Do you have some time to kill around Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) before your flight? There is plenty to do within a few miles of the airport, and these are great ways to relax before a long flight. Here are four fun activities near LAX that will keep you occupied, and also some information about their parking fees.
Parking around LAX can be expensive and tricky to find. Because you don’t want to panic and not have a parking spot before your flight, you can reserve a spot ahead of time. That way you’ll have peace of mind that a spot is waiting for you. Off-site parking is more cost-effective than the exorbitant fees that LAX charges for parking, and it’s also convenient – a shuttle brings you right to the airport.
1. Hollywood Park Racetrack is about three miles from LAX and is a horse race course and casino; it offers free parking as part of your admission. Kids are allowed to enter but must be accompanied by an adult, and bets can only be placed by those 18 and up. The track offers at least eight live races per day with more races on the weekends. The admission fee is $8; seniors enjoy a discounted rate of $5. The casino area has a $10 admittance fee. The Finish Line Lounge seats 300 guests and showcases the racing action on twenty TVs, plus there is card playing for poker and blackjack enthusiasts. With six restaurants, four bars, and air conditioning, Hollywood Park is a great place to relax before your flight.
2. The Manhattan Village Mall is located 10 minutes south of LAX on Sepulveda. Since its renovation, the mall has gained popularity but is never overcrowded. Parking spots are easy to find on most days and you can catch a movie or grab a bite to eat. The show times start in the afternoon on weekdays. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, but there is no food court, only stand-alone restaurants. From California Pizza Kitchen to Veneto Delightful Italian Desserts, there is something for all taste buds. Many of the stores are geared toward women, so guys may feel a bit left out on the shopping front.
3. The Santa Monica Pier is a favorite stop for those on a layover, because it’s close by and offers plenty of variety. There is no admission fee but the rides are around $2.50 a piece. Pacific Park offers amusement rides, like a Ferris wheel, but no major rides. For no cost, you can enjoy the views from the pier or take a stroll on the beach. If you’re in the mood for stretching your legs, there are rental bikes available. The street performers are lively and there’s an interactive aquarium. If you have just a couple hours, you can see and do everything here. There is a fee for parking – this is L.A., after all.
4. The Howard Hughes Center is 3.5 miles from LAX and does charge for parking. The big draw here is the Cinema de Lux, which offers an IMAX theater and panoramic views of the screen from good seats. There are both a lounge and a coffee bar outside the theater. The Center Stage features a professional entertainer who spends a few minutes entertaining guests with live skits and prizes. If you’re not interested in a movie, there’s an 18 hole glow-in-the-dark mini golf course. You can paint your own pottery at Color Me Mine or pick up some trendy luggage from Pioneer Luggage. Grab a book for your flight at Borders Books & Music.