If you want to find that small-town feel that is chock full of young families who love good entertainment, great food and lots of shopping, then head to Brentwood. While some might say Brentwood puts the “B” in bougie, this westside neighborhood is anything but with a capital ‘B’. From cute playgrounds to snackable pies, scroll down and explore what’s cooking on this side of town. Soon enough, you’ll feel like a local too.
photo: Janelle Connor
Crestwood Hills Park
This sleepy park tucked away in the hills of Brentwood feels like another world. Kids delight in the sounds of singing birds and rustling leaves. Though nature rules here, there’s an awesome little playground featuring a jungle gym with a kitchen for toddlers. Older kids find plenty of space to explore, scoot, bike and play ball on a basketball court. There’s also loads of grassy land to fly kites and toss frisbees.
1000 Hanley Ave.
Barrington Recreational Center
Come at the right time (weekday mornings after 9:00 a.m.) and you’ll find a group of friendly regulars playing anything from tee ball to soccer at this pirate-themed playground. Arrows on the rubberized turf lead toddlers to “buried treasure,” and two covered “ship decks” for (keeping cool and) spying any incoming “pirates”. Little ones huddle around communal toys in the sandbox and take their snack breaks at picnic tables close by.
333 South Barrington Ave.
photo: Red Tricycle
The Getty Museum
This world-famous destination (open daily, except Monday) suits kids looking for adventure and maybe even a little duck chasing. Sure, the art and exhibits draw thousands, but the younger set goes nuts for the tram ride, rolling hills, and The Central Garden. If you can get them inside, the Family Room is an absolute must. Here you’ll find activity coves and treasure-hunt walls with close to 70 peepholes with views of the art collections found in the museum (see, they are getting some art appreciation after all!). Ready to take that treasure adventure to the next level? Roam the galleries to search for the art you spied through those peepholes. So very Indiana Jones-esque.
1200 Getty Center Dr.
photo: Kate Stitt
Dance for Kids
Here you’ll find ballet, tap and jazz dancers (up to age 18) flocking to this studio where twirling and spinning to your heart’s content is the goal of the day. Monday through Saturday there are Parent and Me classes for ages 2 and up where kids pirouette to tunes from their favorite pop stars and movies. It’s especially cute to watch little ones glide across the floor, in dramatic scenes, belting out “Let it go!”
Good to know: California Pizza Kitchen, also located in Brentwood Gardens, is just one floor down. Discounted underground parking is available with validation.
11677 San Vicente Blvd., 3rd Floor
photo: Ann Kirk
Looking for a place where kids can enjoy art, music and dance programs all in one spot? Then check out Kidville for dozens of exciting classes for kids 3 months to 5 years. Can’t commit just yet? Check out their open-play where kids can run wild and bounce on the trampoline. It also serves as the perfect respite during those hot, unusually chilly or rainy LA days.
Good to Know: Kiddos feeling a bit famished after all the activity? Burger Lounge, Açaí Nation, and Fresh Brothers are all conveniently located within the same plaza.
11740 San Vicente Blvd. #107
Donald Bruce Kaufman – Brentwood Branch Library
Every Wednesday morning, neighborhood kids (and their parents) meet up with their friends for storytime (suitable for ages 4 and under) at the library. There’s music, books, games and plenty of toys to round out this bookish outing. If you want to keep the fun going, head downstairs to the reading nook where you’ll find (in addition to a great book selection) toddler-sized stuffed animals and more fun toys.
11820 San Vicente Blvd.
Explore, Shop and Dine
Brentwood Country Mart
The old town charm at Brentwood Country Mart is hard to resist. This westside institution can easily entertain everyone in the family for an entire afternoon. From shopping for little ones at Toy Crazy and Poppy Boutique to parent-friendly stops like Jenni Kayne, James Perse, and the newly-opened and unbelievably stylish goop Lab you can recharge with burgers and fries at Barney’s, snack on the veggie tacos at Frida Taqueria or make a reservation and dine at Farmshop (for occasions like Easter Brunch and Mother’s Day). Stop at the Diesel bookstore and let the whole family pick out some new reads and if you have time, mosey over to Sugar Paper for unique greeting cards, novelty items and gift wrapping. Before you go home, grab a latte from Caffe Luxe and treat the kids to a scoop of ice cream from Sweet Rose Creamery.
Good to Know: Both Poppy and Diesel host kids events throughout the year, check out the calendar for hip happenings.
Insider Tip: On weekends and during events, forget the valet parking lot. Instead snag free 2-hour street parking on Avondale Avenue just south of San Vicente.
Brentwood Country Mart
225 26th St.
Stop by this trendy kids shop for brands like Billieblush, BillyBandit, Paul Smith and Molo. Older kids will have a blast raiding the Esme pajamas while parents coo over precious onesies and accessories for babies. With a well-edited collection of stuffed animals, rattles and heirloom books from brands like Moulin Roty and Angel Dear, you’ll easily score the perfect gift for infants and toddlers.
11640 San Vicente Blvd.
(located in the Town & Country Plaza)
photo: Janelle Connor
Head over to Jenny Bec’s where you’ll find an impressive selection of toys, books, jewelry and apparel for kids. Need a gift in a pinch? Let them shop for you. Customer service here is top notch so give them a call and they’ll be happy to hand-pick an age-appropriate gift within your budget. The festive gift wrapping is always adorable and complimentary. And don’t forget to bring quarters when you pick up the gift. A trip to Jenny Bec’s isn’t complete without a ride on the carousel out front.
Good to Know: Looking for a sweet treat to cap off shopping? LA faves Susiecakes (their custom order Barbie cake is always a hit at birthday parties) and Yogurtland are literally right next door and Pressed Juicery (formerly Pinkberry), across the way, offers a vegan ice cream alternative called Freeze.
11710 San Vicente Blvd.
photo: Janelle Connor
This teeny tiny gifting and skincare boutique, C’est Tout, located in Brentwood Village, brings unexpected Parisian flair to the westside. Curated exclusively by owner and esthetician, Mitra Mansouri, she stocks the store with specialty finds from her travels to Europe like kids footwear, apparel, toys, and games, in addition to housewares, clothing and accessories for women.
163 South Barrington Pl.
Skip on down Barrington Place to Star Toys and explore one tremendous and exciting shop! This decades-old toy emporium stocks popular name brand toys, as well as, hard-to-find and one-of-a-kind items. The owner, Leonard, is a hoot and will regale you with stories of the good old Brentwood days. He even keeps quarters at the front counter to pay for your meter out front.
130 S. Barrington Pl
photo: Michelle Glantz
Brentwood Farmers Market
At Brentwood Farmers Market the incredible produce and artisanal goods play second fiddle to what’s become the best Sunday brunch spot around. Parents line up and place their kids’ orders at D-Lish where amazing waffles topped with everything, from berries to fried chicken, are served fresh and hot. Parents looking for a healthier alternative can grab a slice of Avocado toast at AvocaToast L.A. Need a cup of joe? Check out Unincorporated Coffee Roasters. Alan and his baristas not only pour the best coffee in Brentwood but they do it with a smile — you’ll see why kids can’t help laughing at these goofballs. With goodies in hand, take a few short steps over to the Brentwood Science School’s open campus and gather the kids around a picnic table in the schoolyard. After a nice family brunch dining al fresco, set the kids free and let them climb, jump and soar around this magnificent playground.
Good to Know: Valet parking is available at the Farmers Market entrance on Montana.
Insider tip: Bring everything you would for the kids as if you’re going to the park and if you haven’t already, label your stuff! You’ve never seen more Micro Minis in your entire life.
Gretna Green Way
Every Sun. 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Eat: BLD (Brunch, Lunch and Dessert)
Early World Cafe
At Early World Cafe, Brentwood’s most precious gem serves up friendly smiles and traditional diner-fare. The sweet owner, Nazmi, plays host and greets his diners with menus at the table of their choosing. Kids and parents enjoy fluffy stacks of steaming pancakes and cheesy omelets — our favorite is the California. Fun conversations often spark between strangers and everyone feels right at home. After over 40 years of business, Early World will close its doors in the spring of 2018. This place alone is worth the drive to Brentwood. Hurry up before it’s gone!
11938 San Vicente Blvd.
photo: Laura Mendez
Amandine, Literati Cafe and Blu Jam Cafe
Just off of Bundy and Wilshire at the south edge of Brentwood sits not one but three brunch spots worth their weight in gold. We suggest Amadine for some of the best french toast in town. Literati crafts Mexican-inspired American brunch dishes perfect for the whole family. And Blu Jam (yes, THAT Blu Jam on Melrose) just opened its westside outpost earlier this fall and continues the tradition of offering delicious omelets and griddle food.
Take a load off at this quaint neo-Neapolitan pizzeria brought to you by the creators of Sprinkles cupcakes and actor Chris O’Donnell. At this uber trendy hotspot, Chef Daniele Uditi fires up scrumptious pizza pies reimagined for LA. Kids love to top the light yet sturdy crust with pepperoni and (if you’re lucky) locally sourced veggies.
Good to Know: Valet parking is available for $8. Reservations are highly encouraged and can be made on their website. Credit card only, no cash is accepted at the restaurant.
Insider Tip: Shop at Jenny Bec’s (right next door) and let the kids ride the carousel until your table is ready.
11712 San Vicente Blvd.
And just a few more bites…
It was almost impossible to mention all of our favorite family-friendly eateries in this notably delicious part of town. When you’re looking for something tried and true, Brentwood offers some good ole LA standbys.
For dessert: Compartes‘ chocolate covered marshmallows are a must. The Yogurt Shoppe offers a healthier take on the frozen stuff with lots of fun toppings or grab a Purple Passion smoothie from Kreation Cafe that kids go bananas for! And finally, pie is the new cupcake! Winston’s PieBites are perfect for little ones.
What’s your favorite Brentwood spot? Tell us in the comments below!