How do you create memory reminders for your kids?  Some scrapbook, some blog, some photograph – but recently we encountered one Dad who did something new.  He maps.  He’s been exploring LA with his two little boys and decided to create an illustrated map of Los Angeles that showcases the fantastic adventures he loves to have with his boys.  This map is gorgeous, inspirational and a perfect memento of these days that fly by so fast.

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Meet Dave Douglass.  He’s a midwest-raised graphic designer/illustrator with a passion for his kids, art, design, color and Los Angeles.   That’s a pretty potent combination, and Dave found himself wanting to meld them all into one cool keepsakeable form. So he made a map.

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It graphically illustrates some of the adventures he has been taking with his two sons (now 2 & 5) for the past few years.  Dave discovered one of the things that we kind of use as a motto at Red Tricycle – you can live in LA, you can like LA, but to really know LA, you gotta have kids!  Then you’ll LOVE it.  Take a close look at the map to discover some of the great places you can take your kids…

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We spotted several of our favorite things to do here in the map.  So we asked Dave to point out his (and his boys) top three things.  Here’s what he told us:

1. The California Science Center.  There’s the aquarium tunnel, watching chicks hatch, and of course the Space Shuttle Endeavour!

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2.  LACMA.  You can spend all day at Metropolis II, check out the ever-changing art, and see a REAL Mummy.

3.  Noah’s Ark at the Skirball.  There are tons of artful interactive exhibits for hours of learning and fun.  And fake animal poop.  You can’t forget that.  (Kids adore it.)

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Realizing we had a real exploring LA expert on our hands, we couldn’t resist asking if there was anything else that he loves that didn’t make the map.

5 Close Cuts:
1.  El Matador Beach, where there’s a cool tide pools with creatures, sea caves, and great boulders for exploring.

2.  Bronson Cave, where you can spelunk through the real Bat-cave!

3.  The Natural History Museum’s Dinosaur Hall with it’s mind-blowing exhibits, including a 68-foot dinosaur.

4.  The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA has had some of the best exhibits for kids.

5.  Big Bear/Mammoth/Mountain High for nearby snow fun.  LA kids love the snow!

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You can find more about Dave and his map (and other cool work) at his website: dave-douglass.com

We’d love to hear what creative ways you track and document your explorations with your kids!  What would be on your map?