Getting out of the House: Family Outings in Los Angeles (Physical Distancing Edition)

Stoneview Nature Center

This new-ish Culver City park is a collaboration with the social justice organization Fallen Fruit – it’s a public orchard and garden (you can pick and eat what’s in season)! Enjoy the beautiful views, the stone labyrinth, and the almost complete kid-friendly park-to-playa hiking trail!

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

This gem nestled along La Cienaga Blvd. features a duck pond, a Japanese garden, a giant former reservoir-turned-disc golf course, and ample hiking among the trees. A great place for stroller friendly walks, plenty of wildlife sightings, and peaceful picnics. Free parking!

Stand In Balance Ranch – Respite sessions

This equine-assisted therapy ranch up in Westlake Village is offering much-needed communion with nature. Connect with a horse or donkey (no riding!) in the beautiful mountain setting and feel your nerves release.

Burton Chace Park

This family-friendly venue in Marina del Rey often boasts sea lion sightings, as well as relaxing views of the water.

Ballona Freshwater Marsh Trail

This spectacular nature preserve off of Lincoln Blvd. invites connection with diverse species of native flora and fauna.

LMU Bluff Trail (aka Westchester Fire Road)

This family-friendly hike crosses the Westchester Bluffs on the north side of the Loyola Marymount University Campus.

Bluffs Creek Trail

A 3.8 mile well-trafficked out and back trail located near Playa Del Rey, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. Strollers are common!

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

Newly opened for limited hours, this unique Malibu-adjacent venue features peaceful walks around the sparkling lake with many quiet corners for contemplation. Visits are free, but you must reserve your time in advance.

Temescal Gateway Park

Parking will set you back $10, but it’s well worth it. Meander among the cool shade of the trees and the creek, take an invigorating hike, or spread out on a patch of grass and relax. If you’re not into paying for parking, you can park on Sunset and hike up into the park area.

Kayak and Stand-Up Paddleboard Rentals

Check out Pro SUP shop at Mother’s Beach for easy and affordable hourly contactless rentals for these entry-level, family friendly watersports.

Mildred Mathias Botanical Gardens at UCLA

On the southeast tip of the UCLA campus, step into a tropical paradise that seems miles away from the city. Street parking to the south and west of the gardens is available on Hilgard and Le Conte, or to the north in a campus lot on Charles E. Young Drive (parking structure 2). Pro tip: bring bug spray, as the lush foliage and moist air from the creek attract many hungry mosquitoes! Free entry!

South Cost Botanic Gardens

This huge natural treasure offers timed visits and requires masks, making visits safe and peaceful. There’s so much to explore in this natural wonderland, many places for kids to explore freely and, of course, have a picnic. We love to conclude our visit with an ice-cold popsicle purchased at the snack cart. A $65 basic yearly family membership pays for itself in as few as two visits.

Drive-in Movies at the Roadium

For $25 a vehicle, you can enjoy a classic family movie at the Torrance Roadium open air market! Movies start at 8:30pm, but you can arrive early to snag a great space, don your mask, and grab something at the snack bar. Super clean and safe fun!

For additional reading:

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Rebekka Helford is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Los Angeles, California. With over a decade of experience working with parents and young children, Rebekka specializes in short-term intensive parenting consultation, using a variety of tools including home, office, and school visits to help families navigate developmental hiccups and get back on track.

Click here to schedule an appointment or contact Rebekka with a question – who knows, she might even answer it in her next post!

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