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Culver City calls itself the “Heart of Screenland.” And while you certainly won’t want to miss a chance to tour a working studio, you’ll also find a wide variety of additional kid-friendly things to do here.
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STAR Eco Station
10101 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
The STAR Eco Station is the place to bring kids who are interested in animals and their role in making sure these animals are safe. Partly a museum and partly an exotic wildlife rescue facility, the STAR Eco Station is a special place. Here you’ll find animals that you won’t find anywhere else. Families will participate in hands-on ecology lessons and be able to observe a variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Public tours are offered each Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, beginning on the hour. (The last tour begins at 3 pm). The tours are 45-60 minutes in length and will introduce families to more than 200 hundred different rescued wildlife. Adult admission is $8, children are $6, and children under 2 are free. (Be sure to check the website before visiting. The facility is sometimes closed for private parties).
Culver City Park
9910 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
At the Culver City Park, families will find plenty to do. There are basketball courts, baseball fields, hiking trails, picnic areas, a skate park, and a dog park. There’s a special small playground for younger visitors. And on a clear day, the views from the top of the park are quite impressive.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
6300 Hetzler Rd., Culver City, CA 90232
Look at Los Angeles in a different way, say from the top of a 500 foot peak by enjoying a family hike at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, also known as the “Culver City Stairs.” (Be prepared that little ones may tire out and ask to be carried). You’ll wander through a restored native habitat and be able to examine exhibits at the visitor center (which is open on weekends.) It’s a steep climb to the top (on stairs) so be prepared. (Parking fee is $6, but free street parking may be available as well).
5741 Buckingham Parkway, Ste. E, Culver City, CA 90230
If you’ve got a history buff in the family, make sure to plan a visit to the Wende Museum. The Wende Museum’s mission is to “preserve, inspire, and explore,” and the word “wende” is a German word meaning “turning point.” This museum preserves artifacts from the Cold War so that lessons from the past may help guide us in the present. Families will find art, personal histories, and artifacts (including clothing, furniture, photos, books, and more) dating from 1945-1991. Check the website for information about scheduling a guided tour. The exhibition galleries are open to the public on Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is free.
Culver City Farmers Market
Main Street between Culver Blvd. and Venice Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
Every Tuesday, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm, you’ll find the Culver City Farmers market in downtown Culver City. You’ll find vendors selling fruits and vegetables, flowers and plants, gift items, and hot foods.
Culver City, CA 90232
Ballona Creek is a 9-mile long flood control channel. About 4 miles of the Creek lie within Culver City. You can go on a family bike ride along the Ballona Creek bike path that will take you from Culver City to Marina Del Rey. The website offers a map and suggestions for entrance points so you can determine the length of your bike ride. While you’re there, you’ll most likely encounter various birds such as herons, egrets, mallard ducks, and more.
Museum of Jurassic Technology
9341 Venice Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
The museum’s permanent collection includes exhibits related to natural history and the history of science. The museum’s diverse exhibits are scientific, historic, and artistic in nature. Some have described it as housing objects with “varying levels of authenticity;” others describe it as “quirky.” Among the variety of exhibits, you’ll find a tea room upstairs. (Some find the museum rather dark and “creepy;” it may not be suitable for young children.) Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for those ages 13-21, and free for children 12 and under.
Sony Pictures Studio Tour
10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
Sony Pictures Studio offers two-hour guided walking tours, providing families with a unique, behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at a working studio. While on the tour, visitors may view the stages where “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” are filmed. In addition, you’ll walk by the stages where Dorothy followed the “yellow brick road” as well as where more contemporary films have been made. Reservations for tours are suggested. Fees are $40 per person (with free parking). Children must be 12 and older to attend.
The Coolhaus Shop
8588 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
If you’re not familiar with Coolhaus, here’s what you should know. It’s a combination of food and architecture, and will have you looking at desserts in a whole new way. In addition, all the treats you’ll find here are all-natural, handmade, organic (when possible), and made with fresh, local ingredients. Choose from ice cream, an ice cream and cookie pie, a cold beverage, or cookies. And get ready to be adventurous (such as avocado sea salt ice cream or the pastrami ice cream)!
Westfield Culver City
6000 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230
In addition to stores such as Crazy 8, Disney Store, JCPenney, Old Navy,Target, and The Children’s Place, the Westfield Culver City offers several family-friendly amenities. When the kids need to run around, head to the Westfield PlaySpace. Check your child’s height against the red seahorse at the entrance, and then let him run, climb, and explore. And when you need a break from shopping, you can go to the Westfield Family Lounge which features toys, changing stations, child-friendly TV programs, and private nursing areas. And if that’s not enough, you’ll also find a special dining area for families. Kids will particularly like the colorful tables and chairs as well as the smaller, more comfortable, size. (And, a Trader Joe’s is scheduled to open this summer).
Downtown Culver City
between the intersections of Culver Blvd., Washington Blvd., and Duquesne Blvd.
On the stretch known as “Downtown Culver City,” you’ll find an eclectic assortment of shops, galleries, and restaurants. Metered parking is available as well as parking structures which provide 2 hours of free parking. Some have described Downtown Culver city as having a small-town vibe within a large city.
Veterans Memorial Park
4117 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230
You’ll find 12.9 acres at the Veterans Memorial Park. Families will appreciate the playgrounds specifically designed for different-aged children (one for those who are 2-5 years old, and one for those who are 5-12 years old). In addition, you’ll find a picnic area, a jogging path, sports field, basketball courts, and more.
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