Los Angeles Family Attractions

Los Angeles Family Attractions

Family attractions are second nature to greater Los Angeles. Start with Hollywood’s Chinese, Egyptian, El Capitan and ArcLight CinemaDome Theaters, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and the Walk of Fame. Add Aquarium of the Pacific, Dodger Stadium, Staples Center, Los Angeles Zoo, California ScienCenter, Natural History Museum, Griffith Observatory and much more.

Hollywood Walk of Fame
DESCRIPTION: Though sidewalk hucksters, ostentatious costume characters, cheesy gift shops and fast-food parlors dot the landscape, there is always something going on in the 7 or 8 blocks of streetlife between the Chinese Theater and Pantages Theatre; in 1994, SoulOfAmerica compiled a map of nearly 100 African-American stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, today the number has more than tripled; see the website calendar for dates when new stars are added
ADMISSION: FREE
DAYS & HOURS: 24/7
ADDRESS: Hollywood Blvd and Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: street
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Highland and Hollywood-Vine Metro Stations
WEBSITE: http://www.hollywoodchamber.net

Grauman’s Chinese Theater
DESCRIPTION: This world-renowned, one-of-a-kind landmark opened by showman Sid Grauman in 1927, has undergone many renovations to exterior and interior details; 90-feet at its tallest point, this remarkable venue features two gigantic coral red columns topped by wrought iron masks and a bronze roof that seems to glow at night; sitting between the columns is a 30-foot high dragon carved from stone and there are two original giant stone Heaven Dogs brought from China in the courtyard; the distracting ticket booth in the front courtyard was removed to add more room for celebrity hand and footprints, creating a more dramatic entrance for star-studded movie premieres; Will Smith, Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg and Eddie Murphy hand and footprints are in the courtyard; whenever they present an epic film on one of the nation’s largest screens with its thunderous surround sound system, the Chinese Theater is an unforgettable cinematic experience well worth the premium price
ADMISSION: $12
DAYS & HOURS: daily
ADDRESS: 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: paid parking on premises; first 3 hours free with validation
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Highland Metro Station
PHONE: 323-464-8111
WEBSITE: link

El Capitan Theater
DESCRIPTION: Best place for children’s movies and Digital Cinema; built in 1926, this grand theater and its building next door was restored down to the last stencil and cornice into a fabulous movie palace; Disney uses the venue for its premieres every two months or so; live performances by Disney characters who match the theme of the movie playing are quite creative and a blast the kids will love
ADMISSION: movie tickets
DAYS & HOURS: daily
ADDRESS: 6838 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: parking behind the venue
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Highland Metro Station
PHONE: 323-467-7674
WEBSITE: link

Madame Tussauds Hollywood
DESCRIPTION: when opened in 2009, this 44,000 square feet venue built next to the Chinese Theater was the 9th Madame Tussauds franchise; it contains over 100 wax figures costing upwards of $300,000 each; during an average celebrity sitting, 250 measurements are taken of the head and body from every angle; 180 photographs are taken with different lenses and lighting; 330 pounds of clay are used to sculpt a standard figure; wax moldmakers also obtain the dental records for each celebrity when possible, because it affects the cheekbones, and they take 6 weeks to sculpt the head; it takes 140 hours to insert about 100,000 hairs on an average wax head; after molding, oil paints build up layers of color on the face to give a realistic texture, skin tone and translucency; with such attention to detail, you expect the Gold Standard in life-like accuracy and Madame Tussauds delivers a consistent knockout; as you enter the attraction strolling down the red carpet, you are greeted by President Barack Obama; then you see Joan Rivers with a mic in hand asking “What are you wearing?” to quickly remind you that the strong suit of this venue is Hollywood figures: Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Halle Berry, Snoop Dogg, The Godfather (Marlon Brando), Hugh Jackman, George Lopez, Jack Nicholson, Shrek, William Shatner, Tiger Woods, Will Smith, Betty Davis, Whoopi Goldberg, Marilyn Monroe, Morgan Freeman, George Clooney, Beyonce’, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Deniro, Kobe Bryant, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie; when you look in the lifelike eyes of Michael Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez and Johnny Depp, they appear to be posing in the room; this is your fun chance to experience Hollywood glamour by photographing life-like celebrity wax figures up close; we recommend 1.5 hours during your visit to the museum and its well-stocked gift shop
ADMISSION: Adult $25, Age 60+ and Student w/ID $20, age 4-12 $18, age 3- enter Free; purchase tickets online to save about 10%
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Thu 10a-8p, Fri-Sun 10a-10p; extended hours for some holidays; closed on the day of the Academy Awards
ADDRESS: 6933 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Highland Metro Station
PHONE: 323-467-8277
WEBSITE: http://www.madametussauds.com/hollywood

Guiness World Records Museum
DESCRIPTION: Provides outstanding family entertainment that will shock and amaze you from the tallest man to the silliest oaf
ADMISSION: Adults $13, Ages 6-12 $7, Age 5 & under FREE
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-Midnight
ADDRESS: 6764 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: street
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Highland Metro Station
PHONE: 323-463-6433
WEBSITE: http://www.guinnessattractions.com

Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Museum
DESCRIPTION: Has nearly 300 fascinating artifact exhibits collected by world-famous traveler Robert Ripley; be astounded by the strange, the odd and the unbelievable – guaranteed
ADMISSION: collect a discount coupon from their website
DAYS & HOURS: 10a-Midnight
ADDRESS: 6780 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: street
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Highland Metro Station
PHONE: 323-466-6335
WEBSITE: http://www.ripleys.com

Hollywood Wax Museum
DESCRIPTION: Sculptors use photos and actual measurements transform lumpen clay into the perfectly proportioned bodies of celebrities; the maddening attention to detail is exemplified by hundreds of thousands of individual hairs inserted on every head to replicate their likenesses; the tailors match the who’s who list of celebs with costumes worn in famous roles and photos
ADMISSION: fee
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-Midnight
ADDRESS: 6767 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: street
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Highland Metro Station
PHONE: 323-462-8860
WEBSITE: http://www.hollywoodwax.com

Egyptian Theater
DESCRIPTION: Features Egyptian architecture, hieroglyphics and one the best audio-visual presentation of films in Hollywood; Sid Grauman opened this venue shortly after the discovery of King Tut’s Tomb in 1922; today. several American Cinematique events draw Hollywood big wigs, film engineers, movie historians and celebrities for their career retrospectives, so the modern auditorium has special acoustic treatment that delivers sonic nuance and the Kodak Certified film projectors, screen material and highest resolution film make images pop off the screen; if you want to see and hear a movie with all the technical conditions intended by the director, nothing available to the general public beats the Egyptian
ADMISSION: special events only
DAYS & HOURS: special events only
ADDRESS: 6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: paid parking behind the venue
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Highland Metro Station
PHONE: 323-466-3456
WEBSITE: link

ArcLight Hollywood at Cinerama Dome
DESCRIPTION: Best place to appreciate film as art; this circular cinema under a dome was originally built to accommodate a 160-degree panorama that immersed audiences in the story; since IMAX theaters now provide even larger immersive experiences, the ArcLight Group wisely reduced screen width, making it ideal for today’s CinemaScope movies, even as they lovingly restored each detail in the dimpled eggshell exterior; at a cost of $2-$3 higher per movie than other cinemas, a knowledgeable staff member introduces the film with a backstory; you won’t hear cell phones, see distracting product commercials or hear inappropriate conversation during the movie; the complex includes a hip café with drinks, gift shop, artsy crowd, more movie screens and a 24 Hour Fitness Center next door
ADMISSION: $12
DAYS & HOURS: daily
ADDRESS: 6360 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: paid parking on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Vine Metro Station
PHONE: 323-464-4226
WEBSITE: link

AMC Loews Universal CityWalk
DESCRIPTION: Best place to mix a movie with tourist nightlife; a modern cineplex with an IMAX Theater in the heart of the CityWalk Entertainment complex; Universal Studios premieres movies here, so there’s often a starfest; movie buffs should note that the main theater is well tuned for optics and it features some of the most prodigious bass of any theater in Southern California – that makes it an excellent for action movies
ADMISSION: fee
DAYS & HOURS: daily
ADDRESS: 100 Universal City Plaza, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: $15 with a $4 discount for movie validation
RAPID TRANSIT: Universal City Metro Station
PHONE: 818-508-0588
WEBSITE: link

Staples Center
DESCRIPTION: The home of five professional sports franchises – NBA Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, NHL Los Angeles Kings, AFL Los Angeles Avengers and WNBA Los Angeles Sparks; seats 19,000 in the basketball configuration; when LA Live completes construction next door, the combined sports-entertainment complex will rival Universal CityWalk and 3rd Street Promenade as a people magnet
ADMISSION: pro basketball and hockey ticket prices
DAYS & HOURS: October-June basketball & hockey games
ADDRESS: 1111 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: garages next door
RAPID TRANSIT: Pico Metro Station
PHONE: Box Office 
213-742-7340
WEBSITE: http://www.staplescenter.com

Dodger Stadium
DESCRIPTION: Home to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team since 1962, this historic stadium awes you with a breath-taking view of downtown Los Angeles to the south; green, tree-lined Elysian hills to the north and east; and the San Gabriel Mountains beyond; the 56,000-seat stadium also features a 90-minute Championship Tour that gives fans an opportunity to view Dodger Stadium as the players do in restricted areas and view the ballpark from a whole new perspective, including from the Press Box.
ADMISSION: pro baseball ticket prices
DAYS & HOURS: April-September baseball games
ADDRESS: 1000 Elysian Park Ave in ‎Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on lot
RAPID TRANSIT: bus
PHONE: 323-224-1507 or 323-363-4377
WEBSITE: http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com

Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens
DESCRIPTION: Each year 1.4 million visitors pass through the gates to view a collection of more than 1,200 animals from around the world; along with the Children’s Discovery Center, Sea Lion Cliffs recently arrived; Gorilla Reserve, Elephants Forest exhibit and Golden Monkeys exhibits come online; the 113-acre site hosts botanical gardens and features the California Condor Recovery ADMISSION: ticket price matrix
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: free on lot
RAPID TRANSIT: none
PHONE: 323-644-4200
WEBSITE: http://www.lazoo.org

Griffith Park
DESCRIPTION: A top zoo, Greek Theatre, a world famous observatory and planetarium, the world famous Hollywood Sign, a bird sanctuary, rail transportation museum, a tiny train ride for kids and parents, two 18 hole golf courses, bicycle rentals, picnic grounds, baseball fields, equestrian center with pony rides for children, Museum of Western Heritage and tennis courts

Griffith Observatory
DESCRIPTION: Opened 1935 and comprehensively restored and expanded in 2006, the $93-million project resulted in Samuel Oschin Planetarium new dome, star projector, digital laser projectors, seats, sound system, and lighting, is arguably the finest planetarium in the world; Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon, a 200-seat presentation theater expands the Observatory’s programming and education capabilities beginning with a 20-minute film in which Leonard Nimoy presents the history, renovation, and future of the observatory; the Griffith offers both optical and solar telescopes for free public viewing each day and evening when skies are clear; the triple-beam Zeiss Solar Telescope is one of the largest such public instruments in the world; plan on visiting 3-4 hours and enjoy the cafe; also the site of the famous James Dean and Natalie Wood movie, Rebel Without A Cause; reservations and pre-parking info via the website are required before visiting
ADMISSION: free, but a fee is charged for the planetarium
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Fri Noon-10p, Sat-Sun 10a-10p
ADDRESS: 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on approach street
RAPID TRANSIT: none
PHONE: 213-473-0800
WEBSITE: http://www.griffithobservatory.org

Page Museum and La Brea Tar Pits
DESCRIPTION: Tar pits is a misnomer, its really asphalt formed from marine plankton deposits that over 40,000 years have chemically transformed into an oil byproduct; the sticky asphalt trapped all manner of animals, including dinosaurs from the Ice Age to the 20th century; since 1908, fossil remains uncovered include mastodons, saber-tooth tigers, and wolves in North America; admission to the Pit area is free, pay to enter the museum
ADMISSION: $6 Adults; $3.50 seniors and students, $2 for ages 5 to 12
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: across the street
RAPID TRANSIT: under construction
PHONE: 323-934-7243
WEBSITE: http://www.tarpits.org

Exposition Park
DESCRIPTION:The most public park in LA is host to the Olympic Coliseum (college football and track), The Rose Garden, The Natural History Museum, IMAX Theater, California African American Museum, The Museum of Science and Industry, The Aerospace Museum; definitely a good place to take the kids between visiting Universal Studios and Disneyland; weekends and festivals can sometimes bring huge crowds
ADDRESS: Figueroa Ave between Vernon and Exposition Blvd, next to University of Southern California

California ScienCenter
DESCRIPTION: Their tagline is Science that entertains beyond your wildest expectations” and its! Creative World shows how human beings use communication, construction and transportation technology to enhance living; World of Life shows how living things have much in common: look at cellular organisms under a microscopes, learn about animal about reproduction, see how animals get energy defend themselves, see baby chicks hatch on most days; World of Life is about the life processes all living things have in common; ride a bicycle suspended high above the floor; a 50-foot, animated, see-through human model shows how blood moves around the body; features a science camp during the summer months; Goose Bumps lets you learn about the science of fear and our responses to various phobias; Weingart special exhibits gallery is home to traveling exhibits; Explorastore is divided into themed worlds that the reflect exhibits in the center; Sketch Foundation Gallery hosts numerous Air & Space exhibits as well; also features a 7 story tall IMAX theater screen
ADMISSION: FREE entry to museum; fee structure to enter IMAX Theater
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 700 State Drive in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: garage on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: Expo Park-USC Metro Station
PHONE: 213-744-2019
WEBSITE: http://www.casciencectr.org

Natural History Museum
DESCRIPTION: Recently renovated Must-See attractions. The Largest natural history museum west of Chicago features full-size Brontosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops skeletons who conjure up images from Jurassic Park in Dinosaur Halls are awe-inspiring; the T. Rex named Sue exhibit includes a life-size casting of a 45-feet long T. Rex; Pavilion of Wings, a spectacular collection butterflies; if you you’re not squeamish, the insect zoo is presents a remarkable look at collections of live tarantulas, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, centipedes and scorpions; little space explorers will dig the meteorites from Mars exhibit; for an unhurried immersive experience, plan to spend 3-4 hours here
ADMISSION: Adults $8; Seniors $5.50; Children $2, Age 5 and under free
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-5p except major holidays
ADDRESS: 900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: garage on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: Expo Park-USC Metro Station
PHONE: 213-763-3466
WEBSITE: http://www.nhm.org

Peterson Automotive Museum
DESCRIPTION: This museum is being re-skinned to better compete with its neighbors in the Museum District. See the original Batmobile and an extensive collection of vintage Ferraris; founded in 1994, this museum is composed of 5 large permanent exhibits cover classic to modern automobiles and motorcycles and celebrity vehicles; take a guided tour via your cell phone without added fees; the temporary exhibits are just as thrilling; for many the highlight is the May Family Children’s Discovery Center, a 6500 square-foot, interactive learning center that teaches children basic scientific principles by explaining the functions of an automobile.
ADMISSION: Adults $10, Ages 5-12 $5
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sun 10a-6p
ADDRESS: 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: garage on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: under construction
PHONE: 323-930-227
WEBSITE: http://www.petersen.org

Mann Village Theatre
DESCRIPTION: Located in trendy Westwood Village, this cinema is one of the best places to experience a collegiate audience interaction with a movie; informally called the “Fox Theater“, due to its original signature Fox neon sign at the top of a Spanish Deco tower; this landmark 1931 theater is fully restored and a frequent venue for Hollywood movie premieres; the movie studios particularly like its location next to film-hungry UCLA students in Westwood; seats 1,400.
ADMISSION: $12
DAYS & HOURS: daily
ADDRESS: 961 Broxton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: paid parking on nearby lot
RAPID TRANSIT: none
PHONE: 310-248-6266
WEBSITE: link

Kenneth Hahn State Recreational Area
DESCRIPTION: A major public effort reclaimed 315 acres once littered with bobbing oil rigs; now the park even features a stream, and two lakes with fish and many wildlife have returned; there is a hiking trail, plenty of ball fields and playgrounds; when the park was reclaimed, 140 different trees representing nations who competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, were planted here
ADDRESS: La Cienega Blvd and La Brea Blvd, north of Stocker Street, Los Angeles, CA

Aquarium of the Pacific
DESCRIPTION: nation’s first carbon-neutreal aquarium contains nearly 1,000 species with more than 12,500 inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean and hosts special traveling exhibits; major permanent exhibits include: Whales: A Journey with Giants— Journey with giants through a compelling multi-sensory experience of light, sound, and imagery as the Aquarium’s Great Hall transforms into the underwater realm of the planet’s largest living animal, the blue whale, on its travels along California’s coast and the depths of the ocean; Weedy Sea Dragons — see weedy sea dragons, native to Australia that resemble the plants found in their local waters; Lorikeet Forest – feed colorful birds from down under in an aviary of more than 100 enthusiastic Lorikeets in a large outdoor exhibit; Shark Lagoon—America’s first full-scale shark touch exhibit and the only bull shark on exhibit on the west coast among more than 200 sharks in this interactive exhibit; tour guides enrich the edutainment experience at most large exhibits; kids will really enjoy playful seals, but the hearty sea lions, rays and turtles exhibits should not be missed; among the special species, you’ll notice the banded archerfish, banded sea krait, blue-spotted jawfish, chambered nautilus, crested auklets and flashlight fish; Aquarium of the Pacific offers a variety of hands-on education programs and hosts educational films and special marine-related guest lectures in the Honda Theater; the new watershed area serves as an example of alternative energy use, sustainable design and water conservation there’s a Cafe Scuba on board; Aquarium of the Pacific is happy to provide wheelchairs free of charge
ADMISSION: Adult $21, Ages 3-11 $12, Ages 62+ $18
DAYS & HOURS: daily 9a-6p, except Christmas and in April during Grand Prix of Long Beach
ADDRESS: 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA MAP
PARKING: adjacent garage
RAPID TRANSIT: Long Beach Metro Station
PHONE: 562-590-3100
WEBSITE: http://www.aquariumofpacific.org

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