Top 5 FREE things to do with your kids in L.A.

We all have kids here at Veldskoen and it can be tricky to come up with educational and fun things to keep their imagination engaged. These 5 are a few of our favorite thing to do with our little ones when there are no birthdays and its overcast and gloomy so beach days are a no go.

  1. Kidspace Children’s Museum

Kidspace museum normally charges an admission fee for big and little humans alike, but not on the first Tuesday of the month from 4 to 8 pm! Kid Space’s free family night is quite popular, so expect long admission lines, especially in summer time.

During Family night you are free to explore certain exhibits on your own, but from 4:30 to 7:30 themed and facilitated activities will also be available.

One of our favorite Kidspace highlights is the nature exchange- where kids bring natural objects like stones and leaves from home, and exchange them at the museum.

Only natural items are tradable, and these need to be kosher. Check the list online to make sure your kid doesn’t show up with a painted pet rock, or an endangered poisonous fish, and leaves disappointed and a little bit scarred.

Kids can also earn points from facilitators for knowledge about what they bring. Points are logged into an online system which then allows children to barter for items they want to buy.

  1. The Last Bookstore

The bookstore began life in an old L.A loft, and now occupies 22 square feet in the Spring Arts Tower! It should be called The Expanding Book store (Ba-Dum Tss!)

Okay, so not only visiting this magical place is completely free, but you can also sell, or donate your old books and vinyl records there, or trade them for better ones.

And while you are in the corner sniffing the pages of old comics or Sweet Valley High volumes (Yes, you should be embarrassed!), your kids will have a glorious time walking through the Spring Arts Collective gallery shops and exploring the labyrinth of books (that’s not us trying to sound learned, there is  an actual labyrinth built out of books)

The Last Bookstore (19270292680)
  1. Watch a live TV show taping

Will and Grace, The Voice, The View, they all need audiences to laugh and cheer at the right time… you and your kids can be those people!    

If you live in L.A you may roll your eyes at this activity, but if you are from literally anywhere else in the world, being part of a live TV show taping is novel and exciting!

A day on set is eye opening for youngsters about the mythical ‘glamour’ of show business. It’s also interesting to learn about how many people behind the camera are involved in making a comedy or game show. And you can relive the day with your kids, when you watch the episode at home, and see if you can spot yourselves in the audience.

Most L.A studios, offer free tickets to show tapings via their own Websites, or you can get some via third party websites.

Just keep in mind, a day in show business, even if you are only expected to laugh on cue, can be long and tiring. Make sure to take your “movie handbag”… you know, the big one with the side pocket for illegal snacks and drinks. Your children will thank you… and the show will go on.

  1. Visit the Watts Towers

Today, the 17 interconnected sculptural towers and structures known as the Watts Towers, or Nuestro Pueblo ( “Our Town” in Spanish) are a National Historic Landmark, a California Historical Landmark, and a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (So, lots of well read humans think they look cool and are important). When Sabato “Simon” Rodia began constructing them in 1921, they were the crazy ideas of a drunken divorcé, estranged from his children,  that took form on small plot in the Los Angeles suburb of Watts. (Proof that there is hope for all of us to achieve awesomeness, if we could only move to L.A!)

Rodia took 33 years to construct his creations, figuring out how to structure them as he went along. He had little education, and his only work experience was as a tile mason and manual laborer. He built the main structures out of his own wire mesh and concrete mix, and a series of found objects, like bottle caps, pieces of glass and mirrors.

Grown ups will enjoy learning about the construction process and cultural significance of the Watts Towers and then retelling their experiences at parties where there is fancy cheese. Kids will enjoy exploring the magical structures, and playing eye-spy with all the unique found objects that decorate the towers. Everybody wins.

Visiting the Watts Towers is free. Guided tours along the fence, provided by the Watts Towers Arts Center, are also available. Unfortunately access to the actual towers is currently restricted due to renovations. 

  1. California Science Center

The California Science Center provides a highly entertaining (and educational) environment for learning more about the world around us.

General admission is free and allows access to permanent exhibits that explore various themes.

Everything at the California Science Center is a learning experience. The very fist exhibit you’ll see is the the parking garden, where you can learn about bird and insect life and local eco-systems.

Many exhibits offer a hands on experience. Children under 7 are encouraged to visit one of the three Discovery Rooms for Little learners. Activities are designed to promote child-grown up interaction and a child’s first stimulate scientific exploration. 

There are also permanent exhibits for older children to enjoy. The Structures exhibit allows kids to build their own structures and to enter an earthquake proof building that shakes like it would during an actual quake. (So, don’t eat too much before you try that out)

If you are open to spend a bit of money at the center, check out one of the Imax theatre’s larger than life films.

California Science Center

(Disclaimer of shameless advertising)

Yes, we have recently launched our Veldskoen Kids range. Yes, they are cute little versions of our grown up Veldskoen Heritage range. And yes, all the activities we explore in this article can be done, whilst wearing a pair. Also, because we want you to treat your kids to shoes… all of these activities are absolutely free.

So have a read, and then click here.

 two kids in a red radio flyer wearing chukka boots

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