The city of angels may not appear at first glance as a family-friendly destination, but what makes Los Angeles one of the most unique cities in all of the United States is its diversity. Diverse not only in cultures and communities but also in activities. From beaches to theme parks to museums, LA offers plenty for even the most discerning kiddo.
Catch Some Rays and Waves
Southern California’s springtime weather can sometimes be as unpredictable as a Hollywood thriller, but chances are pretty good you’ll experience plenty of sunny days during your stay. Overcast skies will often prevail in the morning by the coast. But by the afternoon when the sun finally brushes aside the clouds, it can be the perfect time to hit the beach. Take the family to Santa Monica State Beach, which offers plenty of sand to feel through the toes, wade-friendly waves and a pier with carnival-like games and attractions.
Do Lunch the Vintage LA Way
When those tummies start to growl, pack everyone up and make your way to the world-famous Original Farmers Market, featuring over 100 food stalls, sit-down eateries and produce vendors. The décor inside hasn’t changed much since it opened its doors in 1934, with its metal folding chairs and Formica tables under green umbrellas, but it offers some of best food in the entire town. For something more sophisticated, take a stroll next door to The Grove, an upscale outdoor shopping and entertainment complex.
Enrich Your Mind
Who said LA doesn’t offer any culture? Los Angeles’ many museums rival the world’s best. The La Brea Tar Pits & Museum provides a glimpse to the time of roaming mammoths and saber-toothed tigers and is run by LA’s Natural History Museum, which has its own extensive dinosaur exhibit. The California Science Center’s star attraction is the Space Shuttle Endeavour, one of four space shuttles nationwide. Older kids will appreciate the award-winning Museum of Tolerance, a deeply moving experience using interactive technology to form a discussion around the importance of compassion and cultural understanding. One of its top exhibits is an intimate look into the life of Anne Frank.
Pick a Theme – Any Theme
It would be travel malpractice to not mention theme parks while discussing family activities in Los Angeles. Name the theme park and there’s a version somewhere in Southern California. Some of the less obvious, but no less exciting, are Universal Studios Hollywood, with studio tours, live shows and rides, as well as one of the first theme parks in the country, Knott’s Berry Farm. Be sure to have dinner at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, which opened its doors in 1934 and serves the best fried chicken and homemade biscuits this side of the Mississippi.
Make Your Own “LA LA Land” Moment
The iconic Griffith Observatory provides a window to the universe with its exhibits, telescopes and shows housed inside its planetarium. On its eastside balcony, you can take it some of the best views of the LA basin and the Pacific Ocean on a clear day.
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