After the champagne cocktails, the noisemakers and the fireworks, I decided it was time for buffalo burgers, bold caballeros and big ol' stagecoaches.
Yes, after a night with Marty and Elayne, New Year's Day was ripe with opportunity for a trip to the Old West.
The Autry National Center of the American West is located just off the 5 across from the Los Angeles Zoo. My mom is a huge fan of Western art and history, and the trip began as a request from her. Little did I know, however, exactly how kid-friendly the museum is. (The free admission in honor of New Year's didn't hurt, either.)
Not only is there an outdoor area where children and adults alike can climb into an authentic stagecoach, pan for gold and take a peek into a faux general store, kids can also don cowboy gear and saddle up on a life-size replica horse and pretend they're riding the range -- with chaps and all.
Inside the museum, kids (I say "kids," but I'm sure your feisty Western obsessive who's still trying to shake off that New Year's Eve old-fashioned would be welcome, too) can hop on a horseless saddle mounted in front of a blue screen and watch as they appear in a video complete with desert backdrops and chase scenes.
According to its website, the January calendar includes such family-friendly events as making Pancho puppets inspired by characters of the Mexican Revolution and calendar sticks like the Plains Indians once did.
Oh, and there's art, too.
Autry National Center
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA, 90027-1462
$9.00 for Adults
$5.00 for students (13-18) and seniors (60+)
$5.00 Adult Students (18 and over with ID)
$3.00 for children (3-12)
Free for children under 3