Wednesday, November 13, 2013

#277-282: Shambala Preserve, Paramount Ranch, Korean Friendship Bell and more!

via Shambala

Happy November, Angelenos! And a special thank you to 365LA's facebook friends--last month we surpassed 1,000 likes!

This month we've got a wild cat preserve, an old Western movie set, a beautiful Malibu hike, a famous house in the architecture world, and more. Check it all out below, and happy adventuring!

via Shambala

#277: The Shambala Preserve: One weekend a month, the Shambala Preserve in Acton opens its doors to the public. Those 18 years and over can get up close and personal with African lions, Bengal and Siberian tigers, and leopards, mountain lions and servals. 3 hour tours are $50 per person, tax deductible.

via daykations

 #278: Charmlee Wilderness Park: This gorgeous Malibu park features lots of hiking, a recreation center and a shaded picnic area.

via freethingstodoinla

#279: Paramount Ranch: Want to star in your own Western? Visit Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, which served as the filming location for Paramount Pictures. There are trails to explore in the area as well.

via Yelp

 #280: Korean Friendship Bell: This intricately decorated, 17 ton bell was donated by the people of the Republic of Korea in 1976. The bell, located in San Pedro, celebrates the bicentennial of U.S. independence, honors veterans of the Korean war, and celebrates friendship between Korea and America.

via Gamble House

#281: The Gamble House: A prime example of Arts and Crafts style architecture, the Gamble House in Pasadena is open for guided 1-hour long tours Thursday
through Sunday.

via Yelp
#282: The SEA Lab: This little aquarium in Redondo Beach is a great place for kids to learn about local sea life. Admission is a $2 donation per person, or $4 per family. They also host birthday parties!

Have you been to any of these places? What did you think? Leave me a comment below!

Friday, October 4, 2013

#271-276: Citrus Groves, Martial Arts Museum, Air Force One and more!

big orange

Happy October, Angelenos! This month we've got orange groves, martial arts, pagodas, Air Force One, and a free museum at UCLA. Check it all out below and happy adventuring :)

#271: California Citrus State Historic Park:  Take a walking tour of this 160 acre park dedicated to oranges groves, located in Riverside. Learn the history of oranges in Southern California, and visit the citrus museum and gift shop.

#272: The Martial Arts History Museum: See the real Karate Kid headband, the Mortal Combat shield, and traditional Samurai attire while learning about the arts and cultures of Asia at this Burbank museum.

via yelp

#273: Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden:  This beautiful garden is located on the campus of Cal State Long Beach and is free to visit. Admire the koi fish, tea house, pagodas, raked rock garden, Japanese irises and more. Closed Mondays and Saturdays.

#274: The Ronald Reagan Library: Walk aboard Air Force One, see a full sized replica of the Oval Office, and learn about the secretive world of spies at the library's current exhibits. The library is located in Simi Valley.

#275: UCLA Fowler Museum: The Fowler Museum focuses on global arts and culture with an emphasis on those from Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. Admission is free. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

#276: LA Flower District: Every day is Spring in Downtown L.A.'s Flower District, where you can get fresh cut flowers for wholesale prices. It's the perfect place to create a huge custom bouquet for the person you love.

Have you been to any of these places? What did you think of them? Leave me a comment below!

Monday, September 9, 2013

#264 to #270: Farm Sanctuary, a Movie Railway, the Coroner's Gift Shop and more!

pic via allaboutjazz

Hey adventurers! Hope you're enjoying September in Los Angeles. Here are more places in and around L.A. to check out. Have you been to any of these? Let me know in the comments section below! 

#264: Attend an intimate musical performance at McCabe's on the West Side

#265: Visit Farm Sanctuary's rescue animals in Acton. A tour is just $5 for adults.

#266: Check out the home of the movie trains, Fillmore & Western Railway in Fillmore.

pic via tumblr

#267: Watch the sunset on El Matador State Beach in Malibu

#268: Admire the art or attend a performance at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton

The bath towels at Skeletons in the Closet

#269: Visit the coroner's gift shop, Skeletons in the Closet in Downtown L.A.

pic from

#270: Take the kids to a Bob Baker Marionette Show in Downtown L.A.

Monday, July 29, 2013

#263: The Cat House

Photos of Rosamond - Featured Images
pic of Rosamond via TripAdvisor

The Cat House in Rosamond is a non profit organization that houses over 70 of the world's most endangered felines. This breeding zoo / research facility is open to the public for a mere price of $7 general admission ($6 seniors, $5 ages 3-12). Unlike a regular zoo, there are no moats between the visitors and the animals, so you can get as close as 5 feet away from the felines. They also host Twilight Tours, Kids Day, Scheduled Tours, and a Feline Follies Fundraiser Dinner.

It's a bit of a drive from L.A. to Rosamond (a little over an hour) so pack a picnic and make a day trip out of it!

Have you been to the Cat House? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

The Cat House

Saturday, July 13, 2013

#262: Peddler's Creamery

(NOTE: I originally wrote this post about trying Kopi Luwak coffee (a ridiculously priced coffee made from fermented beans that a Luwak poops out), but then I was informed by a reader, Ben, that the Kopi Luwak business has gotten so lucrative that nowadays Kopi Luwak is made from caged Luwaks who are treated cruelly! :( So I changed the post to something more palatable: ice cream! )

Ever wish someone would invent great tasting guiltless ice cream? Well at Peddler's Creamery in Downtown LA, you can burn off calories and then feel guilt free eating ice cream afterwards.  As part of their Peddler's Club, if you're able to peddle for 15-20 minutes at a rate of 15 mph, you get a free scoop of ice cream!

Here are the club rewards from their website:

The Peddler’s Club is open to Peddlers on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings with slots at: 6:45 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:15 pm, and 9:00pm. Be ready to pedal for 15-20 minutes at a pace of 15 mph in order to make one batch of ice cream.

The Sweet Rewards
•  For each batch you churn, you get a free scoop from one of the flavors we have out in the case, or you can donate your scoop to charity; 
•  After churning 3 batches, you get to play rock, paper, scissors with one of our employees and if you win you get another scoop free; 
•  After churning 5 batches, you get your insta pic on our Peddler’s Wall; 
•  After riding 45 miles, you get your very own Peddler’s Creamery Peddle Club button or sticker;
•  After pedaling 75 miles, you get a pint of ice cream to enjoy;
•  After riding 100 miles, you get your very own Peddler’s Creamery T-Shirt (organic cotton, of course);
•  After pedaling 125 miles, you get to play stump the founder, ask him a question about ice cream. If he can’t answer it then you get to take home a pint; 
•  After riding150 miles, you get your very own Peddler’s Hat (100% wool, made in San Diego County);
•  After pedaling 175 miles, you get a flavor named in your honor for a week; 
•  After riding 200 miles, you get your very own Peddler’s Jersey (100% recycled fiber);
•  The leader at the end of each year will earn the unique Peddler's Creamery Yellow Jersey!

Thank you Jesse for recommending this place! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

#261: Egyptian Theatre Historic Tour

Aloha L.A. Adventurers! As I mentioned in my previous post, I've moved to Hawaii! I'm still completing my 365 things though, so my posts are now meant to be a "Things To Do When I Visit L.A." list rather than a "Things I've done in L.A." list. So many new adventures to look forward to!

This one's been in my bookmarks for a long time; take a tour of the historic Hollywood Egyptian Theatre which was built in 1922. Visit the dressing rooms, singers' boxes, and projection room on your hour-long tour. Tickets are $5 and the next tour is October 15th so mark your calendar!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

#260: Gymboree Play and Music

Hey loyal readers of this blog, I'm sad to announce that we're moving from L.A. to Hawaii in a couple of days. It's a bittersweet move since I've got so many places bookmarked that I have yet to do and see in L.A.. However, the show will go on... I'm still posting until I hit 365, so don't go anywhere!

This post is for all the new parents out there... It's about a magical place where you can catch bubbles on the tips of your fingers, where kids never tire of rainbow colored parachutes, and where clowns aren't scary at all.  I'm talking about Gymboree Play and Music. For the past 6 months, my girl and I have been spending oh, about 95% of our time here, and it's been her favorite place to be. 

What makes Gymboree such a special place? It's the girls who work here. I am beyond impressed by how cheerful and friendly they always are, how they know everyone's names who walks through the door, and how they're always patient and nurturing with the kids. 

I also love how the floor at Gymboree is padded, which provides my girl a safe place to fall and practice her crawling and walking skills. They change the floor plan every two weeks to make the place seem like a whole new gym for the kids. And their class makeup policy is very flexible, which is a bonus if your kid's naps are all over the place (like mine). 

For $74 per month, you can enroll in a weekly 45 minute class. To add more bang for your buck, you also get unlimited "Open Gym" membership where you can take your little one for free play. I've met so many great parents this way whose little ones are about the age as my girl. 

Definitely check this place out if you're a new parent--it will save your sanity and your kid will love it. If you're not sure whether Gymboree is for you, you can try a free class.  Thanks for the memories Gymboree! 

Gymboree Play and Music

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#259: Zimmer Children's Museum

You know the Chuck E. Cheese jingle Where a kid an be a kid? Well if the Zimmer Museum had a jingle, it would go Where a kid can be an adult. This hidden museum located on Wilshire is the perfect place for your tot to practice his or her hand at being a chef, an emergency medical technician, a pilot, an actor, a musician, or a construction worker. It's like a miniature world where the kids run the show!

Kids can also enjoy playing in a ball pita place to explore water, and my baby's favorite--a VIB area. VIB stands for "Very Important Baby" and it's a small padded area where babies and their caregivers can play with soft blocks and other toys. All we were missing was bottle service.

Most of the kids at the museum were in the 3 to 5 year range, but my 11 month old loved it as well. We were there till they closed, and as an extra incentive to get everyone out on time, they give balloons to the kids as they leave.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children. Babies less than one year old are free. FYI: When you enter, you have to go through a metal detector and put your bags through an x-ray. That's because the Zimmer Museum is a Jewish museum and is located in a building that houses the Jewish Federation of Greater L.A., so they take extra precautions (They do the same at the Museum of Tolerance (#209)).

The Zimmer Museum also offers classes. Click on the link below to find out more!

The Zimmer Children's Museum

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#258: Sweet!

Urinals that dispense candy at Yucky

Urinals that dispense candy, a Ferrari that shoots gumballs out of its exhaust pipe, a chocolate lab where you can put everything from Hot Cheetos to Bacon Bits in your custom chocolate bar... You can experience all this and much more at Sweet! located in the Hollywood and Highland complex. 

The Stay Puft marshmallow boutique

Sweet! is the Disneyland of candy shops. This over the top store contains a dozen boutiques including Peace of Candy (candies from around the world), Stay Puft (everything marshmallow), the Wonka Room (creative truffles and chocolate bars designed by Willy Wonka), and Sticky (traditional handmade hard candies with customizable messages).  I am pretty sure this place has every candy imaginable!

The Sticky Boutique

The good ship lollypop at the Lollywood boutique

Sweet! took me down memory lane. Seeing the Nerds, Airheads, and Chupa Chups made me nostalgic for simpler times. (That nostalgia must have carried through when I chose the song for the video--can you name who sings it?)

The main candy counter

Taking Candy from a Baby candy dispenser

Another awesome thing about Sweet! is the free samples. At the main candy counter they let you try any of the sweet and sour gummy candies in the case. I chose the gummy watermelon, which I used to inhale as a kid. Also at the Sticky boutique we got to watch them make sour apple candies from start to finish, and we got a taste at the end! 

Making sour apple candies at the Sticky boutique

Wonka's "Square Sweets That Look Round" (haha!)

Here are some tips for your visit:
  • There is an underground paid parking garage for the Hollywood and Highland complex. The garage entrance is off of Highland. 
  • Sweet! is located on the second floor.
  • We went early to avoid the crowd on the weekend which was a good move--we had the place mostly to ourselves.
  • Some of the boutiques (Peace of Candy, As If and Stay Puft) are located across from the main Sweet! shop. These boutiques open later than the main store (on Sunday they opened at noon).
We loved our time at Sweet! and highly recommend it. It just might be in my top ten places to visit in L.A.!

The largest gummy bear in the world!

Does this seem wrong to you?

Choose your jelly bean

Make your own chocolate bar at the Chocolate Lab

This snozzleberry tastes like snozzleberry! 
Wonka's Travel Trunk Truffles

Wonka's Hot & Cold Bar (cayenne and cinnamon for the hot and mint for the cold)

Farts in a Can in the Yucky boutique

Hazardous candies at Yucky

Have you been to Sweet? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

Monday, March 25, 2013

#257: Peace Awareness Labrynth and Gardens

If the X-Men lived in L.A., I'd imagine the Peace Awareness Labrynth and Gardens in Mid-City is where they'd live. The place is an old mansion, complete with a front gate where you're buzzed in, twin lion statues guarding the entrance, beautiful gardens and fountains, and... oh yes... that labrynth.  


Searching online for past issues of Los Angeles Magazine, I found a Hidden Labrynths page. Labrynths are already mysterious, so add the word "hidden" to them, and it's doubly awesome. We immediately called up two of our favorite atheists and headed out to the gardens.  

I mention the fact that my companions are not spiritual because it just so happens that this is a pretty spiritual touchy-feely place. Thank goodness the only complaint from the peanut gallery was "oh, I thought it was gonna be one of those labrynths with the high garden walls." Our guide didn't pressure us at all to change our beliefs, and although they do ask for your email address when you sign in, you can easily leave it off. So I guess what I'm getting at is, atheists, don't be afraid! 

The Peace Awareness Labrynth website describes the place as "a day retreat where people can relax in nature without leaving the city of Los Angeles".  Entry is free, and on Sundays they offer free garden tours. They also serve lunch and dinner here, for pretty cheap ($6 or $7 I think? Call for details). 

Our tour started inside, where our guide talked about the history of the mansion. The house was built in 1910 in the Italian Renaissance Revival Style and declared Historic Cultural Landmark No. 478 in 1990. Back in the early 1900's, this was where all the rich people lived; the Italian actor Rudolph Valentino even lived next door.  

you rang?

We then headed outside where our guide gave us some quick directions on how to walk the labrynth. Brad decided to try it while carrying our little girl, but stopped and turned around after about a minute because he was feeling dizzy and was afraid of dropping our baby. Who knew labrynths could be so perilous?

By the way, I found it amusing that there's a basketball hoop right next to the labrynth. After you walk your way to inner peace, you can enjoy a game of one on one!

We really enjoyed our time at the gardens, and I'd love to return and check out their lunch or dinner.

Have you been to the Peace Awareness Gardens and Labrynth? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below! 

Peace Awareness Labrynth and Garden

Sunday, March 3, 2013

#256: L.A. City Hall Observation Deck

Downtown's City Hall is not just a place to sue someone. The Observation Deck on the 27th floor is the perfect place to take in a 360 degree view of the city and some cool architecture too. Best part: it's free!

I brought my family here on their recent trip out to LA. After having lunch in Little Tokyo, we drove over to City Hall looking for parking. Note to Self: Next time just park in Little Tokyo and walk over because street parking around City Hall is hard to find! 

The ceiling

On the observation deck

When you first enter the building (the entrance on Main Street is the only one open to the public), there's an X Ray machine that you have to put your bags through. Then you sign in (one person in your group shows their ID) and get visitor stickers. The guard gives you directions to take two sets of elevators to the 27th floor. Along the way, you get to walk around and admire the building's architecture and art. 

The view from the top on a clear day is outstanding. See if you can spot familiar Downtown landmarks in these pictures:

I spy the Disney Concert Hall!

I spy Union Station!

The brand new Grand Park is right across the street from City Hall

A bell on the observation deck

The Observation Deck is open on weekdays during regular business hours. 

Have you been to City Hall's Observation Deck? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

Los Angeles City Hall