LA next week, 13 year old with a sprained ankle
February 16, 2020 3:00 PM   Subscribe

It’s midwinter break, and my friend’s son has an injured foot. They’re going to LA Monday. Any ideas on what they could do that doesn’t require tons of walking?

I’m thinking things like Disneyland are out just due to distances the kid would have to walk, and same with things like the San Diego zoo. What are activities they could do that aren’t walking-intensive? Is there a drive through safari thing, a good science center, other engaging museums they might enjoy? They’ve prepaid the hotel so can’t easily cancel.
posted by OneSmartMonkey to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
If the teen is okay with using a wheelchair, there may be a fair amount of museums, science centers, or other attractions where your friend could get a free wheelchair for the visit. Such as the La Brea Tar Pits or the California Science Center.
posted by lisa g at 3:24 PM on February 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Studio tour, like Warner Bros? They loan out wheelchairs for free and I believe your be spending a lot of time being driven around the lot in a cart
posted by shaademaan at 3:47 PM on February 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

Most zoos, museums, Disneyland, etc. will have wheelchairs you can borrow for free!

Also, big commercial places, especially, tend to be more wheelchair and mobiliy accessible than smaller businesses.

Honestly, if he's interested in Disneyland, it would be one of my first choices for this reason. They have an extensive system where you can see which rides require walking and stuff like that. So would the San Diego Zoo & Universal Studios Hollywood.

Six Flags has a weird system but I'd maybe call them to check if the 13yo is particularly interested.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:32 PM on February 16, 2020

If the chaperoning adult is going to be renting a car, it might be beneficial to just rent a wheelchair for the duration of the trip, rather than rolling the dice on getting one everywhere, and then it should be relatively easy to get around most of the places they'd intended to go. LA isn't kind for parking (or for dropping off), he's going to have a slog just to get to the front door of anywhere, so having one inside the transportation is going to provide more flexibility anyway. The hotel could probably assist with this.

Yes, San Diego has a safari park (do note: San Diego North County where the safari park is, is minimum 2.5 hours, if you're driving in very off hours, from LA. Three hours if you want to get to the zoo, again only if you avoid the hours of 6:30-10am and 2-8pm for the drive, that's a hard day trip for me as a human adult much less kids who've been out and about all day), there are multiple science museums but they're all highly interactive and large in square footage, so your problem remains.

There are a couple of game shops that are kid-friendly most nights/weekends - The Perky Nerd and Geeky Teas, check their event calendars to see if there's anything going on either place that they might find fun for a few hours. It's our cold season so there's not very many of our signature outdoor movies, food truck nights, concert events going on at the moment. Presumably we have water parks...somewhere? Probably? It seems odd now that I've never seen one, but it's too cold even in the day for that to be any kind of pleasant right now even if the water was heated, and I don't think we have any of the indoor type either. They're too young for most spas, unfortunately, even my favorite out in the desert with

Depending on where you're from, we might have some geography that could be maybe impressive to a 13-year-old? There hasn't been a storm in a few weeks so getting to the snow would be a bigger effort than a month ago, but we do have microclimates that are Alpine, Martian (well, if Mars was a bit green at the moment because of recent rain), Classic Western-Style Desert, Classic LA, The Beach, Schools With Outside-Facing Classroom Doors, which could be wrapped up in several hours of driving - MeMail me if you want me to send some suggestions on good drives.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:10 PM on February 16, 2020

The Alamo Drafthouse has special screenings that are a ton of fun! I went to a Cats rowdy screening that involved a lot of yelling at the screen. Try looking for concerts with seating (I think the Forum has some) and stage shows as well.
posted by storytam at 9:11 PM on February 16, 2020

Yes, I second the recommendation of renting/borrowing a wheelchair for the week. He doesn't have to use it all the time if he doesn't need/want to, but it'll be there if he does. I've spent enough vacations sick or injured to feel confident in saying that you just never know what's going to be too much for you and what isn't.

Disney parks are actually some of the most wheelchair/disability-friendly destinations out there.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:18 PM on February 16, 2020

If he's taking anything for pain, I also recommend making and sticking to a medication schedule instead of waiting to treat pain until he notices it. It's super-easy on vacation to get distracted and not register pain until it's so bad the medicine is less effective. Better to stay ahead of it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:20 PM on February 16, 2020

Places with a lot of walking typically have information about accessibility - look for that. They might have an on site rental option, but expect a nominal fee as well as something like a deposit to encourage prompt and safe return. Check out websites of your destinations.

Wheelchairs are personal use equipment (like eyeglasses) so their provision/availability is about bEing friendly and is not a requirement, so the rental (When you are there) is a good idea.
posted by childofTethys at 4:47 AM on February 17, 2020

what about renting a knee scooter? I think a 13 year old would probably have a lot of fun on one of those. You could totally still do disneyland.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:06 PM on February 17, 2020

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