High Desert Happenings: Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD — At the request of our girls (11- and eight-years-old), we took a quick day trip to Hollywood last summer and here is an overview, as well as advice if you’d like to take the family this summer.

First, we looked up Hollywood Walk of Fame site (walkoffame.com) and noticed comedian, Cedric the Entertainer was getting his star dedication on a Thursday (in July 2018), so we planned our trip around that. His star is at 6212 Hollywood Blvd. We were advised to arrive early from my friends and family who live in Los Angeles, so we arrived about an hour before the ceremony began and had front row views. We got to see Magic Johnson, comedian George Lopez and a host of other celebrities. The celebrities even spoke to the girls. We looked up the Walk of Fame stars for Goofy, Donald Duck, Kermit the Frog, Big Bird and Mickey/Minnie Mouse (I think those were it), so we could visit their stars, too.

Parking: We parked one block over (either Argyle or Vine), near the corner in a lot for $20 for the day. The city tour we took said there was $10-$15 parking near them but I didn’t look for it.

Tours: We did a 2-hour celebrity home tour with PrimeTime Hollywood tours, which gives a Military Discount and they were really great working with us. The fee for two youth and one adult, should have been $130 with the military discount but I believe I only paid between $60 and $75 total for all three of us. We paid in person, since we didn’t know exactly what time we’d be available for the tour, although there is a schedule for all the tours, as well as hop on-and-off tours available for the day. This was the cheapest (by far) of all the tours I looked up and it was great that he always gives a military discount and still worked with us to take more off the price. He requested we pay in cash due to the deal. The girls didn’t know most of the celebrity homes we passed by (besides Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, The Wizard of Oz, the Kardashians and maybe Floyd Mayweather) but enjoyed the Rodeo drive/Beverly Hills stop. He also showed us different movie scenes, various Hollywood sign photo ops and told us a lot of history.

The Chinese Theatre has foot and handprints of celebrities as you walk around it, as well as impersonators and action figures in costumes to entertain tourists. This handprint was Judy Garland’s.

Chinese Theatre: The tour drop off was at the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd, so the girls were able to see the hand and footprints of celebrities like Judy Garland, Shirley Temple and Tom Hanks. There are always interesting people in costumes around there, so people-watching was both fun and intimidating to them. There is a good shot of the Hollywood sign from that location and they liked running through the water sprouts in the mall area on Hollywood Blvd.

Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles is a staple in the Los Angeles area, so we had to make a stop there. Depending on the time of day, there can be a long line, especially weekends, but many think it’s well worth the wait.

Food: We rounded out the trip with a visit to the popular Roscoe’s Chicken n Waffles (where one daughter didn’t want chicken and the other didn’t want waffles, go figure).

Travel: Please note, I thought that a Thursday may be a little easier on traffic in, around and leaving out of the Los Angeles but it was not. I suggest that if you don’t spend the night, you should leave before 3PM or after 7PM. It took us 2.5 hours to get to LA but took us four hours to get back– granted, we left LA at 4p.m. The girls slept the entire way back, of course.

Other suggestions: Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Observatory, Space Shuttle Endeavor, La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire (dinosaurs and science), Jerome C. Daniel Overlook, several museums, a Universal Studios tour and so many more spots.

LA Hotel suggestions: La Quinta, Crown Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Howard Johnson, Magic Castle Hotel, Westin (on Los Robles), Marriott (on Fair Oaks), Howard Johnson, Cecil Hotel, Motel 6 (near airport)

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