Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 741-1151, ext. 3
Christmas arrives early for Southern California auto enthusiasts: November 19, which is the opening day of the Los Angeles Auto Show. Nearly one million people are expected to walk through the halls of the L.A. Convention Center by the show’s final day (11/28).
The L.A. show is one of the industry’s premier events, and marks the debut of more than 50 new model vehicles, including state of the art “green” cars (plug-ins, hybrids and PZEVs). Best of all, it’s family friendly:
Chevy’s new electric Volt has been tied to another hot toy: It’s the featured vehicle in the new X-Box 360 racing game, Kinect Joy Ride. You and your kids can play the game at several stations, which of course, are set up around the Volt. (We only saw one Kinect station on the floor, but if you go up the stairs behind the exhibit, you’ll find more.)
Over at Toyota, your kids can star in their very own car commercials. Toyota willl film your kids on the show floor talking about the cars, and will kindly put the finished product on a CD for you (or upload to YouTube). “Kids love doing this, and they’re the most fun,” a Toyota spokesperson told us.
Volkswagen’s displays usually feature some fun interactive elements. This year, they’ve installed monitors with a face recognition program. If you walk over to one with a frown, you’ll be given a message, which changes when you smile. I must have spent about 15 minutes playing with it – your kids will want more. Be warned that the camera is mounted at adult-height, so if your children are small, you’ll have to lift them to make it work.
Go to the Ford booth to race little toy Mustangs on an elaborate slot car track. The Ford exhibit also includes a tribute to first responders, with a Ford police car and ambulance on display.
Your kids can play more racing games outside the South Hall entrance, where AutoTraders.com has set up a booth. Note that players who are over 18 are entered in a drawing to win an iPad.
Ticket list price for attendance is $12 per adult, but you can get $2 off by purchasing on the show’s web site here: http://www.laautoshow.com/HoursAdmission.html (Discount tickets are also offered by participating auto dealers around town). Children 12 and under are free.
However, we’ve found that while it’s easy to pick up and pay for lunch, finding a place to sit can be challenging – especially if you’re a family of four. My advice is to arrive at the show early and plan to grab lunch before the rush (around 11:00).
There are also several dining options at LA Live. Your admission to the Auto Show includes in and out privileges; just be sure to get your hand stamped when you exit.
Donna Schwartz Mills is the founder and publisher of SoCal Mom (socalmom.net).