Whittier is located about 12 miles southeast of Los Angeles. It was originally founded as a Quaker colony and was named after a poet, John Greenleaf Whittier. Today the city of Whittier offers families a wide variety of things to do.
Paradox Hybrid Walnut Tree
Whittier Blvd. between Penn and Mar Vista Streets, Whittier, CA
When you’re in Whittier, make sure to stop by and marvel at the Paradox Hybrid Walnut Tree. This historical landmark features a tree first planted in 1907 and is a testament to Whittier’s early involvement with the walnut industry. This extraordinary tree now has a circumference of about 14 feet and a spread of about 100 feet.
Pio Pico State Historic Park
6003 Pioneer Blvd., Whittier, CA 90606
Step back into time with a visit to Pio Pico State Historic Park. You’ll find “El Ranchito” there, the rancho and adobe home that belonged to Pio Pico. Pio Pico was the last Governor of California under Mexican rule. The Adobe is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm each day.
15390 Lambert Road, Whittier, CA 90604
Parnell Park offers much to do for children of all ages. The park features a playground with swings, slides, and a jungle gym, as well as a basketball court, volleyball net, and more. In addition, there is a small petting zoo (called the Parnell Storybook Zoo) located at the park as well. The petting zoo is closed on Thursdays, but is free and open six days of the week from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm. There are benches and lots of grassy areas at Parnell Park so be sure to pack a picnic.
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Whittier Greenway Trail
(begins near the 605 Freeway – check the website for a map)
The Whittier Greenway Trail is a 4.5-mile bikeway and pedestrian path. You’ll find public art and other exhibits along the route. Walking or biking along the trail is a great way for families to explore Whittier as it takes you through residential, industrial, and commercial areas. You’ll also find exercise equipment stations along the trail (designed for those 14 years old and older).
Uptown Whittier Certified Farmer’s Market
13018 Philadelphia St., Whittier, CA
The city of Whittier hosts a weekly Farmer’s Market, each Friday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. You’ll find over 40 vendors selling a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, prepared foods, handmade crafts, and more.
Whittier Historic Depot Transportation Center
7333 Greenleaf Ave., Whittier, CA
If you’ve got kids who like trains, then be sure to stop and visit the Whittier Historic Depot Transportation Center. The Victorian-style train station was completed in 1892, and is one of only 4 remaining stations dating back to the 1890’s found in California today. The Museum is open by appointment only.
7344 S. Washington Ave., Whittier, CA 90602
Whittier’s Public Library system offers a variety of programs for children and families. On certain days, certified therapy dogs are on hand so children can practice reading aloud to these patient animals. A variety of story times are offered as well, each tailored to a different age group. A Homework Center can also be found at the Central Library. (The library is closed on Sundays).
6755 Newlin Ave., Whittier, CA 90601
The Whittier Museum is operated by the Whittier Historical Society. Visitors are welcome on the weekends from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Docents will take families through the museum on a tour that lasts from 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Exhibits include information about Whittier’s history including the early Quaker settlers, Richard Nixon (a Whittier resident in his youth), and Pio Pico. In addition, a special exhibit titled “A Century of Boy Scouts” is on display until December 31st.
Historic Bailey House
13421 E. Camilla St., Whittier, CA 90601
Families can visit the Historic Bailey House on Sundays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Docents lead free hour-long tours. The Bailey House is a six-room structure that was the home of the first settlers in Whittier — Jonathan and Rebecca Bailey. Jonathan Bailey was a leader in Whittier’s early development.
Kids Space Studio
13710 Whittier Blvd., Whittier, CA 90605
Kids Space Studio offers a site for parties and special events, enrichment classes, an open art studio, as well as an indoor playground. Designed for children of all ages (from infants to 12-year olds), their classes strive to “develop and enhance the natural creativity and imagination of children through art, dance, music, and yoga.”
The city of Whittier is home to four designated historic districts. They include the Central Park Historic District, the Hadley-Greenleaf Historic District, the College Hills Historic District, and the Earlham Historic District. You can go online for more information and plan your own walking tour — a great way to explore historic Whittier at your own pace.