Updated: Dec 29, 2022
As a location scout, I'm always looking for fun, free and unique places to take my son. He's 5 Years Old and has SO MUCH ENERGY. He just keeps going and going and going and going. If I keep that energy inside, it breaks things. It is out of necessity that I plan 2 outings everyday to keep my son and myself sane.
I'm looking for 2-4 hours or 2-8 hour actives. Easy to find parking. A place we all can enjoy! Playgrounds, beaches, libraries, theme parks!
LA is excellent for families. Our weather is incomparable. The natural landscape is gorgeous. There's a lot of art, culture and recreational activities. Travel Town and Griffith Park are incredible. We have access to mountains and beaches with a direct connection to the stars/moon/ocean.
Best Things To Do
Kids & Family
#1 Six Flags, Universal Studios, Knott's Berryfarm or the mecca Disneyland like most family folks, but if you don't want to spend $8 on churros, try these fun options:
La Brea Tar Pits
Underwood Family Farms
California Science Center
Travel Town Train Museum
I like nice sandy beaches with tropical landscapes that make me feel like I'm in a different country. I also like wildlife, birds and hermit crabs! For nice tides and boogie boarding/surfing opportunities, Malibu and Ventura are always a hit! Long
3. Eaton Canyon Falls
This place is a treasure! In the heights of Altadena/Pasadena there's a California mountain oasis. With pools to swim at the top! The hike is 3.5 miles roundtrip. It stars in a meadow, trails near a river and leads to a waterfall with pools fit to swim in at the top.
I took my family on a hike here. My husband and I brought our 3 year old son. He had no shortage of energy. We reached the top were delighted. Bring plenty of water. The best times to travel here
2. Rose Canyon Waterfall - Ojai
If you have a moment to drive outside of LA, Rose Canyon Waterfall is one of the most magical waterfall trails. It takes a minute to see its beauty, but once you hear water from the brook, it's all uphill delightful.
1. Griffith Park
You could explore Griffith Park for DAYS!! From the Griffith Observatory to Travel Town to the LA Zoo, playgrounds, golf course, sports fields, playgrounds, mountains... The Hollywood Sign... This place is massive! I find myself on a new path every time I'm in Griffith Park. My favorite hike is Fern Dell. If you want an incredible view of the Hollywood Sign, Observatory and Downtown LA, hike Charlie Turner Trailhead to Berlin Forest & BEYOND!
3. Pirate Park @ Rose Bowl Stadium
Pasadena has ALOT of beautiful parks, but none are like the Rose Bowl.
I start my new year every year watching the Rose Bowl Parade live now that I live in Los Angeles and it's the most inspiring!
The Rose Bowl has 2 cool playgrounds. They're located near the Rose Bowl Stadium & Kids Space (more fun things to do with family). One of the playgrounds is obvious from the street. It's still fun, but if you walk 300 hundred feet beyond and around the corner, you'll find a playground shaped like a Pirate Ship! It's so fun! Lots of great energy and a great place to burn a kid's energy.
2. Montrose Park
Nestled in the La Cañada foothills, this park sits on top of the world. You look down on the freeway and peeks of downtown. There's a playground, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, basketball court, a hill for bombing, open space and cute little picnic tables.
The kids roll DEEP on this playground. I found myself in a heated game of handball with a gang of 4th graders. My son always makes new friends. The kids have great socials skills, always making up a game.
What I like most about Montrose Park is that it's high in the air. Sometimes, you're standing directly across from clouds forming on a mountain. Nearby, is Descanso Gardens and the charming town of Montrose. I like to go here for lunch and local shopping.
1. Echo Park
It's a little hood, but once you get through the chain link fence, it's awesome! There's a beautiful bed of lotus flowers that bloom here every season.
You may get mobbed by geese.
Just don't feed bread to them or the ducks. It's bad for their diets. It causes yeast deformities to their wings and they can't fly.
Echo Park has one of the coolest views of LA. It's a beautiful lake with a bursting fountain and swan boats you can peddle across the water. It's also a famous film location for one of my favorites: Jack Nicholson's "Chinatown".
I love walking through botanical gardens in LA.
The warm tropical climate creates a climate abundant for flora that's out of this world!
One of the most beautiful places to stroll gardens:
3. Huntington Gardens
The Huntington is located in Pasadena and has a real interesting collection of art. Owned by oil and railroad tycoons, you get a unique glimpse into early American royalty. It's pricey and quite crowded on the weekends. The popular attractions are The Library,
2. Descanso Gardens
High in the foothills of La Cañada, you'll find the enchanted Descanso Gardens. There's a Japanese Garden, rose gardens, camelia forest, ancient forest full of redwoods and tulips in the spring! If you make it to the top, you can visit Haaga Art Gallery and view the entire garden. It's quite the sight to see!
There's a fine dining restaurant. Extra special events for Halloween and Winter: Carved & Enchanted. All year round, there's workshops for kids and a cute little train for kids at the entrance!
1. LA Arboretum
The peacocks alone!!!
The peacocks make LA Arboretum extra special. They run this town and it's a pure honor to be in their presence.
A part from that, LA Arboretum is massive. They go all out for Christmas and Chinese New Year. Their decorations and gardens are delightful!
Thanks for reading another adventure!
Here's a MAP of My Best of LA! Hidden Treasures pinned in blue.