Activities & Resources
Autry National Center353in Los Angeles, CA 90027
about Autry National Center:
The center contains two full floors of exhibits celebrating the diversity of life in the Old West - real life, and the Hollywood version. The historians in your family can examine life-size chuck wagons and stage coaches; a diorama of the shoot-out at the OK Corral complete with the sound of gunfire; and loads of authentic clothes, guns, saddles, sheriff badges, and even barbed wire. A fascinating exhibit chronicles the experiences of the various immigrant groups that settled the West.
Equally provocative is the section of the museum that concentrates on the mythology of the West. Younger children may not enjoy the collection of 19th century paintings of the Rockies, but everyone will love visiting the Hollywood-style Western street scene, and the chance to video themselves on horseback being chased by a posse! Case after case of Roy Rogers lunch boxes and fifties-style Western furniture will bring back memories for parents, and fascinate most children.
The Family Discovery Gallery centers on the Chinese American experience in the West. Children can pretend to live the life of a real Chinatown family, the Sees, in 1937, by 'keeping house' in their home, and 'working' in their restaurant, the Dragon's Den, and their store, the F. Suie One Company.
The Golden Spur Restaurant has a kid's menu, high chairs, indoor and outdoor tables, and plenty of room for strollers. There's also a large grassy field adjacent for running around.
Another activity kids love is Gold Rush on Saturdays and Sundays. Between 11am and 3pm, weather permitting, visitors can pan for gold just like the 49ers - but with virtually guaranteed results. Gold Rush is included woth the price of admission.
The Museum of the American West is also a great place to host a Western-style party! To schedule a party, call the Education Division at 323.667.2000, ext. 336.
Membership: Family Membership costs $65, and includes unlimited free admission for two adults and children under 18; invitations to members-only exhibition previews and receptions; free subscription to members-only Convergence newsletter; and a 10% discount in the museum store and cafe.
Summer camps at the museum are very popular; see our separate listing.
The Museum of the American West is a participant in CityPass, a convenient, cheaper way to visit Los Angeles attractions.
Museum admission is free on the second Tuesday of every month.