With American summer fast approaching, many Aussie parents are planning their family holidays to L.A. Toexperience some of the city’s top attractions and activities that will inspire imagination, learning, and joy from each family member.
Dining with kids in L.A. doesn’t mean forgoing trendy new restaurants. Los Angeles is home to a variety of dining experiences ranging from food stands and stalls to fast-casual and white table cloth. Below are some of the best kid-friendly dining options that will also appeal to their parent’s appetites.
The Manufactory is the newest restaurant at the shopping and arts complex ROW DTLA, and marks an exciting collaboration between James Beard Award-winning chefs Chad Robertson, Elisabeth Prueitt and Chris Bianco. This culinary mosaic is home to two concepts that parents, and children are bound to love: The outdoor Ice Cream + Coffee Window is a win-win for both age groups, and the interior, all-day restaurant Tartine Bianco offers families a bright, open space and menu of fresh, farm-to-table ingredients.
The Fields LA is a new, elevated food hall in Downtown L.A.’s Exposition Park offering nine dining options, including fried chicken sandwiches from Chef Tim Hollingsworth of Otium fame. The best part? Children eat for free at The Fields LA. While in Exposition Park, families can catch a LAFC soccer match at the brand-new Banc of California stadium and visit one of the nearby museums within walking distance.
For families with picky eaters, history buffs and gourmands, Grand Central Market (GCM), which celebrated it’s 100-year-anniversary in 2017, is a one-stop-shop. Movie fans might recognise the market from “La La Land” starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. GCM is home to nearly 40 food vendors options ranging from street Thai food to Mexican and kid favorites such as McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream and PBJ.LA.
After snapping a family selfie at “Urban Light” on a visit to Mid-Wilshire’s LACMA, which often hosts family days, parents with kids in tow will want to grab a bite at Ray's + Stark Bar. This establishment housed on the museum’s property specialises in new American cuisine and offers a delicious Kid’s Table menu including organic chicken tenders and grass-fed hamburgers.
Spoke Bicycle Café is located in Elysian Valley, aka Frogtown, along the up and coming L.A. River which is undergoing a multi-million-dollar revitalisation project. Along the path parents can grab a crafted coffee and sandwiches at this eatery’s fun, colorful patio and then rent bikes from Spoke’s bike shop for a leisurely ride through urban nature.
Los Angeles is also home to a number of great family-friendly accommodation offerings to keeps both the parents and children entertained. The following options offer families convenience and the laidback style L.A. is known for.
The Garland, located in Studio City offers family suites. There are also fun activities for the entire group like drive-in movies, courtyard games, yoga and brunch. The property also has a roundtrip trolley that takes gets to and from Universal Studios and City Walk.
The Farmer’s Daughter Hotel in Mid-City is just steps from The Grove, Original Farmer’s Market, and an enclave of dining and shopping on Fairfax. This neighbourhood is great for families and the hotel itself features tack double rooms and an adorable outdoor pool with bright yellow rubber ducks.
In the Bunker Hill section of Downtown L.A., the home of The Broad, MOCA and Walt Disney Concert Hall, is Omni Hotel. Upon check in, the hotel’s youngest guests are given backpacks filled with items designed specifically for them through the Omni Kids Crew program. Kids also receive milk and cookies delivered to their guest room on the first night along with colouring menus and crayons when they dine on the property with their parents.
Loews Hollywood Hotel is located in the heart of Hollywood adjacent to the Hollywood and Highland centre. The property runs a robust Loews Loves Kids program. Those under 10 years old are given access to toys, books and night-lights; tweens and teens receive music download cards, their own DVD player and board games.
As the creative capital of the world full of museums, movie studios, theme parks and attractions, young families will never run out of things to see and do. Here are just a few of the various activities sure to bring delight to all.
Tech-forward millennial parents can teach children the magic of technology at Two Bit Circus, a brand-new VR and arcade amusement park in the buzzing Arts District. The space includes traditional circus and arcade games, VR experiences, escape rooms and a large dining area.
Families can help ease the trouble of missing their pets at home with a visit to the newest attraction to hit the California Science Center is Dogs! A Science Tail, which is a hands-on science exhibition that highlights the dynamic nature of the bond between humans and dogs.
The newest exhibition at The Broad is “The Soul of a Nation: Art in The Age of Black Power 1963-1983” running from March 23 through Sept. 1, 2019. This exhibition sheds the light on the social and artistic contributions the black community made to the art world during the civil rights movement and provides parents an opportunity to discuss this aspect of American history with their kids. The exhibit is free for children 17 and under.
Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena was founded in 1979 to increase children’s access to the arts, humanities, and sciences. It’s likely impossible to find a child that doesn’t love dinosaurs or even a millennial parent, after all they are the generation of “Jurassic Park” and “The Land Before Time.” The new exhibit “Antarctic Dinosaurs” runs at Natural History Museum in Exposition Park from April 3, 2019 to January 5, 2020. This special look at the prehistoric animals of the Antarctic region is bound to fascinate both children and parents alike.
A day at Universal Studios Hollywood will both entrance kids and send young parents down memory lane with attractions themed to The Simpsons, Harry Potter and Transformers. Families will need to head to Harry Potter’s Hogsmead to enjoy butter beer (non-alcoholic) for the whole group. The highly-anticipated Jurassic World – The Ride attraction which is inspired by the successful film franchise will debut this summer. Parents of older kids will surely want to brave the thrilling, 84-foot waterfall drop together.
A must-see activity for all ages is the behind-the-scenes tour at Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood. Among all of the treasures to be seen, parents will enjoy the Central Perk set from Friends while kids who want to be superheroes will especially love DC Universe: The Exhibit, which currently displays real costumes and props from 2018’s hit film Aquaman.
Up L.A.’s stunning coastline, family’s looking for a beachside daytrip must visit Malibu. Surfing lessons with Aquasurf can be taken at Surfrider Beach next to the iconic Malibu Pier and family shopping at the Malibu Country Mart is also a must as the outdoor boutique shopping centre home to a playground and a toy shop. And of course most notably, no family visit to Malibu is complete without a stop at The Getty Villa, where admission is free for all ages.
Griffith Park is a must-visit for each guest to Los Angeles. It’s also one of the best, all-ages activities in the city thanks to the Griffith Observatory, Travel Town Museum, Walt Disney’s Barn, Autry Museum of the American West and so much more. Beginners levels trails which offer peeks of the Hollywood in the 4,310-acre park are also perfect for families with active kids and tweens.
Bob Baker Marionette Theater is a hidden gem in L.A. and a historic-cultural monument that produces 300 performances per year. Shows will begin at their new home in early summer when it reopens in the effortlessly cool neighbourhood of Highland Park.
For families traveling out of LAX, the airport is home to programs fun for the whole family, including the PUPs therapy dog program, where adorable comfort dogs greet passengers in the terminals and a beach-themed play area within the Great Hall area of Tom Bradley International Terminal.
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