Light the lights...See the sights
Plan on keeping busy while visiting the Universal City-North Hollywood area. From studio tours to theme parks to museums, local attractions will keep you happily on the run.
Pegged the Valley of the Stars, East San Fernando Valley is home to a number of movie and television studios that offer behind-the-scene tours. Hop a tram and take a guided tour of Universal Studios sound stages and Universal Studios Hollywood. At Warner Brothers, in nearby Burbank, climb aboard for a two hour technically oriented tour that makes stops at the costume department, sound stages, and museum. Keep an eye out for the stars of TV shows "E.R." and "Friends." Dreamworks Animation Studio is located on a 14-acre campus in Glendale.
At NBC Studios, also in Burbank, tour the studio or get in line for tickets to "The Tonight Show." Think ahead and get tickets to television tapings taking place at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank and CBS Studio Center in Studio City.
Schedule a visit to the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, where exhibits pay homage to past pioneers and Hollywoods romantic movie interpretations of how the West was won. Other Los Angeles museums worth a visit include: The Museum of Contemporary Art, showcasing the works of artists from 1940 to the present; The Getty Center, which houses the extensive art collection of J. Paul Getty; and the Skirball Cultural Center, which explores the American Jewish life with cultural programs, exhibits, a childrens Discovery Center, and more.
Families will want to take in the Los Angeles Zoo, an 80-acre enclave with more than 1,2000 animals, reptiles, and birds or spend a day riding the rides at Pacific Park, on the Santa Monica Pier.
Hollywood Bowl, at 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, stages almost-nightly entertainment from the end of June through September. The Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra regularly appear, and special jazz, classic, and contemporary concerts, featuring the likes of Ray Charles, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and clarinetist Pete Fountain, are staged throughout the summer.
Each June the North Hollywood-Universal City Chamber of Commerce schedules the NoHo Arts and Theater Festival, featuring two days of free live theater presentations, musical entertainment, art shows, hands-on art projects for the kids, and more than 200 vendors selling international foods, clothing, arts, and crafts. The chamber also sponsors two Starcene Carnivals held in May and August at North Hollywood Park. As Ferris wheels whirl, merry-go-rounds twirl, and corn dogs sizzle in the fryer, residents come out in mass to enjoy the hometown celebrations.
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