View Full Version : Tar Pits??

06-21-2006, 07:14 PM
Has anyone been to the Le Brea Tar Pits in LA???? What was your experience like???? My aunt who lives in Irvine,CA would like to take us there when we visit in Sept.

06-21-2006, 07:29 PM
They stink. Like tar. But otherwise they are pretty neat. The museum is really cool. I enjoy it more than the actual tar pits. It's about a 70 minute drive from Irvine to the tar pits depending on when you are going. You can make a day trip out of it and go to Hollywood after.

06-21-2006, 07:39 PM
Thanks WatchinCaptKangaroo...I looked online at the their website and it did look pretty cool! I think that's what my aunt had in mind...to go to the Tar pits and then to Hollywood!

06-21-2006, 09:01 PM
My husband and I went about 6 years ago, I think. We both enjoyed it. The museum was also our favorite part. :) I think it's worth the time if you're interested in history.

06-22-2006, 03:19 PM
Hi -

We went last September with our 4yr old boy. The museum was the best part. They are not real big -- I was surprised. We has a GREAT lunch across the street at Callendars -- a nice version of Marie Callendars. It is in the same complex as the SAG (Screen Actor Guild) -- we sat out side hoping that we might see someone famous but we did'nt!


06-23-2006, 04:15 AM

Why not the Getty museum? It's free (except for parking) and you can pack a picnic lunch or dine in their cafeteria or restuarant - as it is reasonably priced! Plus there is a small but engaging children's area.


06-25-2006, 03:55 PM
My son loves going to the Tar Pits. He started going there when he was 5. He goes every year when he is visiting with my brother.

halfway there
06-26-2006, 10:11 AM
I would guess that the best time to go would be in July or August because that is when they are actively digging in one of the pits. We saw one they were getting ready to start just recently. It looked mighty messy! There is a park like area (free of charge) around the various pits with an observation window over at least two. They had the whole dig schedule written on a white board over the pit of everthing they had found and where. It also stated "See you in July 2006" so we just missed the opportunity to see them actually down in the goo! We did meet a girl who worked there summers and this was going to be her first summer 'in the dig'. I guess you have to build up so many hours to qualify.

The museum was interesting with two little films to watch. They exhibit various bones found and replicate some of the animals. The tar pull was neat, makes you imagine what it would be like to work in that stuff! There is an admission charge here, $20.50 for the 4 of us with different prices for different age ranges. It's pretty small so you could get through it in a couple of hours. We spent about 3 hours doing the museum and park outside after checking out of our Hollywood hotel on our way to our Huntington Beach hotel.

Snow Brite
06-26-2006, 09:20 PM
My son LOVED the tar pits and it was most definitely one of his favorite parts of his trip.

The only thing I would add is that we lucked into a free daily tour at 1pm(I think). You didnt need to have a ticket to the museum to go on the tour. It is the only way to get to see the old museum, and we got lots of inside information. Our tour guide was a worker in the tar pits in the summers and had a TON of great, technical, information.

I think it is really worth a stop if you have an interest in it.

Mary Jo
06-29-2006, 03:48 AM
This is one our must sees when we have out-of-town guests. I just think it is really a wonder when you realize that in the middle of the Wilshire District - just a few blocks from Rodeo Drive you have these pits where they have excavated Saber toothed cats, dire wolves, woolly mammoths, sloths, etc. -- It's fascinating

07-01-2006, 12:38 PM
My kids LOVE the tar pits! It's a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. We especially liked the exhibit where you have to try to pull up on a lever that simulates the 'tug' of the tar, so you'd have an idea of what an animal trapped in the tar would have to try to get out of.

Hollywood isn't far! Just go up Highland, and you're there. Be sure to stop at the Disney Soda Fountain for a great treat!

07-08-2006, 11:05 PM
How far are the tar pits from Disneyland???? Are they near the LAX??

07-12-2006, 03:45 AM
My est....

.... 20 minutes from LAX and 45 min from DL. Up to double the time during traffic hours.

I double checked on Yahoo mapping... and the distance from 5800 Wilshire (Tar Pits Page Museum) to Disneyland is 33 miles with a 38 minute estimate. So - my estimate is conservative at 45 minutes.

Here is a copy of the map and a link:

http://maps.yahoo.com/pdd?ed=a.aleOV.wikcyu2qx02YlhHDJ1xFhdEWePXmBcgMZZW Jz6tL_I0IUAeCJbW1AAgf7EM0vWW0w0YxA4Iso3PrDh2F.y2B0 N00utJyU4D6uhvtTneQ&name=&csz=Los+Angeles%2C+CA+90036-4539&desc=&country=US&tname=&tcsz=Anaheim%2C+CA+92802&tdesc=&tcountry=US&tbt=0&ds=n&rkey=9yZPluR32XXlHkMKS_.Dy6Jnp.tz16OBgz5HUGF7Vlgs5 W_umnVuYfUAf.yt2nYLcTIP41ZXgnF9I78SyXrU_4yjz1qv1Lt zZDOnfjHCdFAPuVbJ9Kl4OPBBeOGY3ZiT&om=5&textonly=0&trf=0&oerr=&terr=7002&mag=5

http://imgs.maps.yahoo.com/overviewmap?OVMAPDATA=9yZPluR32XXlHkMKS_.Dy6Jnp.tz 16OBgz5HUGF7Vlgs5W_umnVuYfUAf.yt2nYLcTIP41ZXgnF9I7 8SyXrU_4yjz1qv1LtzZDOnfjHCdFAPuVbJ9Kl4OPBBeOGY3ZiT&ORG=GjrUZvMmhn37cl4dEQ7ISoLkxsbn6tGHwNEjv2_obBuY9r soqWIgmRTkZ_jMRR8JynE6zjooaoNBkNvSK7AUJlTENi5tlkCE ZCFrCi6gRNr5RhN7nLfnxkg1_R0-

Mary Jo
07-12-2006, 04:23 PM
I'd say to plan on about an hour or so to get to the Tar Pits - you'll be going on freeways, and then surface streets to get to them.

Totally worth it, especially when coupled with a trip to the Grove, and/or Hollywood & Highland Complex.

07-17-2006, 08:13 PM
I have always been fascinated by dinosaurs and what prehistoric creatures lived where I lived. They found an entire Mammoth in the foothills between Glendale and Pasadena.

While you are in the area, why not take in the Museum of Tolerance? This is a fantastic museum dedicated to the 6 million Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazi regime. I will never forget listening to a survivor who told us her story. You will see artifacts that came from some of the death camps too. I think this would be a great educational trip for any children.

The Getty Museum was OK if you are into the arts. The food is junk.

07-18-2006, 09:21 PM
Thanks for all the great info!! I keep adding days to my trip to see all the wonderful sights everyone is suggesting!

07-25-2006, 09:47 AM
OMG! I went there as a kid and I remember this place more than I do Disneyland! I was completely fascinated. I'm planning a west coast trip next year and I may have to stop here myself.

08-18-2006, 11:15 PM
I always wanted to go there as a kid -- and finally got to last year. It was really neat, educational for our daughter, and kinda reminded us of the Flintstones!

08-23-2006, 08:37 PM
DNeph (8) and I just spent 2 1/2 hours at LaBrea Tar Pits on Sun. before driving down to Coronado. He thought it was "amazing" :thumbsup2 ! Very interesting and educational - two short, well-done movies. Pit 91 was open - the highlight of the day - he loved watching the students do their 'work' and we could actually see bones that they were uncovering - pretty sure he'll always remember this day (this is a boy fascinated with anything to do with animals, history and/or research)- thanks to all here who suggested this little side trip !! :smooth: PS: I suggest adding a bit to your travel time - we're finding the traffic out here in CA to be really heavy! Not as bad to drive in as I had feared, just gets really backed up on the freeways (stop and go. . . stop and go!).

09-07-2006, 12:08 AM
My personal opinion is it is worth it. We lived 2 hrs out of LA for 3 yrs and did a lot there. We finally did this before we moved and we both really enjoyed it. It was an interesting place to visit and something we would probably never see again.