Visiting NHM : Jane Goodall + Becoming Los Angeles


A traveling show about the life and work of Jane Goodall is currently on view at the Natural History Museum. Becoming Jane features items from Jane’s iconic career as a naturalist and offers lessons about how the next generations can help to save our precious planet. The show is on a global tour, thanks to National Geographic, and is on exhibit until April 17, 2022.

Jane is beamed in by hologram for the exhibit, because there is no one better to explain her singular life! Visitors will enjoy real artifacts from Jane’s life (a beloved monkey toy, a tent from Africa, her observation notebooks), and younger kids can learn to imitate the sounds of a chimp and try their hands at detecting animal behaviors in interactive exhibits. One section, which carries a stark warning, details the unfortunate ways that chimpanzees have been used in movies, sideshows and medical research. But Jane, and her patient observations, are the star of this show.

The exhibit is expensive but for bonafide fans of the world’s most famous and impactful naturalist, the experience is worth the price of admission *if you are not a member, purchase entrance fees ($15) and timed entry ($9) online. Jane’s story is tremendously inspiring to children at a certain age, and is a reminder to the rest of us that one person really can make a difference.

While at the museum, there is much else to explore and the halls were full of happy families and tourists on a recent visit.

It’s nice to duck into the diorama halls, which are just anachronistic enough to provide enjoyment. They’re dark and comforting, offering a good place for kids to romp around and test themselves on animals from all over the world. The halls are on both sides of the dinosaur on the first floor.

I enjoyed the scope of an exhibit about the history of Los Angeles. Becoming Los Angeles tells the story of our city’s origins – chronicling the wide diversity of groups of people who claim this place as their own: those who were first here, those that arrived from other parts of the country or other nations, and then those who laid claim to land in our city, as they started small businesses and farms, and those who developed the industries that made the city hum. All are given equal weight in this sprawling story of our melting pot city. It’s a nice place to bring a visitor from out of town, and includes a huge memorial to those we have lost and a cool block-by-block 3D map of DTLA.

Click here to learn more about rare Hollywood artifacts that are part of the NHM’s collection, including Walt Disney’s animation stand and Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp costume.