Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles for Kids

Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles for Kids
Los Angeles has several fun things for kids to do. In addition to amusement parks, beaches, themed shopping areas and movie studios, Los Angeles has a diverse landscape with beaches, mountains, parks, and something quite unusual--a tar pit. Families visiting the area can explore several different kinds of outdoor environments, from a busy city marketplace to a hidden pond deep in the city.

LaBrea Tar Pits

Explore an interpretive Rancho LaBrea landscape from the last ice age, over 25,000 years ago where prehistoric saber-toothed tigers and mammoths roamed Los Angeles. The tar pits and other area digs have wielded a diverse collection of extinct plant and animal fossils. Inside the museum, real paleontologists carefully remove soil from the fossilized bones of prehistoric creatures.

Out in the tar pit area, visitors can see the tar pit and learn about its significance from docents and interpretive signage. Life-sized replicas of some of the animals stand along the shore.

On West Third Street, less than half a mile west of the tar pit museum, Pan Pacific park has a grassy lawn, a playground and plenty of room to play dinosaurs.

Another half-mile west in the same direction brings visitors to the famous Los Angeles Farmer's Market with hundreds of vendors for farm-fresh produce, seafood, local artisans, performers, live entertainment, hot meals and people-watching.

George C. Page Museum at LaBrea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90036
(323) 934-PAGE
www.tarpits.org

Pan Pacific Park
7600 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90036
(323) 939-0263
www.laparks.org

Farmers Market Los Angeles
6333 W. Third St.
Los Angeles, California 90036
(323) 933-9211‎
www.farmersmarketla.com

Ride a Steam Train

Travel Town Transportation Museum in Griffith Park was started just when the era of steam trains was ending, so many of the trains and train items on exhibit look just as they did on their last run. There is an impressive collection of locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars and cabooses as well as trolley cars and a horse-drawn interurban railway car. They have an 1/8-scale miniature train that circles the complex, which kids enjoy riding.

Griffith Park is home to several attractions, like the Los Angeles Zoo, the Griffith Observatory, playgrounds and hiking trails.

Travel Town Transportation Museum
5200 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, California 90027
(323) 662-5874
www.traveltown.org/

Get Away From the City Without leaving

Debs Park is 487 acres of untouched natural beauty with an Audubon Center, for public education. Los Angeles kids don't have much exposure to wildlife and nature, so the Audubon Center is designed to help teach children about the importance of conservation. Part of that is simply allowing them the opportunity to explore nature. Groves of native woodlands shelter rabbits, foxes, lizards, moles and birds of prey. Secluded hiking trails that lead through the chaparral brush shrubbery give visitors a true escape from the city. The Audubon Center is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has free community education programs regularly. If you visit during the full moon, they open the gates for a special hike where visitors can spot nocturnal animals. Debs Lake is merely a puddle by any outdoorsman's standards, but in Los Angeles it's a gem. At the top of the hill in Debs Park, it makes a fine turnaround point for tired hikers.

Ernest E. Debs Regional Park
Griffin Avenue at Avenue 43
4235 Monterey Road
Los Angeles, California 90032
(213) 847-3989 or (213) 485-5054
www.laparks.org

Audubon Center at Debs Park
4700 N. Griffin Ave.
Los Angeles, California 90031
(323) 221-2255
www.audubondebspark.org

Article Written By Lisa Russell

Lisa Russell has been a freelance writer since 1998. She's been published in "Rethinking Everything Magazine," "Playdate" and "Home Educator's Family Times." She has a professional background in education, cosmetology and the restaurant industry. Russell studied early childhood education at Antelope Valley College, and is pursuing a degree in law.

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