1. How child friendly is LA?
Very. The weather allows for anything all year round.
2. Where can a child run free in LA?
So many places! My favorites are the beach and any one of the amazing hiking trails through the Santa Monica Mountains.
3. What are your favorite places to eat when you have a child in tow?
The Brentwood Country Mart: It has been around forever but underwent a major revamp in recent years. It still feels very family and country with its picnic benches and local ice-cream shop Sweet Rose Creamery, but it also has some of my favorite California shops: Jenni Kayne for D’Orsay flats, chunky sweaters, and Tom Binns jewelry; Poppy for the most darling children’s clothing; Diesel is one of my favorite bookstores anywhere; Edelweiss has the most amazingly addictive chocolates, and Farm Shop has a delicious local and seasonal menu with a grocery attached that always stocks the best local goodies.
My other favorites include Malibu Country Mart, a laidback outdoor shopping and eating spot beside the beach, and Cafe Gratitude for tasty vegan and organic food.
4. What are the best galleries and museums for the young ones (and the young at heart)?
The wonderful LACMA is pioneering a youth program that’s not to be missed. So many exhibits are large scale and very playful. I went to the Turrell and Calder exhibitions and adored both. A lot of the exhibits at The Getty Center might be a little hard for kids to get through, but the Robert Irwin gardens are ideal to have a picnic and run around. My daughter is even crazy about the tram ride to the top of the hill. M+B is a gallery that always shows worthwhile photography—parents should check ahead to make sure what’s on is kid friendly.
5. Is there any one child-friendly neighborhood you’d recommend?
Malibu! Just drive a little north, spend the day on the beach, and have lunch at the country mart. If you go a little farther north you can surf the sand dunes or go to Point Dume and whale watch.
6. Describe your perfect family day in LA?
Surfing all morning with my friends and family, playing on the beach and then eating a big lunch at Howdy’s Tacos (3835 Cross Creek Road, Malibu).