After the Thanksgiving craze, why not take advantage of a vacation day, and take the family on an excursion to one of L.A.’s many cool neighborhoods? We’ve already covered the fun and excitement to be had in Downtown, Malibu, and Venice, and our turning our attention to Culver City. Here are a few of our favorite spots to visit.
Start your day at Café Laurent, a French-style breakfast spot with crepes, omelettes, and pancakes galore. The optional side of potatoes gratin with your omelette? Well, ’tis the season for indulging.
After a filling breakfast, you can choose your adventure depending on the age of your kids. If you’ve got an elementary schooler in tow, hit up the Star Eco Station for some quality time with wildlife from around the world! The environmental science museum and wildlife rescue center plays home to illegally-trafficked animals rescued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Tours and specialists educate visitors on endangered animals and the planet’s ecosystem, with multiple opportunities to touch and interact with the critters. If you have older kids that also love planet Earth’s fauna, by all means take them to the Star Eco Station.
If you’re looking for an activity more suited to your middle or high schooler, the Museum of Jurassic Technology is sure to please. The very name of the museum is vexing (Jurassic? Like Dinosaurs? With technology?!), but it plays host to a number of mismatched and mysterious exhibits. See Floral Radiographs, microminiature sculptures the size of needle eyes, and a history of dogs in the Soviet Space Program. These unique collections are just a few of the odd wonders in store at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, which we think is worth a visit for the name alone.
After some fun with animals or an exploration of oddities, your kids probably have built up an appetite. Head on down to Main Street (right next to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a short drive from Star Eco), where the food choices are endless. Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken is award-winning and delicious, while Ugo’s offers lighter Italian food and coffee with great windows for observing strolling pedestrians. If you time your visit right, every Tuesday from 3-7 Main street has a farmer’s market. Pick up some fresh produce or delicious local fare while looking at the charming neighborhood. After lunch, you can stroll Main Street and pop into their numerous art galleries and shops. For a complete list of Main Street’s activities and storefronts, visit this Downtown Culver City website.
If you’re done on Main Street, again you can visit a variety of Culver City locations depending on the age group you are trying to entertain. Allied Model Trains is a 12,000 square foot store complete with a mini replica of Union Station. Offering a plethora of model trains for any young locomotive-obsessed child, Allied Model Trains is perfect for a post-lunch visit. Be careful though: it will definitely give your kids gift ideas.
Older and younger kids alike might enjoy a tour of Sony Studios. For a reasonable price of $35.00, see the secrets of one of Hollywood’s premier movie studios. See stars of television shows or movies in production, and learn legends of this movie town’s past.
In the mood for something more active? Visit Culver City’s Ice Rink for some early evening skating. If you’re raising a budding musician, then the Jazz Bakery is definitely worth a visit. Hailed as the center of Jazz in California by the L.A. times, the Jazz Bakery offers nightly shows that are sure to make you dance your way back to your car.