Playtime in Manhattan Beach

Posted by Daniel Snyder on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 , In : Los Angeles 

I love Manhattan Beach – the beautiful seaside community just south of Los Angeles.   I lived down there during my teenage years and it’s on our shortlist for places we’d like to raise William.  So it was a lot of fun when William, Jeni, and I went to the beach down there and then met my parents for lunch.

Never having visited Manhattan Beach with a toddler, I saw the town in a whole new light.  While it’s a great place for older kids and adults, the downtown area has a few dr...

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How Your Family Can Relax Like Movie Stars

Posted by Jennifer Snyder on Thursday, August 26, 2010 , In : Los Angeles 

If you’re interested in visiting the Annenberg Beach House – the historic pool complex on Santa Monica Beach – you need to become a planner like me. If you don’t plan your visit, I think you’ll be out of luck. It really is not surprising to find the Beach House at capacity on a lovely summer day as there are surprisingly few inexpensive things to do in Los Angeles in the summer and the beach House is one of them.

Situated on the site of the former Marian Davies beach house, the ...

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One Big Reason to Visit the Skirball Cultural Center

Posted by Daniel Snyder on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 , In : Los Angeles 

We’re always searching for new family-friendly adventures – and we’ve gone to the four corners of Southern California to find them.  But last week, we made a delightfully short trek to the Skirball Cultural Center in West Los Angeles.  No car seat meltdowns or long drives home trying to make it before bedtime!

Located along the San Diego Freeway not far from the Getty Center, the Skirball celebrates Jewish culture.  It’s an important mission, but not one that our...

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Going to the Ducks

Posted by Jennifer Snyder on Sunday, August 15, 2010 , In : Los Angeles 

Our son loves ducks.  Every kind of duck – the yellow duck on the animated PBS show Word World, the yellow boon duck he’s allowed to bathe with, even the horrible lead-filled, plastic duckies you see at the toy store.  His first animal sound was quack quack.

I don’t know the underlying psychology behind his duck obsession, but in an effort to make him happy and...

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Universal City – Kids’ Style!

Posted by Daniel Snyder on Sunday, August 8, 2010 , In : Los Angeles 

One of William’s favorite television programs of all time is the Wiggles.  If you have kids, you know they’re like the Beatles for the preschool generation.  Well, the Wiggles were giving a concert at the Universal Amphitheater here in Los Angeles last weekend so we had to go.

Universal City is a tourist mecca sitting on a hill in the middle of Los Angeles.   This 415-acre complex includes the Universal Studios theme park, the Amphitheater, an AMC and IMAX multiplex, the headqua...

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Five Reasons to Visit the Santa Monica Pier

Posted by Daniel Snyder on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 , In : Los Angeles 

The Santa Monica Pier is the closest you can come in Southern California to an old-fashioned carnival midway.  Lying on the western end of old Route 66, the pier boasts amusement park rides, an arcade, and even a few freaks walking down its wooden planks.

We visited the pier a couple of times last week and both the activities and the atmosphere fascinated Will.  Here are some of the things our little guy enjoyed – and yours might, too:

The Aquarium

It’s small, but Will love...

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A Toddler Goes to Montana (Avenue)

Posted by Daniel Snyder on Thursday, July 22, 2010 , In : Los Angeles 

We were looking for something fun to do with Will last weekend - and realized we'd never taken him to Santa Monica's Montana Avenue.  It's a quite a long drive from our home just to walk down a street, but we figured Montana would be worth it.

You see, a key part of most great kid-friendly attractions is not knowing exactly what you'll find when you arrive.  The prospect of the unknown adventure is what makes toddling down this trendy boulevard with kids so pleasurable.

On weekends, each...

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Two Things to Avoid at Monarch Beach

Posted by Daniel Snyder on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 , In : Orange County 

On our second day at the St. Regis Monarch Beach resort, we decided to go to the beach.  This is more of an adventure than the resort’s name would suggest because the place doesn’t actually sit on Monarch Beach – it’s high on a cliff overlooking the water.  Guests take a ten-minute shuttle ride from the hotel down to the Monarch Bay Club, a private beach club affiliated with the St. Regis. 

We were staying at the hotel during the July 4th holiday weekend and had heard that w...

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Kids-Stuff at the St. Regis Monarch Beach

Posted by Daniel Snyder on Saturday, July 10, 2010 , In : Orange County 

When we arrived at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Hotel and Spa a few weeks ago, we knew it would be luxurious.  And we were right.  Located in Dana Point, California, the resort is a feast for the eyes.

The back of the hotel looks out onto a green park, with a pool below it and the ocean in the distance.  Wow.

But as we checked into our room for a three-night stay, we were concerned about whether the St. Regis would be kid-friendly.  A lot of resorts are a little snooty when little...

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College Bound: A Toddler at UCLA

Posted by Daniel Snyder on Tuesday, July 6, 2010 , In : Los Angeles 

UCLA boasts one of the most beautiful college campuses on the West Coast.  Jeni and I know that first-hand – we’re both proud Bruins.  That’s why we decided to take our 18-month old son to that hilly, tree-filled campus this past weekend when we were looking for a fun stop before running a few errands in Westwood.

UCLA is an overlooked destination for West Side residents looking for some family-friendly fun on a summer weekend – but it shouldn’t be.  Most local parks are mobb...

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