LACMA: Moms Need Fun Too!

Yellow Plastic Spaghetti Art Installation at LACMA
As the mother of a 5- and 9-year-old, there comes a time on a vacation when you have to do something of interest to mum. Yes, a mother must choose something with at least one kid activity, but she needs some spiritually enlightening activity to sustain her through hours of watching the Gator Boys and Sponge Bob and of course, the pool, the pool, the pool. Even if it was in the coolest location. From the LA Westin Bonaventure glass elevator 18-floors up, the pool looked like it was located right at the intersection of South Figueroa and Fifth Streets.

LACMA Kids' Museum
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Getty museum were the two destinations I had in mind, but I chose the former because I already knew how to get there. As you can see, there was a yellow plastic spaghetti art installation that doubled as a playground for the kids, a big hit, and there was a kid's museum where young artists could paint and exhibit their work. From the children's museum, we started with Korean art next door. I told my children to select what they liked best and to show it to me. That worked well, and I was surprised when the Dude chose a hand-painted ceramic dish as his favourite piece, but that was the end of his interest in the museum. He'd already endured 45 minutes of museum stuff, which also included a brownie at the cafeteria.

I'd heard nothing of LACMA until I read Jane Fitch's White Oleander. In fact, the museum is where teenage Astrid has her LSD-induced epiphany about her narcissistic mother. I also  remembered reading that admission was free on the second Tuesday of the month. But when we signed our children up for memberships, we were magically given free admission anyway. Just as an aside, I was expecting Los Angeles to be just as expensive as New York and Paris for eating in restaurants and admission tickets, but this was not the case. With the exception of Universal Studios and Disneyland, I found prices in LA reasonable overall. In fact, there are quite a few free activities in LA.

In the end, I was able to spend 90 minutes at the museum. I walked around with my nine-year-old and tried to show her the fabulous Motherwells, Monets and of course, Picassos. But she just sighed and said, "Not another crooked face." This was right about when I heard a child (yes, mine) throw a temper tantrum in the next room, which abruptly ended as the elevator doors closed and my husband took him down to the entrance to wait for us. I enjoyed my whirlwind visit to the museum and foolishly entertained thoughts of visiting the Getty on our last day in LA. This would not transpire we discovered, as visiting LA involves a lot of driving, and you have to take advantage of every window of opportunity.

View of the Hollywood hills from the Griffith
Just as we were pulling out of the parking lot, our iPad GPS indicated that we were not far from the Griffith Observatory perched atop the hills. The art deco-inspired observatory was a big hit with my son because there were telescopes and plenty of planetary models with  buttons to push, and it was a beautiful drive to the top. We also had a great view of the Hollywood sign on a neighbouring hill, but most of all it felt great to get out of the city just for a few minutes and see it from afar.

The Griffith Observatory is a great family activity, and it's absolutely free.

Other posts about visiting California
LA's Million Dollar Theater
Disney Theatre W/ the Kids
Unexpected Beauty of Historic Los Angeles


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