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The Amarano Beat

Best Family Friendly Winter Activities in LA

Winter in Southern California doesn’t look much like winter in most of the country: Balmy temps and plenty of sunshine make a Burbank/Los Angeles getaway via the boutique luxury of Hotel Amarano a fabulous escape from biting cold and stubborn snow elsewhere. And Greater L.A. really must rank among the most best places anywhere for a wintertime family vacation, given the sheer quantity, variety, and caliber of kid-friendly attractions that the metro area and its surrounds boasts, plus that kindly weather.

Let’s take a look at a few of those attractions and activities, and keep in mind there’s an awful lot more: Feel free to pick our brain here at Hotel Amarano during your stay, and we’d be happy to supply some more ideas for the whole crew!

Hit Up Kid-Friendly Museums

Not long ago here at the Amarano Beat we spotlighted some of the best of the many museums Greater L.A. claims as its own, and there are some fabulous options for educational family field trips among them. A short list might include the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (dino skeletons!), the California Science Center (space shuttles!), the La Brea Tar Pits (sabretooths and mammoths!), and the Griffith Observatory (galactic explorations!)—not to mention the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles and Zimmer’s Children Museum.

Oh, and then there’s Madame Tussauds Hollywood: not a bad option for somewhat older kids, especially if they tilt toward the star struck…

Get to Know the Critters at the Zoo

What could be a more classic family outing, winter or not, than a day at the zoo? The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens has a global menagerie to get to know: more than 1,100 animals of more than 250 species (plus a luxuriant floral spread to match). From the goliath bird-eating tarantula and the Chinese giant salamander to helmeted cassowaries, heavy-browed western lowland gorillas, and mighty Asian elephants, the wonders of the animal world here at the L.A. Zoo are guaranteed to wow the little crowd—and you too, for that matter!

Theme Parks

This one almost goes without saying: Disneyland, Universal Studios, Legoland California—some of the best-known theme parks in the world are at your disposal when you and your family call Hotel Amarano home for a wintertime getaway!

Whale Watching

Winter’s prime time to see migrating gray whales along the Southern California coast; right now, mothers and calves are swimming north close to the coast, Alaska-bound. You can look for these lovely leviathans from shore vantages—Palos Verde’s Nature Preserve and Point Dume are good options—or via nearshore whale-watching cruises. (And heads-up: You can also consider making a fun daytrip from Hotel Amarano with a cruise south to Dana Point for its 47th annual Festival of Whales March 10th and 11th…)

National Parks

If you’re willing to go just a wee bit farther afield—and not much—you and the fam can check out some of the natural marvels of Southern California on display at our region’s national parks. Take a boat trip out to the Channel Islands off our coast, for instance, and enjoy amazing hiking, kayaking, and ecological spectacles; late winter sees island wildflowers start blooming, brown pelicans begin nesting, and both elephant and harbor seals begin pupping. And you could also pop over the mountains for an expedition to the world-renowned Joshua Tree National Park, a desert dream-scape you really have to see to believe.

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