Ok, so this isn't quite the beach you had in mind for your trip to Los Angeles but should you have a flight out of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, head upstairs (past security) to LAX Beach, a mini-playground for kids ages 2-8. Yup, run 'em ragged here so they will be good and tired for that long flight.
The terminal's romper room features hand-painted, sculpted foam pieces, including a dolphin and a surfboard, which kids can ride and climb on. There's also a lifeguard shack but kids can only climb up the ramp leading to it, not play inside it. (Which is a bummer, dude.)
You can even watch the children without having to be inside the madness, as there are a few chairs and tables setup behind the play wall.
Elsewhere in the terminal to take the kids is The Bead Factory, where bracelets can be crafted in case of a flight delay, and a Sanrio Surprises store where the Hello Kitty obsessed can add to their collection. Do your best to steer clear of Kitson, otherwise you'll be loaded down with overpriced, but admittedly clever souvenirs.
For the adults, we recommend picking up a sandwich, any sandwich, at ink sack. from "Top Chef" alum Michael Voltaggio (his other restaurant, ink., is a top spot in LA proper.) So while you watch the kids yell "hee-haw" as the ride the dolphin in the playground, you can at least taste a bit of the finer life in LA.