If you are anything like me as a parent, you are always on the hunt for family friendly, cheap activities that get you out of the house and trying something new. Every once in a while one of those activities falls into my lap and I wonder how I never knew about it before. That happened last month when a mom in my local Facebook group posted about Odd Nights at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles (right across from the zoo). I have been living in LA proper for over six years (and have been in the LA area my whole life) and had never heard of Odd Nights before, but even if I had, the name probably would have thrown me off a little. Luckily, said awesome LA mom included some basic info about the event in her post and it sounded fun, so Hubs and I packed up Squirt and headed out.
Odd Nights is a once a month event (during summer and fall months) held in the lawn area of the Autry Museum. Parking is free, admission is $2.00 for adults (cash only), and kids under 12 are free. It’s basically a big outdoor festival of sorts, with lots of different fun offerings for both kids and adults. When you first enter, you find a row of outdoor booths with local artisans and crafters selling all kinds of goods. We saw everything from jewelry and clothing to home goods. There was lots of cute stuff for sale, and everyone there is a local small business, which makes it even better when you buy something.
There is a small bar set up near the entrance as well, which we obviously hit up as soon as we walked in.
Over on the lawn, there was a live band who played a couple of sets throughout the night. As it got more crowded, there was some dancing happening.
There were quite a few inflatables set up, in addition to a rock wall for older kids. You do have to purchase tickets to enjoy the attractions, but there was a good variety of things to try. We had to steer clear of the Cars inflatable as Squirt is obsessed with Mater and Lightning McQueen.
Parked all around the lawn area are all kinds of food trucks. Seriously, I have never seen so many different food trucks parked in one location before. They had any kind of food you could possibly want and we had a really hard time figuring out what we were going to eat. In the middle of the lawn, people set up blankets and picnic.
We finally selected the LA Wing Co. truck for our dinner, and we were not disappointed. I had a buffalo chicken sandwich, Matt got sliders and buffalo fries (that were amazing) and Squirt had chicken tenders. Everything was delicious.
After strolling around through the craft booths (with wine!) and eating our dinner, we let Squirt run around for a while. There was a bus parked in the middle of the lawn that kids could paint on (what an amazing idea). Squirt had no interest in painting, but he did want to sit at the wheel of the bus and “drive” so he was entertained by that for a good half hour. Overall, Odd Nights at the Autry proved to be a good little excursion for all three of us. Mom got to shop, Dad got to drink, and Squirt got to drive a bus, so everybody wins! There are two more Odd Nights scheduled for this year, Friday September 16 and Friday October 21. Both start at 6:00 pm. If you are in the LA area and are looking for something fun and inexpensive to entertain the fam, you should definitely check it out!