Family Trip to Los AngelesA Family's L.A. Story
L.A. is not only the playground of the rich and famous, but it’s a family’s playground too. In this playground, it’s easy fun for the whole family, with the beach, parks, cultural activities and even five star family dining, for the most discerning young palates. Among the hotel options, there’s tough competition, where location will drive your choice. For Laguna chic, check into the Montage Laguna Beach, where even the smallest guests under two have their very own club. For the Four Seasons family, your wish, before you even dream of it, will be their command. From the diaper genie, high chair, Four Seasons bibs and sponges in the shapes of letters that spell out your child’s name, it’s quite a charmed existence indeed. If surf’s up, Shutters on the Beach, a Leading Hotel of the World, is located on the boardwalk and strolling distance to the 3rd Street Promenade. Mom, Dad and children alike will be pampered at these hotels that recognize your kiddies as the V.I.C. (Very Important Children) they are.
From any of these vantage points, L.A. in its true Hollywood fashion, has more than enough to keep you and the family well-entertained. For upscale culture, head to the Getty Museum for weekend arts and crafts, a place for your budding Picassos. For future Mario, or Maria Andrettis, the Petersen Auto Museum will inspire ooohs and ahhhs. If the Hollywood celeb set is your kid’s scene, head over to the Treehouse Social Club, where as its name implies, has its own treehouse, in addition to music, dance and Spanish lessons, for your multi-lingual child.
The fun does not stop there. For your future archaeologists, head over to the Skirball Museum, where on the top floor, your kids can dig in the sand pit for artifacts and treasures of their own. For good old American fun, head to The Grove, which is not your average mall at all. And if all else fails, there is of course Disneyland, which many consider a right of American passage.
With all this activity, your family will work up an appetite. Like L.A. for adults, it’s a place where you can eat with the children throughout the entire weekend. On the casual side, head over to Milk, a gourmet ice cream parlor with ice cream sandwiches between macaroons, where it will be tough not to have dessert before dinner. Luckily the food, like the macaroni and cheese, is also just as delicious. For not your average family picnic, Joans’s on Third, a self service gourmet market, with out of this world prepared foods and a dessert counter, where you just should plan to take one of each.
With children, it’s hard to go a weekend without pizza. Pitfire fits the bill, serving good old fashioned family pizza with a gourmet spin. For the pickiest of eaters, The Counter, a burger restaurant, lets you choose your own bread, meat (beef, turkey, chicken or veggie), cheese, and topping. With its great parmesan fries, fried dill pickles and huge plate sized warm chocolate chip cookie served a la mode, this will be one of Mom and Dad’s favorites too.
Speaking of Mom and Dad, they don’t have to compromise on fine dining here either. L.A. restaurants especially welcome their youngest future food critics for early dinner. Tavern in Brentwood gives new meaning to degustation menu for children, where you will be tempted to order of their menu instead of your own. The Capital Grill Steakhouse in Beverly Hills, shows you this is really Hollywood, by bringing your child an individual DVD player with a choice of movies, and whipping up special drinks (virgin of course) in their own martini shakers. Bouchon, a fairly new and high-end restaurant connected to the Montage in Beverly Hills, encourages your kids to go Jackson Pollack on their paper covered tablecloths and crayons every color of the rainbow, plus those in between.
As any up-and-coming mogul, your kids will want to dress the part. L.A. is all about chic children, where play clothing will get new meaning at Fred Segal Lifesize Kids, with two locations in Santa Monica and on Melrose in West Hollywood, Kitson Kids. A visit to California is not a complete cultural experience without a visit to The Grove, with an entertainment area that has Janie and jack, Pottery Barn Kids, Zara Kids, the Gap flagship store and a great selection of kids clothes and shoes with free balloons-at Nordstroms.
All in all, your family will soak in the laid-back vibe of California, after a long-weekend in L.A. There are places you travel for the sake of the kids, but this L.A. Story is not one of them. L.A. is a trip the kids will always remember, and where you will always want to return.