Noah's Ark at the Skirball Center is a permanent display designed for children 3-8 and their parents. If you live in Los Angeles, or are just visiting, I highly recommend it.
Back in April 2008 - just as I was just toying with the idea of this blog - I took my kids there for a couple of hours. They were ages 7 1/2 and 5 at the time: perfect ages!
My son, especially, loved running around and finding all the interactive aspects of the display that could "do things."
The Noah's Ark display is a multi-room artistic interpretation of the Noah story. The focus isn't on the biblical account. If you're looking for that, you'll need to look elsewhere. The focus here in on the art. Sorry the pictures are a little blurry (low lighting).
What makes this display so appealing and unique is that everything comes from recycled parts.
This aspect is fascinating, and would be of interest to older kids.
My son, meanwhile, liked the cranks, ropes, wheels, and pulleys found throughout the display. There are also some tubes kids can crawl through - think a McDonalds playland at an art museum and you get the idea.
Story-time in the next room. There are also two large hands-on craft areas, where my kids made an art project.
This was the one of several visits we made to the Skirball. As I said, I highly recommend a trip here - as well as making reservations ahead of time to get in, especially if you go on their "free day" (Thursdays). Here's a link.
The Noah's Ark display is part of the much larger Skirball Center.
The Skirball Center is a large Jewish Cultural Center located two miles north of the Getty Center on Mulholland Drive. Above is their other permanent display: "Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America." My kids were too young at the time to appreciate this; we did come back a couple years later and walked thorough the entire gallery. As a Christian, I think there is much to learn about influencing a culture and society from a minority religious position; this is definitely worth seeing.
One of the final rooms of the "Antiquity to America" display has a life sized replica of the torch from the Statue of Liberty. My grandfather arrived in America as a very small child back in 1910, so this was especially significant to me as the grandson of immigrants.
View Skirball Center, Los Angeles in a larger map
Here's a link to the Skirball Center. They are open Tuesday - Sundays, closed Mondays. Admission is $10, $5 for kids - and admission is free every Thursday.
Totally unrelated to the Skirball, but a part of our day, was introducing my kids to Diddy Reese ice cream sandwiches on the way home. Diddy Riese is located in Westwood Village, a block from UCLA. Topic for a future blog post.
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The goal of the place may be artistic, but Noah's Ark will always have Biblical roots, I hope your kids were inquisitive about Noah's Biblical account, since the Bible claims historical value. Nice picts, thanks for sharing.
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