Homeschool Field Trip Must: La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles

La Brea Tar Pits (cc) image by MoToMo/flickr

If you are ever in Los Angeles, one of the most important places for a homeschooler to visit is the La Brea Tar Pits. Who would have thought there would be tar pits containing fossil bones from 40,000 to 8,000 years ago in the middle of Los Angeles? Certainly not us.

Before the tar pits began to be excavated in 1901, the pits were used by Native Americans for glue and water proofing for baskets and canoes. Early settlers used it for roofing.

It is believed that a good number of extinct carnivore bones are found in the pits as any animals chasing prey would be trapped. Scavenging animals would also become trapped.

As we wandered around the La Brea Tarpits located at the Page Museum (you don’t have to pay to see the tarpits) we discovered all of these facts and more. We viewed pits under excavation, and the kids climbed trees and modeled for photos on the replicas of the animals found in the exhibit.

The finds from the digs are used in the exhibit at the Page Museum which are on the grounds of the tarpits. The first dig was started in 1906 and some of the pits currently being explored have been in progress for decades.

Side Notes:

Eat before arriving or bring a picnic lunch so hunger does not cause you to cut your trip short. The museums do have a restaurant and cafeteria but the prices are very high.

There is on grounds parking for a fee, but you can park on local side streets free for up to two hours.

Kids love rolling down the hill next to the museum. Bring your camera to capture the fun.

Also read:

Ideas for keeping homeschooling fun: Prioritize your field trips

Five things homeschoolers can do in their spare time

Field Trip Tips