other engaging locations to explore during your visit to the neighborhood.

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!