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Best for Kids in Los Angeles

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Built in Art Deco style, this observatory was constructed in the early 1930s and is a highlight among the landmarks in Southern California. See incredible light shows at the Oschin Planetarium, which puts to use the latest technology. Outside the observatory, you'll find sweeping views of the nearby area that are breathtaking during the day as well as at night. Exhibits and planetarium shows will fascinate visitors. Some visitors might recognize the observatory as the site where the climax of Rebel Without a Cause was filmed. On clear nights take advantage of the free public telescopes to see the stars up close.

Originally built in 1926, this theater was completely renovated in 1991 by Pacific Theatres and The Walt Disney Company. It's now a premier movie palace that Disney uses to showcase its animated and children's features. Special features begin with a live stage show with a singing and dancing chorus of familiar Disney characters. Often short cartoons will precede the main show. Be sure to call or check the website for the movie and show times.

This Victorian mansion built in 1908 in the Hollywood Hills is home to the Academy of Magical Arts, an organization dedicated to the advancement of the art of magic. From showy stage magic to subtle card tricks, this organization knows it all. The purpose of the Academy is to advance the public awareness of the art of magic as well as to preserve its history, but only members and their guests can enter this institution. For exclusive members, the castle serves as a restaurant and entertainment venue as well as an educational facility. For people who secure coveted tickets, they can expect an unbelievable show, whether it be a kid-oriented brunch show or a more grown-up evening performance.

As one of the oldest children's theaters in Southern California, the Nine O'Clock Players Theatre for Children has been producing plays since 1929. Each year the theater company chooses two plays from classic children's literature to put on for school kids as well as the public. The small but helpful ticket price for the public on weekends helps to fund the transportation costs for economically challenged schools. Perhaps best of all, kids are encouraged to stay after the show, meet the cast and get autographs.

Skirball Cultural Center is a community events center which hosts concerts, lectures, theater, art exhibitions and more. Skirball houses a museum, cafe and offers educational courses. The center aims to explore the correlations between Jewish and American culture, and offers many family-friendly activities.

The Audubon Center at Debs Park serves as a vital hub for environmental conservation, wildlife appreciation, and community engagement. This center strives to teach and inspire people to understand and care for the environment. Special programs have been designed to engage school-age children, where they can explore and learn about the native flora and fauna. Spot butterflies, lizards, squirrels, rabbits, warblers, hummingbirds and more as you stroll through this serene landscape. The center's primary mission revolves around the conservation and protection of local flora and fauna, with a particular focus on bird species and their habitats. Audubon Center at Debs Park provides a welcoming and enriching experience for all those who visit.

This place is heaven for train-loving tots. An interactive museum in the old-fashioned sense of the word, youngsters can climb in, around or on all the attractions, and many of them will want to do so for hours upon end. Kids can even take a mini train ride for a small fee. The antiques, which include artifacts from trains to classic cars to horse-drawn carriages, showcase the country's railway history—which is especially relevant to California. This museum is a treasure for transportation lovers of all ages.

Perhaps the best way to spend a summer evening in Los Angeles is at this huge amphitheater, the Hollywood Bowl, that offers jazz, pop and classical concerts for the denizens of Los Angeles. The sound quality is excellent from any point, although binoculars are suggested for the seats in the far back. The summer home of the L.A. Philharmonic since 1922 and the home of its very own Hollywood Bowl Orchestra since 1991, numerous guest stars from Itzhak Perlman to Tony Bennett have performed their selections in this much loved, relaxed concert alternative.

An iconic attraction in Hollywood, Universal Studios is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys the thrill and excitement of a theme park. With a slate of ever-changing attractions, the park is a great outing for the whole family and can easily take up an entire day. After the guided tour, you can wander around the park, and get something to eat at one of the numerous restaurants and cafes scattered around its sprawl. Later, take in various shows like WaterWorld or the Special Effects show. Some other park attractions that will definitely get your adrenaline pumping include the Revenge of the Mummy Ride, various rides at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the acclaimed King Kong 360-3D virtual ride.

Since 1913 Natural History Museum has been delighting people of all ages with entertaining exhibits about our world, both natural and cultural. Visit such wonders as the rarest shark in the world, a zoo full of insects and 20 dinosaur skeletons. Several special exhibits are also presented throughout the year.

This non-profit organization is dedicated to caring for abandoned farm animals, and the refuge itself is a veritable paradise. Bring your kids along during their Sunday tours to meet a whole lot of four-legged, furry and feathered friends who share this 26-acre sanctuary. If you really fall in love with one of the animals ask about their adoption program. Events are often held here, aimed at increasing awareness towards cruelty to farm animals. What better reward bringing awareness to this cause than with a cheery woof, cluck, moo, mew or a big, wet "thank you" lick!

Although upstaged by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium's collection of sea creatures is still impressive, and best of all, it's free. Among the species you will find here are sharks, eels, octopus, and crabs. In all, there are 38 salt-water aquariums, as well as interactive exhibits such as the tide pool 'touch tank'. In addition to the live exhibits, the aquarium also has displays on the gray whale and its migration along the Pacific Coast.

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