Tag Archives: activity

Unusual Things to Do in L.A.

By Rachel Priebe

Los Angeles is full of many wonderful tourist attractions, making it hard for the average person to get bored. However, as someone who has lived in the area for a while, I often find myself wanting to venture out beyond the Hollywood sign and LACMA. The following is a short list of some of the lesser-known gems I have come across while exploring L.A. These are some of my top “weird” things to do in L.A., but of course, there are many more!

Have a picnic in an abandoned zoo

Located in Griffith Park are the ruins of the old Los Angeles zoo, which closed in 1966 after the opening of the current one. The zoo is now a picnic area and hiking trail and contains old animals cages and exhibits. This is a unique place to see some of the LA views and walk around or have a picnic!

Address: 4801 Griffith Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Photo by Rosalind Chang on Unsplash

Explore the Bunny Museum

“The Hoppiest Place on Earth” is a little ways away, located in Altadena (which is right next to Pasadena). While this is a little further away from the USC area than the other places on this list, its novelty is well worth the drive. It contains the world’s largest collection of bunny-related items, such as bunny sculptures, stuffed animals, rose parade floats, and much more. They even have real bunnies that roam the museum!

Address: 2605 Lake Ave, Altadena, CA 91001

Shop at the Oddities Flea Market

This market is usually held at the Globe Theater in early October. It is for lovers of the macabre and contains vendors selling abnormal decor, jewelry, and much more. This is a great place to check out if you want to get some unusual accessories or buy a unique gift for a friend.

Address: 740 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Attend a free class at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute (HMI)

Founded in 1968, this college trains students to become licensed hypnotherapists. If you want to get a taste of what students learn there, you can attend one of their free classes. These classes are only two and a half hours long on a weekday evening. They offer several free classes each month. They are on unusual subjects, such as energy healing, dream therapy and self-hypnosis.

Address: 18607 Ventura Blvd Suite 310, Tarzana, CA 91356

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Visit the Museum of Death

This is the perfect place to visit in October to get into the Halloween spirit! That is, if you can handle its rather disturbing content. It is located right on Hollywood Boulevard and contains a collection of artifacts and art related to death. Among other items, it contains taxidermied animals, crime scene photographs, and letters written by serial killers. It isn’t a traditional museum experience, but it is definitely an interesting activity to fill your day!

Address: 6031 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028

I hope you enjoyed learning of some of these suggestions for new things to try in LA. While these activities may not be for everyone, there is always some attraction or place to visit in LA that will appeal to your interests!

Featured Image by kaleb tapp on Unsplash

Rachel is a recent USC graduate who studied Film and Television Production. In her free time, she enjoys public speaking, volunteering, and filmmaking, particularly documentary filmmaking. She was born and raised in Southern California, but enjoys traveling and has been all over North America and Europe. She spent her first semester of college in Paris and has been studying French for a number of years.

My Experience Taking ALI 252

By PinShiuan Lee

Edited by Natalie Grace

[3.5 minute read]

Currently, I am a postdoctoral trainee working on biomedical informative research at USC for the past three months. Prior to this, I received all of my education in Taiwan. My English is in no way perfect and I am not the most talkative person, even when I speak in my native language. When I started my work at USC, I would do research all day without talking unless I had meetings where I needed to discuss aspects of my work. Since I didn’t have many opportunities to improve my fluency, I was urgently searching for a class I could enroll in to improve my pronunciation. This led me to enroll in ALI 252, an advanced pronunciation course.

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

I was initially surprised by how interesting advanced pronunciation was. I liked the classmates I met, and class was full of a diversity of perspectives and an abundance of topics to chat about. One topic we always seemed to return to was popular movies and TV shows. I heard of the show The Office, which is a mockumentary sitcom television series, for the first time in this class. I learned a lot of sentences and phrases that depict the everyday work lives of office employees. Although I worked from home, it was funny to imagine having colleagues like these characters. Every class we watched clips from The Office ended in peals of laughter.

Besides having a great time watching and observing characters on shows, our professor also provided us with many innovative tools to help give us more confidence in oral expression such as games, competitions, or playing roles. We tried to create sounds, produce voices, and understand our vocal range and stamina. It is difficult to articulate clarity if you don’t spend time practicing sounds. Using interesting and funny ways to articulate the words you would like to express encourages me to be more talkative. During this time, I could refine my personal speaking style in small groups and classroom settings.

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
Continue reading My Experience Taking ALI 252

Nature Outings Around LA

By Sarah Selke

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

Every once in a while, a brief trip away from the bustle of metropolitan LA can be a much-needed respite for a USC student. While there are plenty of things to do in the city, there are just as many day trips one can take in the surrounding areas. Going for a hike or bike ride in some different scenery can be a refreshing and inexpensive option for weekends when you would like to spend some time away from campus. I have listed below some of my favorite hikes and nature expeditions you can take in the LA area that will make it feel like you are visiting a place far from the city!

Photo by Praveen Thotagamuwa on Unsplash

One of the more popular places to hike in the LA area is the Sturtevant Falls trail. Located in the Santa Anita Canyon, this approximately 3.5-mile hike is frequently crowded with Angelinos, and follows a steep descent into a lush valley that ends in a spectacular waterfall. There are several other side trails that branch off from the sometimes overly busy path, such as the Upper Winter Creek Trail, which leads into a very dense, green forest that hardly feels as if it were only half an hour from downtown LA. 

Another slightly further destination is the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, which hosts large fields of the state’s flower each spring. This reserve is located about an hour and half away from USC, a few miles outside of Lancaster. Often crowded during peak season, it is highly advisable to visit the poppies early in the morning before parking gets too full. Another tip: bring an extra layer even when the temperature is high, as it gets particularly windy at this spot.

Photo by Pamela Heckel on Unsplash

Perhaps my favorite outdoor destination to visit in the area around LA is the Malibu Creek State Park, which is nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. This park is filled with miles of beautiful trails, and was also the sight for various feature films, including the MASH series. The Yearling Trail, which starts from Reagan Ranch and leads to Century Lake, is a gentle 4-mile hike that leads through green fields, a Redwood forest, and ends with a glimpse of the Century Lake dam. It is a personal favorite of mine that can be accessed all-year round. 

Continue reading Nature Outings Around LA