Latest Best of LA

Best Fun for Kids In Los Angeles’ San Gabriel Valley

August 27, 2010 3:24 PM

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East of downtown Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley encompasses 31 cities and five unincorporated areas. The area is equal parts history and intrigue, with a number of family-friendly historical districts, parks and museums that are fun for all. Here are just a few.

Kidspace Children’s Museum

480 North Arroyo Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 449-9144
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Children truly enjoy learning — because they’re curious about new things. The Kidspace Children’s museum helps instill a love for learning because it inspires kids’ curiosity and teaches them through creative, open-ended play. The museum includes exhibits and programs in the arts, sciences and humanities, as well as school and group programs, parent programs and birthday parties.

Descanso Gardens

1418 Descanso Drive
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 949-4290
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Descanso is the Spanish word for rest. And Descanso Gardens in La Canada-Flintridge is most definitely a restful environment. Encompassing 150 acres, it’s filled with gardens, woodlands and chaparral. Families can watch birds, take a tram tour, ride the “Enchanted Railroad,” and tour the Japanese Tea House and Japanese Gardens. Self-guided and group tours are available, as are group tours and school programs. Descanso Gardens also hosts a wide variety of seasonal events, fairs and classes for the whole family.

Frank G. Bonelli Regional County Park

120 Via Verde
San Dimas, CA 91773
(909) 599-8411
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This regional park occupies approximately 3 square miles and includes a swim beach, hiking areas, RV parking, boat launching areas, hot tubs, golf course, picnic areas and more. Families can hike along the trails, fish, bird-watch, swim, enjoy their personal boats, jet-ski or and picnic at this historic park.

Raging Waters

111 Raging Waters Drive
San Dimas, CA 91773
(909) 802-2200
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Located in San Dimas – 21 miles East of Pasadena, Raging Waters is the largest water park in California, with 36 rides and attractions on 50 acres. The park’s attractions include wild rides and slides for adults and older children, as well as slides and tamer water “adventures” for smaller kids. Additionally, the park rents out “beachside” cabanas where families can lounge, eat and enjoy their days together. Tickets can be purchased at a discount online.

Old Town Pasadena

Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 356-9725 (Old Pasadena Management District)
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Old Town Pasadena is a historic district including more than 22 blocks of historic restored buildings that now house shops, restaurants, movie theaters, businesses and residences. Its main “drag” is Colorado Avenue, which is best known as the main stage for the annual Tournament of Roses parade. Admittedly, Old Town Pasadena will mostly be interesting to the parents. But kids have to eat at some point right? And family-friendly fare is available at Bucca di Beppo, The Cheesecake Factory, Johnny Rockets, and Subway, as well as Baskin Robbins, Jamba Juice, Pinkberry frozen yogurt, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Starbucks. Walking tours are also available.

- Jennifer Vides writes the blog
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