Until Los Angeles gets its own proper children's museum again someday, count the Zimmer Children's Museum among the city's hidden surprises that fills an important niche. Yes, we have the big museums at Exposition Park. And L.A. has its own thriving industry of indoor playgrounds, creating yet another subset of private space. Yet the Zimmer, a small museum located on the ground floor of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles on Wilshire Boulevard near San Vicente, is a lively place to learn and play (and even better appreciated on hot or rainy days). Interactive displays and teaching tools go through the checklist of typical kid interests; we all know a pre- or grade-schooler who's obsessed with transportation, playing dress-up, music, food or all of the above. Many of the Zimmer's exhibitions have Jewish themes, but the “big ideas” attached to each museum feature transcend culture or religion. 6505 Wilshire Blvd., #100, Miracle Mile. (323) 761-8989, zimmermuseum.org.
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