Friday, January 3, 2014

Exploring at the Griffith Observatory

This past week, I've had family from Indiana visiting. We had breakfast and then set off for an exciting day exploring Los Angeles.
My family and I have been to the Griffith Observatory before years ago, and decided that it would be the perfect start for our day. The weather has been really warm here in SoCal, which is a pity in my opinion because it should be cold during the winter, but it did make for a beautiful day. Since the weather was so warm there were so many people at Griffith Park.
There were some people having a picnic, going hiking, or like us going to the Observatory.

It was so busy by the time we got to Griffith Park. I would highly recommend trying to get there as early as you can because they have a very small parking lot, and you could end up parking on the side of a cliff and having to hike up like we did.
Yet, the hike does provide for beautiful views of the Observatory and the Hollywood Sign.

Finally we reached the top!

The Griffith Observatory is free to enter which makes for a great day trip for families. The only cost is if you want to see a planetarium show.
We didn't see any of the shows this time as we had so much to do that day, but I've seen one before and it was great! I would highly recommend it.

The inside of the Observatory is fantastic! There are wonderful murals all over the walls and the ceiling.

Right in the middle of the entrance is The Foucault Pendulum. It demonstrates the rotation of the Earth, and it was the first experiment that easily showed this to people in nineteenth century Paris.

This Foucault Pendulum is massive! It's in this hole in the center of the room that is always completely surrounded by people. If you're lucky a tour guide will be near explaining in full what the Foucault Pendulum is and how it works.
We did not have a lot of time to explore so we set off immediately to the basement since I remember that it held a lot of fun gadgets that were child-friendly.
Leading you to the basement is this awesome timeline involving the universe and our galaxy, and it is represented by star shaped jewelry. 

When you reached the downstairs area it is filled with all sorts of tiny exhibitions that tell the story of California's experience with space, and information about all the planets and their moons.

There is even a theater dedicated to Leonard Nimoy!!

You can even weigh yourself to see what your weight would be on the moon! My younger cousin was obsessed with this and the other planet's scales.

I do believe that the Observatory has some of the best science centered exhibitions that I have ever seen. It is very child friendly with great demonstrations on the planets and the solar system. My pre-teen cousin had a fantastic time exploring everything that was offered, and I would highly recommend taking young children. Even us adults were having a great time with them!
Here is a postcard on how to properly address places within the universe!

The view from the Observatory is great! On clear days you can see right to the ocean which is truly beautiful.

After exploring the Observatory and enjoying the sights that Griffith Park has to offer, it was definitely time for lunch! There is a café at the Observatory, but it is really pricey for what is offered. You're in LA! You should definitely go somewhere more exciting for lunch.
Which is what we decided to do, so off we went!

Part II soon!

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