Last week when I realized LACMA was closed on Wednesdays, I looked to the internet to find other things to do in Los Angeles this summer. There are several lists out there – things to do with kids, hiking, shopping, recreation – anything you could want! I found some interesting things I’d never heard of. How could I have lived in Los Angeles for 23 years and not know about the Old Abandon Zoo, for example?
Apparently, the Los Angeles Zoo was built in 1912 in Griffith Park. It was closed in 1966 and the remnants of it still remain. How cool is that? I immediately made plans to take the kids there.
Today we picked up one of my son’s friends and headed down. We found a Subway not far away and headed up for a picnic before finding the zoo. We had to visit the visitor center to figure out where we were going, despite me trying to find it on my own. Thankfully, we were pretty close already. (And thankfully, there was a ranger there to help!)
We accidentally drove up to where there was a production prepping. In LA, this isn’t that unusual, and while it’s cool to see some filming/production work going on, it doesn’t make my kids excited anymore.
I had no idea what to expect. We headed up the stairs to see what was ahead. (Note: This is where they do Shakespeare in the Park in the summer.)
It was pretty neat, honestly. The rock enclosures were interesting. We wondered how they kept the animals from escaping. I’m sure there were pieces missing.
(*If you want to see what the zoo looked like back in it’s heyday, you can see some here, at Hollywood Historic)
We played in old cages.
I’m thinking birds were in these cages, but I can’t find a specific photo that proves it.
The cage below was almost like apartments.
There were lots of places to explore. We realized later that the new signs up must have been part of the production.
We found this weird little shack near the possible bird cages. We have no idea what was in there, but now it’s full of a different kind of attraction.
Lots and lots of graffiti (and litter).
There was also a pretty green area where you can just sit and rest, read a book, or have a picnic.
If you’d like to visit, head to Griffith Park. It’s off of Crystal Springs Road – on Griffith Park Rd. You can always ask the rangers at the station. It’s a cool piece of L.A. history, and you can get in a little bit of exercise if you go a little further.