If you’re longing to enjoy the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle with your little ones, we’ve got you covered. As the entertainment mecca of the world, Los Angeles is chock full of places you can enjoy music without worrying about a sitter.
Glass House and the Fox Theater
What makes the Glass House and the Fox Theater so special? Located side-by-side in Pomona, the Glass House is a legendary all-ages venue that has hosted bands big (the White Stripes) and small (Black Lips) and everything in between (the Pixies, Jesus and Mary Chain, Ozomatli). The newly reopened Fox Theater is a classier upgrade of the grungier Glass House, but acts from every imaginable genre perform at both locations, because it is booked by Goldenvoice (the same company that delivers the much-lauded music festival Coachella). The two midsized venues have enough space for little ones to dance around, depending on how popular the band is. Located in a downtown arts colony in a university town, the area is generally safe and set amid great restaurants. Fox Theater also has changing tables in the restrooms and their staff tries to accommodate parking for strollers.
2301 N Highland Ave
Hollywood, CA 90068
The Hollywood Bowl is a magnificent place to bring your children for shows — it’s open air, the sound is fantastic, the acts range from indie to classical to pop. While the official word from the venue is that evening shows aren’t recommended for kids (even though there is no minimum age for admittance), as long as your kids 2 and up have a ticket to enter and behave in their seats, they should be fine. (There’s also space in the very back of the venue for children to move and dance without disturbing other patrons.) In the summer, the venue also holds SummerSounds: Music and Art for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl, a festival of performing arts designed for kids. The event is held each weekday morning for six weeks during the summer.
247 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
If you want to give your kids a taste of the true LA underground, the Smell is your best bet. It’s a small-but-long, cave-like room that hosts up-and-coming punk and lo-fi shows for all ages on the cheap — tickets aren’t usually more than $5. Instead of alcohol, you can buy green tea. Keep clear of the random mosh pits, make sure you have the noise-canceling headphones, and teach your kid what headbanging is really all about.
2700 N. Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
You could say that the Greek Theatre is the more intimate version of the Hollywood Bowl. The outdoor venue, which has hosted Regina Spektor, My Morning Jacket and more, maximizes the natural amphitheater setting in gorgeous Griffith Park, so every act sounds incredible. One caveat is you can only bring children 5 years or older and they must have tickets. But since the venue is in a residential neighborhood, you’re sure that concerts end no later than 11 p.m. — meaning you can still have a reasonable bedtime.
3101 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Exene Cervenka, John Doe, the Proclaimers — all of these bands have performed at this famous guitar shop in Santa Monica. A haven for the acoustic singer-songwriter fans, the back showroom seats more than 100 people, with a sound system worthy of its guests and good lighting. Coffee and snacks can be bought, but no alcohol — meaning it’s good for your kids. There’s also no obnoxious beer-spillers in the audience, creating a memorable and respectful performance space for people who really want to enjoy the music.
Lilledeshan Bose writes about music for Purevolume and various other publications. She has watched a ton of bands with her 2-year-old. Follow her at @lillitot.