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Family-Friendly Destinations in Los Angeles: Exploring the La Brea Tar Pits and More

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Los Angeles, the sprawling entertainment hub of California, is often associated with glitz, glamour, and high-end experiences. However, beneath the surface of Hollywood's dazzle lies a treasure trove of family-friendly destinations that won't break the bank.

We originally planned our family trip to LA for a Judo competition, plans of hearing ippon and waza-ari ringing out all weekend. Unfortunately, when we thought M was competing on Sunday it was Saturday and therefor we missed the entire thing, sometimes life is like that. We decided to make the best out of it though. Instead, we'll uncover some hidden gems in the City of Angels, with a special focus on the fascinating La Brea Tar Pits. Come with us while we explore L.A. in a budget friendly way.

Unearthing Prehistory at La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits, located in the heart of Los Angeles, offer an extraordinary journey back in time. Here's what makes it an excellent family adventure:

1. Discover Prehistoric Los Angeles

Imagine standing on the very ground where mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and dire wolves once roamed. The La Brea Tar Pits are a world-renowned excavation site, showcasing an impressive collection of fossils from the Ice Age. Your kids (mine definitely were) will be captivated by the thought of these ancient creatures wandering the same area they now explore.

2. Interactive Learning

The Page Museum at the Tar Pits is an educational haven for young minds. Its hands-on exhibits and immersive displays make learning about paleontology and natural history a fun and engaging experience. One of my kids favorite were the battling Mammoth heads (ok, they were my favorite as well). From fossil displays to fossil preparation labs, there's something to pique the interest of every budding scientist.

3. Picnic Paradise

Traveling on a budget? Pack a picnic and relish a meal in the tranquil park surrounding the Tar Pits. It's a cost-effective way to enjoy quality family time while taking in the beauty of the area. The park offers fun tar pit digs spread throughout (fenced for safety of course) which is fun for the kids and adults alike. Also, this part is free! There are benches and picnic tables available if you prefer a more comfortable dining experience.

More Budget-Friendly Adventures in LA

While the La Brea Tar Pits are a standout attraction, Los Angeles has more family-friendly options to explore. You can click the Website pictures to be taken directly to their sites.

Griffith Observatory

Perched on the slopes of Mount Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory offers breathtaking views of Los Angeles. The best part? Admission is free! Your family can gaze at the stars, explore informative exhibits, and even catch a planetarium show without spending a dime. Certain nights amateur star gazers will set up telescopes to share (be aware parking is a beast these nights, wear some good shoes).

The Getty Center

For art and culture enthusiasts, The Getty Center is a must-visit. Entry is also free, and you can marvel at impressive art collections, stroll through beautiful gardens, and enjoy stunning architecture. It's a cultural oasis that won't dent your travel budget.

Santa Monica Pier

Families with kids of all ages will adore the Santa Monica Pier. While the amusement park rides and games do come with a cost, the iconic Ferris wheel offers a budget-friendly thrill. Additionally, the sandy shores of Santa Monica Beach are ideal for a day of sun and surf without spending a fortune.

In Conclusion

Los Angeles is more than just Hollywood glitz; it's a treasure trove of family-friendly experiences waiting to be explored. The La Brea Tar Pits, with its prehistoric wonders, offer an educational adventure that's both enriching and affordable. And with other budget-friendly attractions like the Griffith Observatory, The Getty Center, and Santa Monica Pier, you can craft an unforgettable family vacation without emptying your wallet.

So, pack your bags, gather your family, and get ready to discover the magic of family travel in Los Angeles. It's a city filled with surprises that cater to every budget and promise memories that will last a lifetime.

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