Nature Lab

Live animals and hands-on interactives show you L.A.’s wild side.

Girl looks at coyote display

General Info

Free with paid museum admission
Free for members

Los Angeles is a hotspot of biodiversity and you can find this nature all around you. Use the tools of a scientist in our large, hands on lab to discover the incredible stories of L.A.’s wild plants and animals. Spot local spiders, snakes, rats, and frogs as they scurry, slither, and splash through our many live-animal habitats and learn how your own observations can help museum researchers better understand the natural world around us.

Kids and adults look closer at Nature Lab displays
Little girl with microscope

Look closer at the insects that surround you.

An opossum makes an appearance in the Nature Lab

Ham (a Virginia opossum) comes out for a special visit.

Man and woman look at jars on display in the Nature Lab

Can you identify what's in the jars?

Looking at a butterfly with a microscope

Watch museum scientists sort and count insects.

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Look closer at the insects that surround you.

Ham (a Virginia opossum) comes out for a special visit.

Can you identify what's in the jars?

Watch museum scientists sort and count insects.

Along the way, you'll:

  • Look at yourself the way a rattlesnake “sees” you with our heat sensing mirror.

  • Talk to a real scientist or have a “Rat Chat” with a furry rodent.

  • Meet live animals in in one of the museum’s daily live animal presentations, such as Odin the owl, Bean the tarantula, or Willow the gopher snake.


This exhibition includes live animalsDid you know the museum has a team of professional animal keepers on site 365 days a year? They take excellent care of all animals on exhibit at the museum, utilizing the natural history expertise of our scientists as well as our veterinarian, who advises on any medical and nutritional needs. Because even a frog needs a doctor sometimes.