Los Angeles with Kids: Skip Over Hollywood Walk of Fame

After we went to see the Christmas Carol movie at the El Capitan theatre in Los Angeles, we decided to cross the street, walk the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame and check out the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Visiting Hollywood Walk of Fame is pretty much in almost every guide book. I even put it on my Best 10 Free or Cheap Things to Do with Kids in Los Angeles.  But I might have to take it back, I will say SKIP IT!

If you don’t have any plan to watch movie at the El Capitan which I highly recommended, then find something else to do like going to Santa Monica beach or the Griffth Park. Seriously, kids are too young to know anyone who has their names there. You can see how excited Mr. Z were when we asked him to pose.

Plus, there are a lot of characters walking around in front of the Grauman Chinese’s Theatre that will urge you to take a picture with them. Here is the thing. My kids are used to Disney World and other Theme parks where characters will pose a picture with you for FREE. Well, not in Los Angeles! You will have to tip them. I think I will take Mr. Incredible from Disney (which actually put on the mask to look like Mr. Incredible from the movie) over Mr. Incredible from Hollywood any day.

Now, if you are a movie fan, it’s still a fun thing to do to stroll along the Hollywood blvd and check out your favorite movie stars’ name plate. It’s just not the experience that we enjoyed as a family there.

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Los Angeles Family Vacation

Los Angeles With Kids: Santa Monica Pier & Pacific Park

Our last stop on our tour of Los Angeles was the Santa Monica Pier. After a long bike ride from Santa Monica beach to Venice beach and back, we were all ready for a break and fun.

It was a bit disappointed that the Carousel that Debbi mentioned in her post was closed. So we walked down the wooden parking deck to the Santa Monica Pier.

It was early in the evening and we navigated through a throng of tourists and locals walking along the pier. I spot the sign indicated the end of Route 66. Any parents will remember the favorite Disney movie – Cars and route 66 was a main character in that movie. But technically, Route 66 ends at Santa Monica Blvd and Ocean Ave which is just a couple block North of the Pier.

Before we entered to the twilight zone of the Pacific Park, the amusement park on the pier, we walked around and people watched. Since we traveled during Winter, a lot of attractions were operated at the limited hour. We already missed out on the Carousel and we also missed the Aquarium. But I guess after San Diego, Miss J and Mr. Z were probably more interested in more relaxing things to do.

As the Sun slowly went down on the horizon, we headed to the Pacific Park for the Pacific Wheel ride. The view on the top was one of my favorite view. It’s amazing to see how huge the Santa Monica beach is. No wonder we didn’t make it to the ocean. It would take us a while to walk that distance with 2 kids.

At the end of the day, we had a great time in Santa Monica and will definitely come back again.

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Santa Monica Things To Do

Los Angeles With Kids: Taste of Thailand

One of the main reason we visited Los Angeles with our kids from our last vacation was mainly for my craving of Thai food. Yup! You heard that right. I just want to gorge myself with Thai food in Thai Town.

From the picture above, you might think that I took that picture in Bangkok from our trip to Thailand. But nope, that picture was from Thai Town in Los Angeles.

Thai Plaza and Silom Market is a main Thai shopping market with everything from food to household items. The store is packed full of Thai products and other Asian products you can think of. We didn’t spend a long time there because I know I can’t buy anything so why torture myself.

Thai Town in Los Angeles is a six-blocks stretch along Hollywood Blvd between Western and Normandie. You can tell that it’s Thai Town because you will be greeted by the Thai Shrine that is filled with colorful garlands, candles and lotus flowers.

The places we couldn’t miss in the visit to Thai Town are the Thai restaurants. The food in Los Angeles reminds me of home. No gimmick, nothing fancy, taste just like home. My brother who lived in LA for a couple years recommended me to Ruen Pair and I wasn’t disappointed.

Sorry there is no picture from Ruen Pair. I was just too busy eating!

After a big meal, we walked across the parking lot to another must-stop for me. Baan Kanom Thai is a perfect place to help sooth your mouth from spicy Thai food. This place has almost every types of Thai dessert that I have been dreaming and thinking about.

That’s one thing I love about visiting little ethnic town in major city like China Town or Thai Town here. It won’t give you the same experience as visiting those countries but I think it will give you a little glimpse. The signs are all with Thai letter and people is speaking Thai all around you.

So if you are looking for good Thai food in Los Angeles, head to Thai town and you won’t be disappointed. There are many more great restaurants in the area. But with our limited time, we could only eat so much in a day.

If you live in LA, please leave a comment for other great restaurants to share with us.

Check out other travelers Photo Friday at Delicious Baby.

Los Angeles Things To Do

Los Angeles with Kids: An active day at Santa Monica Beach

Our visit to Los Angeles was short but fully packed with fun things we did with our kids ranging from a fun visit at the Le Brea Tar Pit, an amazing theatre experience at El Capitan or a beautiful view of Los Angeles Sunset.

Another memorable visit on this trip was our quick stop at Santa Monica beach. It was such a short visit that I will have to go back one day to take advantage of many fun family-friendly activities available at this popular destination.

Our first stop as soon as we found the parking spot was the playground. The sandy playground is nothing fancy but it’s something that I absolutely love. Most of the structure in this playground encourages kids to be active.

Miss J couldn’t run fast enough to climb up this bar. And she was quite successful in go up there. We all know who is the Monkey in this household.

Mr. Z didn’t want to be outdone. He tried his hand on the monkey bar as well.

And after all these exercises, they still had more energy. I guess it was from a lovely and yummy lunch we had at Cha Cha Chicken. Thanks to the recommendation from Delicious Baby’s City Guide.

We decided to try out the biking along the Santa Monica beach bike path. I think it’s one of the best feature at this beach. The bike path runs along from Santa Monica beach all the way to Venice beach and beyond. The bike path was very popular with both tourists and local. So make sure to stay alert and don’t ride too fast. It can get pretty crowd and some turn can be a bit tricky.

We rented a family bike with kid seat attached at the back. It was a perfect way for kids to also enjoy the beach. After riding from Santa Monica beach to Venice beach, we took a quick break at the Venice Beach Skate Park. It was very entertaining watching many moves they could do. Amazing! Then it was time to head back to check out the Santa Monica Pier. Stay tune for more fun in Santa Monica.

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Santa Monica Things To Do

Los Angeles With Kids: Best Museums for the young, inquisitive minds

Taking kids to a museum in Los Angeles can be hit or miss, depending on what kind of museums you visit and what mood your kids are in. Los Angeles might be known for glitz, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that the city is superficial. Your vacation in L.A. can be as educational as you make it. If your kids are in a good mood for adventure and learning, check out these museums:

Page Museum La Brea Tar Pits (5801 Wilshire Boulevard): Where else can you find the piece of history in the middle of the city? The Page Museum hosts one of the largest collection of Ice Age fossils, and that collection is still growing. Kids will love to walk in the park to check out the many tar pit displays. Stop by Pit 91 and you can see what the archeologist have to do to in order to get all of those fossils. Nearby, you can stay in Le Parc Suites hotel in Hollywood.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (5905 Wilshire Boulevard): This art museum knows how to take care of family with kids — it was even voted one of the ”10 Best Art Museums for Kids” by Parents magazine. There are various programs available throughout the year and kids can bring adults in to visit for free. Plus, it’s located right next door to the Page Museum. Another option for a place to stay while visiting the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the Petit Ermitage in Hollywood.

Griffith Park Observatory (2800 East Observatory Avenue): Part museum, part observatory, part planetarium – The Griffith Park Observatory will satisfy everyone in the family. Kids seem to be especially mesmerized by the Foucault pendulum at its entrance. As the saying goes, “the best things in life are free.”  You got it.  The best thing about the Griffith Park Observatory is that the admission is free for all.  Though, you will have to pay to watch the planetarium show. It’s just a quick car ride from the kid-friendly Magic Castle Hotel.

See my full ariticle at Oyster Locals.

Los Angeles Things To Do