Extinction! Fear and Hope at the La Brea Tar Pits
A discussion presented in conjunction with the UCLA IOES
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2016 | 6-8:30 pm

Species extinctions happen routinely. And evolution can't progress without them. Charles Darwin was the first to grasp that more adapted species emerge as less adapted species die out. But mass extinctions, which happen only rarely and wipe out large numbers of species regardless of how adapted they are, pose a different kind of challenge. Today, scientists have rung the alarm that a sixth mass extinction on planet Earth may be underway — this one caused by none other than us!

What better place to think about the role of extinction in the past, present, and future than the La Brea Tar Pits, home to several charismatic but extinct LA megafauna? What does the disappearance of the saber-toothed cat, the dire wolf, and the mammoth — all found mired in the tar pits along with other species — tell us about LA’s ever-changing climate and environment? How do the stories we tell about extinct animals and plants, and the museum exhibitions, images and films we use to remember them, shape science, laws, and policies to protect endangered species?

Join us for a lively conversation looking at endangered plants and animals, extinction, and the global consequences of mass extinction and come away inspired with new visions and hopes for the future.

The discussion will include:

  • Stewart Brand, environmental author, co-founder and president of The Long Now Foundation and an advocate of de-extinction
  • Ursula Heise, UCLA Professor of English, LENS co-founder and author of the new bookImagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species
  • Dr. Emily Lindsey, Assistant Curator and Excavation Site Director of the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
  • Moderated by Jon Christensen, environmental journalist, science writer and historian with UCLA. Co-founder of the Laboratory of Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS)

FREE. Advanced reservation required.

6:00 pm: Doors open, tours available
7:00 pm: Program begins
8:30 pm: Program concludes


Adventures In Nature Winter Day Camp

This winter, NHM invites your child to join us for Adventures in Nature Winter Day Camp. Winter Camp is two, one day camps held at the Tar Pits Museum offered to kids grades K - 5. Camp gives kids the chance to mix the sciences with the arts! Unlike any other camp, we give hands-on experiences, as well as a creative outlet to all participants. It’s so much adventure, your child’s camp memories will surely last a lifetime.

Explore the Ice Age!

January 5, 2017
Dig into the Pleistocene past and discover how scientists of La Brea learn about the creatures of the Ice Age.  From excavation to the lab, campers will experience the process of paleontology!
January 6, 2017
Ice Age Creatures
Sign up for a day of camp where you’ll walk on all fours like a sabertoothed cat and soar above asphalt seeps like teratorn! Today campers will get stuck in entrapment while discovering the resiliency of species still around today!

To view the Winter Camp brochure click HERE!

To Register Click HERE!


Ice Age Encounters

Have an Ice Age Encounter when a snarling, prowling Saber-toothed Cat makes a special appearance at the La Brea Tar Pits Museum. This jaw-dropping adult Smilodon fatalis will take you back to a time when big cats roamed the land we now call Los Angeles. Bring your camera. You won’t believe your eyes! Learn more about Ice Age Encounters programs here and the amazing team that makes it all possible here.

Fridays at 10:30 am, 11:15 am and 12 pm
Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm.

Tickets: $4 Adults, Seniors, and Youth. $3 Children ages 3-12. Children 2 and under FREE, members FREE. Please buy tickets in advance. Seating is limited.



The mission of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County as well as the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is to inspire wonder, discovery and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds.

Ever wonder what it’s like to spend the night at a Museum?  Grab your family and friends and find out while experiencing a night to remember. Discover if you’re a nighttime paleontologist, a mysteries-of-the-Museum-solver, or responsible for the next Ice Age find while sleeping among the collections at the Natural History Museum or the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.  Your ticket also provides vital support to the Museum's scientific and educational programs, helping fund everything from researchers in the field to 200,000 school children’s visits annually.

To book, choose a sleepover date and get ready for your one-of-a-kind adventure! 

Upcoming Dates:

January 13, 2017
March 3, 2017
March 11, 2017
June 9, 2017

Have additional questions about our Sleepovers? Visit our FAQ page!

Celebrate Your Child's Birthday at the Museum!

What do I get when I book a birthday party?

1.5 Hour Fully-Hosted & Programmed Party Inclusive Of:
Private Ready-to-Go Event Space
Expert Staff to Run the Party for you, including all set up and clean up
Facilitated Activities related to Birthday Theme
Food & Beverage Coordination*
General admission to Museum for the day
Paper Goods
Jumbo-sized birthday poster

*Food and Beverages must be ordered through our party planning specialists, with our preferred vendors, and is not inclusive of cake. Please note: With the exception of a cake, outside food and beverages are not permitted and refrigeration is not available.      

When/Where can I book a birthday party?

Birthday Parties are typically hosted on weekends at 10 am, 12:30 pm, and 3 pm at both Natural History Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. For exceptions, or to celebrate an Ice Age theme birthday at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, please call 213.763.3536 or email us at

We recommend scheduling your event at least two months in advance as availability is limited.


$660 for up to 40 guests, including the birthday child
$760 for up to 60 guests, including the birthday child
$850 for up to 80 guests, including the birthday child
Additional Adult/Child: $15 per person

To celebrate more than one birthday child, an additional fee of $75/child will apply.

Members receive special pricing & you must be a Member at the time of booking to receive the Member discount. Click here to find out more.

Celebrate Your Birthday at the Museum!

To celebrate a birthday on weekdays at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, please call 213.763.3536.

Family Sleepovers!

Spend an exciting night at the Tar Pits and get stuck in all sorts of great gooey activities.


Buy tickets here!

Become a Member

Members get free admission, free Ice Age Encounters tickets, special discounts, and lots of other great benefits! Learn More