in Southern California, you can...
The Griffith Observatory is closed for renovations until 2004. You can still drive up to the observatory and look out
at the city and the stars from the spectacular view. When it has reopened, be sure to get a demonstration of the Tesla Coil!
The Los Angeles Zoo has a beautiful home for the koalas. The orangutans and chimpanzees are also lots of fun to see.
The zoo is largely up and down hill. Anyone who has trouble walking long distances should either rent a wheelchair, or take
the LA Zoo tram to the end of the park - opposite the entrance - and walk back from there. That way you're going downhill,
This beautiful hotel was built in the French Renaissance style, and was originally inhabited by Hollywood movie stars.
You will find beautiful murals from the ceiling of the lobby, to various walls and trim. It's simply gorgeous. Whether you
walk through the gardens, have Sunday brunch near one of the waterfalls (at the 5-star Renaissance restaurant), see a show
in the Garden Pavilion, or take a tour of the hotel (and see which rooms Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astaire, and others stayed
in), you will be sure to find it a relaxing, enjoyable experience. There are affordable acting classes for both children and
adults. When my nephew was visiting from out-of-town, we took the kids for an acting class - they absolutely loved it. My
nephew then went home and landed a lead role in a musical his school was producing!
My favorite part of the science center is the inspirational philosophical poems and quotes etched in the stones around
the entrance area. The entire science center is really great. Lots of hands-on displays, including the earthquake room (where
an earthquake is simulated - very convincing), to the construction play zone, appropriate for toddlers. Creepy snakes and
bugs can be seen in the life sciences area, with puppets and books for the littler ones. The IMAX theatre shows and other
displays change regularly, so be sure to check their current events at the website when planning your visits.
View some of earth's most magnificent creatures, and enjoy the sea air and excitement of being out on the ocean.
You can't leave Southern California without visiting downtown Hollywood! It's becoming a really fun place again, with
lots of new development and fun things to do. Catch a movie at the theatre and look for some of your favorite stars' hand
While you're in Hollywood:
This is a really fun, bright museum with an amazing amount of information about the founder of the Church of Scientology. You can see copies of his hundreds of fiction works, hear about some of discoveries about the human mind, see an e-meter in action, learn about his childhood in Montana, and see artifacts from his trips around the world.
Mickey can be seen at the Main Entrance, but he is easier to find in his house, in ToonTown. The house itself is really
fun to play in - have a seat on Mickey's sofa, put your feet up, watch a Mickey Mouse cartoon... and well you're rested, continue
on through the house and meet the Mouse in person!
There are some really nice beaches in the area. Redondo is fun for fishing from the pier and shopping. Santa Monica
has fun stuff for kids, including a little roller coaster and a great game room.
The La Brea Tar Pits are great fun, although a bit creepy!