Historic Day Trip Ideas in LA for Kids (or Kids at Heart)

Photo of Avila Adobe courtesy of The City Project via Flick
Photo of Avila Adobe courtesy of The City Project via Flicker

It’s always a challenge to narrow down day trip suggestions when it comes to LA’s historical spots. Do you stick with outdoors-only spaces, or limit your list to landmarks of the Mexican-American War, or round up the top go-to places for a ghost sighting? As a history enthusiast and a kid at heart, I was tasked with picking just a handful of kid-friendly historic places for Patch.com.

Read an excerpt from the piece below and find out what other historic locations made the cut over at Patch. Of course, feel free to comment here with your own suggestions!

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument

125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, CA

(213) 628-1274

Why Go? Explore Los Angeles’ historic plaza, discover the city’s rich history and learn all about the City of Angels’ diverse inhabitants throughout the centuries. Located in downtown L.A., this cluster of historical landmarks offers many free museums kids will love, from the city’s oldest home to L.A.’s first fire house.

Insider Tip: If you’re visiting during a weekday, pay close attention to parking signs—many streets in downtown have strict anti-gridlock rules for rush hour. There are plenty of parking lots nearby, but for those on a budget, Lot 5 at 711 Alameda Street is the most affordable with a flat rate of $5.

Must Do: Be sure to take the free tour of the Avila Adobe, L.A.’s oldest house, given by the Las Angelitas docents Tuesdays to Saturdays at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. Built in 1818 by rancher Francisco Avila, the former home has seen history unfold around it and was almost demolished in 1928, were it not for one preservationist who transformed the area into a tourist attraction. From being used as a temporary headquarters during the Mexican-American War to housing an Italian restaurant and hotel, this nearly-200-year-old house is a bursting with history.

Fine Print: The Avila Adobe doubles as the Visitor’s Center, open Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours vary at many of the museums, but most are generally open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Don’t have kids or in need of a few more budget-friendly adventure suggestions? I also compiled a list of of day trip ideas that are just one gas tank away from LA; read that story at Patch here.

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