Griffith Park

Neil likes hanging out with his dad at comic book conventions; and Kelly wanted to stay at the hotel, mostly (I think) because it had a heated pool we liked playing in. But Peter discouraged us from driving in to the show on Saturday, and recommended we take in one of the very many other sights in LA. I was still kind of tired, hoping to avoid dealing with LA traffic, and in my I Hate LA mood, but after a leisurely morning, I took the children to Griffith Park.

It’s the least gritty thing in LA, and it has lots of kiddie-friendly activities. And it’s especially fun for train enthusiasts like Neil. We started out at the Griffith Park Southern railroad mini train ride, which veered around a verdant lawn and little knick-knacks, like a Snow White and Seven Dwarfs figurines.


But the best ride in Griffith Park had to be the ponies. I’m used to pony rides being some dwarf ponies tied tightly to spokes on a wheel. For $5, your child can sit on the pony while it ever so slowly walks in a small circle. The pony rides at Griffith Park looked like a whole lot more fun. For $3, your child gets tied onto a saddle, the ponies get a slap and off they go like racehorses on a wide track.

The horses were sized to the child, so Neil was able to ride the fastest pony, which wasn’t even limited to a track:


That pony went faster than most of the horses I ride at Sea Horse Ranch!

Kelly got a “medium” pony, but it was no slacker on the race track either. Being the chatty and curious girl that she is found out his name was “Doctor Pepper,” which she thought was a funny name.


“My horsie went fast!” she exclaimed every time she described her ride.

After a trashy lunch of chili fries and ice cream (how else to feed kids on an outing?), we went 4 miles north to Travel Town. We’d visited it once before when we had a family vacation in LA when Neil was 2. It’s pretty much the same: old trains (and other vehicles) of yesteryear preserved, and open for touring.


It’s a really pleasant place. Neil and Kelly liked watching the train hobbyist’s train layout, and since our visit, Travel Town added a pavillion with information about the people who worked on the train lines, from the ethnic porters to the original nurse-stewardesses. Another miniature train ride circles Train Town, so we rode those trains too.

And I’m not kidding when I saw Griffith Park is a mecca for train enthusiasts. Near Train Town are the LA Live Steamers, another miniature train ride. They’ve now added the barn where Walt Disney had his original workshop as a small museum to their section, but unfortunately, they only run on Sundays.

Kelly was awfully whiny, and kept complaining she wanted to go back to our hotel room, so we did so. I was seriously hoping I could get her to take a nap, because she needed it, but as she has since she was 18 months old, she absolutely refused to calm down. The bartender at the hotel, however, gave me a beer for free, so I was ok.

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