Los Angeles with Kids

Posted on Jan 22, 2016 in Los Angeles
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shutterstock_172033658_ Los Angeles

Southern California’s gem is Los Angeles. The city of never-ending sunshine, beaches, mountains, amusement parks, movie stars, and downtown sites to keep the whole family busy enough for more than one visit.

5 Reasons Why to Take the Kids With You to Los Angeles:

  1. Beaches are hot spots for families in southern California. Take a convertible car and cruise up Highway 1 a short distance to Malibu and see some of the famous stretches of surfing USA beaches. Stop off at the Santa Monica Pier for the nostalgic end of the Mother Road aka Route 66.
  2. In a name, Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney cartoonist and creator of a fantasy world had a vision for the ultimate family vacation experience-Disneyland.
  3. Family friendly parks are dotted all over the city.
  4. Hollywood is an iconic staple of Los Angeles that draws crowds of all ages to get a glimpse of a favorite star. Hop on a tourist tour to see the giant Hollywood sign and homes of the stars.

Things You Need to Know When Getting Ready to Travel to Los Angeles:

  • Los Angeles is known as the Freeway Capitol. Rental cars will be a must for getting around surrounding sites. Upgrade for a convertible to see the mountains while basking in the sunshine.
  • Los Angeles is in a basin surrounded by mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The weather can be a challenge. Noted for sunshine the area does have a gloomy time in June. The warm Santa Ana winds of late summer and fall can keep the area hot and windy. The beach will be up to 10 degrees cooler than the city. Be prepared and always have a light jacket for the cooler evenings.
  • Accommodations are a large expense for the trip. It is highly recommended to stay close to Disneyland if you plan on visiting the park.
  • LAX is the international airport serviced by all the commercial airlines. Get a flat rate taxi fee for your trip from the airport to hotel.
  • Ride the metro for downtown travel and across town trips. Check out the color-coded lines and travel times.

 

Our 9 Top Recommendations:

Disneyland

Sleeping Beauty Castle, the main icon of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA by Cd637 / CC BY-SA 3.0

It is where dreams do come alive. Walt Disney built his theme park for folks to experience the magic of pixie dust, experience a duel between two pirate ships, and see the future all in one day. His theme park is divided into eight distinct areas Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, Frontierland, Critter Country, New Orleans Square, and Adventureland.
Millions have visited the beloved southern California theme park since it opened in 1955. Generations of families have made Disneyland their vacation destination for decades. Imagine riding the Flying Dumbo or the Magic Teacups with your children just as you may have done as a child. The original Magic Kingdom welcomes your family with a smiling statue of Walt himself along with everyone’s favorite mouse Mickey.

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • Use the attractions tab on the website to plan your visit. You can tailor your search of choices by thrill level, age, and heights.
  • Some of your DisneyWorld passes can be used at Disney Land. It is worth checking this out for your trip.
  • A ride on the monorail is a must. The monorail added in 1959 was the only one of its kind in the United States. Sit back in sleek retro-futuristic comfort and see the park along it 2.5 mile journey. Ask to ride in the front!
  • Take full advantage of Disney’s Fastpass service. Reserve your place in line while enjoying other parts of the park. Check website for rules of use. Be sure you want to use the pass for the most desirable rides. You will not be able to get another fastpass for at least 2 hours.
  • ARRIVE EARLY to the park.
  • Carsland and Toystory Mania are hot topics right now. If you do not ride them when you first arrive you will be in for a long wait.
  • Travel light. Only take what you absolutely need. All backpacks, purses, and diaper bags will be searched. Use the stroller rentals.
  • Eat while waiting in line. It will make the line wait time go faster and will not tie up valuable time otherwise.
  • For the World of Color Show the higher seats give the best views and less hassles.
  • If you need help look for the custodial folks with white shoes and white shirts! And by all means say thank you when they have helped you.
  • PLAN,Plan Plan and your day can be the happiest day on Earth otherwise it can be the most frustrating.
  • Go to the inside line for a Dole Whip at Tiki Room

 

The Los Angeles Area Beaches

Santa Monica Beach, California By Kjetil Ree / CC BY-SA

Los Angeles County has over 75 miles of coastline. The Pacific Ocean stretches on forever. The simple fact is though it is not always easy to visit the beach with your children. Some beach atmospheres are more adult friendly. Make sure to check the ‘rating’ of the beach before you take the kids to avoid surprises.

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • Leo Carillo State Beach is north on the Pacific coast highway. Be aware that sometimes the travel time through Malibu can take a while. This beach has sand and rocky edges with caves. Your children will love the tidal pools for sea life.
  • The Pacific Ocean is COLD. Use caution because of strong rip currents.
  • Zuma beach is a clean and family friendly beach.
  • Leo Carillo and Zuma are state beaches with parking lots for around $8-12.
  • Park on the PCH if you do not mind walking for a bit.
  • Santa Monica State Beach is near the pier for the added carnival atmosphere
  • Will Rogers State Beach is an oft overlooked beach. The key feature is the water is close to the beach parking area. HOT Sand is not fun for children.

 

Griffith Observatory

A front view of Griffith Observatory By Matthew Field / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Griffith J. Griffith had a vision in 1919 and it became a reality in 1935. Some 70 years later millions have visited the observatory for its unique architecture. Its perch is perfect for viewing the breathtaking sunsets and majestic mountains. Thanks to his vision and the determination of the city’s planners and friends of the observatory it has been lovingly restored and preserved to give visitors the show of a lifetime. Its presence in the astronomy circles is world renowned.

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • The observatory is closed on Mondays
  • No admission fees to enter the grounds or observatory
  • Parking is close and ample check the website for a map
  • Affordable eats are available in the End of the Universe café run by the famous chef Wolfgang Puck
  • Be sure and get a treat and enjoy the terrace atmosphere
  • Your outer space enthusiasts will enjoy the gift shop loaded with all things space themed and relevant learning materials.
  • Samuel Oschin Planetarium Theater has over 250 seats for the newest digital technology showcasing the night sky on it massive domed ceiling.
  • Children under 5 are only admitted to the first showing of the day. Be sure and check for current show times on the website
  • There are 8 shows and day on weekdays and 10 shows on weekends so there are many opportunities to enjoy their live shows that are 60-90 minutes in length
  • Affordable prices for tickets are only available at the ticket window and only on the day of the show. No advance purchases and no phone transactions are conducted. All major credit cards are accepted.
  • Become a friend of the observatory and enjoy the perk of buying advance tickets
  • The 190-seat Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon presentation theater provides programs and demonstrations throughout each month. Take in the 24 minute history of the observatory film narrated by Leonard Nimoy for a nostalgic treat for parents.

 

Discovery Center in the Natural History Museum

mount in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles By Allie_Caulfield from Germany / CC BY 2.0

On the second level of the museum let your kids touch fossils and furs and discover the great world around them. Take in the rest of the museum for butterfly exhibits to dinosaur fossils. Check out the section about the famous tar pits of LA.

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • Discover how a microscope works by viewing anything in the museum up close.
  • Binoculars are available for viewing things right outside
  • Check for peak visit times
  • Bring a light jacket the museum is large and can get chilly
  • Enjoy your snacks outside
  • Check schedules for live shows in the museum
  • Some months offer free admission days. Children under 3 are always free.

 

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios

Universal Studios

You cannot be in Los Angeles with your family without paying a visit to the Hollywood Universal Studios. And you cannot get there with the kids without a stop to one or more of the attractions available here. Kids will enter the real studios and the world of fiction characters they love. This is the chance to meet with Transformers, King Kong, the Simpsons, Shrek and his friends, the Blues Brothers and many more. You can have a break, eat something at the Universal CityWalk and return for another piece of the movie world.

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • The place has plenty of things to do for the entire family, but small kids may get restless or scared by sounds and movement; definitely best for older children and teens;
  • Book tickets online;
  • Front of Line Passes might be a good option – they offer the advantage of skipping the lines, 1 day park admission to all attractions as well as great flexibility (you don’t necessarily need to pick a certain date, but a period of time when you will be visiting and use the ticket in any of the days in that range);
  • Don’t dress the kids in their best outfits – they might get dirty when exploring the different movie scenes;
  • Take some reserve clothes for the whole family, especially if you also want to stop at the Jurassic Park: The Ride – there will be lots of splashing!

http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/

 

Hollywood Wax Museum

Give your children and teens the chance to meet with their favorite stars. Don’t think it is impossible. Just visit the Hollywood Wax Museum, along the famous Hollywood Boulevard.

The Museum, operated by the same owners for 45 years, exhibits only celebrities, replicated in a skillful manner, making them seem almost alive. A team of seven artists make all this possible. The collection of wax figures is periodically changed, to make sure exhibits keep pace with the trends, so be certain that your children will find at least few of their favorites: Angelina Jolie, Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, Judy Garland as Dorothy, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • Buy online tickets, as the prices are lower than those at the Box Office;
  • The Hollywood Wax Museum is opened 365 days a year, so you can visit anytime;
  • It is suitable for all ages and stroller-friendly;
  • Don’t forget your camera to capture each member of the family in an original depiction.

http://www.hollywoodwaxmuseum.com/

 

The Original Farmers Market

Los Angeles is full of attractions and Hollywood glamour, making the entire family vibrating with joy and energy. Yet, touring through the American metropolis might get you exhausted. So take a break for a more relaxing activity – take your kids to visit together the Original Farmers Market.

Opened in July 1934, the market is more active each year and lost a little of the traditional aspects and products, but is known to host some of the best eating places in Los Angeles. There are 100 shops and restaurant ready to open their doors and offer each tourist their specific products.

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • If you plan to visit Los Angeles during autumn, check the time when the annual Fall Festival is held. It is a tradition as old as the market itself;
  • The website is very well structured, offering useful information for you to reach it immediately;
  • Try one of the available tours;
  • Don’t go if you have a strict budget; all storefronts look so inviting, you will surely spend some money getting some goodies.

http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

 

Knott’s Berry Farm

Just several miles away from Disneyland California, family travelers can find another great themed park, with rides, shows and entertainment for toddlers, teens and parents equally.

Started as a berry farm with a small berry pie bakery shop, as the name will let you think, Knott’s Berry Farm easily grew into one of the largest and most famous amusement parks in US. The first attraction to be built here was the Ghost Town, and then little by little the owners built rides, roller coasters, etc. The Camp Snoop area, dedicated to children under 12 years old, and the water park (Knott’s Soak City) will guarantee entertainment for the entire family.

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • Access to the park can be done by public transportation also;
  • The park includes a hotel, if you plan to stay overnight, as well as preferential tariffs for its guests;
  • There is a map of the place accessible for download, marking all attractions and the thrill level (from low to aggressive), so you can make a plan of the visit in advance;
  • The place offers guests also strollers, diapers changing areas and lots of facilities so you will feel not only amused, but in full comfort with your children;
  • Shows and annual events are organized here regularly.

https://www.knotts.com/

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