With a little one of my own, I’m always looking for new, fun, and hopefully educationally-stimulating activities to do. Sometimes it seems as if the only options are movies, malls, the beach and ball games. But in actuality, LA is filled with family fun. You just have to seek it out. Here’s my Haute 5:
Skirball Cultural Center
At this open-to-everyone beautiful Jewish center, their Noah’s Ark is part museum exhibit, part playground, a fully interactive space where kids can play with animals created from found objects as well as climb, hide and make sounds, rain, wind and lightning, And this Saturday (6/28), they’re having a Family Sleepover, with Monsters and Miracles storytelling, dinner and breakfast. The Jews on Vinyl exhibit will appeal to the musically curious teens and older, a collection of odd LPs from around the country featuring American Jewish pop and satire, set in retro listening spaces. The exhibit is having a special listening party event July 8.
Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard 310.440.4500
This rare Universally Acessible Playground was created as a space for wheelchair-bound children to play alongside the able bodied. Interactive play areas include a fully-acessible airplane cockpit, rubberized slides, elevated sand tables and sand castle, and water play tables. The park also offers an indoor pool, tennis courts, barbecue pits, picnic tables and of course fully accessible bathrooms.
Aidan’s Place is located at the Westwood Recreation Center, 1350 South Sepulveda Boulevard, 310.478.7019
Want to pamper your teen or tween? This well-regarded day spa chain offers teen facials, makeup application instruction and hair services.
Amadeus Spa is located at The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, #C-10 323.297.0310 ; 799 East Green Street, Pasadena, 626.578.3404; and Fairmont Hotel, 4500 MacArthur Boulevard, Newport Beach, 949.718.9588
Star Eco Station
Located in perhaps the most unlikely part of Culver City, this “Environmental Science Museum and Exotic Wildlife Rescue Facility” is a wondrous surprise—a non-profit org that saves abandoned or contraband animals (chameleons to cockatoos) and uses them to educate (and entertain) kids. Hands-on experiences include discovery exhibits from the World Wildlife Fund, US Fish and Wildlife, Surfrider and Santa Monica BayKeeper’s unique Storm Drain display and walk-thru Kelp Forest. They even have a summer camp!
Star Eco Station is located at 10101 Jefferson Boulevard, Culver City 310.842.8060
Looking for a family staycation? You couldn’t do better than this classic resort, an easy two-hour drive from LA. With newly remodeled rooms, the resort’s top-form golf and tennis facilities are balanced by a fantastic family pool area, with a mini-water park, impressive kids club, game room and videogame consoles, as well as one of the most gorgeous spa facilities I’ve ever experienced, excellent dining options, and the Deepak Chopra center. Truly something for everyone.
La Costa Resort is located at 2100 Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad 760.438.9111