Los Angeles: Unusual Museums
What is a museum?
A museum, as defined by dictionary.com and merriam-webster.com, is “a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited.” It is “an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest or value.”
Many people only think of a museum as being a place in which to see paintings or sculptures created by individuals who died long before the viewer was born. They’re incorrect about museums in general, and they’re certainly incorrect about art museums.
Museums are fun places to visit! There are many unusual museums around the world, including in Los Angeles, California and the surrounding area.
1933 Jefferson Drive
Pasadena, CA 91104
Parking: Street parking
The Bunny Museum
View more than 28,000 bunny-related items in this private museum founded and operated by Candace Frazee and Steve Lubanski.
The museum is in their home in Pasadena and is open every day of the year, by appointment only.
9341 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles (Culver City), CA 90232
Open: Thursday 2:00pm – 8:00pm; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12:00N – 6:00pm
Admission (the most comprehensive list of fees I’ve ever seen for museum admissions): ages 21 to 60 — $ 5.00, ages 12 to 21 — $ 3.00, full-time students — $ 3.00, ages 60 years or older — $ 3.00, unemployed persons — $ 3.00, disabled persons — $2.00, active duty service personnel in uniform — $ 2.00, children under 12 — free
The Museum of Jurassic Technology
This museum, founded in 1987 by David Hildebrand Wilson and Diana Drake Wilson, is an educational institution dedicated to advancing knowledge of the lower Jurassic period of the earth’s evolution. It is also a repository of obscure artifacts and relics of natural history, science, and technology.
One of the museum’s permanent exhibits is The Unique World of Microminiatures of Hagop Sandaljian. The exhibit consists of a collection of micro-miniature sculptures, with each sculpture having been carved from one human hair. Among Sandaljian’s sculptures, every one of which fits in the eye of a needle, are Snow White, Goofy, Napoleon I, and Pope John Paul II.
6045 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90042
Open: Monday – Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm and third Saturday of the month 9:00am to 3:00pm
Admission: ages 13 to 61 — $8.00, 62 and older — $7.00, children 12 and younger — free
Parking: free parking is available on the east and west sides of the building
Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum
The Los Angeles Police Department’s museum is housed in a former LAPD station built in 1925. The collection features bullet hole-ridden police cruisers, decades-old classic squad cars, handcuffs, and historical weaponry.
5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Open: Daily 9:30am to 5:00pm
Admission: ages 5 to 12 — $5.00, students with valid ID — $5.00, adults — $11.00, 62 and older —$8.00, children 4 and under — free
Parking: underground parking garage
Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
The George C. Page Museum is dedicated to researching the La Brea Tar Pits and exhibiting the objects found. The museum, situated at one of the world’s most famous fossil locations, displays Ice Age fossils from 10,000- to 40,000-year-old asphalt deposits.
Asphaltum or tar seeped from the ground in the vicinity of the museum for tens of thousands of years. The tar was often covered by water, leaves, and other debris. For centuries, animals that came to drink the water would fall into the water, sink in the tar, and would be preserved as bones.
In the museum, you can see fossils of saber-toothed cats, mammoths, bison, horses, dire wolves, and other animals that have been excavated from the tar pits. At the tar pits, you can observe the scientists at work.
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Open: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00am to 6:00pm
Admission: adults — $10.00, age 62 and older — $8.00, students with ID — $5.00, active duty military with ID — $5.00, children 5 to 12 —$3.00, children under 5 — $3.00
Petersen Automotive Museum
Margie and Roger E. Petersen, founding benefactors of the museum, donated more than $30 million dollars during the period between 1994 and 2000 so that a museum “dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture” could be established.
The first floor of the museum has permanent exhibits covering the history of automobiles. The second floor has five rotating galleries containing displays of racecars, classic cars, vintage motorcycles, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, and auto design and technology. The third floor houses the May Family Discovery Center, a hands-on learning designed to teach children basic scientific principles by explaining the fundamental functions of a car.