Here are some answers to our most popular private event questions.
We are available for most types of evening events including dinners, receptions, holiday parties, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, retirement celebrations, fundraisers, galas, lectures, and more! Individuals and corporations must join the Fellows or Corporate Member programs in order to host events. Please contact us at SpecialEvents@NHM.org for the cost and benefits of membership.
When you rent one or more of our spaces for an event, you receive:
Access to our inventory of tables and chairs, which can typically accommodate an event with up to 250 guests depending on your needs (use of our inventory is limited to events at NHM)
Complimentary parking in the NHM Car Park (approximately 200 spaces) or the Tar Pits Car Park (approximately 150 spaces)
Custodial services to clean the event spaces before, during, and after your event
Security staff to ensure the protection of NHM and its collections
Event staff to ensure smooth operation of the venue during your event
Catering and third-party rentals, including linens, stages, podiums, lounge/specialty furniture, lighting, audio-visual equipment, signage, carts, dollies, etc. must be contracted separately. Our event staff can provide a list of preferred vendors who are familiar with our venues and experienced at working in museum environments. You are welcome to work with a vendor who is not on our list; however, they must meet our insurance requirements and be available for a walk-through. If you opt to use a caterer who is not on our list, a buy-out fee will apply.
Our venues are available for events after our regular business hours of 9:30 am to 5 pm. Events typically take place between the hours of 6:30 pm and 10:30 pm, with load-in beginning no earlier than 4 pm and load-out ending by 12 am. You may purchase additional time allowing guests to stay as late as 12 am with load-out concluding by 2 am.
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to host daytime events. Since our events take place in our galleries, we limit events to after hours in order to remain open to the public during the day.
For security and safety reasons, we clear the building of guests each day at 5 pm. As a result, we ask that guests not arrive before the contracted event start time.
We can accommodate reception-style events for up to 2,000 guests at NHM. For information on the capacity of our most popular spaces, please browse our event spaces at NHM and La Brea Tar Pits.
While we do not have in-house caterer, we do have a list of preferred caterers who are familiar with the museums’ rules and insurance requirements. Should you wish to use a caterer who is not on our list, you may do so by paying a one-time buyout fee. The caterer must be able to meet our insurance requirements and visit the venue for a pre-event walk-through.
We do not have a catering kitchen. Your caterer can advise on the rental equipment needed to construct a catering kitchen onsite.
Yes, alcohol is allowed at events. It must be served by a licensed and insured caterer or bar caterer. Please note that we require food to be served at all events with alcohol. Due to County regulations, we cannot allow clients to bring their own alcohol.
For events at NHM, our event staff will work with you during the booking process to determine which event spaces are the best fit for your group. In addition to the contracted event spaces, you are welcome to add on galleries in one-hour increments for your guests to enjoy. Please note, in order to protect our collections, that we do not allow food, drink, or setup outside of our event spaces.
For events at La Brea Tar Pits, all galleries are included in your rental.
In addition to our popular gallery add-ons, our beloved dinosaur puppets offer walkabouts for events at NHM (pending staff availability). Our realistic T. rex and Triceratops large-scale puppets capture the imagination of audiences each week and are a fun and unique addition to your event. If movies are more your thing, we can offer timed showings of our 3D movies during your event.
Due to the sensitivity of our collections, we prohibit flames, potted plants or trees, live animals, helium balloons, confetti, glitter, smoke and/or fog machines, weapons, or the attachment of anything to the museum walls, ceilings, displays, or other fixtures. Everything brought in for your event must be free-standing.
At this time, we do not have a dressing room. We recommend all wedding participants arrive dressed for the event. We are happy to recommend nearby hotels.
The Exposition Park Rose Garden is available for wedding ceremonies through the Office of Exposition Park Management. We frequently host wedding receptions for ceremonies taking place in the Rose Garden, and our east gate provides convenient access for your guests to move from the Rose Garden to our property.
Limited WiFi is available for the general public through Spectrum-WiFi for up to two hours. Due to the age of our building and construction materials used, we cannot guarantee a signal in all areas. If WiFi is an integral component of your event, we recommend setting up a hot spot to ensure a strong, consistent signal.
Yes! Please contact us at SpecialEvents@NHM.org for more information on hosting your prom or formal. Please note that we require all schools to book through a prom/production company, and we will work directly with that company during the planning process.
Unfortunately, we are not available to host events on the major holidays, including: Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve/Day, Fourth of July, Easter, Memorial Day/Weekend, and Labor Day/Weekend.
In order to give us time to book, plan, and execute your event, we recommend booking no later than 45 days prior to your event. For larger or more complex events such as weddings, we recommend booking as far out as possible. Requested dates are subject to availability.
We no longer host daytime children’s birthday parties. To explore our current youth offerings please check out our NHM programs or Tar Pits programs, or purchase tickets for an upcoming sleepover.
Yes! Please visit our sleepovers page for additional information.
Unfortunately, we do not rent the Hart Museum for private events due to the unique floorplan and sensitivity of the Hart Museum collections.