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Kids' Stuff, Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California's insider take:

Aside from—obviously—Disneyland, there are lots of other sights and activities in L.A. that are geared toward kids. They'll be wowed by the La Brea Tar Pits, in mid-Wilshire, a site where asphalt bubbled up out of the earth about 40,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch—the last of four Ice Ages—trapping mammoths, giant sloths, and sabre-toothed tigers (way post-dinosaur-age). The remains of these animals have been retrieved since 1906 and are now on display. The adjacent George C. Page Museum has one of the world's most famous collections of fossils and bones, and during summer months there is an observation deck from which visitors can watch paleontogists carefully digging through the black muck (5801 Wilshire Blvd.; 323-934-7243;

Universal Studios adds to its tour and park attractions whenever a blockbuster warrants it. Right now the tours are narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and include TV-show sets from Crossing Jordan and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (how scintillating is that lineup?). Some of the park attractions are "The Fast and the Furious: Extreme Closeup," and a Fear Factor audience-participation attraction. A recent fire destroyed the 20-foot high King Kong as well as the studios New York streets, but Universal says it will rebuild the Big Apple and add a new attraction to replace the giant ape (100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City; 800-864-8377; More subdued is the Warner Bros. VIP tour, better for older children who love the movies and who are interested in visiting the sets and soundstages of the studio (4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank; Another venue best for older children is Six Flags Magic Mountain, which has the Guinness World Record for the most roller coasters in one place (26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia; 818-367-5965;

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