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Fri, 6 Jan ’12

The Curious Case of the Quirky Collection

Jurassic doesn’t always mean dinosaurs.

The Los Angeles area isn’t only home to the happiest place on Earth; it’s also the location of one of the weirdest museums on the planet. The Museum of Jurassic Technology is tucked away in Culver City and hosts an offbeat array of collections and exhibits. Despite the name, you won’t find any reptiles or camo Jeeps here. Instead you’ll find displays intended to give you a hands-on experience of “life in the Jurassic.”

If you like curiosity cabinets, puzzles, magic tricks or carnival sideshows, you’re in for a treat (and maybe a trick). The dim lighting makes entering each hallway and room feel like an adventure; it’s definitely a place to wear your Indiana Jones fedora (no snakes, we promise). Pretend it’s an adventurer’s treasure hunt, if you’d like. It’s certainly full of rare artifacts, just don’t try to take anything home with you.

Stroll through the gallery of Soviet space dog portraits and enjoy a cup of tea and munch on cookies in the Tula Tea Room, where you can contemplate the history of the cat’s cradles you just studied. Seriously, we couldn’t make that up if we tried. Take a moment to go to The Borzoi Kabinet Theater and watch Levsha or Obshee Delo. Maybe not Oscar-caliber flicks, these Russian shorts are nonetheless no mere dressing.

The price for admission isn’t set; you pay whatever amount you want to enter the exhibits. Given the uncommon mix of peculiarities and education, it’ll likely earn precisely the entrance fee that you think it’s worth. Confused? Exactly.