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Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

NewYork
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Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

We will be coming into LA Saturday the 5th of July (driving from San Diego, probably afternoon-time) to spend a day and a half before heading back to NY on the 7th. This leg has been the most challenging part of our trip, so I could use a lot of help! We are a family of 5 (kids are 11, 11 and 17).

The kids would like to see the usual touristy stuff (Hollywood) - do you think we should book a tour? I looked at a few of the top tours here on Tripadvisor, but really don't want to do a $7-800 private tour. Any suggestions?

I am considering the WB Tour (kids are huge Harry Potter fans and would love the car). I know it is a bit of a drive, but we will have a car.

Since we will only have Sat afternoon - Sunday all day - Monday morning (not really time to do anything, flight leaves 1 pm) do you recommend we stay near LAX, or elsewhere?

Right now I feel like this part of our trip is all over the place, so ANY tips are appreciated!

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1. Re: Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

Warner Brothers tour would be a good idea because of the Harry Potter costumes and props. You could also spend a hot day at Universal Studios with their studio tour and theme park with shopping mall.

I'm not a big fan of spending a lot of time in Hollywood. The night view from the Griffith Park Observatory is worthwhile though.

No need to stay near the airport. Staying near the coast may make sense because its warm in summer.

A unique LA activity is to bike along the beach bike path from Santa Monica, through Venice, Marina Del Rey, to Redondo Beach.

Edited: 9:37 pm, April 06, 2014
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2. Re: Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

What is your budget per night/per room? If all in the same room, your hotel options are limited.

Staying near LAX is never a good idea, so drop that from your search. Look in Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

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3. Re: Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

Most L.A. hotels can only accommodate 4 persons per room. Here is a list of hotels that can handle more than 4. It is by no means a complete list but it will get you started. Each hotel has different types of bedding to accommodate groups of 5 or 6. Some offer adjoining rooms; others have sofabeds in addition to regular bedding. Still others offer rollaway beds. Inquire before booking so there are no surprises.

If you stay in Hollywood, you'll be in the middle of 'tourist central' -- stores selling "I love LA. t-shirts"; pizza joints selling greasy slices of 'old' pizza, etc, etc. It's convenient to many locations, e.g., there is a bus that goes from central Hollywood to Warner Bros (or, at least within 2 blocks of Warner Bros) but if you want to stay somewhere less frantic but still fairly central, I recommend the Beverly Grove area which is to the southwest of central Hollywood.

NewYork
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4. Re: Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

Thanks so much for the feedback!

I would prefer not to stay in the middle of Hollywood (for the reasons HopSkipJump provided, lol) and I expect that our time in Hollywood will be brief, just to visit the main sites. If we can find a tour, we might just see HW through the tour.

What about staying near the Burbank area? We'd be near the WB tour but might have to drive into LA. Is this a complete pain? There are a couple of okay hotels with family suite availability.

I'd like to stay under $300 per night if possible.

Will go check out the other areas suggested now! Thanks!

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5. Re: Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

UPDATE:

Booked the Best Western Plus Sunset Plaza - good reviews and nice size rooms for a family. Thanks for the West Hollywood tip!

Any other suggestions for our short visit appreciated!

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6. Re: Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

If you do the Warner Brothers tour keep in mind that you need to show up at a specific time, so you need to factor in traffic & child wake up & arousal times. This is less of a factor with Universal Studios.

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7. Re: Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

Thanks, Ralph. That is true. Is the Universal tour similar? We were interested in WB because of the Harry Potter items, and it is only a 2 hour tour (because our time is limited). I thought the Universal tour required a park ticket, and we aren't doing the park. Is there a separate Universal tour you'd recommend?

My kids informed me we are going 2 years too early for the HP section to be open in CA. :-) We did the Florida one - it was great!

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8. Re: Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

The Universal Tour is inside the park and is more of a long tram ride through the studio with amusement park elements. Warners is a real studio tour with smaller groups with a knowledgable tour guide. On a weekend there probably will not be many people working, although on weekdays you see people working but the tours are steered away from active sets.

9. Re: Short trip with kids before flight home - need help!

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