Guide To The California Science Center

August 11, 2014 5:00 AM

(credit: Joe B./Yelp)

(credit: Diana H./Yelp)

(credit: Diana H./Yelp)

Showcasing more than 100 mind-blowing exhibits, the California Science Center is known as the largest interactive science center on the West Coast.
(credit: Lawrence K. Ho-Pool/Getty Images)

(credit: Lawrence K. Ho-Pool/Getty Images)

California Science Center
700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
(323) 724-3623

The California Science Center’s location within Exposition Park near USC, the LA Coliseum and other museums makes it a popular place to visit for school field trips and family vacations alike. Admission is generally free, but there is a separate charge for special exhibits and other attractions. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, below are few tips for making the most of your trip to the California Science Center.

Take the Metro
While driving is always an option, the best way to get to the Science Center is via public transportation. Given its high-density location, the streets surrounding Exposition Park can get pretty congested. If you opt for driving, parking is only $10 with directions to the structure available on the website. Otherwise, you’re better off taking the Metro Expo Line, which will drop you off within walking distance of the Rose Garden at the Expo Park/USC Station exit.

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Arrive Early on the Weekends
If you plan on visiting the California Science Center on a weekday, then you may want to show up after 1:30 p.m. to avoid the field trip crowd. But on the weekends, you’ll want to arrive as early as possible.

Visit the Information Center
Before you do anything, visit the information center to find out if there are any special activities going on that day. This will help you budget your time as you explore simulated ecosystems, imagine what it would be like to travel through space and become inspired by progressive innovations in science and technology.

Get Hands-On in the Discovery Rooms
For some interactive learning, visit the discover rooms in the “Creative World” and “World of Life” exhibits. “Creative World” features innovations in technology that have made our lives easier. “World of Life” features exhibits that illustrate how different organisms perform similar functions to survive.

Don’t Skip the Special Exhibits
Coming all the way from Italy, the exhibition of “Pompeii” in the Weingart Gallery showcases more than 150 artifacts from an ancient Roman society. This special exhibit will be available for viewing until January 4, 2015. Tickets run about $20 for adults, $13 for children and $17 for teens, students and seniors. The Endeavor space shuttle is another special exhibit worth seeing.

Bring an Extra $10 for Attractions
In addition to all of the interactive exhibits, the California Science Center also offers three additional attractions that add more fun to your visit by making you part of the action. Explore space in a motion-based simulator, discover a rocky ecosystem as you climb up a rock wall and learn about the law of gravity through the exhilarating experience of a short high-wire bicycle ride.

Make it An All-Day Adventure
Give yourself a good four or five hours to enjoy all that the California Science Center has to offer. This includes about an hour for each floor, an hour for at least one of the special exhibits and another hour for the IMAX theater. While you’re there, you might as well visit the Natural History Museum or the California African American Museum and picnic in the Rose Garden to really make the most of your visit.

Related: Guide To Bowers Museum

Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on

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