Don’t let the name fool you: Ferndell Nature Museum is actually an outdoor space perfect for exploring when the temperatures start to rise. That’s because this home to some 50 fern species is set under cool cover of California sycamores.
The entire Museum spans about one long city block and features a paved, windy trail lined with tropical plants and flowers aplenty. The trail through the Museum is paved; some parts are steep but stroller friendly. The location makes for ease with multiple kids as it’s near impossible for anyone to get lost. Bonus points for a place that’s adjacent to a city street, yet so quiet you’d be hard pressed to hear a car go by.
My kids (ages 3 and 6 years at the time) were more excited to see where the path through the Museum led than in stopping along the way to stare at ferns. In fact, we easily checked out the entire place is about 30 minutes. But Ferndell makes a great jumping off point for nature play at the Western Canyon entrance of Griffith Park, located directly in front of Ferndell’s parking area.
Here, my kids most enjoyed scrambling the rocks found in the dry creek bed running along the perimeter of the park. We wound up spending some three plus hours at Ferndell and its surrounding park area. As with any great spot in nature, we had the place to ourselves most of the time.
The Museum is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Multiple restrooms can be found across the street from the Museum at the Western Canyon entrance to Griffith Park. A small snack stand can be found north of the entrance to the Museum; picnic tables abound outside the Museum and across the street. Free street parking is available just north of the Museum.