South Pasadena embodies the small-town charm that so many Los Angeles families crave. Every Thursday from 4pm to 8pm, the city hosts a farmers market at the intersection of Mission and Meridian. A decent selection of farm-fresh produce, prepared foods and cooked-on-the-spot meals makes this a great stop for both shopping and dining. Best of all, a grassy mini-park right next to the Metro Gold Line station provides the perfect picnicking spot. If your kid is into trains, he or she will be in heaven.
South Pasadena holds other kids attractions any day of the week, including the charming Dinosaur Farm toy store (a train table keeps kiddos occupied while you browse the selection of old school toys) and Amy’s Playground (the $6 to $8 admission fee includes special programs like music and arts & crafts on certain days of the week). Gus’s Barbecue is a pretty family-friendly restaurant, and the old-timey Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain across the street at the corner of Fair Oaks and Mission is a great place to grab ice cream for dessert.