I’m on vacation in a top-secret location and missing L.A. badly. Make that, “I’m on ‘vacation.'” This is no vacation. There are things to do here on vacation, but hardly any of it is free or even remotely cheap, and my kids are climbing the walls. If it weren’t due to the intervention of my godfather–nicknamed Guido–we couldn’t afford this vacation at all.

In honor of my nostalgia for L.A., I’ll share some great 100% free stuff to do in L.A. that we should all appreciate even when we are right at home. (Maybe you have to pay for gas/train/bus.)

1) Go to your closet or garage. Dig out that kite you never use and go fly it. The windiest spot in L.A. County is reportedly the Korean Friendship Bell Park in San Pedro.  That puppy will fly out of your hand almost before it’s out of the package. No joke! Hold on tight,  though. There are some power lines at the far side of the park and you’ll see the remains of other people’s kites in them (including one of my son’s). The park also features the groovy bell, an amazing almost wrap-around view of the L.A./San Pedro Harbor, and a nice little playground.

2) Want to see what L.A. County was like a hundred years ago? Once upon a time, two Bixby brothers moved into Long Beach area homes away from the Pueblo de los Angeles. These homes are now historical sites: Rancho los Cerritos and Rancho los Alamitos. You can take a self-guided tour for free. The Group Tours are also wonderful and only require 10 people. Reserve the date 2 weeks in advance. Technically, you don’t have to pay, but a donation is thoughtful. A visit to the Pueblo itself (in downtown L.A.) will help complete the picture.

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About beccakinla

Freelance writer and unrepentant homemaker. Writer of many genres and author of "A Dozen Daisies for Raizy," "Sliding Doors and Other Stories," and "Mazal's Luck Runs Out."

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