We’ve got the scoop on LA’s best-kept secret: free summer rehearsals at the Hollywood Bowl. Whether you’ve got a tween in middle school band or a toddler obsessed with instruments, you can take them to hear a bona fide orchestra at the city’s most iconic music venue. (And did we mention it’s free?) Plus, with little to no crowds, open seating and easy parking, it’s way less stressful than attending your typical Bowl concert. Read on for everything you need to know about summer rehearsals at the Hollywood Bowl.
This season, Hollywood Bowl rehearsals are open to the public on Tues. and Thurs., beginning the week of Jul. 9 through mid-Sept., when you can catch the LA Philharmonic at practice from 9:30a.m.-12:30p.m. Don't fret about arriving on time or making it through the full three hours (as if your kids would sit still for that long!). You're free to come and go throughout the session. Also, remember that rehearsal schedules are subject to change (and additional rehearsals may even be added), so call on Mon. to confirm days and times.
Loads of free parking is another major incentive for visiting the Hollywood Bowl during rehearsal mornings. No stack parking to contend with or pricey pay lots requiring you to take a second mortgage on your house. Simply pull up and park directly behind the amphitheater and go in via the artist's entrance. Helpful Hollywood Bowl staffers are on hand to help steer you in the right direction.
Pack a Picnic
To really give kids an authentic Bowl experience, you can bring a meal and dine during the show in the box seats. As for strollers, they can be parked off to the side, but with loads of stairs, you might want to leave them at home. It's easier to carry tots with tired little legs or bring a sling for baby.
Bring Sun Protection
Because this is LA in Jul. through Sep., you can pretty much expect the sun to be shining every day, and with little to no shade at the Bowl, you'll want to bring sunscreen, hats, plenty of water and maybe even an umbrella or two.
Use "Inside" Voices
While the LA Philharmonic happily welcomes tykes to their rehearsals, out of respect to the musicians, they ask that parents remind children to use low "inside" voices while artists are on stage (even though you are outdoors). If kiddos become disruptive, they may be asked to leave, so be sure to have this important conversation with talkative tots ahead of time.
Need a break from the sun? Stop by the Hollywood Bowl Museum during your visit (another free activity). Little ones will love seeing photos, videos and more of famous performers from over the years. It takes about 20 minutes to go through the museum but you may want to stay longer to enjoy the air conditioning.
The Hollywood Bowl
2301 N. Highland Ave.
–Christina Montoya Fiedler & Jennifer O’Brien
featured photo: Margaret Napier via flickr