America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College: Up-Close Animal Encounters for LA Kids

This may come as a surprise, but LA has more than one zoo. You probably know the one in Griffith Park. And if you haven’t been to the one in San Diego, it's doubtless on your SoCal wish list. You may even have made the trip up to the see the one in Santa Barbara. All great zoos. But have you ever wondered where the people who work at these zoos learn their trade? And, if so, have you considered that the college offering a degree in zoo skills might be right in our backyard – with a teaching zoo open to the public and much cheaper admission than any other SoCal zoo?

Underwood Family Farm in Moorpark: Pick-Your-Own Plus a Whole Lot More

Ever wish you owned a farm, but then found yourself relating a little too much with Eva Gabor's character in Green Acres? Why not satisfy that bucolic urge in a day trip to a local farm, then come home to a bubble bath? Moorpark’s Underwood Family Farm is a mere 50 miles from downtown LA and everything you could ever ask for in a fun, outdoor, pick-your-own activity for the family. Your kids can pick fruit, pet critters, and look forward to eating fresh veggies when they get home—deliciously exhausted. 

Great Summer Horse Riding Camps near Los Angeles

It's hard to believe that only a few decades ago many LA kids could pat and even ride horses in their own neighborhoods. My friend who hails from Brentwood remembers feeding carrots to front yard horses just blocks from the now bustling and trendy San Vicente Blvd. Wouldn't that be nice? If you have a little rider-wanna-be but no riding ring next door, don't despair: there are many horseback riding summer camps with lessons for kids right around the corner.

Along with our recommendations for the LA area's best art camps, classic outdoor summer camps, science camps, and cooking camps, we offer our picks for LA and Orange County's best summer horse riding camps. (Be sure to check our camp guide periodically for more camp categories being added all the time!)

Living History Events for LA and OC Kids

Kids sometimes find history boring. And, really, who doesn't find memorizing lists of dates and names to be a bit dull? Kids love learning by doing, so the way to learn history is to go back in time! At a living history event, actors are in period costume, crafts relate to the time period, music and dancing are time-specific, and kids and their adults can hear the noises and smell the smells of the era. Actors dressed as historic figures talk about themselves in character, and traditional food is often available.

Family-friendly living history events occur all over greater Los Angeles (not just at that annual Renaissance Faire), and many events offer special activities for young ones. Some are completely free; others have free admission but charge for parking or pay-as-you-go activities. All of them offer an opportunity for a time-traveling weekend.


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