We are so happy to open the 2018 competitive season this weekend at LA Lights and we are sure that everyone is excited about traveling to LA! There are so many kid-friendly places to see in Los Angeles, where do you begin? Sure, you could spend a day at Disneyland, but that's not really what the city is all about. Take some pointers from the locals and see Los Angeles County as they do: full of vibrant cultural opportunities, stunning views and amazing outdoor spaces!
1. Griffith Park, Griffith Observatory and Bronson Caves
Griffith Park has something for everyone! Hike to the Hollywood Sign, explore the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, search the sky at the Griffith Observatory, or take a ride on the historic merry-go-round. The park also offers pony rides and train rides. To find the famous Batcave, go to the top of Canyon Drive in Griffith Park (next to the trail to Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign), take the fire road on the right heading southeast out of the canyon. After the hike check out the Trails Café for wonderful pastries and sandwiches.
Location: 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
2. Santa Monica Pier, Aquarium and State Beach
This amusement park features a Ferris wheel, a carousel, an aquarium, an arcade, souvenir shops and several restaurants, and is set right on the beach in Santa Monica. Walk to the far end that juts out over the Pacific Ocean and enjoy sweeping views in every direction, from the westerly horizon that offers spectacular sunsets, to the hills of Malibu to the north and Los Angeles itself to the east. The pier is a good place to enjoy a meal of fish and chips in the balmy coastal weather.
Location: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
3. Tongva Park
Located just near the Pier, Santa Monica's $42.3 million Tongva Park opened in 2013 to rave reviews, especially given the 6.2 acre park's stunning transformation from parking lot to ideal outdoor space. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the people behind New York's High Line, the park boasts 18-foot observation decks, winding walkways, rolling hills, and expansive lawns. Don't miss the playground in the southeast quadrant of the park.
Location: 1615 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
4. The Historical El Capitan Theatre
Families love the old El Capitan Theatre, a glittering example of cinema that opened in 1926 on Hollywood Boulevard. Beyond hosting "Tiny Tot Tuesdays" for parents with toddlers, the theater also adds something extra to any film experience. Expect to see Disney cast members, live singing, and the delighted faces of children as streamers and confetti fall from the ceiling.
Location: 6838 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
5. Kenneth Hahn Park
Nestled in Baldwin Hills district of Culver City, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area is the ideal place to get that killer shot of Downtown LA you're dying to take home. In fact, Kenneth Hahn offers visitors a cut-rate deal on an outdoor LA experience without the hassle of parking and traffic like Runyon Canyon and Griffith Park. You can't get much more locals only Los Angeles than this!
Location: 4100 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90056
6. Time Travel Mart
Kids will get a kick out of the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a time travel-themed retail store with the slogan, "Whenever you are, we're already then." Run by 826, the founders of the Superhero Supply store in Brooklyn and the Pirate Supply Company in San Francisco, the Echo Park version sells humorous gifts from the past, present, and future.
Location: 1714 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026
7. La Brea Tar Pits & Museum
The La Brea Tar Pits boast the worlds most famous ice age fossil site conveniently located in the Miracle Mile district. Kids can take an excavator tour of the tar pits to see what the scientists are digging up, then head into the museum for exhibits on the Ice Age or a 3D film showing how animals become trapped in tar. There's also a fossil lab where budding scientists can see what happens after fossils are extracted from the tar. Pack a picnic and have lunch in Hancock Park, right in the middle of all the tar pit action.
Location: 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
8. Aquarium of the Pacific and Shoreline Aquatic Park
With more than 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits, the Aquarium of the Pacific offers way more than a few fish in a tank. Kids can get up close with a penguin, touch over 150 sharks in Shark Lagoon, and feed colorful birds in the Lorikeet forest.
Location: 200 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
9. Mulligan Family Fun Center
Some kids in the family want to go to the batting cages while other want to play mini golf and lazer tag? No need to fight over it, just head to Mulligan Family Fun Center, where kids (and adults) can do all that and more. With a rock wall, paddle boats, mini golf, an arcade, go-karts, lazer tag, a family fun zone and batting cages, there is literally something fun for everyone in the family. The center also has a picnic area and is a great spot for birthday parties.
Location: 1351 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501
10. Hollywood Walk of Fame
This 3.5-mile stretch of sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard is a wonderful way to take a stroll through entertainment history. Now bearing more than 2,000 stars honoring not just movie actors but radio, television and stage personalities as well as directors and singers, the Walk of Fame mixes up names sure to be lost on the younger members of the family.
Location: Hollywood Blvd at Vine St., Los Angeles, CA
11. Venice Canals
Developed in 1905, the Venice Canals Historic District is the perfect place to stroll hand-in-hand with your best guy or gal while soaking in the California rays. Inspired by the canals of Venice, Italy, the Venice Canals feature many waterways lined with sidewalks, picturesque bridges, and stylish homes. The Canals are a little-known gem, so you'll not likely have crowds to contend with when you go.
Location: Venice, California, 90962
12. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Take in breathtaking views, hike through restored native habitat, and enjoy a state of the art visitor center at your stunning new urban park, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Visitors can begin to discover, or residents can rediscover Los Angeles from this 500 ft. peak just southwest of downtown. Exhibits tell the story of this once drilled and exploited land which has now become a symbol of restoration, conservation and hope. A short walk away, visitors are treated to a panoramic view of the entire Los Angeles Basin, the Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains.
Location: 6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City, CA 90232
IK wishes you a great week, full with positive emotions and great impressions! See you in beautiful Los Angeles!