California: Los Angeles, Family Vacations with Art & Annual Area Events.
Southern California offers sunshine, world -class museums and a slew of memorable events area worth sharing with kids.
Here's the scoop.
Beginning in Pasadena on January 1, the Tournament of Roses
is perhaps the world’s most spectacular floral parade. February brings the Golden Dragon Parade
in Downtown LA, ringing in the Chinese New Year with 100-foot-long dragons, firecrackers and martial arts demos. April’s festivities include the Renaissance Pleasure Fair
, with Elizabethan-style merrymaking in Irwindale on the Eastside, and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
on the Westside. May includes the Venice Art Walk and Auction
, when artists’ open-houses and a food fair delight visitors in Venice Beach; and the Valley Greek Festival
in the San Fernando Valley, featuring Greek music, dancing, food and fun. The Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival
is one of September’s highlights, with lobster feasts, performers and fun in San Pedro on the LA waterfront. October includes the Calabasas Pumpkin Festival
in the San Fernando Valley, and in December, the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
lights up the nation’s largest man-made marina with hundreds of brightly decorated yachts. The Getty Museum & Getty Villa.
The benefits of each location are too many to mention because The Getty manages to effortlessly relate to all ages. The Family Forum is perhaps one of the most popular museum options offering hands-on activities designed to encourage children and families to explore, play, and learn together. The focus is on the world of ancient Greek vases—how they were made, decorated, and used. Bonus points:
On the first and third Sunday of the month at the Getty Center hosts Getty Drawing Hour inviting visitors to join an artist and practice sketching from original works of art. Wait for it!
Throughout the year the museum conducts fascinating Artist-at-Work demonstrations. Here’s the deal.
Admission to the Getty Center in LA is FREE for the whole family, no tickets or reservations required plus admission to the Getty Villa in Malibu is also free for the whole family. All family materials and activities are free and most are offered in English and Spanish. (The Getty Museum 1200 Getty Center Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90049. (310) 440-7300 or www.getty.edu
)Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Any day of the year this museum serves up WOW with films, workshops, and gallery exhibitions. It is a place to share with your kids (no matter the age – toddler to twenty-something) and become energized. Their well-orchestrated Sunday programs designed especially for young families offer opportunities to make art, meet artists, explore the museum, or join a bilingual gallery tour. Bonus points:
The Boone Children's Gallery offers storytelling every Monday and Friday and provides an environment for children with parents or grandparents to learn about brush painting and Korean art. Wait for it!
The museum offers an outstanding opportunity for teens. Arts for NexGen LACMA is the nation’s only free youth membership program. The program provides free general admission to anyone 17 or younger and includes one accompanying adult. (Los Angeles County Museum of Art 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036. (323) 857-6000 or www.lacma.org
This dynamic facility combines a music-infused atmosphere, edgy exhibits, public events, and unique programming to explore, celebrate, and experience all forms of recorded music spanning almost one-hundred and sixty genres. It showcases the creative process of music-making, the art and technology of the recording process and the history of the GRAMMY Awards. Bonus points:
For young families the Museum's Musical Explorations family series provides ongoing opportunities to share music or even a dance party. Wait for it!
The unique, evening programs treat audiences to performances by legendary artists, candid interviews soon-to-be famous bands from Los Angeles and new music previews of a host of musical genres. Here’s the deal. On dates when Grammy Public Programs are scheduled visitors who purchase museum admission at the box office after 6:00pm will receive a discounted rate of $8. (Grammy Museum at L.A. LIVE 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite A245 Los Angeles, CA 90015. (213) 763-2167 or www.grammymuseum.org