Sunday, September 9, 2007

10 Kid-Friendly Attractions in Los Angeles

With gorgeous weather year round and lots of exciting
attractions, Los Angeles, California is the perfect vacation
destination for families. Where else can you step onto the set
of your favorite movie, relax on a sun-kissed beach, and shop
alongside celebs on Rodeo Drive? Here, travel experts at Smart
Destinations, creators of the Go Los Angeles Card, recommend
their favorite family-friendly places to visit and things to do
on your next trip to Los Angeles.

1. Aquarium of the Pacific features more than
500 species in 19 major habitats highlighting the marine life of
the Pacific Ocean. Explore sunny Southern California and Baja
Pacific, the frigid waters of the North Pacific, and the
colorful reefs of the Tropical Pacific. The Southern California
and Baja gallery showcases seals and sea lions in an
up-close-and personal indoor/outdoor setting. The Northern
Pacific gallery is home to puffins and other diving birds which
nest overhead and "fly" underwater, while the sea otters frolic
in a nearby habitat. The Tropical Reef Habitat, the aquarium's
largest exhibit, introduces visitors to a coral lagoon with
colorful fish, as well as sea horses, sea snakes and mysterious
sea dragons. Go Los Angeles Card users gain free entry before
5:30 pm.

2. The Sony Pictures Studios Tour gives tourists
a rare glimpse of old Hollywood's glory days and an insider's
view of a state-of-the-art motion picture studio where movies
like The Wizard of Oz, Spiderman, and Men in Black were filmed.
Depending on availability, you may also get to visits the sets
of shows such as "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune."

3. The Zimmer Children's Museum encourages
interactive learning, creative self-expression, and imaginative
play through "please touch" exhibits and art activities. Music
Island introduces kids to music and lets them create a virtual
drum loop and create their own original music. Western Wall
recreates the Western Wall in Jerusalem (the Kotel) and invites
visitors to share their hopes for the future. Discovery Airplane
lets kids navigate a plane simulator as they fly over distant
destinations like Israel, Mexico, and more.

4. The Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana
houses 120 exciting hands-on science exhibits on two floors,
including Dynamic Earth, Techno Arts, Discovery Stadium and
Quake Zone. Play a game of Virtual Volleyball, make music on a
Laser Beam Harp, climb a Rock Wall, watch an indoor Geyser
erupt, ride out an earthquake in the Shake Shack, and more.
Visit the life-size dinosaur exhibit featuring an interactive
walk-through Argentinosaur that explains life sciences. The
center hosts BubbleFest in April, Spooky Science in October, and
a new exhibit each summer.

5. Kidspace Children's Museum is an
interactive indoor and outdoor learning center offering exhibits
like Bugsy's Diner, where kids learn about mantids, cockroaches
and more. Also, search for fossils in The Dig, create
nature-inspired artwork in N'Art, or ride a tricycle through the
Wisteria Courtyard.

6. Golf N' Stuff Family Fun Center offers
four challenging miniature golf courses set against imaginative
settings like a castle, a haunted house, an old western ghost
town, a Californian mission, a tree house, and more. The park
also offers exciting rides including go-karts, bumper boats,
bumper cars, and a kiddie train, plus arcade games and lazer
tag.

7. Guinness World Records Museum in
Hollywood chronicles record-breaking facts and feats ranging
from the Largest Work of Art to the Lowest Limbo. You and your
kids will experience racing at 240 mph in the world's fastest
Formula One car and explore the world's most fascinating natural
phenomena, human feats, animal acts, and more.

8. Wild Rivers Waterpark is Southern
California's biggest waterpark with over 40 water rides and
attractions. It's the perfect place to "chill out" with the kids
after a long day in the California sun. If you dare, go to the
top of the seven-story Wild Rivers Mountain. Relax on Explorers'
Island with a lazy inner tube float down a warm river,
refreshing spas, and scaled down rides and wading pools for
little adventurers. Open late May through September.

9. The Hollywood Museum features 10,000 artifacts and
articles from Hollywood's past, including Rocky's boxing gloves,
Marilyn Monroe's dresses, Indiana Jones' whip, and more. Housed
in the historic Max Factor building, the museum pays homage to
Hollywood's Golden Era with a beautifully restored Art Deco
exterior and opulent interiors. Newer additions to the museum
include Nicole Kidman's costumes from Moulin Rouge and Paris
Hilton's party dresses.

10. The Museum of Tolerance is a great way for older
kids (some of the exhibits are recommended for 12+ and others
are for all ages) to explore issues of prejudice and
discrimination through hands-on exhibits and role playing.
The Children of the Holocaust exhibit brings the
Holocaust to live as visitors walk through a simulation with
sound effects, photos, newscasts, and more. Finding Our
Families, Finding Ourselves
celebrates the multicultural
diversity of several notable Americans and encourages visitors
to explore their own heritage.


About the author:
Susan Johnston is currently the copywriter for
Go Los Angeles Card,
which offers over 40 of LA's best attractions, tours,
activities, and more on one easy-to-use smart card and for one
price based on the number of days purchased.

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