When most people hear “Los Angeles,” they think of Hollywood premiers, nightlife, and high-end shopping--- not exactly activities that are geared for kids. If you’re headed to the City of Angels with kids in tow, don’t fret. There are plenty of kid-friendly activities that adults will enjoy as well (and that don’t involve Mickey Mouse!).
Located in north Los Angeles, Griffith Park is a large urban natural area with space for a variety of activities including hiking, horseback riding, tennis, swimming, golfing and picnicking. While you’re there, head up to the Griffith Observatory for stunning views of the city (including the Hollywood sign) – a great spot for a family photo.
Kidspace Children’s Museum
Located in Pasadena (about 45 minutes from L.A. proper), Kidspace is a unique children’s museum and learning center where kids can learn (in an interactive way) about the arts, humanities and sciences. Visit the permanent/rotating museum exhibits or register for a one-day class or workshop (see website for details). It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience for everyone.
California Science Center
Located near the USC campus, the California Science Center is a must-visit for kids of all ages. Between the fascinating hands-on exhibits, Imax theater, and fun lab, there is no shortage of things to enthrall and delight. After you’re done, be sure to take a refreshing stroll in the adjacent rose garden.
Of course, no trip to L.A. would be complete without a day at the beach. Here are some of the most kid-friendly beaches in the area: Paradise Cove – Malibu (www.paradisecovemalibu.com), Annenberg Community Beach House – Santa Monica (www.annenbergbeachhouse.com), and Mother’s Beach – Marina Del Rey (marinadelrey.lacounty.gov)
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Animal and nature lovers will enjoy an afternoon at the L.A. Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Highlights include the Campo Gorilla Reserve, the popular Sea Life Cliffs, the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo, the Red Ape Rain Forest, and the Chimps of Mahale Mountains. If you’re interested, pack some food because picnicking is allowed on the grounds.
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