When out-of-town guests ask me where they should go in L.A., the first place I suggest is Griffith Park. One of my fondest childhood memories is Travel Town Museum visits with my dad. Before our recent move, my husband and I spent twelve years waking up to the classic L.A. view of the Griffith Park Observatory next to the Hollywood sign, which I never took for granted. When my daughter was a newborn, the enchanting and shaded Ferndell trail was a weekly ritual. For my husband, it was hitting some golf balls after work at Wilson & Harding Driving Range. In other words, Griffith Park has something for everyone.
On Sunday Nov. 13, The Los Angeles Conservancy, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and City of Los Angeles Council District 4, will celebrate the park and all it has to offer, with a free, day-long open-house-style event for the community. The public is invited to explore their favorite parts of the park they know and love and discover new corners of Griffith Park, while learning about its history dating back to 1896 when Colonel Griffith J. Griffith and his wife Mary Agnes Christine donated over 3,000 acres of former ranch land to the City of Los Angeles.
Volunteer educators from 30 different organizations will be dispersed throughout Griffith Park to share the stories of its landmarks and cultural institutions, like the Los Angeles Zoo, the Autry Museum of the American West, the Greek Theatre and the Griffith Merry-Go-Round, which will act as the event’s central hub. At the Merry-Go-Round the public can pick up a map, which will also act as a passport booklet where participants can collect stamps at each site they visit. Food trucks, educational activities and entertainment will also be available for guests of all ages.
Griffith Park 125th Anniversary celebration will go from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a special birthday ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Council District 4 Councilmember Nithya Ramen and Tongva Cultural Educator and Artist Craig Torres will give remarks, followed by a cake cutting. Eventgoers are encouraged to use public transportation to get to Griffith Park and to move from site to site throughout the day.
To learn more about Griffith Park, transportation options, parking and a full schedule of events, visit LAconservancy.org.