Discovery Center | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Check out the Discovery Center in its new home, on Level 2 of the Museum.

Butterfly Pavilion

Mar 19 – Sept 4, 2017

Step into our butterfly wonderland to witness over 30 species flying all around you.

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Let Us Bug You!

Check out our permanent Insect Zoo exhibit! We have bugs all year round.
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Do Dolphins Have Hair?

Our mammal researchers answer this and other questions on our Mammalogy FAQs page.
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The Discovery Center has Moved!

The Ralph M. Parsons Discovery Center is now located on Level 2. Enjoy hands-on activities and re-discover forgotten favorites. The big, brighter, more beautiful new space overlooks Exposition Park and the Butterfly Pavilion.

Get Your Hands on Discovery:

  • Touchable minerals, furs, and fossils are highlights in the Discovery Center that allow you to explore the diversity of Earth's natural history.
  • Saunter up to a sloth, stampede with a herd of African antelope, or pose next to our iconic polar bear.
  • Microscopes and magnifying glasses allow you to investigate anything in the Discovery Center up close.
  • Binoculars let you get a birds-eye view of what's going on outside, whether at our bird feeders or in the skies.
  • Search for unknown fossils in blocks of rock and re-assemble a saber-toothed cat skeleton from the La Brea Tar Pits.

Behind the scenes with Dinosaur and Ice Age Encounters

See the T.rex and Triceratops from Dinosaur Encounters up-close and personal in their home inside the Discovery Center. Watch puppeteers get ready for performances and see the puppets when they are not in use. 

Polar Bear

Our polar bear was collected in Norway in 1964, before the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. The Los Angeles Dodgers donated it as a gift to the Museum, specifically so that it could be used for “hands-on” display. According to our sources, the bear was formerly housed in the VIP lounge at Dodger Stadium. The polar bear has remained of the Museum's most beloved specimens since its move to the Discovery Center in 1991.