Sawtelle is a neighborhood in West Los Angeles. And the strip of Sawtelle Boulevard between Santa Monica and Olympic Boulevards has been designated “Sawtelle Japantown.” You’ll find many family-friendly things to do and explore here.
B Sweet Dessert Bar
2005 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
You’re in for a treat (pun intended) when you visit B Sweet Dessert Bar. Families will have a difficult time selecting between the yummy-looking and yummy-tasting pies, cakes, cookies, and pastries that are created here. They are also quite well-known for their bread pudding. Check the website for the week’s current menu. Keep in mind they are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
West Los Angeles Regional Library
11360 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
The West Los Angeles Regional Library is a part of the Los Angeles Public Library System. This branch offers many story times for children on different days of the week. For teens, the library hosts a Teen Movie Club, with a screening scheduled for Saturday, December 31st at 2:00 pm. They are open seven days a week.
Active Play Experience for Kids (APEX)
11339 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
APEX for Kids describes itself as “physically challenging kids to improve body awareness and build self-confidence.” They offer a variety of classes beginning when children have learned to crawl and continue on up. This location also offers Open Gym time, when children can play without the structure of a class. (You’ll find a trampoline, ball pit, rock wall climbing, bouncy balls, and lots more). And, they also serve as a venue for birthday parties. Check the website for more information.
Giant Robot Store
2015 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
and GR2 Gallery
2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
If your family is a fan of Japanese pop culture, then a visit to Giant Robot Store and its gallery, GR2 Gallery, must be on your to-do list. (Just keep in mind that the Gallery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). The store offers a variety of products including gifts, t-shirts, stationery, comics, toy figures, collectibles, and much more.
Stoner Recreation Center
1835 Stoner Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90025
Families will find lots to do at Stoner Recreation Center. You’ll find barbecue pits and picnic tables, basketball courts, tennis courts, seasonal swimming pool, football field, children’s play area (including a Universally Accessible Playground), soccer field, and more. The Recreation Center also offers a number of classes and programs including dance, art, music, sports, and more. The Stoner Skate Park is also at this location as well.
Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery
1905 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
This family-run bonsai nursery was established back in 1949. It’s a great place to do some holiday shopping; their offerings extend beyond bonsai. And if you’d prefer browsing to shopping, this is the place. You’ll feel at ease as you walk among the garden and all its offerings. (Don’t feel overwhelmed — there are friendly experts who can help you if you need it). Many describe Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery as one of L.A.’s “best kept secrets.”
1935 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
Be sure to also stop by and explore Hashimoto Nursery, another family-run nursery with a long history. In fact, it’s the oldest retail plant nursery on Sawtelle, serving the neighborhood for over 80 years. You’ll feel as if you’re strolling through a botanical garden as you marvel at the selection of indoor and outdoor plants and trees in all sizes and colors. They also offer a large pottery selection, planters, containers, and more.
11866 La Grange Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90025
Rockreation rock climbing gym offers 10,000 square feet of climbing wall and a large fitness area for beginner to experienced climbers. Kids ages 6 and older can take classes every week or enroll in camp during summer and holidays. Kids 9 to 12 can try out to be a Rock Warrior, a way for kids to improve their climbing experience in a team setting. Check the website for prices and times.
2130 Sawtelle Blvd. Ste. 112, Los Angeles, CA 90025
You can take the kids into this store and shop knowing that it won’t break the bank. You’ll find knick-knacks, stationery items, snacks, small household items, and more. It’s a great place to stop and let the kids do some holiday shopping for friends and family. And, most items are $1.50 each.
Sawtelle Blvd. between Santa Monica Blvd. and Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
In addition to the shops I’ve highlighted above, don’t forget to stroll along Sawtelle Boulevard to discover even more treasures. This stretch of Sawtelle Boulevard has been designated as “Sawtelle Japantown.” Here you’ll find Japanese-influenced restaurants, boutiques, and more.
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