Hi Momma’s and MTB,
I used to think mom’s with babies who were out and about were crazy. Leaving the house seemed so overwhelming! However, I’ve now realized that leaving the house is necessary to keeping your sanity. When Evelyn is particularly fussy, getting outside is a good distraction for both of us. Over the past 7 months we’ve found some fun spots in LA that are baby friendly that I wanted to share with you!
- Annaberg Beach House – LOVE this place. It has a playground on the sand and the cafe is on the sand so little ones can stay occupied making sandcastles at your feet while you eat a delicious lunch. There’s also a swimming pool (in the summers you need a wrist tag and they are pretty popular, so it’s a bit of a lottery to score those). There was also a grassy spot with a splash pad. We laid out Evelyn’s large outdoor blanket and she was able to crawl around and play while we ate some snacks.
Cost – $8 for all day parking.
2. Skirball Center – I had my sister and the sitter take Evelyn to their Noah’s Ark Exhibit. She LOVED it and my sister raved about the welcoming environment, kid’s interaction activities and comfy chairs labeled “nursing corner.”
Cost- $12 for adults, $7 kids 2+ but On Thursday’s admission is free.
3. Huntington Gardens – Is gorgeous and huge, there’s no way you can see the whole thing in one day. It’s pricey but I wish I’d gone there sooner because I would have purchased the annual pass and went on a weekly basis during my maternity leave. Think of this more as a Golden Gate Park or a Central Park with several different themed areas from Chinese Gardens to Rose Gardens.
Cost: Adults – $25 Weekdays/$29 Weekends. Kids (4-11) $12. Under 4, free. “Free Day” is the first Thursday of every month, must reserve your ticket ahead of time online – mark your calendars!!
4. Getty Villa – Beautiful property to explore with lots to look at. Not as interactive or “touch friendly.” This is a good one to do when your little one is 6mo or under and will happily chill in their stroller or babywearing.
Cost: Admission is free but the mandatory parking costs $15. **You need to reserve a ticket ahead of time online.
5. Westfield Topanga Outdoor Shopping Center – There’s an area with adirondack chairs and a small pond and fountain. There’s also a climbing gym for your older kiddos. Plenty of coffee, food and window shopping for mom & baby.
Cost: Free… in theory… but there are so many cute stores….
6. Your local (or not so local) library – We LOVED Topanga Library– clean, beautiful structure, free covered parking. There’s a great kid’s section and a beautiful outdoor porch with picnic tables for snacks and large chairs to relax in while baby snoozes in the stroller. Check their calendar for activities for your little ones, including storytime.
7. Bowling – This is a great option if the weather is crappy (too hot, too cold or too rainy). This was the first “fun” outing we attempted after Evelyn was born. And it’s plenty loud in there so a baby crying won’t even be noticed.
8. Mommy & Me Movie – I haven’t been able to try this yet but several movie chains offer “mommy and me” showings, usually 11am on weekdays. Usually, they’ll show all the big films, not just kid movies, so perfect to go with a small baby who’s just going to snooze the whole time.
9. Mommy & Me Yoga – These are super easy to find in LA. A popular one near me is Two Hearts Yoga in Sherman Oaks.
10. Your Local Park – If all these locations seem overwhelming it’s OK to start small. There are plenty of amazing parks in LA, find your closest one!
Road Trip!! and two “Get out of LA” bonus suggestions:
Santa Ynez, Solvang, Los Olivos – A 2.5 hour drive to escape LA and enjoy some WINE. We love Gainey, Sunstone and Carhart. And if beer is more your thing we recently discovered a cluster of awesome breweries down the street in Buellton, CA. We LOVE Firestone and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. had a great outdoor area with cornhole and other games. Don’t forget to confirm your hotel room has a mini fridge & microwave to store and clean pumping supplies! Or even better, get an AirBnB!
Big Bear – Get an AirBnB to move in ALL the baby crap and just relax, soaking in the lake, hikes and town center.