The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $3 increase in admission fees to the Natural History Museum, but entry remains free for youngsters on field trips, teachers, active members of the military and underserved community members.
Effective Jan. 1, the adult admission fee will be $15 and students, seniors and kids 13 and older will pay $12. Fees for children ages 3-12 will increase by $2 to $7.
The museum -- and its sister site at the George C. Page Museum -- offers free admission for county residents on 13 days during the year. And once the fee increase takes effect, the Natural History Museum will offer free access for residents from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, a move expected to cost more than a half-million dollars.
The last fee increase, also a $3 bump, was in 2011.
Museum officials said the hikes are needed to help defray operating costs associated with new exhibition halls, a 3.5-acre nature garden and a butterfly pavilion added over the last six years. The increases are expected to generate roughly $1.6 million in revenues net of the cost for free weekday hours.
The board also gave the museum the authority to increase parking fees to match those charged in adjacent state and county-owned lots once those rates increase, a change expected to take place sometime in 2018.
Nearly one-third of the NHM's estimated 1.3 million annual visitors attend for free, according to the museum.