We’re big fans of the Natural History Museum here in Los Angeles. What with dinosaurs, stuffed mammals and birds, plus tons of gems and minerals – not to mention the seasonal butterfly and spider pavilions – we can easily spend an entire day there.
But guess what? There’s an entire outdoor area you don’t want to miss.
In the spring of 2014, work on the NHMLA Nature Gardens was completed. The 3 ½- acre stroller-friendly Nature Gardens are perfect for spotting butterflies and hummingbirds, observing and tracking species with museum scientists, taking nature walks with NHM educators, getting your hands dirty hunting for bugs, participating in gardening classes or meandering garden trails on your own.
Family friendly features of the Nature Gardens include:
Edible Garden: Take a nature walk through the vegetable, fruit and herb gardens and be inspired to plant something new in your own garden.
Get Dirty Zone: Here, kids can learn about compost, search for pillbugs (roly pollies) and see how roots grow.
Living Wall: Don’t be fooled: This isn’t just a wall. Can you spot what’s growing in it? It’s a wildlife habitat that’s home to spiders, snails and more.
Pollinator Garden: Comprised entirely of native plants, this area attracts birds, bees, butterflies and more.
Listening Tree: Look for the silver trumpets and listen to nutrients moving through this oak tree’s xylem tubes.
Pond: Teeming with wildlife, the pond makes a great home for dragonflies and a bath for birds.
Entrance to the gardens is free with admission. Families could easily spend 30 minutes to an hour here, depending on your interests and what events might be going on while you’re there. Be sure to check online to see what’s happening in the Nature Gardens before you visit.