Group and Family Fun

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Museums

  • Getty Center Located on an 110-acre complex and is a work of art by itself. The museum houses collections of Greek and Roman antiques, pre-20th century European drawings, sculpture, decorative arts, and 19th-20th century American and European photographs. The Getty is located off I-405, and visitors can take MTA bus 561 or the Santa Monica Blue Bus.
  • Griffith Observatory and Planetarium

2800 E. Observatory Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 664-1181 http://www.griffithobs.org The observatory, made famous by the James Dean movie "Rebel Without a Cause", is a popular spot on the slopes of Mt. Hollywood for observing the city lights and the stars. Visitors may use the twin refracting telescope on clear evenings. (Undergoing renovations at time of publication, check website for updates).

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art

5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 857-6000 http://www.lacma.org LACMA is a five building complex housing collections of paintings, sculpture, costumes, textiles and decorative art from around the world. Collections consist of more than 150,000 works.

  • MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art )

All at: http://www.moca-la.org Houses a collection of international works from 1940s to the present, including media and performing art. The Geffen Contemporary (aka the Temporary Contemporary) typically has one or two exhibitions at a time, which each last a couple of months. The main branch of MOCA exhibits the permanent collection and has special shows. California Plaza 152 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 626-6222 Geffen Contemporary 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (213) 626-6222 Pacific Design Center

  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

900 Exposition Blvd; (213) 763-3466 http://www.nhm.org Exhibits on African and North American wildlife, dinosaurs, other prehistoric fossils, and life in California and the Southwest from 1540-1940 are interesting. The museum boasts an Insect Zoo, featuring live assassin bugs, hissing cockroaches, scorpions, and tarantulas. 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (213) 626-6222

  • Page Museum La Brea Tar Pits

5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 934-7243 http://www.tarpits.org Exhibits reconstruct fossils from the tar pits of such animals as the mammoths, dire wolves, sabertooth tigers and many more. Tar pits are still visible and various displays show how they excavated and found many of the fossils.

  • Southwest Museum

234 Museum Dr., Highland Park, map; (323) 221-2164 http://www.southwestmuseum.org Exhibits about Native American cultures from prehistoric times to the present. Lectures, demonstrations and other special programs occur periodically. Conveniently accessible with the Metro Gold Line - Southwest Museum stop.

  • The Museum of Tolerance

9786 W. Pico Blvd; (310) 553-8403 http://www.museumoftolerance.com Interactive exhibits on fascism and prejudice in America. A large exhibit on the Holocaust is also displayed.

  • Autry Museum of Western Heritage

4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles; (323) 667-2000 http://www.autry-museum.org Many depictions in multimedia of America's westward movement. There are both permanent and changing exhibits.

Parks, Gardens and Zoos

  • Griffith Park & Los Angeles Zoo

134 West, exit Forest Lawn Drive Over 4000 acres which include several golf courses, bridle paths, the Greek Theater, Griffith Park Observatory, Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, and the LA Zoo. It is the largest urban park in America.

  • LA Zoo: 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles; (323) 644-6400
  • Hancock Park

5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles Site of the LA County Museum of Art and the La Brea Tar Pits.

  • Arboretum

301 N. Baldwin, Arcadia; (626) 821-3222; http://www.arboretum.org The Arboretum encompasses 127 acres of beautiful trees and shrubs from all parts of the globe. Peacocks roam freely and the orchids and begonias are wonderful. In summer, great concert series and dinner theater performances are available. Check the website for events.

  • Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino; (626) 405-2100 http://www.huntington.org Within walking distance from Caltech. A good place to escape in the afternoons. The gardens are quite spectacular.

  • Lacy Park

Virginia Road, San Marino Small park with jogging/walking paths, a playground and tennis courts. Easy joggable distance from Caltech. Open during daylight hours. Charges admission to non-residents on weekends, though jogging past the booth has never been a problem.

  • Memorial Park

Walnut and Raymond, Pasadena Levitt Pavilion features free concert and theater series. Check the schedule at: http://www.levittpavilionpasadena.org

  • Tournament Park

Wilson Ave. east of the running track behind the Caltech gym Tournament Park has a playground, grills, and picnic tables. It opens at 8am and closes at dusk. Reservations are needed for events. Contact Delmy Emerson or Physical Plant Department (2-83). The entrance to Tournament Park is on Wilson Ave., slightly south of Braun Gym, or through the parking lot on the east side of Brown Gym.

Theme Parks

  • Disneyland-5 Freeway and Katella Ave, Anaheim; (714) 781-4565

http://disneyland.disney.go.com The Happiest Place on Earth! Rides, “educational” entertainment, and musical performances. The Disney touch for realistic simulation abounds. Newly opened is its next neighbor California Adventure.

  • Knott’s Berry Farm 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park; (714) 220-5200

http://www.knotts.com An Old-West flavor amusement park with pop and nostalgia music and rides. Open at 9am, closing varies. Check for discounted tickets at the Caltech Y or bookstore. Occasionally discount tickets are also offered at Ralphs. (Distance: 28 miles; Drive Time: 45 minutes)

  • Raging Waters

111 Raging Waters Drive, San Dimas; (909) 802-2200 http://www.ragingwaters.com Fifty acre aquatic park. Open at 10, closing times vary.

  • Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor

26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia; (818) 367-5965 http://www.sixflags.com/parks/magicmountain Magic Mountain features eighty-five acres of rides and attractions, occasionally including concerts, and Hurricane Harbor is a water amusement park.

  • Universal Studios Hollywood

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, map; (800) UNIVERSAL http://themeparks.universalstudios.com Tram ride through back lots, stages, and property storehouses. Special effect demonstrations, movie-themed rides and live shows. Get discounted tickets from the Y. Universal City Walk outside of the Studios is a lively place, especially on weekends.

  • Wild Rivers

8770 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, map; (949) 788-0808 http://www.wildrivers.com A variety of water-oriented rides, games and thrills.


Studio tours

  • Audiences Unlimited

http://www.tvtickets.com This broker can send you FREE tickets to many television shows taping in the area.

  • NBC Studio Tours

3000 W. Alameda, Burbank; (818) 840-3537 75 minute tours of popular shows, news, wardrobe, and makeup departments.

  • Universal Studios Tours

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, map; (800) UNIVERSAL http://themeparks.universalstudios.com Tram ride through back lots, stages, and property storehouses. Special effect demonstrations, movie-themed rides and live shows. Get discounted tickets from the Y. Universal City Walk outside of the Studios is a lively place, especially on weekends.

  • Warner Bros. Studios

4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank; (818) 954-1744 The tours are at 10 am and 2 pm at entrance gate 4, Monday through Friday. Admission fee and reservations are required.

Activities for children

The Pasadena Kids Page, http://www.pasadenakids.com, lists activities for children and families to do in Pasadena. There are free music lessons, story hours, concerts, crafts, locations and times of the Well-Child Clinics and many other things.

  • Kidspace -An exploratory hands-on museum geared for children between the ages of 2-10. Exhibits include a TV studio, fire station and beach exhibit. It is basically a giant protected play area with some educational twists, a great place to take your kids. Hours vary, so call beforehand. Play groups. These are sometimes listed in the Caltech Calendar. This is great for your kids and not bad for your own sanity.
  • Story Times -The Pasadena library system has many story times and is very good about providing stories appropriate for a wide range of ages and interests. They have multiple sessions including one in the evening before bedtime. Check out their web site for Pasadena activities: http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/library