The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science is located in downtown Bakersfield, CA. It is housed in the famous Arts district of the city and is a natural history museum with a large body of rare exhibits and collections.
The museum focuses mainly on the Miocene period which was around 14 – 15 million years ago. A number of very important finds have been made in Kern County dating back to this period. Most notable among these was the Sharktooth Hill find. In this find, some of the rarest fossils from this period were discovered. The museum now displays many of these fossils which are unmatched in their completeness.
When the Sharktooth Hill find was discovered, the museum was first established as the California Living Museum in a small space back in 1995. Over the years, the museum has changed its location several times. It has also steadily grown in the size of collections and objects on display.
Today, the museum is housed in a 20,000 square building, spread over 4 floors. It includes a number of interesting exhibits – the Animal exhibit will show you historic and exotic animals from America, Africa and other regions around the world. The Native American Lifeways recreates the homes and lifestyle of the Native Americans, giving you a glimpse into the culture. This display includes an exhibit of a Yokuts village.
Another interesting feature of the museum is the Yosemite Valley model. This small-scale model shows the valley in its full detail, including the mountains and hills, the roads and the trails through the valley. The museum is also home to a popular triceratops skill replica which is an especially popular spot with visitors for snapping pictures.
The museum offers plenty of activities and opportunities year-round. These include tours, visits, workshops, presentations, science camps for children and more. So make sure you check out the upcoming events before heading to it.
If you are in Bakersfield CA and looking for an awesome learning opportunity while having fun, this museum is your best bet. Even if you want to visit with kids, you can be sure that they will be fully entertained at the museum. The ‘Oh Zone’ in particular offers creative, hands-on opportunities as well as stimulating activities for children.
The museum is conveniently located in downtown Bakersfield CA. This means that you can couple the visit to the museum with your lunch or dinner – many excellent downtown restaurants are located within a walking distance of the museum. Also be sure to check out the best pool serving in Bakersfield here
Opening hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are 10am to 4pm. On Sundays, the hours are 12pm to 4pm. Admission fee for adults is $8 and $4 for kids.
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