We’re not sure what to make of a winter that actually promises inclement, stay-inside weather. So we came up with 50 things that will keep mini-Angelenos who are used to sunshine occupied, interested and happy. Most are inside, in case the Old Farmer’s Almanac proves to be true (cooler and wetter than normal), but we still have a few that are only-in-winter outings for the dry days. Get those puffy jackets and rain boots ready and check out the wonderful winter activities listed below!
photo: Ryan Neuls via flickr
1. We never get to see snow, and this winter is already amazingly white in the mountains, so bundle up baby and take advantage of winter’s bounty at our local snowy wonderlands.
2. But on warm, dry days put that sled to another use!
3. Just because we live in California, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some winter sports! Lace up your skates for a day of ice skating.
4. Hit the Zoo! The cooler temps makes this the perfect time of year to visit (and don’t forget to bring along our handy guide to hidden tips and tricks when visiting the Zoo with kids.
5. Meet wild wolves at the Shadowland Foundation.
6. Soups on! Baby, it’s cold outside and nothing warms you up like a bowlful of goodness.
photo: Meghan Rose
8. Still pinching pennies after a rather over the top Christmas? These favorite free and cheap spots for kids are a welcome relief.
9. When you get cooped up, that indoor playground is like a shining beacon on a hill. These indoor sanity savers all have coffee and comfy seats for parents to watch while kids run out the ya-yas.
10. Got a mini firefighter? We’ve got several super spots where they can rev up their engines by seeing some big engines.
11. Now that we know LA will host the Olympics in 2024, take a tour of the spot that’s hosted them twice already.
12. Find out where the food we eat comes from! Take a tour of one of these food factories to get the scoop.
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin
13. The Petersen Automotive Museum is refurbished and totally open. Have you revisited yet?
14. Holidays leave you feeling less than zen? Practice your child pose, with child in tow.
15. Take a cave hike, and if it’s windy or rainy, you’ve got a place to take shelter!
16. Stay indoors to make something crafty and creative.
17. Sneak off to Palm Springs, where it’s always a little warmer.
18. Exercise those little minds (and maybe learn a thing or two) at some engaging kid’s museums.
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin
19. Treats make every winter day sunny. Finally head to the beach to scarf some super donuts, imported from Portland.
20. Make your own Amazing Race around town to find these sculptures hidden in plain sight.
21. LA is never so clear as after a rain. These observation decks and lookouts offer sweeping views of the city.
22. Have you visited the JANM? It’s an amazing little museum in Little Tokyo well worth a visit.
23. Nervous about taking the tykes skiing for the first time? Fret not. We’ve got 5 tips to get your kids snow plowing down the mountain in no time.
24. Now that you’re ready to ski, get thee to the mountain, Mammoth Mountain that is, for some powdery fun.
25. Take a trip into a storybook at the Discovery Cube.
27. Would you like some entertainment with your cafeteria order? This place keeps kids occupied, entertained and happily munching.
28. Catch Paddington 2 with the family for a feel-good movie that will have you laughing in the New Year.
photo: Elena Fenegan
29. When the sun peeks out, zip over to one of our favorite playgrounds.
30. Baaaaaa! Go see some goats at the goat farm.
31. It’s extra chilly in the hoosegow, but the kids won’t mind. Take them to explore the Police Museum of Los Angeles.
32. Become a rocket scientist. Or at least learn how they think and what they do for free.
33. Remember those resolutions? Yep, time to implement them. Kids provide no excuses when you can bring them along to one of these workouts with wee ones.
34. Have you discovered the secret Garden of Oz? Here’s how to find it…
photo: Jolie Loeb
35. Aaaaa-choo! Got a winter cold? Banish it with a playdate at the Salt Studio. Much more fun than a neti pot.
36. The circus is in town! Perk up with the weirdly wonderful and wild Cirque du Soleil show Luzia at Dodger Stadium.
37. Curl up with a good book — one you checked out of one of our favorite libraries for kids.
38. Follow the band: determine which of these incredible local bands is your family’s favorite, and then see when they’re playing a show.
39. Or if a rainy day forces you indoors unexpectedly, we love the retro fun of this roller rink.
40. Back to school, back to work, winter nights and no one wants to cook. Hit a food truck gathering where everyone can find a favorite food.
photo: Kim Orchen Cooper
41. Watt’s Towers is a spectacular spot that far too many Angelenos have never visited. Take the kids, then challenge them to come up with their own recycled art creation at home.
42. Get out there and meet the animals at one of our favorite spots to get up close and personal.
43. Visit the Broad. Or more realistically, reserve tickets this winter to visit in the spring.
44. Discover a new sword-y sport for the whole family—take up fencing!
45. Biff! Pow! Bam! Comic books make for one cozy fun afternoon indoors.
46. It’s a date! Make a lunch date with your toddler someplace where they will lick the plate clean (maybe literally).
47. Do good! There are loads of local volunteer organizations that have perfect helping opportunities for kids.
photo: LeTania Kirkland
48. Your littlest one needs a simple and imaginative indoor place to play. Leimert Park is the answer you’re looking for.
50. Do you wish winter would disappear like magic? We can’t help with that. But other magic can be found at the Magic Castle weekend brunch.
What winter blues banishing does your family whip up? Let us know in the comments below!