One of the beauties of living in a large metropolis like Los Angeles is having access to everything from cultural events, museums, nightlife, and of course the amazing nature opportunities. Unknown to many outside of the city, but Los Angeles is blessed with a great outdoor space within minutes of most any place in the city.
Part of this great outdoor world is the Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority which organizes events at neighborhood parks throughout the city. The MRCA hosts an amazing array of events to get kids (and adults) more in touch with their natural surroundings and our impact on it. We have participated in their summer campfire nights with a naturalist program and smores roasted over a campfire, survival sundays where outdoor survival skills are taught as well as special events like the day of nature games on Halloween.
Last week we had the opportunity to participate in another of their local events, with the urban camping experience at Vista Hermosa Park, a local park overlooking downtown LA. How cool is that? It doesn’t stop there, they are having another campout next month, this time overlooking the LA river. The upcoming campout is made even more special in that it will occur during a meteor shower.
MRCA’s urban campouts are a great way to introduce camping to kids who haven’t ever camped before as well as for seasoned campers looking for a quick and easy camp experience without the hassle or long drive out of town.
As part of the campout, the MRCA provides a hot dog dinner, leads the kids in games, a lesson on something nature related ending in roasting marshmallows, an astronomy program with a high powered telescope and a continental breakfast. There are also nature hikes, morning stretching and so much more. Seriously, this is as easy as camping gets!
The Nitty Gritty
What to Bring
- Tarp (useful since the ground is usually wet from the park sprinklers)
- Tent (if you don’t have your own, you can rent one from the MRCA)
- Sleeping bags (you can also rent this from the MRCA)
- Collapsable wagon (useful to carry your items to/from your car)
- Camp Chair and/or picnic blanket
- Cooler with drinks (no alcohol since it is a public park)
- Lantern and/or headlamps
- Glow sticks
- Ball or other outdoor toys to play with in between nature walks and ranger lessons
The camping fee is $20-30 (depending on how big of a site you reserve), which includes your dinner and continental breakfast as well as your actual tent site. As mentioned above, for an additional fee you can rent a tent and/or sleeping bag from the MRCA.
- Registration begins at 4 pm; campout ends at 10 am the following morning
- Parking is available (and free) at the park and on the nearby streets
- Bathrooms are available within the park
- Food is provided, but you are still responsible for cooking it!
Come join us! This is a great event that the entire family will enjoy. You can also feel good about helping support our local park programs so that they can continue providing outreach and education programs. Click here to sign up for the Dec 12-13 Marsh Park Urban Campout!
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