At face value, Los Angeles may not seem like a great place for family-friendly activities, what with all the parties, traffic, etc. But once you get there, you’ll realize there are a ton of fun things for you and your kids to do. Here are a few to get your feet wet in your new West Coast adventure.
Everyone loves an insider’s perspective. In LA, you can actually go to the studios where the latest and greatest film or television series shoots. Most studios offer a variety of deals for guided tours and it’s a great way to entertain the family in an organized fashion.
For those of us not willing to fly all the way to Florida, complain no longer! Universal Studios has finally opened Harry Potter World in Hollywood. With the Grand Opening in April 2016, the newly added Harry Potter World will quickly win over families. A tall pint of Butter Beer anyone?
Take a family hike through Griffith Park to the Observatory, which is open for observation. It’s also made cameos in famous films throughout history, including Rebel Without a Cause, Bowfinger and The Terminator. After you’ve properly observed the view, check out the live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.
After the Venice Beach prerequisite shenanigans wear you out, make your way to the Santa Monica Pier, an iconic landmark in LA for more than a century. Here, you’ll find amusement rides, bars and delicious seafood. Rent a tandem bike and end the evening at a nearby rooftop bar, relaxing to the sounds of the Pacific Ocean.
There’s always someone or something playing at the Staples Center, be it an NBA game (the Lakers and Clippers share the space) or a concert. If you are feeling less rocky, there’s bound to be something interesting at the Disney Concert Hall. For tongue watering cuisine from local vendors, be sure to stop by Grand Central Market for a meal or Little Tokyo’s Cafe Dulce for a bacon donut.
When visiting the West Side, see the Venice Canals. These sprawling waterways connect Venice as a nod to the Italian wateropolis. They were designed by the architect Abbot Kinney for the somewhat failed “Venice of America” plan. Also, grab a bagel crusted pizza at Abbot’s or ice cream at Salt & Straw. You’re welcome in advance.
See a movie, but why waste your time with a chain cinema you could find in Lamesville, USA? Make your way to the ArcLight in Hollywood, where many Hollywood premieres happen. Or check out Cinefamily. They host everything from Looney Tunes Marathons to comedians presenting ‘80s comedies. Podcasts are frequently recorded there, as well.