Our daughter lives in Los Angeles so going to Griffith Park is something we do on each visit.
If you are lucky enough to be in the area around mid November to the end of December head on over to Griffith Park where you will see an incredible display of lights. This is called the Griffith Park – Holiday Lights Festival where when the sun sets Crystal Springs drive is lit up. You will be driving through so you won’t have to worry about parking and this is free. Note that this can be very crowded. The line of cars might be way down the road. A couple of suggestions: be patient – the line moves quickly or go at an off time – perhaps just at sundown or later in the night. There is a period in November where you can walk along the road. You won’t be able to drive. So check out the website before you go. some of the lights depict the Statue of Liberty, Venice Boardwalk, The Hollywood Sign and a salute to the L.A. Fire Department.
There are 53 miles of hiking trails, fire roads and paths for horses. Note that all trails close at dusk so plan accordingly. We hiked one of the most popular hikes. This took us from the Observatory parking lot to the summit of Mount Hollywood. The Hollywood sign looms so large it appears as if it can be touched. You’ll have great views of the Los Angeles Basin. We never bumped into snakes or scary animals but they do live in Griffith Park so be on the watch. Hiking Griffith Park is a must do.
Griffith Observatory is fairly famous though I didn’t know that until I went. There is no charge to get in and you don’t have to make a reservation. The Observatory is closed on Mondays so make note of that when doing some planning. The Observatory is handicapped friendly. If you have never heard of it, like I had not, it’s a “world leader in public astronomy.” http://www.griffithobservatory.org/ It has been running since 1935 and offers shows in the Planetarium with exhibits and telescopes. This is a must do.
You’ll find pony rides at the Los Feliz entrance to the park. Your child can have a ride from 10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m Tuesdays through Sundays.
The Los Angeles Zoo is located at the northeast corner of Griffith Park. There is an admission price which can be seen here: http://www.lazoo.org/visit/index.html. Note that the animals get started with their nighttime routine i.e. getting put to bed at 4:00p.m. so plan accordingly.
The Plunge, which is Griffith Park’s swimming pool is open during the summer. You’ll find it at Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Boulevard.
If soccer is your passion then you’ll be happy at Griffith Park. A 26-acre area called John Ferraro Fields has a soccer and rugby field. Reservations are required. You can call them at 818-246-5613.
Spokes n’ Stuff Bike Shop is open everyday from 2:00p.m. to dusk. You can rent bikes here but note that cash is the only form of currency accepted during the week.
The Autry National Center is open from 10:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Tuesdays through Sundays and until 8:00 on Thursdays. This is the Museum of the American West which was called the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. This is a fun family museum where everyone can find something of interest whether it is the history of the area; the west in paintings; firearms and wagon trains; early settlers; different cultures; or eating at the Golden Spur.
We go again and again and never tire of this terrific Park.