Silver Lake is known as an artsy, eclectic and hip neighborhood, and often considered the perfect locale for its twenty and thirtysomething inhabitants frequenting bars, galleries, and live shows. But for those who’ve traded nightly cocktails for their tribe’s bedtime routines, Silver Lake is surprisingly family-friendly. Here are our top 5 favorite things to do with our kids in Silver Lake:
1) The Meadow at Silver Lake Reservoir
One of the cruelest ironies of post-college life is that there are few places for adults to just show up and hang out. After the disappearance of The Quad from our lives, it’s just not that easy to find a big patch of grass to chill on.
This is why us Silver Lake parents are lucky to have the Meadow. Silver Lake Meadow, also known as, Hipster Beach, sits comfortably overlooking the Silver Lake Reservoir. The Meadow itself is a 3-acre patch of grass—a calm, relaxing place where we often fly kites and play soccer, and enjoy the views.
The Meadow is just a quarter mile from the Silver Lake Recreation Center, which also has clean bathrooms and water fountains. The Meadow is open from 7am to 9pm and located at 2246 Silver Lake Blvd, 90026.
2) Pazzo Gelato
Remember when you were a kid and after a long day your parents would take you out for ice cream. It was the best, right. Well our favorite after dinner treat is gelato from Pazzo.
Pazzo Gelato is proud of their fruit, dairy, and fresh herbs, and it shows. They use the freshest ingredients to prepare gelato the way it should be, thick, rich, and flavorful. Their passion for gelato cannot be denied. Just check out some of their rave reviews and get ready to drool.
It's also affordable enough that you can take the whole family out for a cone and not break the bank. And if it’s too early for dessert, stop in for a Cup of Joe because they serve Intelligentsia coffee.
Pazzo Gelato in Silver Lake is open 9am to 11pm (9am-midnight on Fridays & Saturdays), and is located at 3827 W Sunset Blvd.
3) Lamill Coffee
Every Silver Laker knows that brunch is the hottest meal. While there’s no shortage of tasty eateries in Silver Lake, Lamill Coffee is one of our family’s favorite Saturday brunch spots.
At Lamill, you have a choice of great coffee including their iced Chai, Cafe Con Leche, and iced Salted Caramel Latte (You’ll notice a theme here, Jason likes his coffee.) There’s also a full menu. Our favorites are the Housemade Brioche Donut Holes, Steak and Eggs, the Omelet, and Mushroom and Kale Scramble. Not to mention, like any great brunch place, it’s spacious and just makes you feel good.
Lamill is open 7am-10pm weekdays / 7-11pm weekends, and is located at 1636 Silver Lake Blvd, 90026.
4) The Merry-Go-Round at Griffith Park
Griffith Park is very expansive and has a number of family-friendly highlights including the stunning Observatory, The Trails cafe nestled in the woods, and of course the Los Angeles Zoo. But our kids’ favorite Griffith Park attraction is hands down the Merry-Go-Round.
This quaint and enormous wooden carousel was built in 1925 and has been in operation ever since. Located between the LA Zoo and the entrance to Los Feliz Park, this nostalgic gem is the sort of Merry-Go-Round that use to be common in parks and pavilions across the US. It has the kind of beautiful craftsmanship that’s unfortunately going extinct, with hand-carved bridles for the 68 horses and a band organ.
The Merry-Go-Round is open 11am to 5pm on weekends, and weekdays during the summer.
5) Silver Lake Farmer’s Market
The Silver Lake Farmer’s Market is a neighborhood staple and more chilled out alternative to the huge crowds you’d find at the Hollywood or larger farmer’s markets. The best part is our kids love getting free samples, especially from the man who sells Greek food. He has the most amazing homemade Greek yogurt you’ll ever taste! And we get to do some shopping, and come home with awesome local produce and goodies. There’s even so much good stuff that they added an additional day to keep up with demand!
The Farmer’s Market is open 11am to 6pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays, at 3700 Sunset Blvd, 90026.
So to all of you Bucks & Does who are new to Silver Lake or just visiting for the day, check out our family-friendly favorites and report back with your comments below!