The George C. Page Museum at the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits is one of the top sites for prehistoric fossils, including the world's largest and most diverse collection of extinct Ice Age animals and plants. On display are items showing how this area was between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago, when wooly mammoths and saber-toothed cats made their home in the Los Angeles Basin.
The Page Museum is a branch of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, governed by the County Board of Supervisors. It was named after George C. Page, an industrial park developer and philanthropist from Nebraska who arrived in California in 1917. From the age of sixteen, he was fascinated by the Rancho La Brea fossils. He financed construction of this on-site research and educational facility, which was opened to the public on April 13, 1977.
Today, the Page Museum covers 57,000 square feet, including a huge central atrium, 28,000 square feet of exhibit space, and facilities for storage, laboratories and offices. It houses more than one million prehistoric specimens recovered from the asphalt deposits of the La Brea Tar Pits. Visitors can see how ancient bones are cleaned and repaired through the glass walls of the attached Page Museum Laboratory, or view life-size replicas of extinct mammals just outside the museum in 23-acre Hancock Park.
On display here are some 30 exhibits, including reconstructed animal skeletons, robotic sculptures, interactive displays, historical photographs, painted murals showing past environments, and educational films. All exhibits and theaters within the museum building are wheelchair accessible.
Tours can be arranged for school groups through the museum's Education Department. Other groups of ten or more persons may contact the Page Museum Group Sales Office. Volunteer guides conduct tours for the general public on Tuesday through Sunday. The Hancock Park tour starts from the museum lobby at 1pm, followed by the Page Museum tour at 2pm. Annual museum memberships are also available for $60 per family.
The Museum Store offers products that support the museum's collections, exhibits and programs. Items available include unique collections of jewelry and gifts, exclusively designed note cards, postcards, and posters, and books and educational toys for children. Members of the museum receive a 10% discount on all Museum Store purchases.
The museum is open weekdays from 9:30am to 5pm and from 10am on weekends, except Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. The cost of general admission is $7 for adults, $4.50 for seniors, students and youth aged 13~17, and $2 for children aged 5~12. Admission is free to museum members, to children under five and to all visitors on the first Tuesday of each month.
The George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is located in the historic Miracle Mile district at 5801 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90036. It is surrounded by four freeways: I-10, US-101, I-110, and I-405. If coming on the 10 West, take the La Brea Avenue exit and go north on La Brea to Wilshire Boulevard. Turn left on Wilshire and drive ten blocks to Curson Avenue. Turn right on Curson, and the parking lot will be at the end of the block on the left-hand side at 6th Avenue behind the museum. Parking charges are $1.50 per 20 minutes ($9 maximum) on weekdays and $7 flat rate on weekends and holidays. Bring your parking ticket into the museum for validation.