*Exhibition included with the purchase of a general admission ticket or with your membership*

Through a ground-breaking partnership with Disney/Pixar, visitors of all ages can be a part of an amazing experience found only at the Petersen. The Cars Mechanical Institute, inspired by the beloved animated film franchise, immerses visitors in a variety of activities and displays where they learn about the science and design of cars, as well as the history of the automobile. Visitors can paint and personalize virtual cars as well as trace and color their own Cars character to take home. Guests of all ages can race toy cars around a racetrack, while budding engineers can build their own Lego creations to race against their friends. Visitors can even race against Lightning McQueen by checking out a Carspad and building their own virtual car with help from all of the friends in Radiator Springs.


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Introducing Pete’s Library Reading Program

Each month, kids have a chance to earn a reward by reading books and completing reading comprehension activities. The books and rewards change monthly and follow the monthly theme. Read along at home or read from Pete’s Library in the Discovery Center any time you are in the museum. Simply sign up to receive your library card and packet, start reading, and return to the Discovery Center to receive your stamp and reward. For more information or to sign up, come to the Discovery Center Desk on the second floor of the Petersen.

September’s Theme | Labor and Industry

The Discovery Center provides displays, activities, and hands-on learning allowing visitors to delve deeper into the automobile and automotive history, exploring topics and stories not covered in other exhibits. From learning about car science, to investigating the famous people behind the creation, manufacture, and use of cars, to the culture that surrounds the automobile, the Discovery Center offers a multitude of tools to broaden your automotive knowledge. Each month, a particular theme is explored in depth.

September 7-8 | Clothespin Cars

Compete with your friends with these mini racers.

September 14-15 | Piñata Cars

Celebrate Mexican Independence Day by customizing your own Piñata car.

September 21-22 | Hello, Fall! Nature Landscapes

Welcome Fall by painting the colors of the season.

September 28-29 | Dream Cars

Write down your dream and drive them to reality.