California Archaeology Month is in October and events take place throughout the state. For details, check the Society for California Archaeology website, http://scahome.org/.
Heritage Education Programs runs field trips and classroom programs for grades four and up. At the Archaeology Adventure field trip program, students excavate in simulated archaeological sites at Apple Valley, Redlands, and Riverside. Visit the programs' website at: http://www.HeritageEdu.com or call (909) 793-3922. (This program is featured in Dig Magazine's November 2003 issue.)
The Albinger Museum in Ventura has artifacts that have been found on the site of this archaeological museum. They reveal 3,500 years and five different cultures. The museum is open daily. For more information, call 805-648-5823 or visit http://www.ventura.com/points_of_interest/archeosite/.
The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana hosts a number of archaeological programs for children grades 3-6. For more information, call (714) 567-3600, or visit the website: http://www.bowers.org/.
The Lawrence Hall of Science had a dinosaur exhibit until early in 2012, which included life-like versions of dinosaurs that kids could interact with, as well as a hands-on dig site with hidden fossils. Current exhibits include Earth and Space, where kids can stargaze and observe weather patterns; Science Today, where kids can learn about the latest scientific discoveries; and Animal Investigations, where kids can discover how zoo animals have adapted to their environments. For more information, visit the website: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/.
The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles offers an archaeology program called Dig It! Archaeology Adventures on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. It is free with museum admission. For more information, call (310) 440-4500 or visit the website: http://www.skirball.org.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has a dinosaur hall that features an extensive collection of fossils and complete dinosaurs and ancient sea creatures. The museum also has the Dinosaur Encounters puppet show, which stars large-scale dinosaurs that teach children about how they lived. Ice Age Encounters features life-sized saber-toothed cat puppets. School groups that schedule their reservations at least three weeks in advance receive free admission! Visit the website at http://www.nhm.org/ or call (213) 763-DINO (3466).
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, located in San Jose, showcases a large collection of artifacts from ancient Egypt. See actual mummies (both humans and animals), learn how to play the ancient board game Senet in the gardens, and explore a replica of an Egyptian tomb. For more information, visit the website: http://www.egyptianmuseum.org.
The Petrified Forest in Calistoga is a privately owned park containing the fossils of ancient redwoods. These giant trees were buried by lava when a volcano erupted nearby over three million years ago. For more information, call 707-924-6667 or visit the website at http://www.petrifiedforest.org/index.html.
The San Diego Museum of Man features exhibitions about ancient Egypt, ancient Maya, and human evolution. A special exhibition, called From the Vault: Rare Artifacts with Fascinating Stories, showcases over 400,000 rare artifacts and will be open until October 27, 2013. For more information, go to: http://www.museumofman.org/exhibits.
The museum also offers a unique journey through time and place. The Education Department has year-round school tours and classes on topics related to archaeology, Egyptology, and physical and cultural anthropology. Exciting summer school classes, scout programs, and family days are offered. The Children's Discovery Center gives kids a fun way to learn about life and death in ancient Egypt through interactive displays. The museum also has weeklong themed summer camps for grades K thru 8.
For more information, contact the museum's Education Department at (619) 239-2001, or visit its website: http://www.museumofman.org.
Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits features both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Outside, you can find Pit 91 and Project 23. At the famous Pit 91, visitors can watch from a special observation area as paleontologists and volunteers recover bones from beasts that died in the sticky asphalt deposits 28,000 years ago. Project 23 features fossil deposits found when the LA County Museum of Art began building a new parking lot. The deposits were moved just north of Pit 91, so the paleontologists could excavate the fossils in peace. Inside, you can visit the Fishbowl Laboratory, where you can see paleontologists at work in their laboratory. Visitors can also experience Ice Age Encounters (see NHM of LA County) at the Page on select days.
For more information call (323) 857-6300 ext. 112, or visit the website at http://www.tarpits.org.