Reviews & Photos
July 23 2014
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Big Air Trampoline Park
23251 Avenida de la Carlota,
This place is modern and full of fun for the kids. The first thing I noticed (which most moms may) is that there is some great fragrance being pumped out in the lobby which is a welcome greeting vs. the sweaty, gym smell of hot kids on trampolines.
There are tons of areas for kids to run and jump and it includes smaller areas for kids that are younger. My 7 year old jumped in the big arena, shot hoops, scaled the rock wall, jousted with rubber pads, and played dodge ball.
There is a snack area including lots of sugar and pizza. There are quite a few rooms with picnic tables for eating as a big group, or joining others. Several benches are scattered throughout the area for parents. It was a great place to spend several hours on a hot summer morning.
July 23 2014
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Starr Ranch Bird Observatory
100 Bell Canyon Road,
My two older kids took a class this last semester specifically geared to homeschoolers to learn hands-on science and research. They were given a research topic - which was studying the organisms in the creek as it changed through the year. They went one day a month and spent about 4 hours on site. Their instructor, Scott, taught them well and helped them with learning how to research their topic.
The grounds are beautiful and full of woods and birds. There are many classes that are offered to students and to the public. The only downside to this place is that it can be difficult to drive over the rutted road that starts in Dove Canyon. It is a 1 lane road with several potholes and dips.
I look forward to participating in future classes, either as a family on Saturdays, or taking my kids to learn. Their experience, face-to-face with the nature that is in SoCal is very valuable.
July 23 2014
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Operation Christmas Child
3000 West MacArthur Blvd., Suite 310,
I took my kiddos on a special day tour of the Operation Christmas Child warehouse. They had only 1 day to open the tour because the place is very during during the season boxing gifts to send to kids around the world.
We went from station to station to learn about what goes into the boxes and the kids that they go to. It was inspirational and good to see.
We got to see the assembly line where the boxes are processed and are checked to make sure they have all the right things inside them.
I learned that adults and kids (17 or 18 and older if I remember correctly) can volunteer to process the boxes each year... mostly in November. I'm keeping this on my list of ways to serve when my kids get older.
July 21 2014
2 families found this helpful
1800 Sawtelle Blvd,
Choosing the PCB (Plan Check Burger) off the menu was a no-brainer. Once having heard that it has been rated as one of the best burgers in LA convinced me that I had to try it. What made it delicious? The toasted bun, juicy burger, melted cheese, and that amazing ketchup leather. The leather seemed to melt in my mouth, but it didn't get the bun all soggy, which was the brilliance of the plan.
I ordered beer nuts to go with my house red wine (perhaps a strange combo) because the "happy hour" menu made it so affordable (free beer nuts with a check in). They were perfectly crunchy, sweet, and tangy, with a slight hint of wasabi.
The french fries were equally delectable with a perfect crunch on the outside and smooth flavor inside with no-over taste of oil. The sweet potato fries were pretty tasty too. We couldn't quite figure out the flavor of the ketchup because it had a sweet, almost marinara, flavor but we got used to it.
I found the donuts to be lacking in flavor beyond the sweet crunch of the sugar on the outside. The dough tasted plain and so did the cream. The strawberries didn't add much either.
This restaurant seemed upscale (with retro furnishings) yet very casual with outdoor seating and bar stools. We didn't see many kids inside yet it was family-friendly. The kids' menu looked appealing. The outdoor seating area was surrounded by a short metal fence, but the street and sidewalk were very close by.
All in all, a great, casual and fun burger joint with a cool, upscale feel.
Disclosure: I received complimentary dining with my Trekaroo team mates for the purpose of this review. I was not asked to present a particular point of view and all opinions are my own.
July 14 2014
1 family found this helpful
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum
40 Presidential Drive,
"Library/Museum with kid friendly displays"
It took us most of a Saturday to walk through the Reagan Library. (11 am - 4 pm) and even though we were going slow, my kids did not seem to get bored and they learned a ton about the history of Reagan and the US during his years.
What made this library great for my kids were the many video presentations about various topics during Reagan's years. It seemed that in just about every room, there was a video to watch. This brought it to life for my kids. They didn't have to just read displays to learn about Reagan, they watched him come to life.
Many of his artifacts from his early years to his ranch life (tons of awesome belt buckles!) were interesting to look at. Nancy Reagan's dresses were on display and they were beautiful. A highlight was stepping inside a replica of the Oval Office, decorated as it was during Reagan's time. A tour guide gave interesting facts about the desk, paintings, and decor.
The flow of the museum is chronological and takes guests through his life. There are a few tight spots that became crowded. There were exit spots that could take one outdoors but I was disappointed to learn that once you go outside, you can't just come back in where you left off. This happened to us around lunch time. We had only made it through ⅓ of the library and wanted to get our lunch from the car. When we were done with lunch, we had to walk back through the rooms and past all the people going slowly which was tedious. It would have been great if we could have reentered near the Air Force One building.
There are several separate places to eat or enjoy a snack. We brought our lunch and left it in the car and then ate at the very nice picnic area under the trees which was close to the parking lot. Halfway through the museum is the Air Force One building. Down on the 3rd floor is an "Irish Pub" which has sandwiches, sodas, and ice cream sandwiches. At the end of the maze of rooms is a cafe with a variety of fare and nice indoor/outdoor seating.
The biggest highlight for our kids (and probably most people) was the Air Force One building. Just seeing that airplane inside a structure was impressive. We entered in on the side of the right wing and walked around to the left wing before we could enter. This gave us plenty of time to admire the plane and to interact with displays and photos about it. There was a 15-20 minute line waiting to go inside the plane but the wait was pleasant. Strollers and wheelchairs were not permitted on the plane but there were docents who were helping families by taking their strollers down an elevator to where the exit of the plane was located. Each group had their picture taken by a docent on the steps leading to the plane. We put our hands in the air to wave as if we were the president. There was no obligation to buy but my dad did because the picture of our whole family turned out well. The inside of the plane was less impressive than my movie memory of "Air Force One" had me imagining. No beds or plush seating although there were couch like chairs and separate rooms for the President. It smelled just like what I remember things smelling like from the 70s & 80s. Think "old school classroom" plus old metal and rubber wiring and that's about it. It was great to imagine the Reagans in that plane and using it for their various trips. We also walked through Marine One, the helicopter used by the president for short trips. It was small inside but interesting. His motorcade of limousine, police cars, SUV, and motorcycles was also on display.
We finished the tour in the gift shop (of course) and opted out of going in the special exhibit room which was all about baseball because we were tired!
Bottomline: My kids learned a lot about Ronald Reagan, his presidency, and world history during our visit. It was definitely worth the trip and admission and I hope to return again with my kids!
Disclosure: Wee received museum admission tickets for the benefit of writing this review. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to say anything in particular.