7 hour layover at LAX with sons ages 5-7

Jan 6th, 2006, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,203
If you had a car, you could go to Aviation Boulevard and watch the planes land. It is less than 2 miles from the airport and the rental car lots. The planes come in right over your head just before they land.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 08:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,117
MBNancy and I are long-time friends who haven't met yet... I agree with her suggestions regarding lunch at the Kettle (but I prefer Uncle Bill's Pancake House two blocks away which is probably why we've never met) and a walk on the pier and Strand. The aquarium is small but very, very cool, and if you're lucky, there will be dolphins to watch from the end of the pier.

My only concern is weather. Although February is usually clear and dry, what if it's rainy, windy and/or downright chilly (for people dressed for Kona)? I'd definitely have a back-up plan. Although not a particularly exciting idea (but a dry and warm one!), our public library is across the street from Uncle Bill's. (Just so you know, our downtown core is only a few blocks in each direction from the intersection where the Kettle restaurant is located.)

Jean is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 07:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 89
Thank you, thank you all! I feel like I have some great options to consider.

Weather permitting..I like the idea of going into Manhattan Beach. I actually don't think it would be too difficult to keep my kids out of the water. The aquarium and lunch sounds great..even better if there is a cool toy store nearby?? Hauling luggage would be a pain and I haven't had a chance to research any airport storage options. Is that a 9/11 no-no?

In the case of torrential downpours..an indoor hotel pool sounds best (definitely the most energy releasing option for my kids). So far, I've only found that the airport Embassy Suites has an indoor pool. They have not responded to my email inquiry re: dayrates - but I suspect I'm not a big moneymaker for them! I will also check out the Hilton as suggested. (What is a typical dayrate charge for an airport property?)

You Californians will roll your eyes, but it is just about killing me to me that close to the happiest place on earth and not make the venture. To "padams" I did look at coming in the night before to do so, however we're on frequent flier tickets (did anyone guess??) and I can't even pay a change fee to obtain a better flight.

Finally, as frightening as it sounds we also have a hefty (albeit not 7+ hours) layover in the a.m. on the return trip. What is the story with the restaurant in the building with the white arches at LAX? Is this a worthy breakfast excursion, or just a transportation headache between terminals with small children?

Yes "wliwl", I REALLY do want to go to Hawaii. Even more than my husband who leaves Seattle on the same day and time as me - sans children, non-stop into Kona. That's "aloha" for you.
kikianne is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 07:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,273
I would take the kids to Santa Monica. On Third Street Promenade (street turned into a pedestrian mall) there are restaurants galore, street entertainers, some wacky, some really good, and a few minutes away is the pier, with great looking out on the ocean. There's a great amusement place - an outside place with ferris wheel and such, and an inside place with machines and games and all the razzamattazz kids on vacations love, and you can win at that game where you roll wooden balls up over a hump into circle-holes (you'll win because you have longer arms than your kids...).

You amass points on coupons and you redeem them for some wacky little gifts as souvenirs. Great fun, time flies, and everybody stays active.

WallyKringen is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 07:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 89
They would go nuts for this!! They are all over arcade games. How far is Santa Monica from LAX?
kikianne is offline  
Jan 9th, 2006, 10:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,117
To be safe, I would allow 45 minutes each way between LAX and the Santa Monica Pier / 3rd St. Promenade. I've never used a cab for this long a ride, but I'd guess the fare would be at least $30-40 each way. (Cabs run about $12-14 each way between my house in M.B. and LAX.)

Another idea that came to me for M.B. is a paint-your-own ceramics place that just opened in our new downtown shopping plaza. I'm sure you've seen or heard of these places; they're popular here for kids' parties. It can't compete with a ferris wheel and arcade games, though!
Jean is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 286
The restaurant with the arches is called "The Encounter". It used to be "The Theme" and had a beam-me-up starship kind of decor, but I don't think they do that anymore. Anyway, it is not open for breakfast <www.iflylax.com/lax_encounter.html>

You can grab the "Big Blue Bus" - yes, that is what it is really called and is blue and white. It is a city bus <www.bigbluebus.com/home/index.asp>. From outside the airport baggage area, you walk across the traffic lane to the island - you'll see lots of people waiting there. Get on the "C" shuttle which takes people to the "C" lot. The city buses can be found adjacent to that lot. Take the #3 Big Blue Bus. At the bus website, click on 'bus routes' and go down to 'Line 3' to see what stops it makes. It takes approx. 36 min. to go from the "C" lot to the 4th Street stop in Santa Monica. Fare is 75 cents for you and free (I believe) for the boys. Plus, kids usually like riding the bus, and the sites will keep them occupied along the way. The arcade, ferris wheel, etc., is at the end of the pier, about 3 short blocks from where the bus lets you off. Tell the driver you're getting off at the 3rd Street Promenade (the name of the outdoor mall WallyKringen suggested). You'll see the ocean due west.

Now, as for the Hilton - yes, they have day rates (9am-5pm) although they can not book or quote rates sooner than 14 days in advance (I called them for you). Here is their contact info:
5711 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045

I know they have a pool, but don't know if it is indoors.

Maybe Disneyland next time around

cheezz is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 286
Oh, and about your bags... no, you can't store them at LAX anymore. There is a baggage service you can call - they pick up your bags and hold them at LAX for you:

LAX International Baggage Service
This company picks up and delivers, for storage at LAX
cheezz is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 06:29 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,206
I vote for the aiport hotel. But if you go off site, I too say be very careful about planning. I recently flew in and out of LA and it was not during a vacatin time, and I believe Feb 16 might be near some school vacation schedules and could make things worse. I arrived at LA airport 2 hours before a domestic flight to Boston - I barely made my plane. Like another poster said, I waited in an outside line for almost 1 hr 30 minutes, and then an incredible back up inside, and six of us in line kept asking about our flight, and finally they let us cut the security line, but no one had notified our plane after telling us over and over everything would be fine as we cooled our heels in this endless line and we actually ended up running to our plane and were the last ones on barely making it......so if that happened and you ever hit any traffic getting back.....your layover might be longer than 7 hrs... I'd stay close or do a local overnight or two.
escargot is offline  
Jan 15th, 2006, 07:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 89
Thanks for the detailed responses and contact numbers - not to mention the cautionary tales re: getting back through security - I'll be careful with our time!
kikianne is offline  
Jan 16th, 2006, 07:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 286

I called the Hilton back and their pool is outdoors - heated, of course. If you have AAA membership, you can get a lower rate, also.
cheezz is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 08:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 89
Thanks again for your help! I'm a little nervous about an outdoor pool in February (although coming from Seattle's lately endless rain..it would probably seem downright balmy!) I have a new (fortunate) twist in my plans. It turns out I have a sister in law who will be in LA that day, who's willing to skip a day of work, has a car and is willing to pick us up and head to Manhattan Beach for lunch/aquarium. I suspect this would be the best option all the way around!
kikianne is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 246

when i read you post about sand and salt sticking on your skin my skin just crawled (I ahve an over active imagination i guess and supersentive skin).

Last thing you want to be doing is feeling the sand and salt on your skin whilst on the plane. Besides you'll get plenty of that at your destination.

Is there only one flight out of LAX each day? If there is an earlier flight you can always try your luck with taking your bags to the checkin counter and seeing if they can fit you in on an eaelier flight?????

My skin is still crawling so I'm going to add this: I would suggest going to disneyland over going to the beach that day
bhuty is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,265

If you are still checking this board, I just wanted to give you an additional warning.

Tell your sister-in-law to avoid Sepulveda Blvd. like the plague. There is a major construction project (underground utilities) going on there which is causing lane closures in both directions. The project will be continuing through the fall.

When coming out of LAX, take Sepulveda south ONLY as far as Imperial Highway west. Follow IH to Vista del Mar. This will take you along the ocean into Manhattan Beach.

Follow the same route back to LAX.
lvk is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 10:26 AM
Posts: n/a
LOL! Isn't it the worst? I live on the beach and salt is all over everything I own; my living room carpet, my car, the trunk of my car, my indoor and outdoor shower, shoes, etc. My yard is half sand half weeds.
Feb 2nd, 2006, 10:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 89
Thank you for the construction advice - we'll make efforts to avoid!
kikianne is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,106
Since you'll have a car and might want to try somewhere beside the beach, how about the LaBrea Tarpit Museum? It doesn't take that long to see, and the outdoor space would be great for kids working off excess energy.

I'm not from LA, so my time estimate may be off, but I would say it's 20-30 minutes from the airport.
patg is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 04:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,117
Well, as you're still checking in... The situation in Manhattan Beach has changed since my original comments. Almost two weeks ago, we had a sewer system failure (including multiple system back-up failures) that resulted in raw sewage flooding all along our beautiful and formerly prestine beach. The disgusting soup was removed and the beach was re-opened. A week or so later, testing revealed that there was still significant bacteria present in the sand. The beach has been closed again and clean-up activities continue.

I mention this only because, although you could still enjoy a few hours having lunch and time at the aquarium or strolling around, you probably wouldn't be able to spend any time on the sand. It could all be fixed by Feb. 16th, but I thought I should give you an update. Such a shame because the weather here has been generally un-winter-like.

Although the suggestion of La Brea Tar Pits is a good one for kids, it's about 45 minutes each way from LAX. If your SIL and her car are still in the mix, the idea makes more sense. But it's a lot of driving (with all manner of potential delays) for a few hours of layover. I'd keep it simple.
Jean is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:16 PM.