50 Days of Free Fun in LA – Day 2 – Griffith Park Observatory

If you are looking for something fun to do either during the day or after the sun goes down, Griffith Park Observatory is a wonderful free things to do in LA with your kids.

My two and a half year old has become obsessed with the planets ever since our first visit. I brought him here as a last ditch effort on a night when he wouldn’t go to bed at a reasonable hour. Sometimes, it’s easier to just have fun than to push for an ideal outcome. There are three levels to the observatory: the lower level, the main floor and the roof.

Hours: 12pm – 10pm

Location: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Price: Free

When you arrive you will find free parking adjacent to the park. If you can’t find parking, go ahead and park along the side of the road up to a half mile from the observatory. I have always found parking in the lot, so I wouldn’t worry too much about not finding parking.

You will approach the observatory and find a large grassy area where telescopes will be set up at night. If you are visiting during the day, this grassy area would be a perfect place to let your little one run around and have a picnic.

There are a number of access points to enter the observatory exhibits. The elevator on the right near the grassy area can take you directly to the amazing interactive lower hall exhibit. The main entrance will take you to a giant pendulum, the laser light show, and several exhibits (one on the nature of the sun, the seasons, the moon phases, and more).

Upstairs on the roof, you can stand in line to look through the original telescope. The line can be kind of long, and the telescope is about as good as the ones set up on the lawn. So if you are looking to save time, check out the telescopes on the lawn instead – each one is pointed at a different celestial body.

My son loved all of the exhibits! He likes pointing at the sun and telling me different things about it. After our visits, I bought him several educational games about the planets and he has really learned a great deal.

On the lower level, you walk down a long winding hallway lined with what looks like an arm of the milk way constructed out of star and moon designed jewelry. Then you reach a level with telescopes that look out on a night sky. You can also look at and touch meteorites, and visit the Leonard Nemoy Theater.

Downstairs, you can view huge examples of the planets and the learn more about the conditions that exist on their surfaces. This is my absolute favorite part of the observatory. The planets are beautiful and inspiring to young minds. We absolutely love visiting the observatory.

This is one of the great educational places you can take a young child who may have a later bedtime. My son loves it, I’m sure your child will as well. Do you have any favorite free places in Los Angeles?

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