Fun Things to Do In Los Angeles With Kids: Spring Break 2012


Not everyone has the same Spring Break but we’ve found two choice activities in each age group to keep your family busy in whatever time off you have!

ELEMENTARY: Spring brings butterflies, bugs and things that crawl!

Every year, Kidspace Museum in Pasadena holds a wonderful event called Caterpillar Adoption Days (March 17 to April 29) in which guests can adopt a live caterpillar, take it home to watch the chrysalis form, and return with their transformed butterflies on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29 at the 16th Annual Grand Butterfly Release Ceremony.

For more butterfly joy, the Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural history Museum opens on April 8 (and runs through the summer).

The L.A. Zoo’s new exhibit LAIR (for Living Amphibian, Invertebrates and Reptiles opened last week (March 8),  so those of brave heart are welcome to explore creatures as diverse as Fly River turtles, gila monsters, a nearly extinct breed of crocodile, and sooo many snakes that we get the shivers just writing this post. Have you ever heard of a turtle that flies or a Mang Shan viper??


MIDDLE SCHOOL: It’s all about clothing and photography, naturally!

Hands down, the exhibit we’ve heard most about from our subscribers this winter is the Digital Darkroom show at the Annenberg Space for Photography. Many parents have reported how much fun the kids had at the show, and everyone loves that the space is small, located right in Century City and… free! We bet your kids are snapping photos on their mobile phones with reckless abandon, so why not show them how creative this new medium can be.

If your kids like to dress up, and especially if they loved Il Teatro alla Moda, take them downtown to LA’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and check out the costumes that were nominated for Academy Awards this year. Yes, the fashion school has a museum, and every year showcases the elegant work of the industry’s top film designers. (They also have a store where the fashion students sell their wares at bargain prices!). Admission is free…!

 TEENS: No More Fairy Tales

We’ve spoken to more and more families who have brought their older teens (and returning college kids) to Women Hold Up Half the Sky at the Skirball Cultural Center. The kids are blown away that there are sex slaves here in LA, and particularly like having the ability to donate a few dollars to a micro-loan project (underwritten by Dermologica). The ceiling of the show contains hundreds of wishes scribed by other visitors to the site, and you can join in by writing your thoughts to a loved one, and to a woman across the world. Here’s our review of the show, which is open through May 20 with special evening hours, too.

Ballet Preljocaj – Snow Whitecomes to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center from March 23-25. Whether you’re dance fiends, fans of fairy tales being updated (such as in Once Upon a Time or Grimm, on television) consider this classy un-Disney take on the ultimate tale from Grimm. Performing the enchanted story of Snow White, Ballet Preljocaj captures the essence of the Grimm Brothers’ story with exquisite contemporary choreography. The costumes designed by fashion icon Jean Paul Gaultier and the romantic score of Gustav Mahler heighten the drama of the unforgettable tale for a spellbinding performance. Recommended for 12 and up.

ADULTS:  A great time to catch up on So Cal’s architectural heritage

Sunnyland is open to the public! Walter and Leonore Annenberg spectacular estate in Rancho Mirage, a ‘west coast Camp David” is open for touring. March is already sold out (!) but on March 15, you can sign up for tours in April. Click here for website, with fabulous photographs of the historic estate.

Los Angeles Conservancy’s  Millard Sheets Art and Architecture tour Sunday, March 18, great for architecture loving adults and kids, too! You’ll travel in your own vehicle, but meet docents at several sites in Pomona, and environs. Entrance to PST showCommon Ground: Ceramics in Southern California 1945 – 1975, included. This is a one-time-only opportunity to learn about the artist, meet his daughter and artist friends. Tour 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Panel Discussion 5:00 – 6:15 p.m. $30 general public; $25 L.A. Conservancy members; $15 students, $10 kids 12 and under.


EVERYONE: Incredible Art to be Seen this Spring (most made right here in CA)

Make a day of it at LACMA and everyone in the family will find happiness. First, check out the the famous rock that recently arrived with great public acclaim (it will emerge in summer as Levitated Mass).  Kids and adults alike adore Chris Burden’s Metropolis II (part of the permanent collection), and many have also fallen for  Ellsworth Kelly’s colorful show, in town until late April. Adults and teens will appreciate the Women in Surrealism show with Frida Kahlo and friends.

How about a day trip to see the Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series at the Orange County Museum of Art through the end of May? Everyone we’ve talked to that’s make the trek south is happy they’ve done so – seeing these paintings all together is a rare event. If you visit on Sundays, the kids can participate in related art workshops.



The Zimmer Children’s Museum has Spring Break camps  with Earth themes between April 1-6.

It’s a mild winter so why not try a surf camp over break? We like Camp Surf with instructor Tommy Ostendorf (April 2-6), and also a program run by John Kim at Harvard-Westlake School (March 26-30). Call 310-288-3258 for details on HW Camp.

Beverly Hills Recreation and Parks – Spring Break Camps are April 9-12 We think the Kitchen Kid Presents “My Own Restaurant” looks really cool (ages 6-14). Create a restaurant, learn to cook, make a menu, market you wares, and serve your customers (ah, your parents…!) Call 310-285-6810

Finally, if there are comedians in your household that need a little encouragement, try Second City’s Spring Break Camps; sessions in multiple age groups from April 2-6 and April 9-13.