Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
||Los Angeles, CA|
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All the family will enjoy a visit to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. It is a museum filled with exhibits about Ronald Reagan's life and events that occurred during his presidency. Little kids will enjoy toddling around the colorful rooms, while older kids can read exhibits and watch films about interesting events. The exhibits are beautifully presented and the museum itself is in a gorgeous building surrounded by panoramic views. No expense has been spared in making this a sparkling production.
As you drive up the driveway you are greeted by flags with pictures of various presidents. At the top of the hill you enjoy landscaped gardens and views all around. The Spanish-style building with large courtyard and fountain awaits you, and pots of flowers add to the color. A statue of Ronald Reagan in a friendly cowboy pose stands outside the front door. Once inside everything looks very formal and presidential. You learn about Reagan's life growing up, his military and movie career, how he met Nancy Reagan, and how one day he was almost assassinated. It is touching to see throughout the museum how he cared for Nancy Reagan.
A huge impressive room with a wall of windows displays Air Force One and a wall of flags that tells about Reagan's foreign visits. You can go inside Air Force One, which really just smells like an old airplane. Kids will enjoy walking on the bottom level of this exhibit where there's a Marine One helicopter and a limousine. Afterwards you can head to the oval office, which meticulously resembles the room as it was during Reagan's presidency. Of course there's a jar of jelly beans on the side table! They even give kids jelly beans at the cafeteria!
There is a lovely exhibit that details the fancy the dinner parties Nancy and Ronald threw and displays gifts from around the world that were given to them by foreign leaders. An exhibit about Nancy and Ronald's ranch and their enjoyment paddling on Lucky Lake is cute.
Walk outside and you will see a beautiful chunk of the Berlin wall (shown above) that inspires hope (goodness sometimes conquers). Ronald Reagan's grave site is quite stark but has a nice quote written across it.
The gardens are replicated after the White House's South Lawn- simple lines created by grass and pointed hedges. There is a cafeteria with good food, which opens at 11am. You can eat outside with sweeping views over avocado farms, ranches, and barren land to the ocean. It's a great way to end your visit!
Plan about two hours or more for your visit.
If you need a playground for your kids after you visit, head over to Rancho Madera Community Park, a large park with lush lawn, deciduous trees, a toddler play structure and a big kids play structure with tall twisty tunnel slides.
If you are super interested in Reagan and his daily routines, you can visit the Reagan Ranch Center on the main street in Santa Barbara, to learn a little more about him. There isn't that much there, and kids won't like it, but for diehard fans, it could be interesting.
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Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is located at 40 Presidential Dr, Simi Valley CA 93065, call (805) 522-2977.
Exit Highway 101 at Highway 23 North. Exit Highway 23 at Olsen Rd and turn right on Olsen Rd. After about 2 minutes, turn left on Presidential Drive. There are plenty of signs to show you the way.
The museum is open from 10-5 daily except Jan 1, Thanksgiving (fourth Thurs in Nov), and Dec 25. There is free parking. Cost is $21 for adults, $18 for seniors, $15 for children aged 11-17, and $6 for children aged 3-10.
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Overall Visitor Rating:
|It is amazing how much there is to see and read. We were thrilled by the new info and perspectives. It is so rare to find such a nice "library"|
|We might just have to plan a trip out there- your photos and descriptions made it sound/look quite interesting.|