Fall is here and families are ready for a chance to experience the season throughout the Los Angeles area. Leave your cares behind and check out these entertaining places. These getaways offer some of the best indoor and outdoor activities perfect for any weather. They offer great sightseeing, adventure and opportunities to educate your little ones.
The Angeles National Forest
701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006
Price: free/some areas and facilities in the Angeles require a pass or other recreation fees.
Nature lovers, spend quality time with loved ones in the Angeles National Forest. There is so much to do in this beautiful forest, including boating, picnicking, shoreline fishing, nature viewing, hiking and horseback riding. Another way to take in the scenery is by walking a trail or by riding on a mountain bike on one of the paths. To top it off, you are allowed to bring along your four-legged friends. Pets are allowed in the forest, but they must remain on a leash. After snow falls on the forest, there are even more fun activities to try like skiing, snowmobiling and sledding.
Villa Portofino on Catalina Island
111 Crescent Ave.
Avalon, CA 90704
Price: from $95 per night
Children love traveling by boat from Long Beach to Avalon and keeping their eyes open for dolphins, flying fish, seals and whales. Once on Catalina Island, families can enjoy a luxurious stay at Villa Portofino hotel. Fall nights in a room with a fireplace on the ocean front are a perfect way to enjoy a getaway from city life and enjoy island life. There are several activities and tour packages to choose from while staying in Avalon. Fun options include electric bicycling as a group, riding around in a golf cart viewing sites and flightseeing in a helicopter. To top it off, there are several stores and ice cream shops to visit. In addition adventurous young ones can try out the rock climbing tower, go horseback riding, take a swim or play a round of miniature golf.
Montebello Barnyard Zoo
600 Rea Drive
Montebello, CA 90640
Price: $4 pony ride/$3 train ride/$3 merry-go-round/$4 petting zoo/$3 mining for stones/$8 weekend special includes pony ride, train ride and merry-go-round
Montebello Barnyard Zoo on Facebook
For a change of scenery, take a quick drive out of the city to Montebello. Children may visit with farm animals in a petting zoo instead of the everyday scenery of traffic in Los Angeles. Here, they’ll pet pigs, rabbits and goats, and visit with the chickens. Kids also enjoy the children’s train, merry-go-round, mining for stones and riding ponies. The pond with ducks and the various pouring fountains are also special points of interest for visitors. The stacked hay and fallen leaves give this barnyard an authentic fall feel.
Noah’s Ark at Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Price: $10 general/$7 seniors and full-time students/$5 children 2 to 12/free to children younger than 2 and Skirball Members/free Thursdays
The Skirball Cultural Center is an experience that both parents and children will enjoy. This indoor park and art gallery is an ideal place to visit when the fall season begins to get chilly. Noah’s Ark, the giant gallery filled with fun items including animal statues, puppets and hands-on gadgets that make music keep children entertained and interested in the Skirball. It also offers classes and programs for the whole family, including reading books, creating art and archaeological outdoor digs.
2800 E. Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Step away from city lights and go to Griffith Observatory. Here children and parents can explore astronomy and view planets, the moon and stars through telescopes. People of all ages will sit in awe as they watch cosmic shows, and learn about lights in the sky and life in the gigantic planetarium. Hungry little ones can grab a snack at Café at the End of the Universe. Families should also visit the Stellar Emporium Gift Shop and take home a book, souvenirs and space-themed clothes.
Cassandra Bautista is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.