Top 10 Hidden Gems for Teens in Los Angeles

Yayoi Kusama, "Longing for Eternity," 2017 [detail]. Photo by Maris Hutchinson/EPW Studio. Image © Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London/Venice; Yayoi Kusama Inc.


Teens looking for a thrill, a scare, or a reprieve from today’s 24/7 online world, will find it and then some in Los Angeles. Here’s a look at 10 hidden gems for teens to explore and enjoy in LA.

Yayoi Kusama, "Longing for Eternity" at The Broad

Yayoi Kusama, "Longing for Eternity," 2017 [detail]. Photo: Maris Hutchinson/EPW Studio. Image © Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London/Venice; Yayoi Kusama Inc.

1. Infinity Mirror Rooms at The Broad

Teens looking for the perfect selfie won’t be disappointed with a visit to Downtown LA’s contemporary art museum, The Broad (2221 S. Grand Ave). Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms are such spectacular installations, they won’t even need any filters for their social media posts. Free general admission, advance reservations are strongly suggested.

Pre-Visit Hack: Get The Broad’s free mobile app before you go for self-guided tours, dining options and more.

Entrance to the Museum of Death in Hollywood

Entrance to the Museum of Death | Photo: Museum of Death, Facebook

2. Museum of Death

For teens interested in a spine-tingling walk through some of history’s most infamous murders, the Museum of Death in Hollywood (6031 Hollywood Blvd) is a must-see. Skin crawling artifacts, including the world’s largest collection of serial killer artwork, coroner’s instruments, Manson Family memorabilia, crime scene photos, and more are on display. Open daily at 10am.

Graphic Warning: Museum visitors have had visceral reactions to some of the items on display, so a visit is NOT for the faint of heart.

For more unusual museums, read our list of Top 10 Quirky LA Museums.

3. Indoor Skydiving

Experience the adrenaline rush of jumping from a plane at 12,000 feet for a fraction of the price at iFly Indoor Skydiving at Universal CityWalk (100 Universal City Plaza). Book individual or group flights, and prepare to fall in love with the feeling of floating on air. Teens under 18 will need a parent/guardian waiver.

Pro Tip: Pricing packages begin at $59.95, but if you book 4 flights at $95.95 you’ll save up to 20% per flight.

 

Flying trapeze lessons at TSNY Los Angeles

Flying trapeze lessons at the Santa Monica Pier | Photo: TSNY Los Angeles, Facebook

4. Trapeze Lessons at TSNY Los Angeles

Learn to flip and fly through the air with trapeze lessons at TSNY Los Angeles at the historic Santa Monica Pier (370 Santa Monica Pier).  From individual classes to Intensive Flying Workshops, ages 12+ just need a waiver from parents/guardians to enjoy the thrill (and fitness benefits) of learning to leap through the air. Classes available on both weekdays and weekends.  

Insider Deal: Class card packages allow you to share classes with friends, and you’ll save 10% on purchases of 10 or more classes.

Samurai display at the Martial Arts History Museum

Samurai display at the Martial Arts History Museum | Photo: @haveyoumetmisse, Instagram

5. Martial Arts History Museum

Learn about the role that the martial arts have played in the role of numerous Asian cultures, including China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines with a visit to the Martial Arts History Museum in Burbank (2319 W. Magnolia Blvd). Exhibits are designed by artists from the Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks, The Simpsons and more. Open Thursday-Sunday 11am-6pm.

Prevent FOMO: With regular special events scheduled throughout the year, including classes taught by world-renowned jiu-jitsu icons and boxing greats, be sure to check out the museum's events calendar before you plan your visit.

Maze Rooms Demon Hunter

"Demon Hunter" | Photo: Maze Rooms Los Angeles, Facebook

6. Maze Rooms

Teens age 16+ looking to experience the wonder of illusions, and the challenge of navigating through an escape room, will find locations in abundance throughout L.A. Maze Rooms Los Angeles features themed adventures ranging from “Jack the Ripper” in Culver City, to “Pharaoh’s Tomb” in Hollywood, to “Demon Hunter” in Sherman Oaks.

Secret Savings: Special offers and discount codes are offered frequently by Maze Rooms on Instagram. Follow @mazerooms to find savings.

Galleria at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in DTLA

Galleria at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

7. Cartwheel Art Tours

Discover some of the skeletons in LA's closet with a Cartwheel Art walking tour. Explore a bit of the City of Angels’ seedy past in the “Underground LA” tour, which has you visiting famous speakeasies and murder sites as you travel underneath the city streets in a tunnel dating back more than a century. Or try your hand at ghost hunting with a “Paranormal Nights” tour, where you’ll be guided through Downtown LA and learn all about the ghosts of the Millennium Biltmore, Barclay, Cecil and Alexandria hotels. Tickets at Eventbrite, advance purchase is required.

What to Wear: Comfortable shoes to navigate safely over uneven surfaces.

Skyslide at OUE Skyspace

Skyslide at OUE Skyspace

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

8. Skyslide at OUE Skyspace

Indulge in interactive technology and acquire fun facts about films, TV, sports, and music history in Los Angeles while you take in 360-degree views of Los Angeles from atop OUE Skyspace at the U.S. Bank Tower in Downtown LA. Then ride Skyslide, a 45-foot enclosed glass slide that has you zooming along the exterior of the US Bank Tower, nearly 1,000 feet above the ground.  Tickets for General Admission and the Skyslide are available online.

Go Viral: Use #skyspacela for a chance to be featured the Skyspace IG account.

9. Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens

Discover a real-life labyrinth smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles and enjoy the feeling of unplugging from your phone at the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens (3500 W Adams Blvd).  Learn how to walk the labyrinth, listen to the sounds of peaceful running water, take some time to relax, and recharge your internal batteries with an afternoon in this oasis. Open Tuesday-Friday from noon-4pm.

Add-On: Special events such as “Sacred Mysteries of the Labyrinth, a Candlelight Labyrinth Walk” are held frequently. Find events at the Peace Awareness website.

Griffith Park Old Zoo Hike

The Old Zoo at Griffith Park

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

10. Old Zoo

The LA Zoo as we know it today was not the city’s first zoo. The Griffith Park Zoo, which opened in 1912 and closed in 1966, is now a hiking trail and picnic area. Explore the Old Zoo (5400 Griffith Park Dr) and get up close and personal with iron-barred enclosures from a past era, and wander through lions’ dens, or bring a frisbee and enjoy a pickup game on the still beautiful grounds.

Bring Fido: Leashed dogs are welcome.

 


Words by
Jen Hadley Avatar of author Jen Hadley