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Where To Take the Grandparents When They Visit Los Angeles

November 19, 2010 1:49 PM

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(credit: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

(credit: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

grove los angeles Where To Take the Grandparents When They Visit Los Angeles

(credit: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

As the holidays approach, so too do visits from the Grandparents. And since it’s a sure bet they’ve come to town from somewhere East of here, they will no doubt appreciate the warm weather, as well as seeing their Grandkids, of course.

It’s great to show off the tourist spots to visitors, but what Grandparents really want is to spend time with the grandkids and visit places where they can play and experience the fun together. Wherever you decide to go, enjoy the time your multi-generational family gets to spend together this holiday season!

Westside

75031877 Where To Take the Grandparents When They Visit Los Angeles

(credit: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images)

Venice Beach

1 Windward Circle
Venice, CA 90291
The first place we take our visiting Grandparents is always Venice Beach. Since they’ve come from a much colder place, walking barefoot on the sand and dipping their toes in the Pacific Ocean is a Southern California treat, and luckily, something the whole family can do together. Besides, after walking in the sand, you can walk along the Boardwalk and take in those unique sights and sounds, which is probably something they don’t see much of back home.

Pacific Coast Highway/The Reel Inn

18661 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 456-8221
More Info

Another idea is a nice drive up PCH to Malibu, checking out the scenery and keeping an eye out for surfers and dolphins. And then you can always stop for lunch at one of our favorite places, The Reel Inn. With delicious seafood and a casual atmosphere, this place is perfect for families. You order at the counter, and then the food is brought to your table. There’s an outdoor patio, perfect for eating al fresco on a warm California Winter day. If you’re lucky, you might even see a deer walk by on the hills behind the restaurant.

Mid-Wilshire Area

Zimmer Children’s Museum

6505 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 761-8989
More Info
Grandparents free!

The Zimmer Children’s Museum is a great place to take the younger grandkids. It’s made for ages 0 – 8, but is really the ideal spot for ages 3 – 6, with loads of interactive and imaginative play, including a kid-sized supermarket, an airplane you can climb in, and the biggest hit of all: the water table. Besides, Grandparents get in free when they accompany their grandkids.

Page Museum at The La Brea Tar Pits

5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 934-7243
More Info

The La Brea Tar Pits is a perfect place to take the Grandparents, offering an experience that’s unique to Los Angeles. The nice small museum, with slightly outdated exhibits, nonetheless entertains the kids. Take a stroll around the park grounds surrounding the museum afterwards – just be careful not to step in any tar oozing up from the ground!

104646511 Where To Take the Grandparents When They Visit Los Angeles

(credit: Mark Ralston/Getty Images)

LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 857-6000
More Info
Seniors receive discounted admission; NexGen members free as well as one accompanying adult

Right next door, if your Grandparents are art aficionados, is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which has an amazing permanent collection and a wonderful outdoor sculpture garden. Kids up to 18 years old can receive a free NexGen membership to the museum (application online or in person), which means that their admission is free and one adult accompanying each child is also free.

The Original Farmer’s Market

6333 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-9211
More Info

The Grove

189 The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 900-8080
More Info

After spending time at the Tar Pits or at LACMA, you can head over to the Farmer’s Market on 3rd Street and Fairfax, just a short drive away, to grab a bite to eat. Like the original Food Court, the Farmer’s Market offers over 30 restaurant options, with at least a dozen cuisines represented, so everyone can eat what they like. It’s very entertaining just people-watching there, and it’s an LA institution. Next door is its newer cousin, The Grove, which is a very manicured mall, offering a double-decker trolley the kids love to ride (even though the distance it runs is incredibly short), and a dancing fountain that is really quite delightful to watch.

Orange County

discovery science center Where To Take the Grandparents When They Visit Los Angeles

(credit: discoverycube.org)

Discovery Science Center

2500 North Main Street
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 542-2823
More Info

If you’re up for a trip down to Orange County with the Grandparents, the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana is a great museum to visit. There are over 100 interactive exhibits that kids and Grandparents can play together, including a high tech dinosaur scavenger hunt game called DinoQuest (for a an additional fee), a life-sized dinosaur that acts as a bridge you can walk across, and the famous life-sized pin wall.

Pretend City

29 Hubble
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 428-3900
More Info

Pretend City is a miniature city made for kids, from infants to 10 years old, and is designed for imaginative play in every inch of their 15,000 square foot facility. There’s a grocery store, a police station, a theater, a hospital, a café, and a fantastic water table – all places grandparents can teach their grandkids something about while they all play. Fun, educational and low-key, this would be a great place for a couple generations of a family to spend time together.

Where do you send your kids’ relatives when they come to town?

Sarah Auerswald is the blogger behind MarVistaMom.com (http://marvistamom.com/) and Sarah’s Blog http://sarahauerswald.com/).

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