Solvang: We Found Little Denmark in California!

I couldn’t believe my luck. We found little Denmark in California! When we told our friends that we were planning on driving to Los Angeles from San Francisco and then back, Solvang came highly recommended. So, I researched on this little village and instantly fell in love! My wanderlust for Europe was calling. And since this charming little place was the closest thing I could get to experiencing a bit of Europe with my family, Solvang automatically went into our road trip itinerary!

See what we experienced in our overnight stay in Solvang (One night is NOT enough!):

Kitschy and vintage style boutiques for gifts and souvenirs – I love the nostalgia these shops bring! It certainly feels that you went back into time.

iron art gift shop solvang

solvang toyland

European Fashion and Gifts Solvang

Solvang Children's Shop

Delicious Danish Food Finds – Oooh my kids and I travel to eat! When we go some place new, we always look for local flavors to try. Are you the same?

danish mill bakery solvang

You can’t leave Solvang without buying and trying out some fudge!

Fudge Kitchen Solvang

I bought the Rocky Road for our super hosts in San Francisco.

solvang fudge

You just gotta have ’em chocolaaaaatessss!

solvang danish chocolate shop

solvang chocolates

Woohoo! We found the famous Aebleskiver a.k.a sweet Danish pancake balls on the street!

aebleskiver powder jam

Ordered the classic 3 Aebleskiver topped with raspberry jam and powder for $ 3.85. The hubby was grumpy hungry so I got him the Danish Sausage which he chomped down in seconds! So yummy, he says. Phew! No more foul mood. LOL!

solvang for kids

Here it is! To be eaten with much gusto! Also gone in seconds!

aebleskiver solvang

My husband caught my son and I in our foodie element! I couldn’t be any more happier than eating leisurely while people watching in cool comfortable climate. Obviously, we weren’t satisfied with the Aebleskivers so we searched for more food. Danish goodies to the rescue fresh from the bakery!

solvang eats

solvang architecture

Museums and bookstores! Because learning isn’t confined to classrooms alone. We continue to educate especially during our travels.

elverhoy museum solvang IMG_4220

I read about the Hans Christian Andersen Museum and got excited to take my kids. I was a little bummed that my daughter was napping when we got there but at least my son and I had some time to ourselves while my husband gladly watched her.

solvang hans christian andersen museum

solvang bookstore

solvang book loft

Wining Wines and Craft Brews – There are tons of beer and wine tasting cellars and wineries. Visit Solvang Third Wednesday for special deals, discounts and schedules of wine and beer walks, organic farm markets and more.

sante solvang wine

Architecture: Danish styled buildings and homes – Everything is so picture perfect! Make sure to bring your cameras for photos to send to family and friends. I’m printing some of these for my kids’ memory boxes!

solvang windmill

danish home solvang

solvang buildings

danish style architecture solvang

solvang clogs

Solvang
Santa Ynez Valley, California
http://www.solvangusa.com

 

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8 Things To Do in Venice Beach

Venice Beach is definitely a tourist must in Los Angeles. Here’s a few snapshots of our afternoon stroll and some ideas on things you can do with your children on your visit!

  1. Rent a bike and strap your young one in the baby seat for a fun and safe ride. You’re definitely in for a show!

biking venice beach

2. Go towards the boardwalk and have a few quarters in hand to be able to view from the public lenses. This was a hit with my son so we learned to always have spare change.

venice beach binoculars

3. Spot some body builders walking right by the very famous Muscle Beach Gym. I have no idea why this man is dressed this way. Or should I say, not dressed at all?!

body builder venice beach

4. Get a drink in one of the restaurants or cafes. The Whaler has some healthy options for the kiddos which you can take to go!

venice beach food

5. Whip out your camera for some awesome shots in the amazing blue SoCal skies.

venice beach body guard

6. Catch a Yoga or Chi Gong class on the beach.

venice beach chi gong

7.  Watch the groovy disco skaters in action. I should’ve taken a video to share with all of you! This is my absolute favorite!

disco skate venice beach

8. Use the opportunity for your colorful walk to be a nap-in-stroller time for little ones.

venice beach photo

Have you been to the very colorful Venice Beach? What other things have you done? Care to share? xoxo

 

The Getty Museum For Kids

For a day of culture, history and art with kids, visit the The Getty Museum in Los Angeles. This massive educational hub is absolutely free! How amazing is that?

getty museum

After parking your car, a train will be available every few minutes to bring passengers to the main Getty Center. TIP: Arrive as early as 10AM (when the museum opens) to find parking and avoid crowds. the getty center train the getty train ride the getty photo

Head over to the Entrance Hall and look for the Family Fun booth for kid-friendly guide maps to the museum with creative and fun treasure hunts for various art pieces. the getty museum

There are also Family Art Stops where you can get up close and personal with a single work of art for ages 5 and up. The sign up for this begins 15 minutes before the program (11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:00pm). Since we were with a baby, we didn’t bother anymore with this. But for parents of older kids, this might be a very good option!

Our first stop was the Kid Zone where my kids busied themselves for a good 30 minutes with all the age appropriate activities available.

the getty with children the getty kidzone getty kids museum the getty museum for children the getty center for kids the getty center for kids

Don’t stop there. Expose your children to the works by the art masters, too! the getty van gogh

the getty painting

By lunchtime, we were famished! There are several places you can choose to eat and we picked the most picturesque place of course!

the getty cafe

TIP: Your kids will most likely get hungry often so do bring some snacks and water with you which you can lug in your stroller.

Here’s a really yummy vegetarian Bahn Mi from the Garden Terrace Cafe. Catch superb views of the Central Garden from here. vegetarian food the getty

The Central Garden at The Getty Center is designed by Robert Irwin. It has available 45-minute tours which starts at 11:30am. getty garden tour

And by the end of our visit, just before leaving, my little dude just had to roll down the hill. He probably had to leave his mark. Thanks for the awesome space, J. Paul Getty!getty gardens

The Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, California
http://www.getty.edu/museum/

Closed on Mondays.

 

Mountain Dew Skatepark in Metro Manila

We must have been living under a rock for not knowing about a real skatepark in our very own home town?! My brother mentioned to me that there exists one in Makati and that is just as nice as the one in Venice Beach, California.

Last Sunday, we took our little bunch to the Mountain Dew Skatepark in Circuit, Makati City. On a weekend, traffic is not bad at all. It took us about 20 minutes drive from San Juan. For people living in Makati, this is just in your neighborhood!

Mountain Dew Skatepark in Circuit Makati Philippines

I love this converted container van turned skate shop. So hipster.

mountain dew skatepark

Enter to register. It costs P100 per person which includes the helmet rental.

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I’m not too sure if they also train but I did see one of the guys coaching another boy. I will make sure to ask next time we visit!

The world is your oyster, young one. Go and grab your dreams!

circuit makati skatepark

TIP: Try to go in the late afternoon when the sun isn’t too hot and you get beautiful lighting for photos and videos 🙂

kids skateboarding at mountain dew skatepark makati

Watch from our YouTube channel here.

There is lots of open green spaces too for picnics, walking and running with a toddler. This shot was taken on top of a hill which is great exercise for little ones!

hipodrome circuit makati

I hope to see you with your little active ones, one weekend!

Mountain Dew Skatepark
Hipodromo Street
The Circuit, Makati City

Hiking the Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory was definitely on our itinerary in Los Angeles because we wanted to see the very famous Hollywood sign and the beauty of L.A. from up above. I’m a big fan of astronomy, too! (However, we couldn’t stay too long at night because we are with kids and if you know by now, traveling with young children has to revolve around their sleep and eat schedules.)

It is by pure accident that we hiked all the way up from the parking lot of the Greek Theater because my husband thought that there would be no parking at the top due to traffic and as stated by the signages all around. (Later on we find out, this is to encourage too many guests from parking up! And we totally fell for that decoy!)

griffith observatory hike

The trek from the Greek Theater parking to the Observatory is about .8 miles or 1.25 km and will take about 25 minutes if you are in good shape. My husband and I didn’t know all this. We just thought, “Oh look, people are walking. Let’s do that, too.”

Mid-way you will see spectacular city views from the climb.

City of Angels Los Angeles

Eyes on the prize. Griffith Observatory ahead.

hike griffith observatory

Note that this is a constant upward trek so it might even take longer than 25 minutes for most people. I think it took us about 30 minutes to get to the top.

I don’t remember the exact weather that day but it was chilly! So glad we were able to borrow a stroller blanket to keep our little girl warm and fuzzy while she napped throughout this cold winter hike! Thank you, Ninang Kaye! ❤

stoller blanket

We made it to the top! Woohoo! That certainly felt like an hour! These are some of the views from the top!

The Griffith Observatory

griffith observatory photo

I need a zoom lens for that sign to pop up! It’s Misters first time in the U.S. so he gets a shot by the legendary Hollywood sign, of course!

hollywood griffith park

Downtown Los Angeles from the top!

view from the top griffith observatory

Inside the Griffith Observatory are really cool installations about the planets.

inside the griffith observatory

This one calculates your weight in Mars!

your weight in mars

whats inside griffith observatory

I see a massive space for learning!

massive display griffith observatory

My kids and their cousin play by the gigantic sundial appropriately located at the deck outside the cafeteria while we wait for the golden sunset.

sundial griffith observatory

giant sundial griffith observatory

sunset from griffith observatory

This little one wanted to see the sunset, too!

sunset griffith observatory

Watching people watching the sun go down. Oh, how we loved the Griffith Observatory! If we lived in L.A, this would be one of our key places to go on weekends!

griffith observatory golden hour

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
213-473-0800

Tuesday – Friday, 12:00 Noon – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Closed on Mondays

Admission and parking is FREE.

http://www.griffithobservatory.org

 

Rain in LA? Go to the Zimmer Children’s Museum!

What to do with your kids when it unexpectedly starts to rain in sunny Los Angeles? Take them to the Zimmer Children’s Museum where they can play freely despite the wet weather outside. This hidden indoor museum has tons of age appropriate activities for young ones to enjoy! From it’s street on Wilshire Blvd., you wouldn’t expect this exists because there is no signage at all. But once you find it within an unsuspecting building, oh what a dreamland for the kiddos!

Look at this infographic map for all the fun stuff you and your children can do! TIP: If I were you, know what to expect so you can plan your time wisely. We only had 2 hours for our visit before our kids wanted food for lunch. It’s too bad we didn’t know we could bring food in so we should’ve brought snacks so we could’ve stayed longer! Please do consider bringing in your own food especially for the kids (who get hungry fast!)

ground floor map zimmer children museum

lower level map zimmer children museum

I particularly like their tagline, “playing our way to a better world”. As a Waldorf-parent, I understand how crucial it is for children to do real play to grow and to learn. Check out some of our photos from that fun play day we had!

My daughter gets to be a pilot in true globetrotter fashion ❤

plane zimmer children museum

This silly boy of mine playing dead or sick in the ambulance.

ambulance zimmer children museum

And now…injured? Oh, acting like one is too much fun!

play zimmer children museum

Oooh-la-la she found a mini grocery cart which she loved. Expect that other kids will want to play with the same toys. This is a chance for you to teach one of the greatest lessons on sharing 🙂

grocery zimmer children museum

And because I mentioned sharing… this well beautifully teaches the art of sharing as taught in the Jewish tradition.

tzedakah well zimmer museum

Little girls and mommies doing their thing in the kitchen of Blue Bagel Cafe, of course! Look at us moms kneeling because everything is sized perfectly for young kids!

kitchen zimmer museum kids

My 8 year old is very sociable he always finds a friend after a few minutes wherever we go! See the message with double meaning, “What impression will you make?” The Zimmer Children’s Museum has numerous quotes and lines all over that promotes improvement of character for kids and parents, too!

shadow play zimmer museum kids

My 21-month old watching others play. She must be thinking “Oh, is this how you do it?” This real pump boat within a sea of blue balls was one of my favorites!

zimmer kids museum la

Oh, my water (birth) baby was so hard to peel from the water ways! Again, look at the message on the board, “Water connects us all. Do your actions upset or go with the flow?”

water ways zimmer children museum

And before exiting, my son showed me this area on the ground floor. A ticket booth! For?

ticket booth zimmer children museum

A live theater set up complete with costumes! Why is he looking up?

acting zimmer museum

Because, he’s on camera! Fabulous idea! Bravo!

tv zimmer museum

ZIMMER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
6505 Wilshire Blvd., #100
Los Angeles, CA 90048

http://www.zimmermuseum.org

Front Desk: (323) 761-8984
Email: info@zimmermuseum.org

MAIN HOURS
Monday-Thursday: 10am-5pm
Friday: 10am-4pm
Sunday: 12:30pm-5pm
Saturday: CLOSED