Natural History Museum and La Brea Tar Pits to Celebrate Spooky Season with Boney Island, Spider Pavilion, and More

The variety of events kick off on September 15 and continue through November 26.

Visitors standing by an installation of dinosaur skeletons by a small pond, with pink, purple, and green lighting and visitors walking on a dirt path on the right-hand side of the picture frame

Los Angeles, CA (September 13, 2023) — The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, which includes the Natural History Museum (NHM) in Exposition Park and La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park, are happy to welcome in the 2023 “spooky season” with a variety of offerings for all age groups.

NHM’s annual Spider Pavilion will open to the public on September 17 (member preview dates are September 15–16), bringing hundreds of our arachnid friends out to play for the fall. This is an unrivaled opportunity to get up close and personal with the orb weavers and other web developers that help provide the best natural pest control on the planet. Plus, you’ll be able to peer into the habitats of some eight-legged legends, like tarantulas, wolf spiders, and jumping spiders.

Due to Spider Pavilion’s popularity, timed tickets are required and free for Museum members or $8 for non-members, in addition to the price for general admission. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit

Beginning September 28 and running through Halloween, NHM will host Boney Island, the popular L.A.-based immersive Halloween light-up attraction, in its incredible Nature Gardens. This hauntingly whimsical interactive experience for all ages will feature familiar sights for long-time Boney Island fans—skeletons performing rope tricks and levitating through hoops, shadow puppetry, and more. NHM will add its own spin with artistic performances, real fossils, live animal presentations, trick-or-treating and other ghoulishly glowing installations. 

Boney Island will run Thursday through Sunday nights (plus October 30 and 31) from 6 pm to 10 pm, with additional and adjusted hours added on certain nights. Tickets are on sale now and cost $20 for Museum members and $25 for non-members. Advanced reservations are encouraged as most nights are expected to sell out, but limited tickets will be available onsite during regular museum hours and at the gate. For more information, visit

On Friday, October 13, La Brea Tar Pits will present Queer Family Day, a spooky-themed day of festivities featuring Drag Queen story time hosted by L.A.'s Drag Laureate Pickle, a costume contest complete with a sabertooth cat catwalk, queer history pub trivia, and hands-on activities. It’s sure to be a fun and welcoming event for the whole family. Queer Family Day is free with paid admission or for Museum members.

On October 28, NHM will play host to the annual Members-only Halloween costume party known as Haunted Museum. The premium family-friendly event embraces a Southern California theme this year and will feature an elaborate scavenger hunt, dancefloor, cash bar, food trucks and more. Help the citizens of Autumn Valley solve a spooky mystery and meet some of NHM’s top researchers and scientists at the one-of-a-kind annual event. 

The event goes from 3 to 8 pm and is open to Discoverer, Naturalist, Explorer and Fellow level members and will include tickets to Boney Island. Reservations are mandatory. For more information or to become an NHMLAC upper-level member, visit

Event programming and hours may vary. Please check NHM.ORG and TARPITS.ORG for more information.

About the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC)
The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) include the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park, and the William S. Hart Museum in Newhall. They operate under the collective vision to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds. The museums hold one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history—more than 35 million objects. Using these collections for groundbreaking scientific and historical research, the museums also incorporate them into on- and offsite nature and culture exploration in L.A. neighborhoods, and a slate of community science programs—creating indoor-outdoor visitor experiences that explore the past, present, and future. Visit NHMLAC.ORG for adventure, education, and entertainment opportunities.

Media Contacts:
Josh Chesler

Amy Hood