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Journal Los Angeles

adventures close to home…





We've had a very low key summer trying to do as many free activities as possible to save up for our big trip to France next weekend! So for this past long weekend, we wanted to keep cool with activities near the water and went to two of our new favorite spots within 10 minutes of our home. The newly re-opened Echo Park Lake is beautiful! They recently added a boat house where you can rent paddle boats to ride around the lake.



They also have a great playground for kids, vendors with ice cream and popsicle carts, and fruit stands a plenty. With a little cafe nearby and beautiful scenery, it's probably my newest favorite spot to go. 




We also love Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles where we had Ruby's 1st birthday party last year. There's an area with a wading pool that kids just cannot get enough of. With our crazy heat wave over here, Ruby absolutely loves it. And we love having a happy and cool baby.

Do you guys have little gems like this where you live? Finding free and fun things to do is kind of like hitting the jackpot to me…

{All photos by Oh Joy}


  1. That looks like fun! I love doing things that are free and luckily, there are tons of free things to do here. We have movies in the park, jazz fest, museum days, fests, dancing in the park and the list goes on.

  2. we’re lucky enough to have a few little ‘tot-lots’ in our neighborhood and live .1 miles from the harbor and beach so there’s always lots of opportunities to go outside and play (for free!)! i’m going to miss that most when we move next month.

  3. As always, your pictures made me smile (and laugh a little bit). Ruby’s expressions are priceless!
    Have a great time in France!

  4. Thanks for sharing your weekend fun. I also live in LA and didn’t realized Echo Park Lakes has reopened. It’s time for an adventure at the park.

  5. You’ll be in Paris when I say ‘I do’ 🙂 I say we’ll both be in dream land. Can’t wait to see pictures of what you all do! We plan to go in 2014. I shall gather ideas from your lovely noggin.

  6. Austin is a mecca for little gem spots like this. Free, outdoors, creative…I geeked out some Summers ago and made a long list of them and laminated the list so when each Summer rolled around, I had my “Summer Time Fun Time” cheat sheet handy. I referred to it this Summer again and even though my kids are older than pre-school, it still saved me!

  7. We were at grant park this weekend as well! It’s one of my favorite places to cool off in LA. There is another great (albeit small) park on Kings Road in west hollywood that has a tiny pond with a waterfall. Perfect spot for kids to splash around and tons of shade for parents. I think its name is Kings Road park. 🙂

  8. Looks like lots of fun! I saw your new studio tour on Design*Sponge, and it looks so beautiful. Love all the color and the open, airy feel of the space.
    Ruby is too adorable!

  9. Please tell me where you got sunglasses that actually stay on a toddler’s face when they are playing especially at the water fountains?!

  10. Lots of free or almost free wonderful events and places in DC and Northern Virginia. Favorites are splash parks, parks like Clemyjontri, mini golf, museums (Building Museum and Smithsonian), concerts for all ages like Tot Rock Show at Jammin’ Java or free Jazz in the Garden or at Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center.

  11. Can you let me know where you got those polka dotted clothes from? So precious. I love polka dots and the pink one is especially pretty. Thank you

  12. This is so great. I love finding new to me fun attractions in LA that don’t cost a ton of money but get us outside. From your pictures I would never even know this was LA! 🙂


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