Exploring the World of Cars in Real Life!

What if you could design your OWN race car and see it in action with the help of your friends from the world of Cars?  At the Petersen Automotive Museum, you can!  At least virtually.  At the Cars Mechanical Institute you can learn all about how cars work and through the CARSpad Experience you can tour the museum while designing and then racing your own car.  Both are included as part of the admission to the museum which by itself is filled with amazing exhibits.

Location: 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Type: Self-guided tour through automotive history – both fictional and real
Specialty: Amazing collection of vehicles
Cost: $15/adult; $7/youth; children 3 and under FREE
Craig’s Favorite: The high tech way everything was integrated including the CARSpad Experience

My buddy Lightning McQueen and I at the Petersen Automotive Museum
My buddy Lightning McQueen and I at the Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum is a collection of everything cars – including Cars.  They also showcase motorcycles, scooters, and prototype vehicles.  More than just a museum, they have great exhibits, learning centers, interactive displays, photo opportunities and even a racing simulator which is pretty tough (but fun).  They have an entire collection of vehicles from famous Hollywood films, including Marty McFly’s Delorean from Back to the Future, the Batmobile from Batman, and of course Lightning McQueen from Cars.

A panoramic view of the Cars Institute in the Petersen Automotive Museum
A panoramic view of the Cars Institute in the Petersen Automotive Museum

For Disney fans, the Petersen Museum hosts the only Cars Mechanical Institute in the world.  Developed in partnership with Pixar, the Institute offers kids (and adults) the opportunity to learn about how cars operate using technologically advanced displays. But perhaps the signature feature of the Institute is the CARSpad Experience where you can check out one of the many CARSpads (iPads developed specifically for the museum).  Using your pad, you move from station to station throughout the 2nd floor and learn how to design and build your own race car.  At the end, you can race your car against and compare how you do against Lightning McQueen.  Not only can you pick the components, but you can paint and add designs to your car, too.

The museum itself is well worth the price of admission, but if you have children who love the movie Cars then the Cars Mechanical Institute is a huge bonus and fun for the whole family.

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