The End of Our Staycation. Exploring Free Activities in Los Angeles

What happens when your summer vacation is suddenly scrapped? Now you have a summer to fill and two very active toddlers to entertain. Solution: Plan a staycation. We spent the end of our summer exploring our hometown of Los Angele’s. And the best part? All of our activities were free, which is always a parenting win.

My goal was to expose the boys to things new, interesting and exciting. So with the school year fast approaching, this is how we spent the last few weeks of our summer staycation.

California Science Center

Los Angeles has incredible museums the entire family can enjoy. The California Science Center is an amazing museum that lets kids physically interact with exhibits. Which is fantastic for tactile children like mine. The biggest draw is Endeavour which is at the Science Center. It is a once in a lifetime chance to get up close and personal with a space shuttle. And just as cool are the Discovery Room, learning about the Ecosystems and the space simulators. It is a museum you can spend all day in and still feel like you want to go back soon to see more. Best of all, admission is free!

Endeavour California Science Center

LACMA

We love taking our kids to all types of museums. LACMA being one of our favorites. While there are not a ton of exhibits geared towards kids, exposing children to art at an early age has proven incredibly important to a child’s developing mind. LACMA encourages art appreciation through the NextGen program. With NextGen, kids get a free membership until they are 18 and can get a guest in for free. When you head to LACMA pack a picnic, there is a great outdoor space to sit and eat. Walk over to the Tar Pits and make sure you check out Metropolis II, a must see for all, especially hot wheels fans.

Los Angeles Philharmonic

The LA Phil offers free admission to watch their rehearsals at the Hollywood Bowl and it’s pretty incredible. We went when Gustavo Dudamel was conducting and while the boys have no clue who he is, I am thrilled they will be able to say they have seen him perform. Again, pack snacks, lunch and sit and enjoy. There were a ton of families there, which is always a relief. During intermission, the kids could get up close to the stage and see all the instruments. Again free!

Downtown LA

Stop 1 – The Last Bookstore

I have been wanting to visit The Last Bookstore for a long time. We decided to make a day of it downtown and this was our first stop. It did not disappoint. The boys had a blast exploring the store. From the vaulted rooms to the archway of books to the cool shops from local artisans inside the store, it was like an Alice in Wonderland of books stores. One of my guys is obsessed with old-fashioned things so this place was heaven for him. The vintage decor and lighting, the old books and signage. He could have spent the day here.

last bookstorethe last bookstore

Stop 2 – Grand Central Market

Lunch at Grand Central Market is always a fun experience. Apparently is has been in existence since the early 1900’s, which I did not know until recently. There are so many food options, including the insanely popular Egg Slut. The boys aren’t known for their culinary prowess, so they got pizza. But the rest of us each hit different vendors.

Staycation Grand Central MArket

Stop 3 – Grand Park

I love Grand Park. It will always hold a dear place in my heart. We lived downtown when the babies were born. It wasn’t always easy getting out alone with them. But Grand Park was one of the places I first ventured out alone with the boys and would consistently walk to when we all needed some sunshine and fresh air. There are events happening, outdoor concerts, food trucks, or just some grass to lie on and watch your babies crawl. This day we went back to the splash pad, a favorite of the boys. For me, watching and listening to all the children play in the splash pad, with the theaters in the background, in the midst of the bustling city, is simply perfection.

 staycation grand park

Even though summer is coming to its end and the school year has begun. I want to keep exploring our city. Trying new places, even going back to places I have been, it is all still new when you see it through the eyes of a child. I love re-experiencing places with them, because it’s different when it’s a child’s perspective. And I love going to new places we can all experience for the first time together.

It is important to take advantage when you live in a city that offers so much in terms of experience, opportunity, and diversity. So my goal for the rest of this year, and into next it to hit an old and a new place each month. It will be the staycation that never ends.

Check out the first part of our staycation here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turns Out I Am Not The Back to School Mom I Thought I Would Be

Twins going to schoolStaples used to run a commercial of a dad skipping through a store with two miserable children in tow, to the tune of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”.  At the time, I remember thinking how mean it was. That was pre-kids. Pre-twins. And pre-spending a whole summer at home with two toddler. My tune has changed.

I always assumed I would be one of those moms who posted sad face emoji’s on my kids first day of school. Turns out I am not. Some of the other parents and I wondered if it was in poor taste to just drop our kids off and go. Instead of hanging out to make sure they were adjusting well. 

In my defense, this is their second year at their school. And because it is a co-op,  we did spend a good portion of the summer there helping to get ready for the upcoming year. So they are on familiar grounds.

Also in my defense, I spent practically every day with then this summer. EVERY DAY! We don’t live near family, so there was no one to take them for the day. We have no sitter who comes and watches them once a week so I can get anything at all done. It was just me and them, all day, every day, until Saturdays when my husband was off work. I truly think they were just as ready to get a break from me as I was them.

Don’t get me wrong. There was some sadness in today. After this year they will enter Elementary school and I know it will just fly from that point on. This last year of pre-school is the beginning of the end of being a toddler. Of being a weird, funny, anything can happen little person. And that almost kills me.

But today, that was not my focus. My focus is the three days a week that I don’t have to plan some sort of outing or adventure. Our summer was packed. My focus is the three hours a day I have to myself. With no one calling me, climbing on me, using my shirt as a napkin.  

So I too, as I walked away from their preschool, alone, quietly hummed the classic holiday tune,  “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year.”

Check out this Post: The Freedom To Be Whomever You Want

 

 

 

1 2 3 33

%d bloggers like this: