things to do in LA with an 11-month old?
February 6, 2014 6:06 PM   Subscribe

my 11-month old son and i are tagging along on my husband's business trip to LA. staying in seal beach and looking for things to do!

i will be there for a week, and will have a car. saw this question, but it's from 2007, so just looking for some updated suggestions, and maybe some things closer to where we will be (but i also don't mind driving).
i do plan on going to the aquarium in long beach one day, and griffith park another day.
posted by sabh to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Kidspace in Pasadena is a great children's museum. Santa Monica Pier is fun but pricey. The Cabrillo Aquarium - close to where you'll be in San Pedro - is compact and fun. (I know these ideas skew a little old for an eleven month old...)
posted by soulbarn at 6:23 PM on February 6, 2014

Honestly, with an 11-month-old I'd just google the address where you'll be staying and locate all the closest parks. One or more of them will probably have a nice younger kid play area. Same for indoor playgrounds, if it looks like the weather'll be bad when you're here.

You can also google "Mommy Matinee" or "Mommy Movies" to find theaters that cater to moms + babies with screenings where the lights are left on, the volume is low, and nobody cares if you're walking the aisle or your baby is jabbering away.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:02 PM on February 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I've lived/had parents in the neighborhood of Seal Beach for nearly thirty years. While it's great that you'll have a car, I'm not sure how much time you're going to want to spend driving with an 11-month-old--we usually calculate on at least an hour to get from the general area to anywhere in LA, and that drive can very easily hit two or even three hours on the return if you stumble into rush hour traffic. So the LB aquarium will be fine, but Griffith Park may be more of a haul than you want, and their children's activities are geared to elementary-school kids instead of your child's age. You'll also be near the Queen Mary. Here are the Seal Beach parks. The Los Alamitos/Rossmoor Public Library has storytelling activities that might be fun, and you'll be close by.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:19 PM on February 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'd head to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.
posted by cecic at 7:21 PM on February 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: There is a Ferris wheel across the street from the Long Beach aquarium. Also paddle boats for rent in Rainbow Lagoon Park, across the street on the other side.

A great playground for little kids is located in the Belmont Shore part of Long Beach, off 2nd Street. The best coffee in the world -- they roast it themselves -- is conveniently nearby, as is a French bakery. Second Street itself is the main shopping-and-walking-around street in Long Beach, so you may want to wander there a while, too.

Long Beach represent.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 7:57 PM on February 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seal Beach is nowhere near LA. I'm specifically popping in to tell you that traveling to anywhere not near Seal Beach with an 11 month old will not be fun, so don't bother.


We spent every free day possible at the Long Beach Aquarium with our son when he was that age. IT. WAS. AWESOME.

I could easily waste a week at the aquarium, probably cheaper to buy a membership for the year to attend for a week. Bonus? WHALE WATCHING BOAT TRIP DISCOUNTS.

If you are dedicated to traveling, HUNTINGTON LIBRARY AND GARDEN.

We spent all of that time when our now 3 year old was your child's age split between The Huntington & the aquarium, and we don't regret a second.

Technically, since the California Science Center (the Space Shuttle Endeavor !!) and the Natural History Museum are both in the same USC area below Downtown LA, this is easy for you to drive to from the Seal Beach / Long Beach area, you should do that. However , that's more for you at this age stage than your 11th month old.

Aquarium (ocean life) and Trees. That's the ticket! While your child naps if you opt for the Huntington Library and Gardens, that's when you visit the VERY impressive art collections at the Huntington.

Disclaimer: I'm from NYC, so the Met, MoMA, and the Guggenheim are my museums. LACMA in LA is passable, The Getty is kinda shite. The Hammer (Westwood) is free starting Feb 7th, with a good exhibit right now, but Westwood is too far from you...

Consistently, The Huntington has excellent art exhibits, their gift shop is inspiring, and overall, they deliver the goods.

In LA, I have or have had, every membership for museums, zoos, and so on. The Aquarium and Huntington have it dialed in.



A beautiful park near where you are staying - miniature train rides, oldest Live Oak Trees in SoCal, horses, and lake boat rides. OH! And adjacent is one of the BEST zoo 's I've ever been to!!


Irvine Park & the nearby Zoo, the Aquarium, and The Huntington Museum.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness answer. I had to reach into the "mental database" for our best times...considering traffic patterns from your jumping off point....

Hope this helps, enjoy!
posted by jbenben at 10:03 PM on February 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Have you driven LA freeways? Griffith Park will be a long schlep. Head south for a more calm visit. Go to Irvine Regional Park. It's got a train, zoo, horses, and play areas. While in Irvine you could go to the Great Park and ride a giant orange balloon on a wire hundreds of feet high. Hike at El Dorado Nature Center in Long Beach and visit the huge SPCA animal shelter right next to it (I think they call it an animal village and education center - it's not the usual animal shelter!). Or walk the nearby to Seal Beach Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach. Visit the Queen Mary in Long Beach. And the aquarium of course. And definitely walk Main Street in Seal Beach to the pier and check out Eisenhower Park right there with a playground in the sand.
posted by Dansaman at 11:59 PM on February 6, 2014

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