Updated: Dec 14, 2020
We love our homes, but it's fair to say that we’ve been in them too much lately. Not to mention, with schools having shifted to another semester of remote learning, kids are inside all day. The pandemic has made it especially tough for families to find ways to safely get out of the house. Fortunately, some of the best LA attractions have found ways to accommodate social distancing guidelines, allowing them to safely deliver a great experience for everyone. Here are some family-friendly suggestions to get your kids up and out of the house, along with a travel guide on tickets and hours:
Aquarium of the Pacific
The Aquarium of the Pacific is a truly amazing place for its vivid displays of marine life and hands-on exhibits. This Long Beach attraction is somewhere that all ages can appreciate and enjoy. While the inside of the aquarium is closed, the spectacular outdoor exhibits remain open. Open attractions include the Shark Lagoon, Moon Jelly Touch Lab, Lorikeet Forest, Southern California Steelhead Story, June Keyes Penguin Habitat and the Seals and Sea Lions Habitat. The aquarium also features several touch pools with stingrays, small fish, horseshoe crabs, and even jellyfish. As well as having several tanks and live displays, the outdoor aquarium is home to the “Our Water Future” exhibit. This educational display shows where the water in Los Angeles comes from, how it is used, and ways to conserve it. Tickets for the Aquarium of the Pacific need to be purchased in advance. However, general admission is only $15 for all ages. The tickets can be purchased at https://www.aquariumofpacific.org/visit/tickets and will grant access to all outdoor exhibits between 9:00am and 5:15pm. There are two more packages that include General Admission to the aquarium and either a Harbor Cruise or Whale Watch. The packages are a great deal for any family and make for a perfect day trip.
Drive-in Movie Theaters
Who doesn’t love a drive-in theatre? As for those who have never had the chance to experience one before, now is the perfect time since most indoor movie theaters are closed. There are a number of good ones in LA, but here are some of the best:
Paramount Drive-In Theaters Located in Paramount, this venue sells tickets on a first-come first-serve basis. Tickets are $10 for General Admission, $4 for children ages 5 to 8, and free for children under 5. The Paramount features two screens and is currently showing Tenet, The New Mutants, and The Broken Hearts Gallery. For more information, visit their website at https://www.paramountdrivein.com/now-playing/
Mission Tiki Drive-In Theater This vintage drive-in has been showing films in Montclair since 1956. Their prices are $10 for adults and $1 for kids ages 5 to 9. Mission Tiki has four screens and is open seven days a week. They also host a famous swap meet. Tickets are sold at the door. More information can be found at https://missiontiki.com/movies/tenet/
The Roadium Open Air Market This drive-in is only open on select nights, but tickets can be purchased online for $25 per vehicle. This is one of LA’s classic spots for vendors and those looking to see a movie under the night sky. It is located just outside of Torrance. Visit their website for ticket purchases and general information at http://roadium.com/drive-in-movies/
Important note: Each of these theaters have made their own accommodations for safety. Their guidelines and protocols can all be found on each of their websites.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
Another great attraction that has just recently opened its doors to visitors again is the LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens. This establishment is home to over 1,400 animals on a 133 acre plot of land. While some exhibits are closed, most remain open to the public. The well-kept Botanical Gardens also showcase the fauna that is home to many animals of the zoo. Tickets for the Zoo and Botanical Gardens need to be purchased online and in advance. Be sure to also bring a mask and follow the marked pathways inside the Zoo for safe distancing. Tickets for adults are $22 and $17 for children under 13. You can purchase tickets and schedule your trip through their website at https://www.lazoo.org/.
Underwood Family Farms
Underwood Family Farms is a great place to take your family for a day outing, while also picking up some farm fresh fruits and vegetables to bring back to your dinner table. Located in Moorpark, Underwood features a farmers market and 40+ acres of Pick Your Own fields. The ticket price for general admission is $8 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Included with admission are wagon rides, a Corn Trail Ride Through, a giant pumpkin patch, a hay pyramid, and animal center viewing. Tickets can be purchased in-person and online at https://underwoodfamilyfarms.com/
With our situation right now, it can be tough to find ways to venture out. For families, it has been far from an easy past few months. However, we’re all in this together, and as time passes hopefully more places will open their doors again. As for now, there are still many ways to have some safe family fun. Use this as a guide for a day trip or just some ideas for your next family adventure on a weekend. All of these places are great, and will guarantee your family a safe excuse to get out of the house!
This piece was written by Spencer W., an Ignite Tutor