After suffering from a bit of cabin fever, I decided it was time to really get out and explore with baby. This was partly for our own enjoyment and partly to try to reinvigorate my creativity. As you may or may not know, I’ve been trying to do some creative freelancing to fund my shoe habit (totally kidding, babies are expensive!) and sometimes I feel like I hit a block.
Being at home most of the day everyday, though free, can actually be quite draining. You begin to notice everything that needs to be dusted, cleaned, put back, taken upstairs, taken downstairs, wiped, washed, and the list truly goes on. On top of that, you’re nursing and entertaining baby, cooking, and watching after dogs, so actually taking the time to focus on your freelance work can take a backseat if you’re not careful to get overwhelmed by the minutiae of staying at home.
But, last week I called a time out to do some adventuring with my little one and we’re just getting started. We have quite a few upcoming outings planned, so stay tuned for future editions of this post to discover fun, new mommy and me activities in LA.
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium – I don’t think many people are aware of the aquarium beneath the pier, and better yet, that Fridays are feeding day. Maintained by Heal the Bay, the aquarium features a variety of native Southern Californian Pacific Ocean fish and animals and offer petting tanks so your little one can feel starfish, anemones, corals, and even hermit crabs.
This place is adorable and not too overwhelming for a smaller child and first aquarium experience. Bigger kids can actually feed the starfish, too.
I think RJ enjoyed seeing the other kids more than the fish, but he took a liking to the sharks and starfish, especially.
Located: 1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Cost: $5 for adults and kids over 12
East Hollywood Farmers Market (Thursdays Only) – I’ve driven past the farmers market on Hollywood and Western many times, but this was my first time checking it out for myself. It’s not as extensive as some of the other ones around town. There are no ready made food vendors, but plenty of vibrant fruits, vegetables, and cage free eggs (chicken, duck, and quail).
The great thing about this little outing is that I get to do my weekly shopping, PLUS, I get to introduce RJ to the bright colors and new veggies so it’s a great learning experience for him.
As he gets older, I think he’ll enjoy this much more, especially the fruit samples. The pomelo and Fuji apples here are some of the tastiest I’ve had in a while.
Location: Corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Western Ave.
Time: 3:30 – 7:30pm
Parking: Park across the street at the Ralph’s plaza
Gallery Clu – I used to live right around the corner from this gallery, but it’s under new ownership now so it felt a little more welcoming. RJ and I were just taking a stroll around the block so this was unplanned, but it inspired me to make sure I continue taking him to galleries and museums to experience art.
Currently on exhibit are two younger artists, Chuck Hohng and Yoon-Ah Jung with their exhibition “Restoration: Warmth,Breathe, Connect”. Yoon-Ah’s works center around bright abstractions of water and florals that are mesmerizing. Chuck’s work uses imagery of teddy bears created with mixed media. His pieces are introspective and tackle deep issues (religion, self image, and releasing inner burdens) but uses the whimsicality of stuffed bears to express a unique point of view.
The gallery is perfectly stroller friendly and if the artists are there, you might even make some interesting conversation. One point we discussed was how European children are able to more easily express their thoughts on art than American children, and it’s because they are part of a society entrenched in culture. One of my hopes for RJ are for him to enjoy art and music and be able to have opinions on what he likes and doesn’t. And with a tattoo artist for a dad, he might even flex some of his own artistic skill.
Location: 4011 W. 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90020
While you’re there, pick up an Art Scene LA brochure for an extensive listing of other galleries and museums to check out with your little one.
As a sidenote, if anyone is seeking a graphic designer for business cards, letterhead, logos, resume building, creative materials for pitches, or a writer for business proposals, then hit me up in the “WORK” tab above to discuss. Let’s get something going.