Our Latest Destination: Balboa Park
Explore: A scenic lake! In the middle of Los Angeles!
Eat: A picnic– you’re packin’!
Play: Paddle boats, kayaks, playgrounds, lots to do
Stay: All day
Family Matters: Public restrooms, ample free parking, some independent food vendors — but don’t count on it (we only saw an ice cream truck, which we patronized), best to bring your own. Water, walkways, picnics and free parking. Check it out.
Explore: Vast gorgeous, world-class themed gardens
Eat: Actually, drink—unlimited refills of iced tea in the Japanese Gardens!
Play: In the well-equipped Children’s Garden
Stay: Till 4:30pm – and when they say "time’s up," they mean it…no lingering.
Family Matters: Child-friendly bathrooms; Free Parking; Strollers must be left outside before entering the Children’s Garden; Free Admission for kids under 5, discounts for seniors. Check it out.
Got an animal lover in your family????
“Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Where pets outnumber people”
An article, printed on August 17 in the Los Angeles Times, examines the Best Friends animal sanctuary in Utah, which has become a caring home for approximately 2,000 abandoned animals. This is a great trip for a family of animal lovers. Workers and volunteers alike care for the animals at the sanctuary, which is located not far from many of the best national parks in the Southwest. Follow this link to the shelter’s official website: http://www.bestfriends.org/
If you are near best friends animal sanctuary, you’re also close to…
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is both Utah’s oldest and most frequented national park. This beautiful park is known for its breathtaking canyons and towering cliffs. For more information, follow this link: http://www.nps.gov/zion
The combination of Zion National Park and Best Friends animal sanctuary is a glorious outdoor family adventure.
Check out our Real Trips section for more great family adventures.
Explore: One of L.A.’s greatest natural treasures
Eat: Elsewhere, after a hike
Play: With your family and your dog or other peoples’ dogs, leash-free
Stay: Till dusk; stay longer and get ticketed
Family Matters: No bathrooms, no food, no water – but paths for strollers, great views, dogs, horses, and a super spot for sunshine and exercise. Free parking. Check it out.
Explore: Great playground and the shallow (but sometimes murky…) lagoon.
Eat: At the award-winning Cheesecake Factory.
Play: On swings, slides, and boats while enjoying the view of Megayachts.
Stay: All afternoon. It’s quite popular with both kids and adults.
Family Matters: Restrooms available. Lifeguard stationed on-site, although we never saw one the entire time we were there. Easy parking, easy beach access. Check it out.
Marina del Rey Jetty, Adjacent Beach and Venice Canals
Explore: One of Southern California’s most beautiful waterways.
Eat: Elsewhere—no food immediately accessible.
Play: Along the beautiful Jetty, the beach or stroll the unique canals.
Stay: Long enough to watch a beautiful sunset.
Family Matters: Public restrooms on beach at end of Jetty. No food around the jetty or canals but plenty closer to the beach on Washington Blvd, approximately ten blocks away. Jetty is stroller and wheelchair accessible, canals are not. Check it out.
I’ve been positive thinking my kidney shaped swimming pool into existence for the last decade, but it just hasn’t happened yet. For those of us not quite livin la vida loca – here’s a list of la vida local – a few places where your kids can splash around. Yeah, I know, there’s not a lot of hot pool boys in the cabana, and no one is offering up much needed drinks to the parents, but your kids will be wet and
happy. Know of any other places – please write in and let us know.
For a list of public pools in the Los Angeles area click here.
Venice Beach Playground & Recreation
Explore: A surprisingly wide selection of recreational activities right on the beach!
Eat: On the adjacent Venice boardwalk- lots of quick eats to choose from.
Play: On the playground, on the beach, on the grass…
Stay: Through sunset, so you can watch a drumming circle.
Family Matters: Ample access to public restrooms, food nearby, parking available but not always so easy. Check it out.
Will Rogers Park
Explore: The home and estate of Will Rogers and 168 acres of greenery.
Eat: No food available, bring your own picnic basket.
Play: Watch a polo match, go for a hike, or play in the grass.
Stay: Til dusk.
Family Matters: Bring a blanket if you want to sit out and watch a polo match; the $6 admission fee includes access to the trails and ranch house; dogs allowed on-leash, but not on the trails. Check it out.