With a slate of family-friendly flicks at the newest pop-up drive-in and a dino-mite drive-thru experience coming to the Rose Bowl, we are so ready for 2021. And we’re hopeful that many of our favorite outdoor destinations (like the L.A. Zoo and Aquarium of the Pacific) will reopen in the coming weeks. Read on for all the fun things that we can’t wait to do in the year ahead, plus get tips for staying connected in the meantime.

See Dinosaurs at the Newest Drive-Thru

While we're hopeful that many of our favorite annual LA events will be happening later on in the year, there are no guarantees. But we do at least know that the upcoming Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru is a go! The event will take place at Pasadena's Rose Bowl Stadium, from Jan. 15-Jan. 31. Tickets are already on sale for the hourlong experience, which features over 70 life-like, animatronic dinosaurs.

Online: jurassicquest.com

Park at a Drive-In

In January, The Little Mermaid, Cars, Toy Story 4 and more will be showing at LA's newest pop-up drive-in, Rooftop Cinemas at the Santa Monica Airport. If you haven't made it to a drive-in yet, don't miss this opportunity. Bring blankets and pillows, pop open your trunk and let the kids settle in for a throwback big-screen experience. 

Online: rooftopcinemaclub.com

 

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Meet the Newest Animals at the LA Zoo

On Dec.7, the Los Angeles Zoo closed due to the latest Stay at Home orders. (It had reopened back in October, with time entries, limited capacity and additional safety guidelines in place.) The Zoo announced that it would be closed for a minimum of three weeks. We're hopeful that it will open at some point later in January or February of 2021. And we can't wait to meet this little baby langur monkey who is giving us major Baby Yoda vibes. Also new to the zoo? An itty-bitty California Condor chick. 

To stay up to date on the L.A. Zoo's reopening plans, follow them on Instagram

 

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Dine Out (While Wearing Masks)

As Angelenos, we're fortunate enough to be able to enjoy outdoor dining pretty much year-round. Although even dining al fresco at our favorite restaurants is off-limits for now. But when it's once again safe to do so, we'll be visiting our favorite kid-friendly outdoor patios at these LA restaurants

Feed the Moon Jellyfish at Aquarium of the Pacific

Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific was one of the first destinations to reopen this summer. Even with the indoor areas of the Aquarium closed, there was still plenty to see outdoors, including a Moon Jelly Touch Lab is, Stingray Touch Pool and Lorikeet Forest. Like the L.A. Zoo, the Aquarium announced in early December that it would be closed for at least three weeks. Until it reopens, we'll be zoning out with the Aquarium's animal webcams—we dare you not to feel more relaxed after watching these jellyfish drifting in the water.  

Take a Staycation/Vacation/Any Kinda'cation

Leisure travel is restricted for now, so even our jaunt to a nearby cabin rental had to be postponed. Once we get the green light, we can't wait to road trip it outta town.

Check out our favorite nearby rentals for families

Create with Cayton Creators

Cayton Children's Museum in Santa Monica put their weekly outdoor event, Cayton Creators, on pause at the beginning of December. But we're optimistic it will be back in the new year. Check here for updates. 

Online: caytonmuseum.org

And some day… (hopefully sooner rather than later)

Ride the Santa Monica Pier Carousel

We're feeling nostalgic for the iconic merry-go-round, which hasn't seen any riders since pre-pandemic days. While all the rides on the pier are also closed, the pier itself is at least open if you want to take a stroll along the historic landmark.

Online: pacpark.com

Board the Trains in Travel Town

Old train cars to explore, lots of grass to run around, a mini locomotive to ride—this is toddler heaven and we can't wait for it to reopen. Until then, we'll be exploring the trails of Griffith Park (and beyond)

Make a Splash at Kidspace

One of our favorite museums for kids has been closed for way too long. As much as we love all the online content they're giving us, we can't wait to be there again IRL. 

Have a Ball at an Indoor Playground

Let's be honest: Ball pits were already a germaphobes worst nightmare, even if kids can't get enough of them. Maybe one day when the pandemic is behind us, we'll be able to watch our little ones slide into a mass of plastic balls and only cringe a little. 

–Shannan Rouss

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