Take the Family for a Ride

Photo courtesy of Brian E. Ford, Flickr

From carousels to horses and railroads both big and small, Los Angeles offers the entire family a variety of ways to take a ride together.

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Travel Town Railroad | Photo courtesy of Jennifer Lamb, Flickr

Griffith Park Train Rides

Open every day of the year except for Christmas Day, the Griffith Park Train Rides are two of LA’s most enjoyable and affordable family attractions. On the Griffith Park & Southern Railroad, riders travel over one mile of track, across a bridge, through a forest and the Old Western Town. Families can also try the classic simulator ride Kid Coaster, fun for all ages. The Travel Town Railroad takes riders around the Travel Town Museum two times. After riding the miniature train, the whole family can explore dozens of old time railroad locomotives and cars.

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Photo courtesy of Christopher Chan, Flickr

Union Station

If your family is looking for the real thing, head to Downtown LA and historic Union Station, where Metro Rail and Amtrak trains are ready to take you to destinations throughout LA and beyond. Stay local, Go Metro and explore the city with itineraries to anywhere in Los Angeles. For extended trips, various Amtrak trains provide convenient travel to cities like San Diego, Seattle, Chicago and New Orleans.

Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel

Located high atop Treetops Terrace at the Los Angeles Zoo, the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel is not your everyday merry-go-round. Featuring 66 artisan-crafted figures as diverse as a komodo dragon, poison dart frog, Sumatran tiger and a dung beetle chariot, it is set apart by the quality of its exceptional craftsmanship, vibrant color, sense of fun and lively depictions of endangered wildlife and California flora and fauna. The design appeals as much to adults as to children: the carousel spins to music by A&M Records artists from the 1960s and 1970s, while a centerpiece has murals that depict wild animals in unexpected settings from Malibu to Hollywood. The carousel is the only one of its kind in Southern California.

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Photo courtesy of Brian E. Ford, Flickr

Sunset Ranch Hollywood

Sunset Ranch Hollywood is the only horse ranch in greater Los Angeles, centrally located in the beautiful Hollywood Hills, just steps from Griffith Park. Sunset Ranch offers a variety of services and activities from guided trail rides, boarding, and lessons, to its famous Sunset Dinner Rides. In the 1920′s the film industry came to Los Angeles to take advantage of the sunny weather and scenic locations, especially for Westerns. A piece of that Hollywood history is still standing and can be found at Sunset Ranch. Set up a Kid’s Party and Sunset Ranch’s seasoned guides will give the kids a 30-minute group lesson and a one-hour ride.

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Photo courtesy of Perry's Beach Cafe & Rentals

Perry’s Beach Cafe & Rentals

With nine convenient Santa Monica and Venice locations, Perry's Beach Cafe rents a large variety of bicycles, rollerblades, beach chairs, umbrellas, mats, boogie boards, volleyballs, storage lockers, and more. Perry's bicycle rental fleet is the largest in California and consists of a broad selection of specialty bikes including Schwinn performance bikes, beach cruisers, choppers, mountain bikes, tandems, children's bikes, tricycles, tag-a-longs and kiddy carts.

Pedal...or Not Electric Bike Tours

Pedal... or Not Electric Bike Tours offer guided, semi-private tours (limited to five people per guide) of Santa Monica and Venice on a rainbow fleet of step-through electric beach cruisers. The easy ride beach cruisers are equipped with full suspension and comfortable seats. The bikes allow you to choose between pedaling (six gears), electric motor power (a twist of the wrist), or both. The lithium power assist will ensure that you’re never far behind. The tours last 2.5 to 3 hours and riders must be able to ride a bike. The cost is $59 per person. The daily bike tours begin at 9am, 12:30pm and 4pm. For ages 13 and up, 100 to 250 lbs. Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Helmets are required and will be provided. All bikes have a basket. Driver’s license is NOT required.