There’s a reason why “Los Feliz” kind-of-sort-of translates to “the happy ones” in Spanish. This Eastside hood gives neighboring Silver Lake a run for its money in the cool department, but is small enough that you could easily walk it all in an hour. But why rush? Los Feliz is an awesome neighborhood for families, with enough fun things to see and do to last all day. So park your car (or better yet, take the Metro Red Line to Vermont/Sunset) and get ready to explore this happening hood.

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Rockin’ Shops

Skylight Books
Move over, Barnes and Noble. This independent bookshop is a reader’s paradise, with a small but lovely children’s section filled with vintage classics (raise your hand if you remember The Five Chinese Brothers) alongside the latest kiddie lit. The super-chill, super-knowledgeable staff won’t mind if your kids read sprawled on the floor, or on the bench that encircles the the giant tree in the center of the store. Skylight Books plays host to the Los Feliz MOMS Club story time once a month (open to all), as well as to occasional guest readings by children’s authors. (Sadly, wine and cheese not included.)

Skylight Books

Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, Ca 90027
Phone: 323-660-1175
Online: skylightbooks.com

Dragonfly DuLou
Dragonfly DuLou is much more than just a kids’ boutique. (Although if you’re looking for high-end baby and kids clothing, toys, and gear, you’re in the right place.) In a neighborhood without a playground, it’s become a Mecca for families looking for a place to socialize. Parents are nearly always welcome to bring their kids to the large back courtyard to jump on the giant trampoline, race plasma cars, or shoot some hoops. Music, yoga, and dance classes for kids are offered in the courtyard studio; check the website to find free kids’ music concerts by some fantastic local bands.

dragonfly

Dragonfly DuLou
2066 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, Ca 90027
323-665-8448
Online: dragonflydulou.com

La La Ling
Have a tiny rock star on your hands? La La Ling is a kids’ boutique for the uber-hip, featuring ironic t-shirts and punk-inspired tutus for the super-stylish set. (Because what Mom, er, child doesn’t want a onesie featuring Debbie Harry on it?) In addition to fashion, La La Ling also sells nursery items, mom accessories such as baby slings and breastfeeding covers, and a small selection of kids toys. Target it’s not—a t-shirt with a simple Run DMC logo will run (DMC) you $41. But if you’re looking for funky finds for your kids with an edgy, original vibe, you can’t do better than La La Ling.

La La Ling
1810 N Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-664-4400
Online: lalaling.com

The Great Outdoors

Los Feliz Farmers Market
Every Sunday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, a tiny but mighty farmers market pitches its tents in the local post office parking lot. Fill your kids up on endless free samples of fresh fruit, flavored hummus, and vegan muffins while you troll for bargains at the jewelry and clothing stands. Kids still hungry? Food options are typically crepe and enchilada vendors, and the Gastrobus food truck, which offers inexpensive breakfast and lunch options that you can enjoy at small, shaded tables, including one just for kids.

Los Feliz Farmers Market
Vermont Ave & Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, Ca 90027

Farmers market

Barnsdall Art Park
If you’re up for a short walk down to Hollywood Boulevard, (and then a not-so-short walk up a hill), Barnsdall Art Park offers amazing views of the city, and a chance for the little ones to do some serious running around. (For those with strollers, take the elevator accessible from E. Barnsdall Avenue, just west of Vermont.) Not only is Barnsdall a great picnic spot, but it offers a surprising number of cultural attractions for all ages, including classes at the Junior Arts Center, outdoor movies, and family-friendly wine tastings every Friday night.  It’s one of our “favorite parks you’ve never heard of”, and you can find out more about it here.

Barnsdall Art Park
4800 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, Ca 90027
Phone: 323-660-4254
Online: barnsdall.org

Toddler park

Lunch, Dinner, and a Sweet Treat

Fred 62
This deliberately kitschy, colorful diner serves up delicious American fare in a family-friendly atmosphere. The kids menu offers all sorts of tasty and reasonably-priced options, from Eggs in the Hole for breakfast to a Just Kid’n Burger for lunch. Enjoy a large, cushy booth or saddle up to the counter for an old-fashioned diner experience. Kids love ordering the homemade pop-tarts or distracting themselves with the vending machines filled with trinkety-toys. Fred 62 is open 24/7, 365 days a year. So if you have a hankering for Billion Dollar Pancakes at 5:00am on Christmas morning, you know where to go.

Fred 62
1850 N Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-667-0062
Online: fred62.com

Children_milkshake

Il Capriccio
Let’s face it; eating out with kid is expensive. Il Capriccio on Vermont solves this age-old problem by letting kids eat free on Monday nights. And these kids meals aren’t reheated Kraft mac and cheese – it’s full on (healthy!) dinners that you and your kids will love.  (The fine print: one free kids’ meal per each adult entrée, maximum two kids. Additional kids eat for $2.99, which is still a bargain.) Sit inside or dine al fresco, where you get a great view of the foot traffic on Vermont Avenue. Unlike many hip Los Feliz eateries, Il Capriccio is a traditional red sauce joint, with a solid menu of Italian classics and unpretentious vibe that makes families feel right at home.

Il Capriccio
1757 N Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-662-5900
Online: ilcapriccioonvermontlosfeliz.com

Froyo Life
Yes, it’s a chain in a neighborhood that prides itself on an abundance of independent mom and pop operations. Still, Froyo Life has been a welcome new-ish addition to the area for families, precisely because it caters to kids. A small kids-sized table with colorful stools is the perfect hangout for the little ones, who can enjoy their toppings-laden frozen yogurt while playing with a variety of games the store provides. (You may want to brush up on your Uno skills.) And an endless supply of fashion/tabloid magazines allow mom to enjoy two guilty pleasures at once.

Froyo Life
1924 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, Ca 90027
Phone: 323-667-9900
Online: froyolife.com

Where’s your favorite Los Feliz family spot?

–Sara Ring

Photos courtesy of Sara Ring, Stock.XCHNG, Dragonfly DuLou via facebook, Barnsdall Art Park via facebook, and Wikimedia Commons