Whenever I register for a race that's away from home, I always debate if we should bring the kids or not. Most times, it just comes down to if there's anything fun for them to do there or not. With the L.A. Marathon being in Los Angeles and it also being my first full marathon, I thought it'd be great to bring the kids and make a trip out of it, a little race-cation ;)
WIth a little planning, it is totally feasible to run a great race and have a fun time as a family together. I think it's important for the kids to see all your hard work pay off in the end. My kiddos are there when I get home from an early morning run, they see me hobble up the stairs if I'm sore from a long run, they know all about epsom salt baths and icy hot, so why not have them their for the reward after too! They are my biggest supporters and rather than leave them behind, I try to take them along for most races for all the race day fun and more!
After packet pickup on Saturday, we were all super excited to go eat at Seoul Sausage, since they were previous winners of The Great Food Truck Race on The Food Network. It originally aired a few years ago, but we just recently saw it on Netflix as a family. I knew they were from L.A., so I looked them up and saw they had 2 actual restaurants, plus the food truck. Turns out, their newest location in Little Tokyo was about 2 miles from the convention center where we'd be for packet pickup. I wanted it to be a surprise, but I blurted something out to Jason while driving one day and they caught on quickly! So much for the surprise!
Before we left Vegas, I jokingly asked the kids if they thought we’d see the guys from the show and of course, they both said we wouldn’t see them. Well, to their surprise (and mine) 2 of the 3 owners showed up right as we finished our late lunch. They were super nice guys and took a picture with the kids. This really made their day.
After lunch, we went to check into our AirBnB condo and relax a bit. My nephew really wanted to go check out the Urban Lights exhibit at LACMA once it got dark soo, before grabbing some dinner, we went to check it out. It was packed, but the kids had fun walking through and playing among all the light posts!
After the marathon, we walked to the Santa Monica Pier and grabbed some food at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Although the food isn't anything to brag about, it's a fun atmosphere and super kid friendly. After lunch we walked down the pier so the kids could ride the roller coaster before heading back to our condo to crash for the day! We could easily have spent hours at the pier riding rides and playing games, but I was just too exhausted for that this time. The Santa Monica Pier is a great place to go and spend a few hours enjoying the sights and attractions, plus have fun on the beach! It's definitely a must-visit for any Los Angeles trip, with our without kids.
The next day started out a little rocky with cranky kiddos, but thankfully we were able to turn it around and enjoy our morning walking around the grounds of the La Brea Tar Pits and L.A. County Museum of Art. The weather was perfect for being outdoors and it was exactly what we needed to unwind and relax a bit before driving back home. The grounds are free to walk around and explore. We spent about an hour and a half there and could have easily spent another hour there. Next time we go, we'll actually go inside the museum and check out those exhibits and IMAX movies. But this time around, the outdoor exhibits and sculptures were just enough to keep them interested in the art and science without getting bored. Plus, there is plenty of room to run and be kids! I highly recommend going!
It was a jam-packed 3 day trip full of fun memories for sure! Getting away to sunny California, running a marathon, and spending quality time with the family is always the best!
So, I'd love to know, do you take your kiddos or family when you travel for a race?