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Natural History Museum LA and LA Brea Tar Pit Are Now Open!

We are excited to announce that Natural History Museum Los Angeles has reopened to the public as of April 1, 2021, and La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park has reopened as of April 8, 2021 after more than one year of closure.

Courtesy of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County

NHM debuts the gallery presentation of two exhibitions when the museum opens its doors: Rise Up L.A.: A Century of Votes for Women and Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of LA.

Rise Up L.A. honors 100 years of passion and progress through narratives about the everyday women who shaped the suffrage movement and the political landscape through voting, grassroots organizing, and by fighting for rights in the workplace, classroom and community.

Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of L.A. presents a selection of insect macrographs pulled from NHMLAC’s groundbreaking Biodiversity Science: City and Nature (BioSCAN) research project. The captivating photographs, captured unconventionally via a Keyence microscope, inspire wonder, and showcase the beauty and diversity of these “minute Angelenos.” You can visit the digital companion site here.


To protect you and your families, both Museums have implanted safety protocols such as reduced capacity, advance online timed-ticket reservations, face coverings for everyone on-site, self-monitoring of symptoms, designated pathways to ensure safe distancing in galleries and gardens, more frequent cleanings and self-service sanitizing stations.

Upon admission, you will receive touch styluses that may be used to interact more safely with touchscreens throughout the museum. Some experiences that don’t allow for proper distancing will remain closed at each location, including NHM’s Gem Vault, Encounters performances at both museums, and the Observation Pit at La Brea Tar Pits.

For a full list of health and safety protocols and to learn more about changes on site, visit


Tickets for members, community partners and the general public go on sale for NHM on Thursday, March 25 and for La Brea Tar Pits on Thursday, April 1. The 2021 Butterfly Pavilion season will be open through September 6, 2021. Tickets for the Butterfly Pavilion will remain free for members and will be $6 for non-members. The Spider Pavilion season will open later in Fall 2021.

Virtual Programs

NHMLAC will continue engaging audiences through its digital programming and social media channels. Virtual daily school programs cover content from archaeology, marine science, paleontology, and ecosystems.

NHMLAC has also created four different virtual field trips: virtual visits to La Brea Tar Pits and NHM, as well as digital oceanic and archaeological experiences. NHM’s First Fridays Connected Series continues online on April 2 with the discussion L.A. at the Intersections: Climate Crisis, plus a performance by Sudan Archives.


The hours at both museums will remain 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m the days they are open.

Free Museum Days

Beginning April 8 at NHM and April 15 at La Brea Tar Pits, admission to NHM and La Brea Tar Pits will be free for Los Angeles County residents between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. on all days that the Museums are open. Timed tickets must be reserved online and will be available for reservation on a first come/first served basis.

For more information about Natural History Museum LA, click here. For more information about LA Brea Tar Pits Museum, click here.

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