10 Things to Do With Your Parents In LA

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So your parents are coming to visit you in LA… ah. LA isn’t exactly as safe, quaint, and quiet as home… and you can’t just keep them in your apartment away from the world outside… I mean its not like you’re embarrassed of LA… but these aren’t your friends you can just take to your laundry list of dive bars or to drag bingo at Hambuger Mary’s? So what are you going to do?

My family comes to visit me all the time, so I’ve made a point of scouting out things for us to do that wont make them feel like the oldest people in the room or terrified for their general well being. I have to admit my parents/family are all pretty hip, I can take them just about anywhere; they had a blast at Gjelina despite being surrounded by nouveau riche thirty somethings all dressed in the latest Abbot Kinney fashions… for example. Thats an accomplishment. But they’re still my parents, and I want them to appreciate and experience LA in a way only parents can.

Here are 10 fun, safe, and stress-free activities to do with your parents when they come to see you and where you live:

1. Visit The Huntington Library

Especially if it’s springtime / summertime, this is a great place to spend a few hours walking around the botanical gardens and through the museums. Don’t roll your eyes. I swear you wont hate it and neither will your parents. And downtown Pasadena is right there – parents LOVE Pasadena. There’s plenty of restaurants and shops; an easy way to kill another few hours.

2. Take them to brunch at Tavern or Farmshop in Brentwood

Chic decor, incredible food, and other people their age. Plus your parents need to experience an LA brunch, and both these places know how to do brunch and do it well. They’re a bit more on the pricy end but hey, you’re with your parents right?

3. Coffee and shopping on Larchmont Ave in Larchmont

One of the quaintest damn streets in Los Angeles. I can hear our moms saying “how cute!” right now

4. Walk along the Manhattan Beach boardwalk

Manhattan Beach is one of the most parent friendly beaches as far as I’m concerned. Walking along the ocean on the boardwalk, grabbing an ice cream at Manhattan Beach Creamery, shopping, maybe even grabbing a drink/snack/meal on Manhattan Ave makes for a beach themed fun day for you and your ‘rents.

Restaurant suggestions: Manhattan Beach Post, Little Sister, Fishing with Dynamite, Love & Salt

5. Visit to The Getty or The Getty Villa

Ok no rolling your eyes again, The Getty is f’n awesome. Even if you and your parents aren’t into the “art” thing you’ll all be into the “insane views” thing. The grounds, the architecture, the art, are all incredible – I don’t think your parents will be angry you took them here. And the Getty Villa is slightly smaller but equally as parent friendly and beautiful to walk around. Best part? The Villa is conveniently located in Malibu. And parents love Malibu.

6. Cocktails / Happy Hour at the Culver Hotel

There’s always that weird time between your day activity with your parents and then dinner… so instead of letting them sit bored in their hotel room or sit in disappointment at the sight of your apartment, take them out for a drink? The Culver Hotel has a romantic old hollywood feel, great drinks, a patio, and happy hour 7 days a week. This is a great place to kill an hour before dinner time.

7. Coffee, shopping, and/or lunch on Montana Ave in Santa Monica

I take my parents here every time they come to visit, and just like Larchmont it’s another one of the quaintest, cutest damn streets in LA. Tons of home decor shopping, shopping shopping, nail salons, and restaurants. You could easily spend a few hours moseying around here and trying to convince your parents of the clothes and accessories you NEED from Planet Blue and Clare V.

8. Go see a movie at the iPic Theater

Two options: Pasadena or Westwood. Same result: the best movie going experience, ever.  iPic is known for their array of delicious meals (I mean they have more to offer than popcorn and questionably old hot dogs), adult beverage service, comfy recliner seats, and the extra added bonus for us ladies… blankies. It makes for the greatest screening experience in the town where movies are made, and it’s one your parents will definitely be impressed with.

9. See a show at The Hollywood Bowl

This may seem a little crazy… maybe you’re thinking, “go to a show with my parents?”. But the Bowl is safe, and even if it’s an LA Philharmonic show your parents will appreciate this experience. They’ll get to visit one of our cities most historic fixtures, they’ll see a great show, and they’ll get to do it all with you by their side. Aw.

10. Dinner at Geoffrey’s in Malibu

I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mom so happy. See, parents love Malibu. So a nice dinner right on the ocean, outside, with great food and an incredible view will help remind your parents that they’re kind of on vacation! Plus you get to go too, and when the hell else are you going to go to Geoffrey’s.


Hanging with your parents in LA can be fun? There’s a lot more for them to do here than they probably think, so have fun showing them the ropes, and when they’re back for another visit a lot sooner than expected, don’t say I didn’t tell ya so.

AAAAND. If you’re looking for even more options to consider… check out my most recent: 10 MORE Things to do with Your Parents In LA

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