Griffith Park: 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. With more than 4,107 acres of natural terrain covered with California oak trees, wild sage and manzanita, Griffith Park is the largest municipal park and urban wilderness area in the United States. The park offers educational and cultural institutions, miles of hiking trails and a landmark merry-go-round. The park is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Trails close at sunset. The park also is home to the Griffith Observatory, which is open noon to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends. Admission is free. The Los Angeles Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; closed Christmas Day. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children 2-12, free for children under 2. The Museum of the American West is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (open until 8 p.m. Thursdays). Travel Town, an outdoor museum of locomotives and rail cars, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends; closed Christmas. (323) 913-4688. Hansen Dam Aquatic Center: 11770 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace. Enjoy water recreation, including fishing, boating and swimming, at the 40-acre park site. The center is open year-round, including holidays, but subject to closure during severe weather. Hours are generally from sunrise to sunset. Swim-lake area season begins in April. Call (818) 899-3779 for hours. Laurel Canyon Dog Park: 8260 Mulholland Drive, Studio City. Features three acres of off-leash space for dogs, plus a fenced play area for children. Open 24 hours a day. (818) 769-4415. Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park: 17550 Victory Blvd., Encino. A five-acre site that also includes a half-acre for small dogs. Open daily from sunrise to sunset (Friday 11 a.m. to sunset). (818) 756-7667. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area: Includes 30 parks managed by the National Park Service and the California State Parks agency. Some of the major parks are Franklin Canyon Ranch/Sooky Goldman Nature Center, Cold Creek Canyon/Valley Preserve and Stunt Ranch Reserve Area, Malibu Creek State Park, Zuma/Trancas canyons, Topanga State Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park. The National Park Service Visitor Center and headquarters is at 401 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (805) 370-2301. Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area: 17017 Burbank Blvd., Encino. Ride horses on paved and dirt trails and walk in the 225-acre wildlife area. Group walks and hikes can be arranged. The recreation area also features sporting fields, kayaking and fishing on Lake Balboa, an archery range, skate park and off-leash dog park. Open 5:30 a.m to 10:30 p.m. (818) 756-8060. Stoney Point Park: 11000 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Chatsworth, just south of the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway. This site is for people who want to rock-climb or hike. Open daily from surise to sunset. (818) 756-8060. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!