The Getty-A Family Place in Los Angeles

20120830-154036.jpgWhen you’re thinking of places to take a 4 year old for the day, The Getty may not be the first place to come to mind, especially if you have rowdy boys. Just the thought of toppling porcelain was enough to keep me far away until last week. Clyde’s break from school is wrapping up, it’s record heat, & I’m all out of ideas. I figure at least the tram and gardens will be fun. But, hidden to the right of the central fountain in the East Pavilion is the door to an air conditioned respite for parents and a fun zone for kids. The Family Room!
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It’s not as easy to find as you might think though.  I followed another family right into a room of irreplaceable vases and chairs that will never again seat another butt for as long as they live. We all stopped right away, and before anyone had a chance to race off, I turned my squeaky umbrella stroller right around.   If you happen to go into THAT door, it’s the door right behind you. You know, the bright orange one that looks less obvious, like an informative museum sign, not a “Here I am!” kind of sign.
As far as I’m concerned, I think that sign should be in neon.

It’s worth the search because The Family Room is actually multiple rooms where kids can touch styrofoam tubes, move giant magnets, draw butterflies, or rest in a princess bed replica. Everything is made to their height and the little doorways encourage them to interact with each other in a space just for them.

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Another bonus is if you’re short on time, the cafe downstairs from the restaurant has easy finger foods and healthy choices. We made a second trip back just to raid the ice-cream cooler for a classic; the ice cream sandwich! And to burn off the extra sugar, a run on the lawn ended our kid’s day at The Getty. Between the Family Room, the Cafe, and winding our way around the huge museum like a fun maze, 5 hours flew by. I think we might even go back to draw pictures of all the plants. I hope our visit inspires you to visit and share your favorite hidden kid spots in Los Angeles or otherwise. Visiting info:
The Family Room, The Getty Center
Date: Daily except Mondays
Location: Getty Center, Museum Courtyard, by the East Pavilion
Admission: Free; no reservations required. Parking is $15

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