Everyone has an image of Beverly Hills: Palm tree lined wide streets. Rodeo Drive shopping. Pretty Woman. Donna Martin graduates! Beverly Hills is indeed all that. But it’s also a very cool little city in the center of Los Angeles with a ton of things for kids and parents to enjoy. If you haven’t made it to 90210 lately, go. Here’s what to do when you get there.
Roxbury Park Playground
Twisty jungle gyms. Slinky slides. Monkey bars bars galore. High tech towers and twirly things and swings by the bucket (and bucket swings too). In 2016 this 11 acre park was given a face-lift (this is Beverly Hills, after all) and the resulting park is one of the best. There’s all that fun for kids, plus practical stuff like plenty of shade and seating for parents. Gorgeous green grounds for playing with balls, blankets for wee ones and games. Basketball AND tennis courts. And clean bathrooms (with little people size potties) in the recreation center, which is perfectly chilled for respite on hot days and has vending machines (even a coffee one) for days when you forgot to pack anything.
471 South Roxbury Dr.
The kids will get a kick out of visiting this castle-like structure (called Greystone because of all the grey stone used to build it) with impressive grounds that include ponds with turtles and koi. The property was built by an oil magnate in 1927 and is a real piece of LA history, that’s owned by the city and is a public park. Bring blankets and games and relax under the leafy canopy or stroll the grounds. Tours of the house and grounds and musical events take place throughout the year, so you can check the calendar of events to catch one. Mostly, it’s a gorgeous spot to relax, explore, and bring your favorite knight and princess costumes and pretend the day away.
905 Loma Vista Dr.
Coldwater Canyon Park & Franklin Canyon
This stunning jewel of a park and playground is exactly what you’d expect from fancy pants Beverly Hills. Pristine grounds, blooming flowers, animal sculptures, immaculate playground equipment and the star of the show—a sparkling stream for kids to frolic along. Shaded benches throughout this peaceful paradise offer an ideal spot to sit back, relax and renew your sense of zen. Rested and recharged, you’re ready to head up the hill to Franklin Canyon for a hike, a meander around the little lake, a visit to the Sooky Goldman Nature Center and then a visit to the critters at Heavenly Duck (and turtle!) Pond.
1100 N. Beverly Dr.
Beverly Hills Public Library
Renovated in 2013, this book heaven is bright and sunny, with tons of kids books, loads of corners designed to entice you to dig into that book right-this-minute, and even toys and places to play for kids who need a break from being quiet. With daily story times for kids of all ages, summer performances and reading programs that are worth the drive and even a fantastic library bookstore that allows you to find treasures that never need to be returned (and an attached coffee shop for sleepy parents that also serves up fudge and ice cream for kids), this Children’s Library is one of our favorites in all of Los Angeles.
444 N. Rexford Dr.
Beverly Hills Fire Department Headquarters
Right across the street from the Library is a fabulous Fire Station. If you have a little firefighter in the family, you must stop here. As long as they’re not out on a call, the firefighters here are all so nice and patient with kids, handing out badges and hats to young visitors, letting them sit in trucks and explaining equipment. Sometimes they’ll even slide down the polls. Yes, all firefighters are awesome with kids, but there’s something about this spacious HQ that makes everyone extra gracious and amazing. Stop by, after your library visit and go home in love with the civic system that makes Fire Departments and Libraries wonderful visits for kids of all ages.
445 N Rexford Dr.
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
The Wallis is a newer theater in the heart of Beverly Hills; it’s actually 10 years in the making renovation of the 1933 Post Office. Throughout the year, they present several family-friendly shows with their Theater for Young Audiences division. Fabulous companies from across the world are showcased, and you won’t find better theater anywhere in town (even for grownups, honest). Treat your kiddos to truly entertaining and thought provoking. Check out their Sunday Dance and Master Class programs, as well as the Theater for Young Audiences, which this year features performances like Dan Zanes, Elephant & Piggie and The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips.
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd.
photo: Lori C. via Yelp
Paley Center for Media
A museum dedicated to TV? Be still their little screen-loving hearts. You can request any show at the screening pods upstairs, if you’ve been dying to show the kids an obscure cartoon from your own youth. But what we love is the weekend family screenings in the big screening room. Saturdays have a theme for each month (for example, February is Valentine’s Day and March is Girl Power), and Sundays are Members Choice, where you just might discover something new. The Center is only open from noon- 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, so plan accordingly. Admission is free, with a suggested contribution of $5-$10.
465 North Beverly Dr.
Mrs. Claus’ Jolly Trolley tours are a favorite holiday tradition, but you can take a wonderful regular 40-minute trolley tour all year round (weekends only Jan-June & Sep-Nov, but during the summer they’re daily Tues-Sun). For just $5 for adults and $1 for kids, you can hop aboard, rest tired feet and get a narrated tour of art, architecture, historical and renowned areas of the city, including Rodeo Drive. Tours depart hourly from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Southeast corner of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way
Take a Bike or Hike Tour of the City
If you’re up for a more energetic tour, hike or bike around the city with Bikes and Hikes LA. They lead bike tours that include the Movie Star’s Homes Tour (with stops and strolls through a Beverly Hills Estate and Rodeo Drive) and Walking Tours like one that includes most of the major sites of Beverly Hills and a history of the town or a tour of Greystone Mansion. These tours need to be booked in advance, but are a great way to learn about the city and get the inside scoop.
Joey’s Gym isn’t a drop in play space, so if you don’t live in the hood, you probably haven’t been. But if you do happen to live in90210, you have been to 1 or 12 birthday parties here. This is a fabulous birthday party and classes space – fabulous enough that you should drop by and consider booking your next party, or sign up for a weekend gym class. It’s worth the drive, and then you’ll have a reason to be back in Beverly Hills weekly, so you can do more exploring.
275 S. Robertson Blvd.
Shops & Style
You can’t come to Beverly Hills and skip walking one of the most famous streets in the world. There are several 2-hour free city parking lots throughout the main shopping district in the city (from Canon to Camden and Wilshire to Santa Monica Blvd.). Then simply stroll up one side of the street and down the other. If you’re with your kids, you may want to pop into Catimini, which is a gorgeous upscale kids clothing store right on Rodeo. We also love to venture into Ralph Lauren (with well behaved kiddos) where you’re handed a drink while you peruse and can head up the stairs to the home store (and the most accessible and posh bathrooms on the street). Otherwise, this is a good window shopping part of your day. For snacks and more affordable shopping, head one street over, to Beverly Drive.
Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel
You can’t come the Beverly Hills and not have your Pretty Woman moment. So we’re giving you a reason to come, and with your kids. Take a moment in your day to venture into the storied setting and swing by the Spa. While you get a massage or manicure, your little pampered prince or princess can get a Pop Star Polish, Princess Facial or Rock Star Massage. Start them learning about the good things in life from a young age!
9500 Wilshire Blvd.
photo: Rockin’ Cuts by Nadia
Rockin’ Cuts by Nadia
If you’ve shopped and pampered, perhaps it’s time to get totally tricked out with a new and stylish cut. This is the place to do just that, for everyone in the family from baby’s first snip to parents rockin’ shags. They play rock music, specialize in rocker 70’s cuts and even the most reluctant kids will have a blast. They’re closed Monday and Sunday.
9905 S Santa Monica Blvd.
Auntie Barbara’s Kids
If you’re looking for unique clothes and fun gifts for kids, Auntie Barbara’s, just south of Wilshire, is a perfect stop. Everyone will find something they love here, and you’ll love that it’s not in the realm of Rodeo prices. It’s our go-to for gifts for babies, so if you’ve got any occasions coming up, this is the perfect time to have the kids help you pick things out. The friendly sales staff is great at helping too, and they do a gorgeous job wrapping.
179 South Beverly Dr.
This is the shopping stop the kids really want to make! Right near The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills (where you’ll want to drop in for some wine, cheese and chocolate to recreate that BH experience at home) is an unassuming little toy store. But once you enter, you’ll find it goes on and on and on. LEGO, Thomas, Calico Critters plus loads of games and crafts and figures keep little ones exploring for ages – and don’t forget to ride the horsie on the way out.
437 N Beverly Dr.
This is our #1 pick for places to eat in the Hills of Beverly when you’ve got your kids with you. Slurp oysters, nibble fois gras and confit de canard and sip crisp wines, while kids play in the Beverly Canon Garden, which doubles as the grounds for the Montage Beverly Hills. They’ll return to your table long enough to scarf french fries, giant pretzels, popcorn and grilled cheese. Then return to the adjacent big green grass space, which is perfect for running and wrestling, with fountains for penny pitching and plenty of tables and chairs for playing hide and seek (don’t worry, you can see everything from your elevated patio perch). If you’re here in the summer, free concerts play on Thursday nights and Sunday evenings there are family movies showing on a giant screen. If you don’t have time for a meal, next door’s Bouchon Bakery makes the best cookies in town.
235 N. Canon Dr.
photo: Lila H. via Yelp
The Peninsula Beverly Hills
If you’re looking for something swanky, this will do the trick. The legendary Afternoon Tea is served daily at the posh hotel with three seatings and a live harpist accompanying the service. There’s not a specific kid’s menu but children are welcomed warmly and the tiny sandwiches and sweet treats are perfect kid fare as is. Pinkies up!
9882 S Santa Monica Blvd.
The Farm of Beverly Hills
If you don’t want something swank, but are in the mood more for casual and homey, The Farm is legendary for heavenly brunches, hearty meals and fabulous people watching from the sidewalk tables. Super kid and family friendly, this has one of the least expensive and most tasty kids menus in town.
39 N Beverly Dr.
This restaurant serves fresh, modernized Middle Eastern dishes influenced by several different regions, like Lebanon, Israel and Turkey. The communal seating deli style of the restaurant makes it perfect for truly great food in a casual setting for a good price. For an afternoon snack, the avocado hummus with pillowy warm pita bread is addictive for kids and parents alike, and grownups in need of a pick me up will go gaga for the Turkish Coffee.
233 S Beverly Dr.
photo: Winnie L. via Yelp
Nate ‘n Al
Iconic, yet easy. Star studded (ok, most of them are over 80 or agents, but still – this is where the elite meet to eat). And everything here is kid approved – from the bagel necklace to the black and white cookies. We could only be talking about Nate ‘n Al’s 70 year old family owned and operated deli. While you can’t go wrong with the mile high sandwiches, we love the smoked fish plates or simple lox on a bagel.
414 N Beverly Dr.
Mr. C Beverly Hills
We’ve covered posh, relaxing, homey, quick & tasty, iconic: now how about a restaurant that feels like a vacation? Mr. C is a hotel spot that’s part of the Cipriani family, which includes Harry’s Bar in Venice, where the original Mr. C invented the Bellini. Here you can dine poolside on elegant and healthy Italian fare while kids pick from the amazing Kids Menu that includes Baked White Tagilolini (that’s fancy mac & cheese) and a non-alcoholic Little C Bellini. It’s like a trip to Europe, without the airfare.
1224 Beverwil Dr.
A Taste of NY: Mulberry Street Pizzeria & The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel
If you need carbs on the run (if you have kids, you’ve had this need), these two restaurants are perfect. If you miss Bronx pizza, you gotta get a slice at Mulberry (two locations in Beverly Hills, on Canon Dr. & N Beverly Dr.). If you can’t find the perfect Brooklyn bagel on the West Coast, drop by Larry King’s place on S Beverly Dr. where kids can watch as chewy bagels are born, sliced, slathered.
Ice Cream Lab
What’s better than ice cream? Ice cream that is made to order in front of your very eyes, with mad science. Pick your flavor (kids adore the Blue Velvet Cupcake) then watch as with a puff of magic (liquid nitrogen), a whir of the mixer and a scoop of the old fashioned, well, scoop, the ice cream materializes. You can choose ice cream or a healthier frozen yogurt as a base for any of the flavors. Be warned; sizes are rather large, so see if you can get the kids to agree on a flavor to share. Unless kid-sharing is even more fantastic than instant ice cream!
9461 S Santa Monica Blvd.
Light and delightful are the words for these sweet cloud cakes. Gluten-free, these puffs of meringue and whipped cream are light, guilt free and absolutely delicious. They come in the standard chocolate which is a must try, but also coffee, passion fruit, Nutella or caramel and are offered in two sizes, so you can get one big one just for you, or many minis to try all the flavors. If you want to become a connoisseur of this enchanting dessert, you may want to wander over to Canon, where Le Mervetty makes a similar sweet.
9523 S Santa Monica Blvd.
Sprinkles Cupcakes, Ice Cream & ATM
Sure, you can get Sprinkles Cupcakes pretty much anywhere in America these days. But this is not only the original location, it’s the first (and one of the only ones) that also boasts an attached ice cream shop AND a cupcake ATM. So if you really need some sugar on the go, get it instantly with fresh baked cakes that pop into your hands as soon as you swipe your credit card. To impatient tots, that’s the very definition of heaven.
9635 S Santa Monica Blvd.
Baby Bea’s Bakery
If you’re looking to linger over your sweets, a visit to Baby Bea’s is in order. On the second-only-to-Rodeo shopping street, Robertson Blvd., this little bakery has the most beautiful goodies on the Westside. From cookies to cake pops, cupcakes to candies, there’s anything sugar your could dream of. Check the website before you visit, because they also host super fun cookie or cupcake decorating classes for kids on many weekends.
311 S. Robertson Blvd.
If in the middle of all your shopping, hiking, biking, playing, trolleying and eating, you just need to put the feet up for a minute and re-caffeinate, our favorite spot is at the Beverly Hills Urth. Tucked into a little brick cottage with a beautiful patio, it’s the perfect place to grab a cup of joe, or a boba, cocoa, juice, tea or ice blended. If you’re in need of a quick refueling snack they also offer pastries, cakes, bagels, sandwiches, salads, parfaits and waffles.
267 S. Beverly Dr.
Montage Beverly Hills
One of our favorite hotels in town, this is the perfect place for a staycation. Why? In addition to the amazing ambience and food at the new Georgie restaurant, decadent treatments at Spa Montage and gorgeous rooftop pool, there’s the Paintbox Program for kids. Available daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for a full day for kids ages 5-12 (also hourly or half day sessions are available) and for “Children’s Night Out” on Friday and Saturday nights. That means you get to explore what Beverly Hills has to offer without the kids! Kids adore this program, where they play games on the grass, see movies, do arts and crafts and more. Here’s a great tip: If you aren’t able to spend the night, the program is available to anyone dining at the Montage or with a booked spa treatment; you can sneak in some relaxing or have a romantic meal sans kiddos.
225 N. Canon Dr.
What are your favorite places to take kids in Beverly Hills? We’d love to hear about them in the comment section!
main image of Rodeo Drive by InSapphoWeTrust via Creative Commons