Things to See & Do in Los Angeles

Things to See & Do in Los Angeles
You know Los Angeles from its close association with the Hollywood movie industry, but there's a lot more to do than merely visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the movie studios. There are educational activities for the whole family that are offered free of charge; there are also some great shopping and clubbing venues right in the heart of the city. Of course, you do have the option of getting your fill of the stars with a star-studded guided tour of the Hollywood hills and surrounding areas.

Griffith Observatory for Educational Activities

Locate the Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills. It's closed on Mondays, but you may visit Tuesday through Friday from noon to 10 p.m., and Saturday as well as Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. You do not have to pay admission to visit the observatory.

This venue is a perfect mix of educational activities and science fiction becoming science fact. The Hall of the Eye allows an exploration into the past of astronomy, while the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky offers deeper insights into the moon phases and also the relationship of the sun to the earth. Art lovers enjoy a Foucault pendulum and murals at the W. M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda, while even young children may get a better understanding of the solar system by observing its lawn model outside.

Round out your visit with one or more of the regularly scheduled educational shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium or Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon.

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800
www.griffithobservatory.org

Universal CityWalk Hollywood for Nightly Entertainment

Open daily from 11 a.m., Hollywood's Universal CityWalk is a mix of entertainment and retail venues. You will find it adjacent to the Universal Studios theme park, a popular Hollywood tourist attraction.

Nightclubs on Universal CityWalk include Hard Rock Café and the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club. Families may enjoy food and virtual bowling under the neon lights of Jillian's Hi Life Lanes. Eat out at a number of chain restaurants, such as Buca di Beppo or Tony Roma's. The greatest draws in the area are the specialty stores that allow for a prolonged shopping trip. At Universal CityWalk Hollywood you find Lush Cosmetics, the Raider Image, Crow's Nest Toys, and also specialty shops, such as Hollywood Harley-Davidson and Abercrombie & Fitch. This attraction is suitable for the whole family, visitors looking to go clubbing, or sightseeing tourists.

Universal CityWalk Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 91608
(818) 622-4455
www.citywalkhollywood.com/

See Movie Stars' Homes with Star Line Tours

This sightseeing tour is a must for movie buffs and music lovers. Rather than climbing through the Hollywood Hills in the Southern California heat, you enjoy being chauffeured in an air conditioned van that takes you to see more than 40 homes belonging to today's superstars. You may visit the homes of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the mansion of Madonna, and also the places where Michael Jackson and Peter Falk used to live. The tour lasts about two hours---the first van departs the Grauman Chinese Theater at 9:30 a.m., while the last one leaves at 6 p.m.---and the cost starts at $34 for adults and $26 for children.

Star Line Tours at the Grauman Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(800) 959-3131
www.starlinetours.com

Article Written By Sylvia Cochran

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

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