- 6This is one of those places that most parents in LA have memberships to... just because its a go-to spot to take the kids to on those weekend when you can't think of anything else to do. Get there at opening, park right next to the door, walk through past the Gorillas, Oranguatans, Elephants and hit the park. Kids have 45 minutes or so to play before the Bird Show at 11:30, which is a lot of fun. Then walk back through past the Chimps and Giraffes, have some lunch, and walk out of there just as the rest of Los Angeles is started to pack inside and its getting too hot to have fun.
- 7Again, FREE! Also, kids love trains. hell, adults kind of love trains, too. They let you go in and out of some of these vintage trains... some are open to the public some of the times and not others. The kids have a great time staring at the model train set in the museum itself and then follow up with a ride on the train that circles the park for 2 bucks. You can probably only spend about an hour there, but... did I mention that it's free?
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - Los Angeles County, California, United States ...Weekends are great. Make sure your kids get to do the Dinosaur Encounters. That alone is worth the small fee you pay to get inside. They have two enormous puppets that are operated by a frankly fantastic puppeteer inside... the movements of both the Trex and the Triceratops are really great, and make sure you are filming your kid the first time one of those things walks out onto the floor. Because they look very real, and your kids will FREAK. OUT. You will want to make sure you get that on tape.
Shane's InspirationThis is an old standby for LA parents. Odds are if you have young children, you've already been here. But this is probably one of the best outdoor parks in LA, simply because its right next to the Old Zoo and the Carousel. Even older kids have fun here if they bring their razors or bikes, because of the little fake road area complete with stop signs and gas station.
- 10Shoot for Family Sundays.... otherwise don't bother. LACMA is not the most child-friendly place on earth, that's for sure. But they do have child/family targeted activities on Sundays that are good for killing a couple hours and letting your kids pound out their agressions on a wad of clay or carefully construct daggers and machine guns out of papier mache (can you tell I have boys?). The LACMA police will tell your kids they can't climb on the lamppost exhibit, or walk on the grass, or breathe too loud or move too quickly (luckily what kid would want to do these things anyway?) But on those Sundays, if you go through certain exhibits, sometimes they will have carts set up in certain areas, and your kids can cluster around whatever it is and have pencils and paper passed out to them so they can draw whatever it is. Which is a great way to get a kid to see a piece of art differently. Don't let LACMA kid you tho, they aren't family-friendly. They are the people who built a full-scale fire truck in their open plaza, and then forbade children to climb on it. That's like wrapping a present, putting your kid's name on it, setting it in front of them and then telling them they can never touch it, much less open it.
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