Originally published at: Rib-Tickling Revelries At Boney Island - People of Con
Author: Ariel Landrum
Last weekend, I embarked on a bone-chilling adventure with my best friend, her family, and their friend to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Our destination? The eerily enchanting Boney Island! And let me tell you, it was a skeletal spectacle like no other. If you’re planning your own trip, parting with a few “bones” is well worth it: tickets are priced at a reasonable $25, with a special rate of $20 for museum members. But a word to the wise: make sure to book in advance, as tickets tend to sell out quickly! And for those driving in, parking is available at the Blue Lot in Exposition Park, though it’s a good idea to check parking availability beforehand due to other concurrent events.
Boney Island, originally conceived by The Simpsons producer Rick Polizzi, has been a Halloween staple for over two decades. Initially a front yard display, it evolved into a massive event in Griffith Park, amassing a cult-like following of Halloween enthusiasts of all ages. After a brief hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Natural History Museum has partnered with Boney Island to resurrect this crowd-pleaser. Set in the museum’s picturesque Nature Gardens, Boney Island offers a blend of ghoulishly glowing exhibits, creatures of the night, and a prehistoric past, ensuring surprises at every corner!
Boney Island is a family-friendly fiesta with a plethora of activities to engage attendees of all ages. There’s no shortage of entertainment, from animatronic skeletons cracking jokes to interactive tableaus. And speaking of skeletons, everything was bony! From dino skeletons to snails with skulls for shells, the theme was brilliantly executed.
The absolute highlight of our visit was the water show orchestrated by none other than the skeleton conductor, Maestro Maxilla. Picture this: bubbling cauldrons transforming into a fountain show, reminiscent of the famous Fountains of Bellagio, but with a spooky twist. The music ranged from classical to Halloween-themed hits, including the iconic Adam’s Family theme song. The grand finale, This Is Halloween, paid subtle homage to a beloved skeleton character, Jack Skellington, from The Nightmare Before Christmas. And if that wasn’t captivating enough, there were projected jack-o’lanterns serenading us with their haunting harmonies.
As we meandered through the pathways, one particular display caught our eye and tickled our funny bones. Emulating the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and its renowned “Forecourt of the Stars,” this path was adorned with cemented skeletal imprints. Instead of the usual celebrity handprints and footprints, we were treated to skeletal remains like rib cages. And the stars? They bore punny names that would make any dad joke aficionado proud. From “Tracey Ulna” to “Tommy Lee Bones” and “Courtney Coccyx,” it was a delightful nod to Hollywood’s tradition with a skeletal spin.
Among the myriad of mesmerizing exhibits, Percival, the rosy boa, stole the show. This slithering sensation was presented at the litter theatre, where brave souls could pet him under the watchful eye of his handler. The same stage also showcased talented puppeteers and a magician, ensuring there was never a dull moment.
For families with little ones, Boney Island is a dream come true. The expansive grassy area, adorned with twinkling lights and projected spiders, serves as a playground for kids to run around and let loose. The food options from the truck outside, a few food vendors, or the museum’s cafe ensure that hunger pangs are kept at bay. The magic show, the animatronic killer plants, and the band of calcified comedians (skeletons playing music) were massive hits for the younger attendees!
The event wasn’t just about the displays and exhibits; the attendees added to the charm and ambiance. Many came dressed in skeleton-themed outfits, embracing the spirit of Boney Island to the fullest. From cozy onesies adorned with bones to intricate Dia de los Muertos face paint, the creativity was palpable. And for those who preferred a more casual approach, shirts proclaiming “Bone Daddy” were popular. It was heartwarming to see everyone embrace the theme, making the experience all the more immersive.
While Boney Island didn’t offer any skeletal X-rays, it certainly provided some jaw-dropping photo opportunities. A backdrop featuring a giant crescent moon, cleverly shaped like a skull, was a hit among attendees. But the real magic happened at the trick-of-the-eye photo station. I played along, pretending to fall backward while a friend captured the moment. When we rotated the photo, the illusion was complete: it appeared as though a skeleton magician was levitating me off the ground!
Boney Island at the Natural History Museum is a must-visit this Halloween season. Whether you’re with family, friends, or flying solo, it promises a night of laughter, wonder, and spookiness. So, if you’re looking for a place where dino skeletons gaze down at you as you revel in the festivities, Boney Island is the place to be. Don’t miss out on this bone-afide blast!
Ready to have a rib-tickling good time? Bone up on your Halloween spirit and grab your tickets for Boney Island at the Natural History Museum. Don’t be left bone-dry; the skeletons eagerly await to welcome you!