My kids and I visit California ScienCenter in Exposition Park from time to time, roughly a 1 hour drive from Thousand Oaks. It is worth the drive. The ScienCenter is built in a space that housed the first State Exposition Building which opened in 1912. The recently redeveloped building is modern and beautiful, with several floors of scientific exhibits of interest to all ages. Entrance to the museum is FREE although donations are greatly appreciated. Parking is $10 (as of March 2012).
There is a McDonald's and a cafeteria style cafe with Taco Bell food options at the museum. So naturally we usually dine at McDonald's as chicken nuggets is one of my kids' main food groups. We then spent an hour in the museum and enjoyed the interactive nature of the exhibits.
We have also visited the IMAX theater where we wore 3D glasses and ducked from sea creatures popping up at us in a mesmerizing film. Truly amazing and quite fun with kids. This alone was worth the drive. And I found the snack bar prices quite reasonable...an added plus.
The third floor of the museum has a "World of Life" exhibit where we saw everything from brains and lungs to live cockroaches to a kids' "Discovery Room" with additional fun activities.
If you have more time and energy on your trip to Exposition Park, visit the adjacent Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California African American Museum as well as the Exposition Park Rose Garden (where they have 16,000 or so rose plants).
California ScienCenter is located at 700 State Drive at the corner of S. Figueroa and 39th Street in Exposition Park. Visit www.californiasciencenter.org or call 323.SCIENCE (724.3623) for more information.
As anyone breathing in the Greater Los Angeles are knew, the Space Shuttle Endeavor went on a flyover tour atop a Boeing 747 on Friday, September 21, 2012. The Endeavor, which completed 25 successful space missions between its first mission on May 7, 1992 and its final mission in May 2012 to the International Space Station. In these 25 missions, the Endeavor circled the Earth 4,671 times and travelled a total of 122,883,151 miles! Wow!!
NASA named California ScienCenter one of only three museums in the U.S. to permanently exhibit a retired space shuttle. The Endeavor's welcome flight across the Southland was met my cheers and the most number of Facebook wall posts I've personally I've seen to date! The Endeavor exhibit is anticipated to open to massive crowds beginning on October 30, 2012. Learn more about the Endeavor at www.californiasciencecenter.org/Exhibits/AirAndSpace/endeavour/Endeavour/Endeavour.php.