The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
900 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90007
The Museum has recently opened a brand new exhibit called The Age of Mammals and it’s sure to delight, with many interactive moving parts and all new, albeit stuffed, animals. Add to that the rest of what the museum has to offer, like the great halls of mammals, the butterfly pavilion, and the kids’ Discovery Center, and you’ve got a full day for the kids right there. There is a cafeteria downstairs in the museum, but it has a somewhat limited menu and you may want to bring a picnic for yourselves. There is plenty of parking nearby, costing between $8 – $10. Admission is normally $9 for adults and $2 for kids ages 5 – 12, but everyone may visit for free on the first Tuesday of each month.
701 State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
In the park itself, there’s an enormous rose garden and huge, arching fountain, which is lovely to look at and fun for the kids to run around, especially after lunch.
Stops at 351 South Hill Street and 350 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90013 and 90071
For a quick trip through history and up one of downtown LA’s steepest hills, try riding Angels Flight, dubbed “the shortest railway in the world.” For just a quarter, you can ride up the one-block funicular between Hill and Olive streets. It’s one of LA’s most unique experiences, and kids love it.
Watercourt at California Plaza
350 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 687-2159 and 687-2190
Once you’re up at the top of the hill, you can enjoy the Watercourt at California Plaza, which has an outdoor concert and performance space and a lovely fountain the kids can marvel at or stick their fingers in (or toes, if you’re so inclined). There are restaurants in the plaza or you can bring your own food, and parking can be found underneath the plaza at 351 S. Olive Street.
Grand Central Market
317 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
If none of those lunch options appeal to you, check out nearby Grand Central Market, Los Angeles’ oldest and largest open air market, which is just 1 block northeast on Hill street. Even if you’ve already eaten, just walking through the bustling market is a trip, with everything from prepared food to produce all on display.
532 South Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Two blocks South along Hill Street and you’ll be at Pershing Square, an urban park with plenty of space for kids to run around, far from cars. There are sculptures to look at and water elements to play near. In summer there are free concerts here and in winter there’s a temporary ice rink for skating.
800 North Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2178
From Pershing Square, you can head underground and take the Metro Red Line subway two quick stops to Union Station, a beautiful and historic building with several fountains the kids can splash in and plenty of gorgeous architecture for you to see. And besides, how many times in LA can you say you took the kids on a subway ride?
Near Union Station
From there, it’s a quick walk across the street Olvera Street, a marketplace located in the birthplace of the City of Los Angeles, El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historical Monument. There are restaurants and shops, and many festivals are celebrated here throughout the year.
– Sarah Auerswald publishes the blog Mar Vista Mom.