15 Best Things to Do in Bellflower, CA

Bellflower, CA
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The city of Bellflower is situated in southeast Los Angeles County.

Founded in 1906, the area was previously rich farmland irrigated by floodwaters from the San Gabriel River.

Local businessman F.E. Woodrow established the first municipality on the site, initially naming it Somerset.

However, some residents opposed the name, saying it could easily get confused for Somerset, Colorado.

The town was then renamed Bellflower, after the abundant bellflower apples in the area.

Dutch, Japanese, and Portuguese dairy farmers were the town’s first settlers, but the subsequent increase in property values during World War II drove them several miles to the east.

After its incorporation in the 1950s, developments followed suit and the once-farming community became a residential suburb.

Here are the best things to do in Bellflower, California:

Marvel at Restored 1950s Firefighting Equipment at the Los Angeles County Fire Museum

Exterior view of the Los Angeles County Fire Museum
Los Angeles County Fire Museum, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Bellflower Boulevard is the Los Angeles County Fire Museum.

The public museum aims to preserve the rich history of the Los Angeles County Fire Department through exhibits that feature photographs, artifacts, and firefighting equipment collected in the last century.

It boasts a collection of 60 antique fire engines, including horse-drawn steam fire engines that date back to the department’s establishment in the early 1920s.

Also included in the display are vintage Model T fire engines, the “Disneyland” fire engine, and several pieces of equipment from the 1950s up to recently retired ones.

The Los Angeles County Fire Museum has its own restoration facility that isn’t open to the public, but visitors still get a chance to view restored rigs as the museum has them displayed on rotation.

Play Outdoor Paintball and Soft-Pellet Tag at the Hollywood Sports Park

Located on Somerset Boulevard is the Hollywood Sports Park.

The outdoor recreation venue is a popular spot for paintball, soft-pellet tag, and rock wall climbing.

Groups of up to 10 can book the Paintball Platinum Package which already includes gun and mask rental, vests, and 1,600 paintballs for each participant.

There’s also a 3-hour Airsoft session where participants are given 2 bags of plastic pellets to share within the group, as well as a private referee to facilitate the game.

For kids ages 5 and up, there’s the ultra-low impact Gellyattack and Paintballsoft 4 Kids that make use of lightweight equipment and ammo.

Live out your special agent dream and play outdoor paintball at the Hollywood Sports Park.

Catch A Live Comedy Act at The Stand Up Comedy Club

Located on Belmont Street is The Stand Up Comedy Club.

The comedy bar hosts up-and-coming acts in an intimate setting, giving the audience the chance to interact with the artists.

Every night, The Stand Up Comedy Club presents a rotation of comedic acts, so no two shows are the same.

Wednesday nights are Open Mic Nights, where amateur comedians and aspiring entertainers gather to show off their wares to an enthusiastic crowd.

While enjoying some good laughs, order from a selection of bar favorites that include nachos, pulled pork sliders, and baby back ribs.

The Club also has a great selection of beers, handcrafted cocktails, and other spirits.

Take the Kids to Pirate Park

Located on Bellflower Boulevard is a pirate-themed children’s playground called Pirate Park.

The 4000-square-foot park is fully enclosed and is targeted toward preschoolers and Kindergarten-age kids.

It has a pirate ship replica where kids can play pretend they’re pirates on a voyage to a secluded island.

Pirate Park also features a skull cave, a fort, a climbing bridge, and a treasure chest to complete the pirate experience.

Do note, though, that there are no benches in the area, so you can just join in the fun and play with your young ones.

There are restaurants near the park for when the kids get tired and hungry from playing all day long.

Get a Slab of Prime Rib at Chris’ & Pitt’s BBQ Restaurant

Located on Artesia Boulevard is Chris’ & Pitt’s BBQ Restaurant.

The restaurant has been serving original recipes and Texas-style wood-fired barbecue since 1940.

The family-owned and operated restaurant was founded by Chris Pelonis in a defunct dry-cleaning shop on Tweedy Boulevard in Lynwood.

Starting with just a $ 2,000 capital loaned to him by his father, Chris experimented with the recipe and finally came up with his signature blend of spices.

Today, Chris’ & Pitt’s BBQ Restaurant has two locations in Downey and Bellflower serving hickory-smoked barbecues, steaks, and more.

One of the must-tries is the Baby Back Ribs that’s been smoked for hours until fall-off-the-bone tender.

The Brady cut prime rib and the prime rib sandwich are also crowd favorites.

No trip to Chris’ is complete without a side order of salad with house-made blue cheese dressing.

Spend the Afternoon Learning at the Clifton M. Brakensiek Library

Exterior view of the Clifton M. Brakensiek Library
YonderStone, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on E. Flower Street is the Clifton M. Brakensiek Community Library.

Housed inside the Bellflower Civic Center, the 21,240-square-foot facility boasts an expansive collection of adult and children’s books, currently around 141,177.

First opened in 1914, the library relocated four times before finding its permanent home on land donated by Clifton M. Brakensiek, MD, its namesake.

The Clifton M. Brakensiek Library is the first community library to use the online circulation system in 1989 which made cataloging and managing its book collection easier.

What started with only 412 books and 213 registered cardholders has ballooned to over 200,000 and 40,000, respectively, in a span of a century.

The library also has more than 6,000 audio recordings, 7,500 video recordings, and almost 200 newspaper and magazine subscriptions in both English and Spanish.

Grab Authentic Thai Food at Jazz Melody Thai BBQ

Located on Bellflower Boulevard is the Thai restaurant Jazz Melody Thai BBQ.

It serves home-style cooking in an eatery-like atmosphere, reminiscent of hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Thailand.

The interior is decorated with trinkets and various knickknacks and on the walls hang framed photos and news clippings.

One of the best-sellers is the Pad Thai made with bouncy rice noodles tossed in a special peanut sauce and topped with fresh vegetables and prawns.

The Khao Soi or coconut curry noodle soup is perfect on rainy days when you’re craving a bowl of hearty soup.

Other must-tries at Jazz Melody Thai BBQ include Beef Salad, Thai Fried Rice, and Spicy Basil.

If you’re craving authentic, home-cooked Thai food, head on to Jazz Melody Thai BBQ.

Watch High-Flying Skaters at the Ruth R. Caruthers Park

Located on E. Flora Vista Street is Ruth R. Caruthers Park.

The 20-acre outdoor recreation facility has plenty of open spaces for sports-minded people wanting to break a sweat.

It has lighted baseball and softball fields that have well-manicured grass as well as tennis, basketball, volleyball, and handball courts for some team bonding activities.

The park also has a 2-mile fitness course, outdoor exercise machines, and a 2.5-mile biking trail if you want to stay fit while on vacation.

On the other side of Ruth R. Caruthers Park is a skate park complete with obstacles, where you can witness high-flying skaters do some tricks.

And if you feel like being adventurous, you can try your hand at skating, too.

Try Fronk's Restaurant and Sports Bar’s Pulled Pork

Located on Bellflower Boulevard is Fronk's Restaurant and Sports Bar.

The restaurant and grill serves classic American bites, including burgers, barbecue, sandwiches, and chicken wings.

Complete with large TV screens tuned in to your favorite sports, Fronk's Restaurant and Sports Bar is known for its retro vibe and the friendly atmosphere among sports fans.

One of its most famous dishes is the Pulled Pork Nachos made with crispy seasoned tortilla chips and topped with slow-roasted pulled pork, two types of cheeses, and house-made salsa.

The Pulled Pork Sammy is another must-try on the menu, made with Fronk’s specialty pulled pork and smothered with homemade barbecue sauce.

Other best-sellers include American-Pacific Rim-inspired baby back ribs, handcrafted burgers, and Mac ‘n Cheese.

Have Brunch at Uncle Bud's Kitchen

Located on Clark Ave #5202 is a popular brunch spot, Uncle Bud's Kitchen.

The restaurant has been serving homemade food for over 50 years and has become an institution in the city.

Uncle Bud’s Kitchen is known for its fluffy pancakes that you can enjoy with a Lumberjack Omelet or just on their own.

Another must-try is the Corned Beef Hash Eggs Benedict served on an English muffin and slathered with house-made hollandaise sauce.

The French Toast is also perfect to pair with an omelet and sausage for a balance of sweet and savory flavors.

And if you’re looking for a big breakfast, get the Early Bird platter which consists of 2 pancakes, 2 eggs, and 2 slices of bacon or sausage.

Things to Do Nearby:

Go Under the Sea at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Ray fish at Aquarium of the Pacific
Nandaro, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Aquarium Way, Long Beach 15 minutes from Bellflower is the Aquarium of the Pacific.

The 5-acre public aquarium boasts a collection of more than 11,000 animals from over 500 species of sea life that can be found in the Pacific.

It’s divided into 3 major permanent galleries: the Southern California and Baja Gallery, the Northern Pacific Gallery, and the Tropical Pacific Gallery.

Sculpture of a whale at Aquarium of the Pacific
Eric Kilby, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Southern California and Baja Gallery features animals that live in and around the waters of the Catalina Island and the Gulf of California.

The Northern Pacific Gallery houses species from the Bering Sea, including the giant Pacific octopus and southern sea otters.

Aquarium of the Pacific’s Tropical Gallery, meanwhile, focuses on animals found in the islands of Palau.

Jelly Fish at Aquarium of the Pacific
Srishti Sethi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go On A Date at the Paramount Drive-In Theatres

Located on Rosecrans Avenue, Paramount 9 minutes outside Bellflower is the Paramount Drive-In Theatres.

The theatre shows first-run movies on two 75-foot screens using Barco Digital Laser projection and FM radio sound.

First opened in 1947, the Paramount Drive-In Theatres is one of the only few remaining in Southern California, so don’t miss the chance of having a romantic date night here.

There’s a full snack bar on the grounds, but you can also bring your own food and drinks (except alcohol).

You can watch inside your car or bring out chairs and watch from the bed of your truck.

Ride the Timber Mountain Log at Knott's Berry Farm

Rides at Knott's Berry Farm
Jeremy Thompson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Beach Boulevard, Buena Park 11 minutes away from Bellflower is Knott's Berry Farm.

The 57-acre theme park features over 40 rides, 10 of which are roller coasters.

It began as a berry stand along State Route 39 until a restaurant and shops were built to cater to the growing number of visitors.

Loop ride at Knott's Berry Farm
The Phoenix Enforcer at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Over the next 20 years or so, the park continued its development, adding rides, concessions, and other attractions to what was previously a stall selling berries.

Included in Knott’s Barry Farm’s popular rides is the Timber Mountain Log, a log flume that first opened in 1969.

Other popular attractions include the Silver Bullet, the wooden rollercoaster GhostRider, and the Sky Cabin.

Learn About NASA Space Programs at Columbia Memorial Space Center

Located on Columbia Way, Downey 7 minutes away from Bellflower is Columbia Memorial Space Center.

The space museum and activity center aims to promote science, technology, engineering, and space by showcasing Downey’s own aviation history.

It’s housed in the former site of the Boeing/Rockwell/North American plant that saw the births of the Space Shuttle and the Apollo Command Service Modules.

The 20,000-square-foot and 2-story facility contains a robotics lab, a high-tech computer lab, and several interactive displays featuring the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.

The Columbia Memorial Space Center also has exhibits on solar system explorations and aerospace engineering, as well as several boilerplates on display.

Experience Themed Dining at Pirates Dinner Adventure

Performance at Pirates Dinner Adventure
Ingrid from Berkeley, CA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Beach Boulevard, Buena Park 10 minutes away from Bellflower is Pirates Dinner Adventure.

The interactive dinner show is done in an 18th century Spanish galleon replica, with costumed entertainers performing aerial stunts, acrobatics, and swordplay.

The ship “floats” inside a 250,000-gallon lagoon to complete the pirate experience.

Throughout the live-action show, you will be treated to a visual spectacle that involves noises, strobes, special effects lighting, pyrotechnics, and more than 150 performers.

Tickets to the Pirates Dinner Adventure already include a 3-course dinner served during the main show.

Final Thoughts:

Bellflower is a city that has maintained its small-town vibe despite rapid development.

The tightness of the community is evident in the number of public parks, local restaurants, and outdoor recreation spaces that promote interaction among its residents.

So, if you want to experience the warmness of this community, try the best things to do in Bellflower on your next vacation.

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