Just another perl hacker somewhere near Disneyland
The Griffith Observatory had been closed for the last four years, and I hadn't been to it in probably over 30 years, so it seemed like a good time to go there on a family outing. About the only thing I remember from my previous visit was the Tesla Coil, and it was still there, and they still don't push the button to make the lightning go nearly often enough
The view from the observatory is great, even greater on a clear day, but good luck with getting a clear day in LA. Even so, you could see Downtown and beyond, though if it were a better day you should be able to see the ocean.
I had never seen a planetarium show before, so we stood in line for tickets, which cost extra and were first come/first served. Every couple of hours, they would start a line to buy tickets for the next two shows, so at 3:30 there was a line to buy tickets for the 4:15 and 5:15 shows. We bought the very last tickets for the 5:15 show, so that was awesome (and we did not want to stay any later for the next shows). And during the show, even though you knew the big bang was coming, it startled you anyway.
It was funny how some of the coolest things (besides the tesla coil) were the most low-tech, like the sundial out in front of the building, and plaques with the planet names spaced out on the sidewalk proportionally to their distance from the sun, with their orbits etched in the concrete. Mercury through Jupiter were pretty close together (right in front of the building), but Pluto (and which the observatory's official stance is that it is still a planet as far as they're concerned) was way out past the sundial (and the monument on the homepage).
I was feeling claustrophobic at the beginning of the day, but my wife overheard one of the employees saying that this was the least crowded day since the reopening, and that "at least you could move around."