Updated for 2024
La Crescenta-Montrose is a neighborhood offering much in terms of family-friendly activities. Whether you’re looking for shopping options, a new public library to explore, or a different park to play at, you’ll find it in this 3.8-square-mile enclave of unincorporated Los Angeles.
17 Fun Family-Friendly Things To Do in La Crescenta-Montrose
La Crescenta Library
2809 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta, CA 91214
The La Crescenta Library is a branch of the County of Los Angeles Public Library system. It is the most accessible of the local libraries because it is usually open by 10 a.m. every day except Sunday. Half of the library is dedicated to children, and the space is welcoming for homework or just cozying up on the couch with a book. There’s also a computer section geared toward children as young as two.
Special library events include dedicated weekly “Story Times”, performances such as magic shows, and various crafting and STEAM activities.
2864 Foothill Blvd, La Crescenta-Montrose, CA 91214
Treat your kids to the food they really want at Mochinut. Located right across the street from the La Crescenta Library, it specializes in mochi doughnuts, Korean corn dogs, and boba drinks. There’s no inside seating, but your kids will probably prefer the grab-and-go experience. You can also pair your visit with a trip to one of the local parks, less than five minutes away in either direction on Foothill Boulevard. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. most days.
Two Strike Park
5107 Rosemont Ave., La Crescenta, CA 91214
Two Strike Park is a local family favorite. Here, you can take advantage of the green open spaces perfect for running, games of catch, and picnics. Kids will also like the basketball courts and enormous children’s play structures with age-appropriate designations.
In case you were wondering about the park’s name, it was inspired by Mr. Dennis Morgan, a popular movie star of the 1940s and 1950s and the honorary mayor of La Crescenta. He believed all children needed somewhere safe to play and that a child who played in the street already had two strikes against him (with the third strike possibly being injured by a car). Mr. Morgan staged several celebrity baseball games to raise the money necessary to build Two Strike Park.
Tickle Tree Cafe
2835 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta, CA 91214
Everyone will find something they like on the menu at the Tickle Tree Cafe. (Isn’t that a fun name?) Parents will most likely gravitate toward one of their many options for caffeine, while kiddos will love their pancakes and french fries. The cafe is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has indoor and outdoor seating. They are located right next to the La Crescenta Libary.
Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park
3901 Dunsmore Ave., La Crescenta, CA 91214
Bring the kids to Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park and enjoy some time outside in what locals call a “hidden jewel” of a park. There are lots of trees as well as native flora and fauna. Bring some magnifying glasses and go on an adventure walk to observe what you notice.
There is a small children’s play area made up of faux rocks with ropes to climb, but even toddlers will enjoy hopping from stone to stone without having to reach great heights.
A recreation center is attached to the park with a bulletin board with activities for everyone from Tiny Tots to Grandparents. Events like “Everybody Plays” offer drop-in activity sessions in classes like performing arts or sports & fitness for ages 7 to 17. “Tiny Tots” is a weekly program that resembles preschool with morning and afternoon sessions for ages 3 to 5. The cost is nominal. More information on all programs can be found on the website or by calling 818-249-5940.
Pickens Canyon Park
2391 W. Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta, CA 91214
You won’t find a large play structure at Pickens Canyon Park. Instead, you’ll find thoughtful landscaping, benches, and informational displays about the history of La Crescenta. This 8,000-square-foot pocket park is a great place to go for a leisurely stroll, learn some history, and maybe sit down and read a new (or favorite) book.
Montrose Shopping Park
Honolulu Ave., Montrose, CA
If you want an authentic slice of Americana, head to Honolulu Avenue in Montrose for some of the most charming blocks in the area.
The Montrose Association prides itself on prioritizing local businesses over big chains, so outside of the essential Starbucks and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, you will mostly find mom-and-pop shops or independently owned franchise businesses.
The street is packed with stores designed entirely with your children in mind, including Once Upon a Time Bookstore, Toms Toys, and even Bellies, Babies, and Bosoms for when your little ones are still attached to you. (Related: Maternity Shops in Los Angeles)
Once Upon a Time Bookstore is a veritable literary play-place selling books and educational toys. They offer weekly “Story Times” and “Author Readings,” and there is a cat that lives in the store – which some children will find enjoyable and others irritating – literally :).
Toms Toys has everything from Playmobil to Lego as well as a wide variety of specialty dinosaur and animal figurines. If you make your way to the back of the store, there are coin-operated rides and a train table. Play is encouraged – especially if you make a purchase.
If you’re looking for activities, Color Me Mine and Drawn2Art have your creatives, Technix Academy has your robots, and Bubble Cuts has your haircuts (which involve sitting in car-shaped seats and watching TV, so no tears).
Color me Mine is open every day but Monday for drop-in ceramic painting and scheduled classes. This is a great all-ages activity.
Drawn2Art is open every day for scheduled art classes, and will even give you the first one free to try it out. Ages 4 to 7 enjoy a one-hour class while ages 7 and up are there for an hour and a half.
The budding engineer in your life will love the Technix Academy, which also offers a complimentary 30-minute session to try them out. Children begin by building robots and then move into the STEM project of their choosing. Scheduling is flexible.
The indoor playplace Little Rascals Clubhouse is also open daily from 1 to 8 p.m. unless they have a private party. Call 818-798-2541 before you head out. This is best for toddlers as the space is not very large.
Honolulu avenue is also home to three different spots for ice cream and frozen yogurt. Choose from Fro-yo Life, Tutti Frutti, and Moo Moo Mia. While Tutti Fruit and Fro-yo Life let you serve yourself and load up on toppings, the hand-crafted quality at Moo Moo Mia is more worthwhile.
For a more substantial meal, you can’t go wrong with The Black Cow Cafe open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or Toasted Cafe for daytime dining until 4 p.m. As the name implies they do thick toasts with toppings quite well.
On Sundays, you’ll find the street blocked off from traffic for the Montrose Harvest Market; a farmers market offering produce, flowers, collectibles, and prepared foods. There are also periodic events throughout the year, with one of the largest being the “Halloween Spooktacular”, which offers children a safe place to trick or treat from the storefronts of the local businesses.
2465 Honolulu Avenue Montrose, CA 91020
While technically part of the Glendale library system, the Montrose Library is just down the street from the Montrose Shopping Park and is also located next to a fire station for extra kid fun.
Hours here vary and it’s not open until 11 a.m. most days, but they do have a rather large childrens and young adult section complete with toys for open play.
You’ll also find a weekly “Story Time” geared toward children 3 and under which is followed by “Stay and Play” with toys. Activities for older children include designated “STEAM” or “Art Cart” hours. Check the schedule before you go.
Outside the Box Enrichment Center
2550 Foothill Blvd La Crescenta-Montrose, CA 91214
Outside the Box Enrichment Center offers early childhood development classes with a focus on sensory experience. These are done in a “Mommy & Me” style so you can explore the world along with your child. Classes are available from infancy until 6-years-old.
3529 Clifton Place, Glendale, CA 91208
While technically in the city of Glendale, the name would indicate otherwise, and for local children this is probably the most fun park. There is a large play structure at the top of the hill as well as designated barbecue areas that are perfect for birthday parties.
When you venture down the hill you’ll find spaces for soccer and two baseball fields. And you’ll be hardpressed to find a kid who isn’t dying to take a tumble in the lush grass from the top of the hill to the bottom.
Caroline Gelabert-Noh (of Eat Drink LA) also contributed to this article.
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Wendy Kennar is a mother, writer, and former teacher who has lived her entire life in the same Los Angeles zip code. You can read more from Wendy at her website WendyKennar.com where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).