Family Travel in Los Angeles, CA
The Santa Monica Pier, which just celebrated its 100th anniversary, features wooden roller coasters, arcades, giant Ferris wheels and more for ages toddler to adults. It is also the only admission-free amusement park in Los Angeles, but expect to pay for rides, games, food and treats. There is plenty of room to maneuver a stroller, but plan your visit on a weekday if you want to avoid the crowd.
Your family will love exploring the skies at the Griffith Observatory. Admission and parking is free, but if the lot is full, which it usually is on weekends, be prepared to make the trek up the steep hill. Small children may have trouble with the hike, so a stroller is a must, but outside ramps and indoor elevators make it possible to get around the three floors of exhibits. Then, grab a bite at the museum cafe or picnic on the vast lawn and be sure to gaze upon the famous Hollywood sign.
Come get a glimpse of the fossils of animals and plants of Los Angeles during the Ice Age, but be sure kids know not to expect to see dinosaurs here. The museum is visual enough to keep the interest of younger kids while educating and fascinating older children. Watch a video about the museum and its findings, observe staff paleontologists and volunteers cleaning and identifying fossils in the “Fish Bowl,” and see how it would feel to be stuck in the tar. Expect to spend 60-90 minutes roaming around this stroller-friendly, one-story museum.
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, also known as Mann’s Chinese Theatre, is a must-see LA location, famous for the handprints and signatures of Hollywood celebrities located at the front. There is also a tour of the theatre, but it is not really geared towards kids. In addition to the street performers around the area, the theatre is adjacent to plenty of shopping and places to eat.
This city-sponsored girls' camp offers week-long and weekend camp opportunities for girls ages 6-14, and Counselor Leadership Trainee programs for girl 15-18 years old. From crafts to sports to campfires, this traditional sleepover camp is designed to disconnect girls from the distractions of today (i.e. computers and cell phones) and focus on nature, camaraderie, and having fun. The program is currently only running their summer camp June through August, so check with the website for any additions to their calendar to make reservations. Facilities are also available for family camping rentals.