La Brea Tar Pits & Page Museum

La Brea Tar Pit

 

Page MuseumNestled in the heart of Los Angeles lies one of the world’s most famous Ice Age Fossil sites, Rancho La Brea Tar Pits. The La Brea Tar Pits, along with the George C. Page Museum, are located in Hancock Park, downtown Los Angeles. Fearsome Saber tooth Tigers, Huge Mammoths, Giant Ground Sloths,  Fierce Dire Wolves, and countless other animals, were trapped in Hancock park’s bubbling asphalt starting around 40,000 years ago.Page Museum2

We decided to go to the Tar Pits and The Page Museum on a whim one day. It was a rainy day and not a good day for outside activities. Since we were a little worried about it raining harder, we wandered around the tar pits first. The pits bubbled occasionally, reminding us of thousands of animals that have been trapped over 40,000 years.   There are on-going excavations in the park, as well as pits that have fossils still in the ground. There is also a Pleistocene garden that was planted with plants to resemble the Los Angeles area during the ice age. The garden was constructed based on seeds found in one of the pits.

Page Museum3After wandering around outside, we went into the George C. Page Museum.  The museum does a fantastic job of showcasing the fossils excavated right there at Rancho La Brea. Over 3 million fossils have been discovered so far in the tar pits, and they are still excavating currently. You can even see real live archaeologists working in the fishbowl lab, inside the Page Museum.  The museum displays are well laid out and very educational. They also have a good short film that gives an overview of the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum.  My kids liked playing with the interactive tar exhibit, where you can feel what it would be like to be trapped in the tar and how difficult it would be to get out!Page Museum4

You can wander about in Hancock Park for free, but it is definitely worthwhile to take some time to explore the George C. Page Museum. We only had a couple of hours there and it was not nearly enough time. We plan on going back the next time we head to Los Angeles for sure!

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You can find the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits and George C. Page Museum in Hancock Park, Los Angeles.

5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: 323.934.7243
Fax: 323.743.4831
http://www.tarpits.org