Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles
The Greater LA Zoo is a terrific place to spend an afternoon looking at animals, taking photos, eating kettle corn, and dodging strollers. I especially like arriving toward the end of the day when most of the kids are exhausted and heading toward the exit and I can get in a great power walk on the hilly paths. Once the sun starts to set and the temperatures go down a bit, the Zoo becomes a terrific place to stretch ones legs and enjoy beautiful and exotic animals. There are a couple nights during the summer when special events, including sleepovers and "Music at the Zoo" are offered. These are wonderful, fun programs that are really worth attending, especially for families.
Zoos are one of my favorite off the beaten path places--and for this one, go if you've exhausted everything else or you like to look at animals. The LA Zoo draws the 'real" LA--the patrons are a strong mixture of the diverse ethnicities and economic levels.
Located in the Griffith Park area, the Zoo has wonderful winding paths lined with bamboo and vegetation. Included is a unique collection of South American animals, many I have never seen before.
The Bird Show was one of the best I've ever seen. They showed birds that I've never seen before interacting with the audience--fun. The zoo occupies a huge area, so they were able to choreograph much of it with their birds in flight. I was impressed!
A note--the food eating choices are limited, expensive, and poor. Avoid the Mexican food stand at all cost.