Christine A Howard

O is for Observatory – Our Thoughts on Griffith Observatory on Los Angeles

Do you have kids that love space? Or maybe you have kids that love science? Perhaps your kids love places where pretty much everything is interactive and touch friendly. If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a trip to the Griffith Observatory is right for you. We spent some time there last fall, and here is what we found…

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Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory

It’s Free!

There is not much out there that is free these days. When we found out that the Griffith Observatory was free to enjoy, we definitely put that on our LA bucket list. When Griffith J. Griffith decided to build an observatory, he wanted to ensure that it would be free to anyone wishing a view of the stars forever. Because of this, when he donated the facilities to the LA community, he put measures in place to keep the observatory free for all future visitors. This is wonderful, because you could easily spend multiple days looking at all the treasures.

Griffith J Griffith
Griffith J Griffith

The Views Are Amazing

Being located at 1,135 feet, Griffith Observatory has some of the best views of the Los Angeles area. There is a park area outside, complete with coin sightseeing binoculars to help you enjoy the sites. Once you get inside, you will want to go straight the observatory tower. Typically there is a line, but it tends to keep moving fairly well. You won’t be disappointed, as the views from the tower are literally out-of-this-world. (please excuse the pun)

It’s Also a Science Museum

Once you have had plenty of time to view the stars, you can venture to the lower levels and enjoy the science museum. There is so much to see and something for absolutely everyone. I wish I could cover each and every exciting exhibit, but this post would be way too long if I did. So, here is a list of a few of our personal favorites:

  • A working seismograph that shows earthquake activity for the nearby area as well as everyone’s foot traffic in the museum.
  • An over-sized periodic table in which each location contains the actual substance.
  • A working Tesla Coil.
  • Scales that tell your weight on the different planets. My personal favorite was Pluto, and no I am not going to tell you my weight.
  • Galileo’s telescope.
  • Seeing your body’s heat signature via infrared light.
  • The Foucault Pendulum that shows the Earth’s rotation. Believe it or not, but this pendulum as been running at the observatory since its opening in 1935.

There is a Working Tesla Coil

Did I mention that there is working Tesla Coil? Well, there is, and it is pretty amazing. All of the exhibits can be seen whenever the observatory is open except the Tesla Coil. To see this exhibit when it is actually working, you must be present a certain times. You can find these times either in the observatory program or online.

It’s Handicap Accessible

With wheelchair in tow wherever we go, handicap accessibility is of great concern to us. We were pleasantly surprised to find that there are elevators throughout the museum. They are small and in sometimes out of the way areas, but staff is happy to help you find them.

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Let’s hear what you came up with for the Letter O this week. You can add your post below. And don’t forget to visit the co-hosts and other participants.

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