For many of us, summer is about family vacations, summer camps, lazy days and lemonade stands. You can have almost all of that at Omni Hotels & Resorts this summer with their Camp Omni package. The lemonade stand may have to wait until you get home, but they do serve lemonade!
I just spent a family weekend getaway in downtown Los Angeles at the Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza. By Sunday, I was amazed at just how much we had experienced in the city in such a short time.
Dirt n’ Worms prize at the end of Camp Omni scavenger hunt
Friday: Let the games begin with Camp Omni!
Omni Hotels & Resorts is known for being family-friendly; kids are greeted at check-in with a goodie bag filled with activities and treats, plus the staff can always recommend local family activities and outings. My kids, ages 6 and 9, could hardly wait to get to our room on Friday evening to tear into their goodie bags.
We had dinner at the hotel’s upscale restaurant, Noe. I like that they have the option to eat inside or outside. Although the inside is quieter, it’s not uncomfortable with kids as the tables are spread out. If you want a lighter meal, the bar menu here is excellent and is available on the patio as well.
After dinner, we took advantage of the Omni’s location at California Plaza and ran off some energy. The plaza is large with multiple levels, a huge cascading fountain and a stage area for concerts. My kids had a ball running around here and pretending to be “Hollywood stars” on the stage. Rarely in the city do you have so much space kids to play.
We returned to our room to find milk and cookies waiting for the kids, a nightly feature at Omni hotels.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) shares same plaza with Omni
Saturday: Exploring Downtown Los Angeles
We were greeted at breakfast in the Grand Café with Camp Omni badges for the kids and a beautiful view of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). The modern art theme carries over into the hotel lobby and is a part of the Camp Omni scavenger hunt. The kids took full advantage of their Camp Omni free breakfast buffet and excitedly asked for hot chocolate with whipped cream.
By 9a, the kids were in full Camp Omni mode. They had completed the scavenger hunt and received their prize of “dirt and worms,” started making braided keychains, disagreed over who had eaten the last s’mores marshmallow (all in our goodie bag), and spent at least 20 minutes trying to decide what they would buy with their $10 Camp Omni gift card. All this just 14 hours after arrival!
Little Tokyo is a 15-minute walk from Omni Los Angeles
We then set off to explore Little Tokyo with SixTaste food tours. It’s an easy 15-minute walk from the hotel past beautiful buildings. The tour is 3.5 hours long but Little Tokyo is only about four square blocks so there is not too much walking. The tour is not exclusively designed for families, but if you have kids that are willing to try different foods this is a fun way to learn about a new culture.
Our Little Toyko food tour was the highlight of our weekend and our kids are still talking about it. They especially liked the marshmallow-like strawberry peanut butter mochi at famous Fugetso-Do and the mochi ice cream at Mikawaya Mochi, creators of mocha ice cream. We highly recommend this tour!
Literally “stuffed” with food we meandered back to our hotel, making a detour at Grand Central Market to check out LA’s historical food market in operation since 1917. This is a sensory overload of fruits, vegetables, meats and treats and is a very easy spot to have a snack, sample an “agua fresca” or eat lunch.
Getting back to the hotel is fun from here. Cross the street and take the Angels Flight funicular, dating back to 1901 (it feels like it’s 100 years old!), up Bunker Hill to arrive at the top of California Plaza next door to the Omni hotel. There is no better attraction for 50 cents a ride.
Omni Los Angeles offers a complimentary car to guests. A serious hotel perk!
And our day was only half over! We hit the pool to relax and then used the hotel’s complimentary car to take us to LA Live for dinner. The hotel car is a huge guest perk. It is available on a first-come first-served basis for transportation within a three mile radius of the hotel. LA Live, the entertainment complex built near Staples Center and the Nokia Theater, is one and half miles from the hotel. It’s about a 35-minute walk, up some hills but takes you past LA landmarks like the Central Library, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the famous 2nd Street tunnel, located under Bunker Hill that is used in so many movies – they were filming on Sunday!
Angels Flight is just steps from the Omni’s doors
Sunday: Learning about California History
On Sunday we walked fifteen minutes to Olvera Street, part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles, a historical monument dedicated to the city’s Mexican heritage. There is dancing and live music on the weekends and the usual souvenirs and trinkets but our favorite activity was touring LA’s oldest residential house – Avila Adobe. Simple explanations and displays of everyday life in the “old” days were easy for the kids to understand.
We ended our Los Angeles weekend with a visit to gorgeous Union Station. You feel like a part of history when you step inside and can envision what train travel was like years ago. Just for fun, we boarded the metro train and rode two short stops, walked two blocks and took the Angels Flight funicular to the hotel. We packed our bags and said good-bye to Camp Omni.
Camp Omni Los Angeles Video
To get the full scoop on the fun at Camp Omni Los Angeles, check out our video.
Editorial Note: Kristi and her family received complimentary accommodations at the Omni Hotel Los Angeles at California Plaza, but as always, her thoughts and opinions are her own. Photos by Kristi Marcelle
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