Griffith Observatory is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. It's a great place to learn about astronomy and the night sky. The Observatory has many interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and a telescope that you can use to get a close-up view of the stars.
Griffith Observatory is the perfect place to start if you're interested in learning more about the universe while visiting the Los Angeles area. Here’s a look at the top highlights of this must-see attraction.
Samuel Oschin Planetarium
The Samuel Oschin Planetarium is one of the main attractions at Griffith Observatory. The planetarium offers several different shows, including live presentations, throughout the day, each of which covers a different topic related to astronomy. The shows are presented in a state-of-the-art digital theater and are suitable for all ages.
The planetarium shows are a great place to start if you want to learn about the night sky, the constellations, and the planets. You'll also get to see some stunning images of distant galaxies and nebulae.
New Show: Signs of Life
Signs of Life is one of the shows currently playing at Samuel Oschin Planetarium. The 35-minute presentation explores the conditions that contributed to the formation of life in the universe. It also dives into the possibility of life on other planets and what the search for extraterrestrial life has taught us about our place in the universe.
This is a great show for anyone interested in astrobiology or the origin of life. Tickets are required, but there are plenty of showtimes to choose from, with shows being held at regular intervals on weekdays and weekends.
In addition to the planetarium shows, Griffith Observatory also offers a variety of daily programs. These programs are led by knowledgeable guides, covering various topics related to astronomy and the night sky.
Get a live glimpse of the sun on the Observatory’s coelostat, discover the observatory's history through The Once and Future Griffith Observatory, or catch an exciting six-minute demonstration of the Tesla Coil. No matter where the day takes you, it’s sure to be a blast at Griffith Observatory.
Griffith Observatory is home to a range of interactive exhibits that allow visitors to step into the role of an astronomer. There are eight major exhibit areas in the Observatory, each offering a unique perspective on humanity’s observation of space.
Explore the history of space observation at Wilder Hall of the Eye, or visit Ahmanson Hall of the Sky to discover how the Sun, Moon, and Earth interact to create life as we know it. And if you’re a fan of deep space, be sure to stop by Gunther Depths of Space to observe the modern universe. You can also celebrate the intersection of science and mythology at Keck Central Rotunda.
Planning a Visit
There are a few guidelines to keep in mind to make the most of your visit to Griffith Observatory. First, be sure to consider the hours of operation. Griffith Observatory is open Thursday through Sunday. Weekday hours are 12:00 noon to 10:00 PM, and weekend hours are 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. To avoid large crowds, it’s best to visit Griffith Observatory on a weekday.
Admission to Griffith Observatory is free, and the building is accessible to all visitors. Outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the Observatory, so be sure to eat beforehand! If you need a bite to eat during your visit, there is a cafe on-site offering various hot and cold food options for purchase from Wolfgang Puck Catering.
Also surrounding the Observatory is Griffith Park, which offers hiking trails with spectacular views of Los Angeles, and you can hike to the Hollywood Sign from the Observatory. So whether you’re interested in the stars or simply want to get away from the city for a while, Griffith Observatory is the perfect destination.