LA Zoo + a CJ's Fave Lunch Spot
One of my favorite things to do with my kids and a group of friends has always been going to the Los Angeles Zoo. Parking is free, and the zoo is big enough that you get to see all of the animals you'd hope to, but you can still tackle it all just a few hours. AND one of my favorite lunch spots is right up the road, Cafe Magazzino!
An October day with not-too-hot weather and some sweet littles made for such a fun morning as we explored. I feel like now is the perfect time to head to the zoo because there weren't any field trips groups that made it overly crowded and in the morning, most of the park is shaded by big trees. So beautiful! If you arrive relatively close to opening, many of the animals are awake and active in their enclosures because it's breakfast time. The giraffes come SO close to the observation fence in the morning! It's amazing! I recommend getting there early for close parking, fewer people, and cooler weather.
If you live in the Los Angeles area and you are planning on going to the zoo more than once this year, you might consider buying a membership! It's pretty affordable and is good for a whole year from the date of purchase, not just the calendar year. On the Family Membership Plan, you can add up to 6 kids and  another adult is able to get in FREE with you. You can take a spouse or a friend or your mom with you and they don't have to pay admission. You also receive discounted admission at a bunch of other zoos in California, including the Santa Barbara Zoo! Also, if you look online before purchasing, you can often times find a promotion code to receive 20% off your membership. Sites like retailmenot.com run this promotion often!
But the fun doesn't end at the zoo! Skip the gross zoo food and head up the freeway just a couple miles to Cafe Magazzino, one of my FAVE spots in Toluca Lake!! Every time I have lunch here I have to mention it. If I could eat Rose's food everyday I would. Cafe Magazzino is seriously one of the best breakfast/lunch spots in Los Angeles. The food is PHENOMENAL. You can not go wrong with the soup of the day and her house salad. The sandwiches are AMAZING. The peach and hibiscus teas are perfection...there's nothing that's not awesome. I've been dining here since Carly Jean Los Angeles was a little shop on Magnolia Park! And if I'm in Toluca Lake and she's open, I'm swinging in for something! Go check it out you won't be disappointed!

 Hope this inspires you to head to the zoo and a yummy CJ Fave lunch spot to enjoy a great day! Happy weekending!
-CJ

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