The best way to experience the city of Los Angeles is through your child’s eyes. We have compiled 40+ of the best things to do in Los Angeles with kids. LA is a great city for families, and there are so many fun things to do. Whether you’re looking for something educational or just want to go on a fun adventure, this list of activities has it all!
If you are looking for fun places to go with family and looking to adventure out of the South Bay or looking for more ideas, check out our Fun Things To Do section of our website or our local event calendar – Both updated often!
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40 FUN THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS IN LOS ANGELES
The weather in Los Angeles makes the city ideal to visit and enjoy year round. Our list of things to do in Los Angeles with kids includes a variety of both indoor activities and outdoor activities. From theme parks to science centers and world-famous Malibu, we have picks that will keep kids of all ages entertained.
Los Angeles Zoo
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is home to animals from all over the globe, with more than 400 species represented on 3200 acres. The LA Zoo features exciting, hands-on educational activities for kids, fun adventurous animal exhibits and encounters, and an awesome carousel.
Recommended: Guide to Southern California Zoo & Aquariums
Cayton Children’s Museum
This children’s museum is a colorful world of exploration tailored for kids under ten years. It features over 30 hands-on exhibits full of pretend play opportunities and imaginative learning activities. Favorites include the Animal Hospital, where kids can “heal” plushie animals, and the Fire Station.
Recommended: Best Children’s Museums in Los Angeles & Orange County
Take a Day Trip to Malibu
Malibu is known for it’s beautiful beaches and it doesn’t disappoint. From the family-friendly Zuma to the tide pools of Surfrider beach, there’s plenty to explore with kids. Malibu Country Mart is the perfect spot to stop for a bite and shopping. There’s even a small playground to keep the kids entertained while you eat.
Recommended: Southern California’s Best Beaches for Families
Take a trip to Long Beach and check out this historic ocean liner. The Queen Mary has been host to celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and President Harry S Truman. There are also plenty of fun activities in the area for kids.
Take a Ride at a Skate Park
Do your bigger kids love their wheels? Take them for a spin.
The Proud Bird Food Bazaar & Events Center
The Proud Bird is a restaurant and catering company that offers affordable, family-friendly dining experiences. It’s also a favorite spot for events ranging from holiday parties to baby showers and weddings.
A visit to the Griffith Observatory is easily one of the best things to do in LA. Griffith Observatory is a Los Angeles landmark and Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos. Visitors can explore exhibits about astronomy as well as live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium that are sure to please any science enthusiast. Guests looking for a scenic view of LA will also not be disappointed with Griffith Park’s incredible views from its observatory windows or even better yet – outside on top of the iconic Hollywood sign overlooking all of L.A
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is located in what was the heart of historic Rancho Santa Anita. Located just east of Pasadena, this unique 127-acre garden houses a variety of plant species from around the world. Walk through gardens filled with trees towering up to 50 feet high and manicured lawns lined with colorful flowers.
Recommended: Botanical Gardens in Southern California
Kidspace Children’s Museum
Kidspace is a nonprofit museum designed to delight and engage kids emotionally, intellectually, and physically through joyful experiences. Children are welcome to explore interactive exhibits with curiosity while learning about their community in an engaging way.
Recommended: The Best Museums For Kids In L.A.
Universal Studios Hollywood
When planning things to do in Los Angeles with kids, a day at Universal Studios Hollywood is sure to top the list! Get ready for the ultimate Hollywood experience with an action-packed day of entertainment all in one place: Universal Studios. With thrilling theme park rides and shows, a real working movie studio, Los Angeles’ best shops at CityWalk, and cinemas – it is time to make your way here.
Recommended: Guide to Southern California Amusement Parks
City Walk at Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal CityWalk is the entertainment and retail district located adjacent to all of Universal’s theme parks. It was started as just an expansion from their first park, but it has since grown into a huge tourist destination in its own right with restaurants and shops galore!
Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier
Pacific Park is a family-friendly amusement park that has 12 thrilling rides, including the West Coaster and Pacific Wheel, the first solar-powered Ferris wheel in Southern California. Millions of visitors each year enjoy all the games and fun you’d expect from one of America’s most iconic entertainment destinations, as well as their trademark shops and restaurants by the shoreline.
Take a Day Trip to Long Beach
Long Beach, located on the Pacific Ocean, is one of the most diverse and picturesque coasts in Southern California. With a wide variety of activities to do, it’s no wonder that many people flock to this area for vacationing or living year-round. Pay a visit to the RMS Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific with touch tanks and shark lagoon exhibits, or the Museum of Latin American Art, which features modern contemporary artwork from both North and South America. Another fun way to spend time here is by exploring Rancho Los Cerritos.
Recommended: Fun Things to Do with Kids in Long Beach
La Brea Tar Pits & Museum
There’s nothing quite like the La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park/Mid-Wilshire. Part museum, part active paleontological dig, this place is a must-visit for kids who really “dig” cretaceous critters.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
If a theme park is what you’re looking for, you have to spend a day at Six Flags Magic Mountain and go on the Road Runner Express roller coaster. Experience Southern California’s most thrilling theme park that features over 100 exciting rides, shows, and attractions. This is a fun-filled day the whole family will enjoy.
California Science Center
The California Science Center is a world-class educational resource with hands-on, interactive exhibits.. Home to the Space Shuttle Endeavour, California Science Center is ranked among the top 10 most visited museums in North America (and for good reason!). This center’s well known for its engaging exhibit programming that encourages visitors to explore science more closely while also teaching them about its impact on our everyday lives.
Aquarium of the Pacific – formerly the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific
The Aquarium of the Pacific (formerly the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific) is one of the world’s largest aquariums with more than 12,000 species on display. Meet playful penguins, adorable sea otter, seals, and so much more!
El Capitan Theater in Hollywood
Originally opened in 1926, the El Capitan Theatre is a historic movie palace complete with a live Wurlitzer organ once used to accompany silent films. These days the theater is home to all Disney theatrical releases accompanied by live stage shows and other family-friendly activities.
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is a stunningly exquisite cultural hub that has been open to the public since 1928. The three pillars of this establishment are designed specifically for different but equally important purposes: educational research; conservation through art appreciation; and preservation of natural beauty.
Petersen Automotive Museum
When you visit the Petersen Automotive Museum, your junior car fanatics will be enchanted by the collection of over 400 cars. The museum spans one full city block and has 150 thousand square feet of exhibition space for vehicles that date back to 1900 up through today’s modern models.
Recommended: All things Planes, Trains, Boats & Automobiles
Take one step inside Tongva Park in Santa Monica and you’ll find it hard to believe that this 6-acre urban oasis was a flat asphalt parking lot just a few short years ago. Tongva features a modern, urban playground with a natural aesthetic set against the stunning backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.
Recommended: The Best Parks and Playgrounds In Los Angeles
La Habra Children’s Museum
There’s a museum for kids in Southern California that stands as an example of the importance of play. Through engaging exhibits, kids learn skills at their own pace and express creativity through all sorts of different activities.
The Los Angeles Fire Department Museum – Hollywood & San Pedro
Preserving the incredible history of the Los Angeles Fire Department through two museums, photo archives, the fireboat Ralph J. Scott, and the William Rolland Firefighter Educational Institute. The museum houses old fire engines and fire apparatus, some dating from the 1880s.
Descanso Gardens, located in the city of La Cañada Flintridge, features 160 acres of lush landscape to explore. The botanical garden includes a massive rose garden, a camellia garden, a Japanese garden, an oak forest, a lakeside hiking trail, an art museum, a miniature train, and more.
World of Illusions Museum
World of Illusions in Los Angeles is the perfect destination for families, offering four unique experiences. The Giant’s House, Museum of Illusions, Upside Down House, and Smash It will transport you to a world of fantasy and imagination. The family-friendly environment is perfect for all ages.
The Original Farmers Market at the Grove
With over 100 grocers, shops, and eateries, this iconic landmark is a unique experience for locals and visitors alike.
IMAX – California Science Center
Imagine what you could do with an IMAX Theater. You can transport yourself to new worlds, and engage in endless colors and soul-stirring sounds all while experiencing the latest movie magic! Thanks to the state-of-the-art theater designed for immersive experiences, you’ll be drawn into the action like never before as your favorite character or story unfolds on screen through next generation 12-channel surround sound system coupled with 7-story tall screens.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium promises an experience unlike any other and provides visitors with both physical processes as well as educational programs for those looking to learn more about Southern California’s oceans and marine life.
Madame Tussauds Hollywood
Madame Tussauds Hollywood is the ninth museum in a franchise founded by sculptor Marie Tussaud. It is located on Hollywood Boulevard and it’s just west of the world-famous Chinese Theatre.
Discovery Cube Los Angeles
If you’re looking for educational things to do with kids in Los Angeles, Discovery Cube is a must-do. The Discovery Cube features hands-on science exhibits that aim to challenge and inspire kids.
In addition to being the home of the LA Zoo, Griffith Observatory and Travel Town Museum, Griffith Park features miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, and provides visitors an ideal environment for enjoyable recreation activities.
Travel Town Museum
If you’ve got a young train lover, then a visit to The Travel Town Museum is an absolute must. Located in picturesque Griffith Park, the outdoor museum is free to visit. Climb aboard and explore several old train cars on display. The Miniature Train Ride runs daily at 10:00 am for a small fee to ride (except Thanksgiving & Christmas Day).
WB Studios Tour
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is a guided and walk-through studio tour of Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank in Los Angeles that offers visitors the chance to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes over an engaging two-hour period with other fans or even celebrities from new TV shows coming out soon!
Heal the Bay Aquarium, formerly Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Under the Santa Monica Pier, come see what Heal the Bay’s work is all about: Protecting people and animals who call the bay home. With over 100 local species on exhibit, hands-on activities for small fries, and daily educational programs – you can immerse yourself in marine science without getting wet!
Noahs Ark Exhibit at the Skirball
Aboard Noah’s Ark at the Skirball, visitors of all generations play and climb while exploring this floor-to-ceiling wooden ark. The animals and activities inside are whimsical and inspiring.
Echo Park Lake
Echo Park Lake is a hidden gem worth exploring. With the new Swan Boats, you can explore the lake in an entirely unique way! Rated one of the best activities in LA, Echo park’s pedal boats are great for outdoor exploration.
Kenneth State Hahn Park
Kenneth Hahn State Park has a plethora of activities for children and adults alike. There are playgrounds, 100 tables in many different picnic areas around the park, a half basketball court, and a multi-purpose field that can be used as a soccer or lacrosse field depending on the time of year. The Japanese Garden also features an interactive water feature where kids will love to play with the stream/waterfall. Kenneth State Hahn Park is where it’s at when you want fun-filled outdoor things to do in Los Angeles with children.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA) preserves 4.5 billion years’ worth of biodiversity, which is the first step in conservation efforts. This museum has specimens dating back to our planet’s earliest days and offers some unique opportunities for visitors to learn about this fascinating history firsthand through its exhibits. Dinosaurs, animals, insects, glittering gems and more await!
The Gentle Barn
You haven’t really lived until you’ve experienced a cow hug at the Gentle Barn. Located approximately 30 miles north of Los Angeles in Santa Clarita, the farm features large horse and cow pastures, a red and white barnyard for the smaller animals, an organic vegetable garden, lots of shade trees, and a panoramic view of gorgeous mountains. There are over one hundred and seventy rescued animals that are safe and happy at The Gentle Barn, and there is plenty of room to welcome their visitors and the children they host.
Recommended: Best Kid Friendly Farms Near Los Angeles
Annenberg Beach House
The Beach House is a unique community destination. With spectacular views, a pool, splash pad, playground, gallery, beach courts & fields, community and cultural events, and more, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
Battleship USS Iowa Museum
The USS Iowa Museum is located in Los Angeles. It’s a hub for education and interactive ideas that connect the past with future generations. The museum has immersive exhibits, educational programs like tours and lectures, as well as innovative new technology to keep kids engaged so they can learn about America’s history too.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Walk amongst the stars of Hollywood. This historic landmark has more than 2,700 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalk along 18 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.
Grab Lunch at Grand Central Market
Grand Central Market has been a downtown Los Angeles landmark since 1917. It is the oldest such market on the West Coast and brings together cuisines and cultures from all over Southern California. This is a great place for the kids to try something new!
Cool Off at a Splash Pad or Wading Pool
An afternoon at a splash pad is a terrific way to beat the summer heat. There are numerous splash pads in the Los Angeles area. One of our favorites is the wading pool at Holly Glen Park in Hawthorne.
Recommended: The Coolest Splash Pads and Pools Around LA
What are your favorite things to do in Los Angeles with kids?