If you were compiling a list of fun places Los Angeles has to offer, a science museum might not exactly be the first place that comes to mind. Exposition Park’s California Science Center has a new Ecosystems exhibit, though, that will definitely change your mind. This exhibit brings museums to a whole new level.

From your very first step into Ecosystems, the ceiling to floor plasma screens tell you it’s going to be a day you won’t soon forget. There is certainly a time and place for simplicity, but your visit to Ecosystems is not that time. It is evident no penny was spared in the making of this spectacle.

Technology teamed with live creatures and engaging activities make it an unforgettable experience. It is a fun time for all ages. College students can enjoy it because it’s like a free refresher course of all of our planet’s diverse ecosystems.

The 11 ecosystems journey is filled with activities in every room on the tour. The exhibit doesn’t miss one minor detail. For instance, when you enter into the desert, you actually face rising temperatures and have the chance to see a flash flood. In the polar zone, you feel an ice wall while wearing different mittens to compare which animal’s fur or feathers keeps the warmest.

You will also be amazed by just how technology savvy the exhibit is. Nearly every ecosystem is complete with some sort of computerized learning tool, some offer many. In the deep sea vents, you take control and monitor the progress of a deep sea dive with a camera that gives specific information about each animal shown underwater. In the L.A. Zone, there are cameras placed outside the museum with bird feeders. Inside, you can take a photo of a bird and identify if it is a Yellow-Chevroned Parakeet or a Western Scrub-Jay.

The L.A. Zone also has an energy bike you can try out and even a mock news station. You can test your strength on the energy bike as it demonstrates just how much power is necessary to operate a light bulb. The news station allows you to sit in front of a camera and read from a teleprompter with information on … drumroll please, ecosystems.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you have the option of petting a live anemone, sea cucumber, starfish and more. If it’s something you wouldn’t normally try, go for it. They may be slimy or feel a little odd, but they won’t hurt you.

Ecosystems is completely fascinating, and the vibrant colors make it truly aesthetically pleasing. The exhibit is filled with excellent photography and each room utilizes some sort of mesmerizing video footage.

The exhibit just recently opened and is attracting quite a diverse crowd. There were, of course, families with children, but there were definitely many students and adults on their own visiting the Science Center as well. You will be constantly entertained and surprised by how much fun you can have there.

“Ecosystems will give our guests an appreciation for how the living world and physical world are interconnected as well as how scientists use the key principles of ecology to explain ecosystem processes. We believe that Ecosystems will provide guests with the knowledge to become better stewards of the environment,” assures Jeffrey N. Rudolph, president and CEO of the California Science Center.

Ecosystems is the newest, but there are several other exhibits, including America I AM: The African American Imprint, Timescapes: California From the Air and Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science. You can also view three IMAX movies: Under the Sea 3D, The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D and Hubble 3D.

Admission to Ecosystems is free, but entry is regulated with advance reservations, which can be acquired online, by phone or in person at the box office.



California Science Center is located at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. For more information, visit californiasciencecenter.org.