How to fun-ify my mom's 50th bday afternoon in LA...with seniors in tow?
April 12, 2015 3:38 PM   Subscribe

I want to make my mom's birthday special. It's this coming Saturday, but I recently found out that my grandparents, who are visiting from overseas, will be joining us that day. What would you do if you had to take people around LA for an afternoon, with limitations? Where would you go?

My original plan was to do something fun/memorable with the family (i.e. nude model sketching/ sip+paint/floral design class), but we're now limited given my non-English speaking grandparents are going to join and the cost will run up.

Since we also couldn't travel this weekend, I switched it up and bought her an activity-packed mother-daughter weekend trip as her gift to use later this year. So I don't need to go all-out this Saturday, but I did want to do something "nice" that day with the family to make the afternoon leading up to dinner meaningful.

The plan so far: I will probably take them to Greystone Mansion to walk around the grounds. Later, we're going to an early dinner (5:30PM) near Beverly Hills and then going up to Griffith Observatory to check out the LA nightscape at sundown. What can we (5 people who can't handle a lot of strenuous or outdoors activity) do in the afternoon in LA leading up to dinner?

Some points:
- I liked Malibu Wine Safari, but they are booked.
- Not sure how much my mom+grandma will appreciate dressing up for a nice dinner out and then having to lay on the grass for a picnic near LACMA/La Brea Tar Pits...but in theory it is nice.
- They've been to the Getty and probably would not like the chaos of Hollywood.
- We'd love to grab coffee + late light lunch/snacks somewhere that has a nice "scene" or unique experience. Or, are there any eateries/cafes with a great view that's family-friendly?

If you were me, where would you go? I would love your advice!
posted by doctordrey to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (6 answers total)
Trader Vic's is fun and very "old LA"
posted by exceptinsects at 4:39 PM on April 12, 2015

Drive up PCH to Gladstone's for a cocktail? With or without Getty Villa?
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:51 PM on April 12, 2015

Beverly Canon Gardens could be a nice venue after Greystone. It's a beautiful little square with a great outdoor dining option for light lunch, plenty of green grass and fountains for lawn lounging if desired, and you can get up and walk around the block several different ways to explore 'The Golden Triangle' of Beverly Hills.
posted by carsonb at 5:39 PM on April 12, 2015

Another idea that gets you over by the Observatory: Tour Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park. Brunch at Alcove or Messhall Kitchen
posted by carsonb at 5:44 PM on April 12, 2015

If strenuousness is an issue, then I'm not sure Greystone Mansion is altogether the best idea? My father, who is energetic but in his early 70s, found the grounds slightly tough going.

Which Getty? I like the Villa a lot more, but it might be farther than you want to drive.

The Huntington Library's museums should be very doable, and you could see at least a bit of the gardens without much effort. Do not, however, eat their abysmal food, unless you make reservations at the tea room ($$). Actually, if you make a reservation at the tea room, you could probably justify wearing decent clothes. Still, driving may be an issue. (It's too bad that the Bowers Museum is so far off from your final destination, because it would be perfect--small enough that it's not tiring, and its onsite restaurant is amazing.)
posted by thomas j wise at 5:47 PM on April 12, 2015

I feel like it's been forever since anyone has recommended MeFi's Own™ Esotouric Bus Tours, but the tickets are on sale through the end of today($18 off) and the tours are extra super fun. This Saturday's tour is a Black Dahlia route.
posted by carsonb at 10:52 AM on April 14, 2015

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