You may have hung out in Westwood for a Bruins basketball game or to get your kiddo’s sugar fix at Diddy Riese, but heading to to the land of Blue and Gold seems to always be a perpetual struggle battling the traffic on the dreaded 405. Before you write off this Tinseltown neighborhood as one you’ll only visit if you have a Delorean to transport your brood above the gridlock, hear us out. We’ve rounded up some great things to see, do, and taste with your little ones, all in Westwood. Trust us, these great family activities are totally worth making the drive on the 405 — so get out there because there’s so much more to Westwood than meets the eye.

Browse Around

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Aahs!
Pop into this ultimate gift and gag store and browse the wide selection of specialty items ranging from toys, games, party supplies, gag gifts, clothes, Halloween supplies, and movie and music paraphernalia. Your kiddos will love checking out all of the merch featuring the hottest trends like Angry Birds, Justin Bieber (for those with Bieber fever) and Hello Kitty, to name a few. Miniature athletes will love checking out the sports gear – tees, jerseys and hats – with their favorite teams like UCLA, USC (yes, even in Bruin territory!), the Los Angeles Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers and more! As if that weren’t enough, your kiddos can check out a wide array of toys. Plus, parents and kids will love checking out movie themed merch featuring new releases and old faves, like Star Wars and E.T.

Aahs! Gift Store
1090 Westwood Boulevard
Los Angeles, Ca
310-209-1280
Online: aahs.com

Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop
Soda pop. Candy. More soda pop. Even more candy. Movie and music signs. Nostalgic memorabilia. What kid (or parent, for that matter!) wouldn’t want to explore (or eat and drink their way through) this store! Enter Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop and you’ll go to confectionary heaven. You’ll also feel like you’re a kid again. Not only does this shop offer a super cool variety of vintage soda pops like The Wizard of Oz Cherry Cola, Gene Autry Root Beer, Mighty Mouse Blue Cream, and Melba’s Fixins Peaches N’ Cream, it also offers classics in vintage bottles like your good ole’ Coca Cola, Pepsi and 7Up. And, as if liquid candy libations weren’t enough, Rocket Fizz Soda and Candy Shop also offers an incredible assortment of international candy. Really! There are several different varieties of Kit Kat alone! So, go ahead! Pick some soda pop and candy up for yourself, your kiddos and your friends. How could you not?

Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop
1067 Broxton Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca
310-208-4509
Online: rocketfizz.com


The University Shop
While in Bruin territory, why not pick up some UCLA gear (clearly this is not the place to wear USC gear, now is it)? Chose from tees to hats to sweatshirts for yourself and your mini me. Pick up a cheerleading uniform for your aspiring cheerleader. How about a key chain, license plate frame or mug? We’re sure that you won’t be able to resist a good ole’ Bruin bear for your Bruin in the making! Here, you’ll find all things UCLA for yourself and your future Bruin.

The University Shop
10910 Le Conte
Los Angeles, Ca

Good Eats

800 Degrees
While new to Westwood, 800 Degree Pizza is not new to making pizza. Known for its Neopolitan made-to-order pizza where customers can either chose from existing classics like Pizza Bianca, Pizza Margherita and Pizza Marinera, specialty pies like Tartufo, Picante or Carni or can make their own, 800 Degree Pizza is well worth the wait. So, don’t be intimidated by the line. It moves fast and the pizza is worth it. Plus, your kiddos will love watching 800 Degrees staff toss pizza dough right in front of their eyes, selecting their own toppings and watching pizzas being made. The end result? Deliciousness!

800 Degrees
10889 Lindbrook Drive
Los Angeles, Ca
424-239-5010
Online: 800degreespizza.com

Bibigo
If you’re in the mood for Korean fare without having to make the trip to Korea town, check out Bibigo. Here you can enjoy healthy and fresh Korean food that is quick and convenient. You can customize your own bowl of bibimbap your style rice, protein and sauce. So, your kids can have their own say about what they want to eat and can have some fun designing their very own dish. Plus, you can even add a side or two if you feel the need.

Bibigo
1091 Broxton Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca
310-824-0011
Online: bibigo.com

Diddy Riese Cookies
Can you say build your own ice cream sandwich?! Need we say more? Pick your cookies (chocolate chip, peanut butter and more). Pick your ice cream (you name it, they’ve got it). And, there you have it! A made-to-order ice cream sandwich! Well, if that’s not enough to wet your ice cream whistle, you can also make your own brownie sandwich, indulge in a cookie sundae or delight in a Hawaiian shaved ice. And, if you feel as if you can’t get enough, grab a cookie gift tin to go. Expect to find a line out of the building. But, take it from us, the line is definitely worth the hype! Feel like grabbing a little something to go?

Diddy Riese
926 Broxton Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca
310-208-0448
Online: diddyriese.com

Stan’s Donuts
A Westwood staple for 40 years, Stan’s Donut’s offers a variety of 75 (yes, 75!) donuts to choose from – bars and twists, cake donuts, devil’s food donuts, old fashioned buttermilk, jelly filled, custard filled, peanut butter, cheese donuts, cinnamon rolls, pretzel shaped and gourmet donuts – Stan’s Donut’s can satisfy just about any donut craving that parents and kiddos might have. Pair a donut with milk or coffee and satisfy any major sweet tooth. Feel free to fall in love with Stan’s Donuts, they offer shipping of their donuts too!

Stan’s Donuts
10948 Weyburn Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca
310-208-8660
Online: stansdoughnuts.com

Get Your Popcorn On
Take a walk down to the intersection of Broxton and Weyburn Avenues and you’ll see a pretty marvelous white tower, which marks the Regency Village Theater. There is a blue and white metal Art Deco sign that says “Fox” at the top of the tower, so you definitely won’t miss this Westwood staple for movie. The Regency Village Theater is the perfect place to catch the latest flick and the tower itself is certainly a hot spot for taking a pic to commemorate your trip. A frequent host to movie premieres, you and your kiddos might catch a glimpse of red carpet set-up or even a celeb or two.

Regency Village Theater
961 Broxton Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca
310-208-5576
Online: regencymovies.com

Caffeine Fix
If you’re looking for latte art in a decorative cup, then look no further than Profeta. That’s right! Profeta offers espressos, cappuccinos, macchiatos and more all topped of with beautiful foam latte art. In addition to caffeine for parents, Profeta offers a variety of juices perfect for kiddos. Trust us! Profeta will get your gears up and running or offer you the kind of pick-me-up that you need to keep up with those kiddos. There’s free WiFi and house-made sandwiches and pastries too. So, feel free to get your latte art on!

Espresso Profeta
1129 Glendon Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca
310-208-3375


Expand Your Mind

The Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Culture Center
Check out the “Family Film Flicks” Series screening such classics like “Mary Poppins” and “Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure”. And, participate in the museum’s “Sunday Afternoons for Kids” Series where kids can participate in a variety of workshops such as “When You’re 64” where kids will look forward and back and assemble a scrapbook of their future life using letters, photographs, journal entries and news clippings or “Dr. Scribb’s Fantastical Card Combinatorium” where kids will be guided by a deck of cards and race against the clock to create a collaborative writing project for points. Reservations are encouraged. Visit their website or call 310-305-8418. All Hammer public programs are free and parking is available under the museum for $3 for 3 hours.

The Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Culture Center
10899 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, Ca
310-443-7000
Online: hammer.ucla.edu

Fowler Museum at UCLA
Visit the Fowler Museum and receive a family guide to “Intersections,” the museums permanent collections gallery. Aimed at 5-12 year olds, this brochure enhances kids’ visit with stories of peoples from around the world, matching games, and sketching activities. And, as if a fun guide wasn’t enough, pick up ArtVentures: Puzzle and Play at the information desk in the Museum’s lobby and launch your family on an ArtVenture. This tote bag is filled with puzzles that will help families play their way through “Intersections.” Plus, one Sunday per month, parents and kids can check out the museum’s “Kids in the Courtyard” Series and take part in hands-on learning where families will learn about art and world cultures through games, art making and activities. “The Kids in the Courtyard” Series takes place on elected Sundays from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. The program is free and open to the public.

Fowler Museum at UCLA
308 Charles E. Young Drive North
Los Angeles, Ca
310-825-4361
Online: fowler.ucla.edu

How does your family spend the day in Westwood? Have any must-see or must-do activities that didn’t make our list?

— Wanda Ahmadi

photo credit: Rocket Fizz website, UCLA Store facebook page, 800 Degree facebook page, Bibigo website, Diddy Reise facebook page, Regency Village Theater facebook page, Hammer Museum via Wikimedia Commons, Fowler Museum at UCLA facebook page