California Science Center
Los Angeles CA 90037
- Mon: 10am-5pm
- Tue: 10am-5pm
- Wed: 10am-5pm
- Thu: 10am-5pm
- Fri: 10am-5pm
- Sat: 10am-5pm
- Sun: 10am-5pm
The California Science Center is one of several museums and venues that comprise Exposition Park, a great place for families and cultural junkies to spend an entire day. This museum is suitable for kids of all ages, and if you only visit the permanent exhibits – of which there are more than enough to explore during a typical visit – you can walk away without having spent a dime. The museum is most famous as the final home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, which it acquired in 2012 after a dramatic 12-mile, 68-hour journey from Los Angeles International Airport.
Best and worst time to go to the California Science Center
The California Science Center has a reputation for being crowded and busy, especially on weekends and holidays. If you plan to see the Endeavour during these peak hours, you must make an advance registration. Be aware that the time on your ticket is the time you can get in line, which means on busy days you may not actually enter the exhibit until up to an hour later. This is also a popular destination for school field trips, so the best time to visit and avoid the crowds is on a weekday after 1 p.m. and as early as possible on the weekends.
Must see/do at the California Science Center
The permanent exhibits at the California Science Center offer ample opportunities for families to learn and have fun through hands-on experiences in themed areas such as the Rot Room and the River Zone. Add some cinematic magic to your afternoon (this is Hollywood, after all) by taking in one of the 3D IMAX movies. If you only have an hour or two to spare, spend it on seeing the Endeavour.
Admission to the California Science Center
General admission for the permanent exhibits at the California Science Center is free. Admission to special exhibits, attractions and the IMAX experience ranges in price from a few dollars to upwards of $20. Combo packages are available.
Parking and public transportation to the California Science Center
Parking for cars at the California Science Center is in the $10 range, although it may be possible to find metered street parking nearby for less. Visitors can also take the Metro Expo Line and exit at the Metro Park/USC Station, which is approximately a quarter mile away. Show your valid TAP card at the IMAX box office and receive a discount on your show admission.
Food at the California Science Center
Trimana, a popular chain of café-style restaurants in Los Angeles, operates the dining area at the California Science Center and offers typical breakfast and lunch fare such as wraps, sandwiches, pizzas and salads as well as pre-packaged snacks and drinks. Prices are in line with what you would expect to pay at a museum, around $10-$15 for a light meal. Popcorn and other theater snacks are available at the IMAX concession stand. Several restaurants and cafes are located in and around Exposition Park, so visitors are not limited to the choices at the California Science Center.
Insider tip for visitors to the California Science Center
Take advantage of the relatively low fee for all-day parking and visit some of the other attractions in Exposition Park including the African American Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Rose Garden. Be aware that parking is cash only.
Author's bio: Amy Clites is a Los Angeles writer, content creator and actor who fantasized about being an astronaut as a kid. She is also an avid gardener, cook, reader and traveler and writes regularly about these topics and more on her blog ZeitClites and on Twitter at @AmyClites.