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Exposition Park

Play at the City of Angels’ all-purpose park

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With green spaces and gardens, museums, and assorted playing fields, Exposition Park is a place for playing, learning, and being entertained.

Most of its museums and attractions are free. A quick stroll takes you to the impressive California Science Center, with hands-on exhibits and a dramatic centerpiece—the space shuttle Endeavour, which completed 25 space missions, including ones to the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. (Keep in mind that you often need timed reservations to see the shuttle on weekends.) Or, check out paintings, sculpture, photography, and video exhibits at the excellent California African American Museum.

Visit the park anytime between April and December, and you can stop and smell the roses for free—roughly 16,000 of them—at the adjacent Exposition Park Rose Garden.

Dino-fans, meanwhile, flock to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (which offers Free Tuesdays about a dozen times a year) to see the impressive collection of prehistoric creatures, especially a remarkable trio of complete T. rex skeletons of various ages and sizes. Other notable sites include the Becoming L.A. permanent exhibit, a 14,000-square-foot/1,300-square-meter masterpiece that tells the history of the city in six expansive sections. Learn about Spanish padres during the Mission Era in the 1700s, to Mexican ranchos, on to water wars, the Great Depression, and Tinseltown.

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