It is sometimes hard to find open spaces in LA for kids to run around and explore. If you have energetic kids like mine, then you are probably always trying to find free and fun places for your kids to let off some steam. TreePeople is one of the best places in LA for kids because it has many areas to explore. They can run around, jump, climb and learn too. Not only is it great for physically challenging activity, it is one of my favorite places in LA to exercise with kids. TreePeople is located in Coldwater Canyon Park, which has a multitude of hiking trails. There is plenty of parking and they have restrooms, two necessaries as a parent. Once you enter Tree People you will see a greenhouse nursery where they are growing trees and plants. My kids usually run past that to go through the cement storm drain and jump from tree stump to tree stump. If you love LA at night, they have a moonlight hike once a month, which is incredible.
There are 3 main areas for exploration that you can leisurely enjoy for hours. Check out the map which highlighting the entire area. First, head down the left staircase or trail to the S. Mark Taper Foundation Amphitheater stage, which is perfect for lil’ ones to show off their performing talents and is a good place to picnic. This 99 seat theater is a magical place to see plays and hear concerts during the summer amongst the oak and walnut trees.
The second area is really the main TreePeople area. TreePeople visitors enter the garden through an enormous concrete storm drain pipe. Once inside, they see a small scale river winding its way through a natural landscape to the clean ocean. This Watershed Garden is designed to teach the principles of water conservation. It compares a natural watershed with an urban one, showing ways to preserve precious water. Another amazing thing in the main area is the TreePeople cistern, a 216,000-gallon underground storage tank, where they save rainwater collected from the Center’s rooftops and Parking Grove. You can’t see how amazing it really is just from looking at the giant circle in front of the conference center, but be sure to discuss it with your kids and show them the photos on TreePeoples website. The water is filtered and then stored in the cistern for use in dry months, when the vegetation on site must be irrigated to survive.
The Conference Center, which btw is gorgeous and the most “green” building in LA, can be rented out for parties and weddings. Just behind that is where you will get access to the hiking trails. There is an amazing hike which kids ages 4+ can do with ease, up to the left after you go down the stairs. As you head on down to the stairs you will pass by a rock exhibition demonstrating the different types of bedrock and layers of the earth. Kids find this pretty fun to look at. You can read to them about the different types of rocks on the sign plates. Head left to the steep up hill trail which has amazing views of the valley. Make sure to look to the right half way up to see a rope hill, which is fun for the more adventurous older kidos. My boys run past me and love to climb up the rope hill while I huff n puff to just make it up the regular hill. If you are there in Spring or Summer, be sure to stay on the path and stomp your feet occasionally to let rattle snakes know you are close by.
TreePeople is an environmental nonprofit that unites the power of trees, people and technology to grow a sustainable future for Los Angeles. TreePeople is a leader in providing sustainable solutions to urban ecosystem problems through: environmental education, forestry programs, demonstration projects and policy outreach.
Every year, more than 10,000 elementary school students visit TreePeople to discover firsthand how important – and fun! – it is to nurture the urban forest. TreePeople’s programs for schools engage young people in Los Angeles to discover the science and significance of the urban forest, as they take part in protecting it. TreePeople’s Environmental Education programs for students, youth groups and teachers have a common goal: to help young people grow into lifelong caretakers of the environment. Children, teens and even teachers learn by doing, as they get outdoors and “dig in.”