Since school is out, have you been wondering where you should go for the summer? Local Anchor has compiled a list of a few social distanced places for kids in Southern California that is fun for the whole family.
We created this list with the most recent information we can find. This situation changes daily, so please contact the venue directly to get additional information and verify they are still open. Many of the following locations also require advanced reservations and that you wear a face mask to enter. Click on the official websites we’ve provided for more information.
Social Distanced Places for Kids in Southern California
Gardens / Farms in Southern California
South Coast Botanic Garden (Palos Verdes, CA)
This 87 acre botanical garden has a variety of plants from plants native to the state of California to cacti and succulents in other parts of the world. Some parts of the park are closed off due to social distancing, but there’s still a lot to explore if you decide to visit. Advanced reservation and protective face coverings are required.
Tanaka Farm (Irvine, CA)
If you want some sweet, juicy strawberries this summer, you can head to Tanaka Farms to pick strawberries. You and your family can walk out to the strawberry fields and have 30 minutes to pick strawberries right off the vine. Tanaka Farms is following CDC regulations and doing their best to limit crowds. Pre-registration is required as they will not accept walk-ups or on-site registration.
Underwood Farms (Moorpark, CA)
Want some local grown produce? Head to Underwood Farms where you can pick your own fruits and vegetables while staying socially distant. However, the Animal Center is currently closed, but there’s a virtual tours. Masks are required to enter and there’s also a location in Somis, CA.
La Arboretum (Arcadia, CA)
La Arboretum is a 127 acre botanical garden with historical buildings, various plants, and even wildlife. Events, classes, and tours are currently suspended until further notice. If you aren’t a member of La Arboretum, you must buy tickets in advanced and wear a mask to enter the garden.
The Madrona Marsh Preserve is one of the last remaining vernal freshwater marshes in LA County. It’s an ecological area which is now open with restricted hours. If you want to visit, you must make an appointment by phone and can only set up a group appointment if you live in the same household. The Preserve is currently limiting the number of people and practicing social distancing. Protective face equipment required.
Descanso Gardens (La Cañada Flintridge, CA)
Twenty minutes away from downtown L.A. resides Descanso Gardens which is 150 acres of garden, woodland, and chaparral. Currently, they are limiting guests and if you’re not a member, you must buy tickets with timed entry in advanced as no tickets will be sold at the garden.
Historical Landmarks / Sightseeing in Southern California
Irvine Park Railroad (Orange, CA)
If your kids love sightseeing, consider going on the Irvine Park Railroad. It’s a train ride that explores throughout the Irvine Regional Park. But that’s not all because they recently reopened their bike and paddle boat rentals. The staff at Irvine Park Railroad are wiping it down after each use and maintaining social distancing standards. Meanwhile, Orange County Zoo is closed until further notice.
Casa Romantica (San Clemente, CA)
Casa Romantica is a historical landmark in Orange County with Spanish influences. Currently, they recently reopened with a limited number of occupancy in the 2.5 acre area. Self-guided tours only and visitors must wear face covering.
Battleship USS Iowa Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
The Battleship USS Iowa Museum is a historical LA landmark and maritime museum. The USS Iowa was a battleship involved in World War 2, the Korean Conflict, and the Cold War. Currently, they are open and having limited outdoor tours, while maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Campsites / Travel Destinations in Southern California
Big Bear (Big Bear Lake, CA)
Big Bear is a tourist attraction 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, residing high in the San Bernardino Mountains. Once you’re up there, you could go hiking, fishing, camping, and so much more. If you’re interested in hiking, check out their blog post on easy hikes around Big Bear. Also, if you do consider going to Big Bear, check out their Visitor Checklist for the most recent information about which businesses/activities are opening up.
This tourist destination located in Riverside County has naturally occurring hot mineral springs. However, there is much more to do considering the saunas are currently closed. Other things you could do is go explore the great outdoors by hiking, rock climbing, and horseback riding. A few of the places that you hike at are Big Morongo Canyon, Coachella Valley Preserves, Indian Canyons. Also, Joshua Tree National Park is located in Desert Hot Springs, which we will talk about next!
Want to camp in the desert wilderness? A few hours from Los Angeles resides Joshua Tree National Park. It’s open year around and is about 800,000 acres tall. Even with the visitor center close, you can still go hiking as there are many hiking trails. Also, you can camp out with your family at the park if you wish.
Located in San Bernardino county, Lake Arrowhead is a town famous for its lake. It’s another hot spot for outdoor activities. If you want to go to Lake Arrowhead Village, which is a popular tourist hub for dining and entertainment, do check out this page for more information on which places are currently reopening.
As of June 12, Santa Barbara, CA is now open for leisure travel. If you want to explore the outdoors, there’s so much you can do. You could go on a hiking trail, go to the beach, or go to one of their many parks. For more information about where to hike in Santa Barbara, click here.
If you want to camp or hike in a more secluded area, considering going to Green Valley Lake. It’s 90 minutes away from Los Angeles county, where you spend time in nature. However, the lake itself isn’t open at the moment for swimming purposes. For updates about the lake, check this website for more information
Mojave, CA is a secluded small desert community. There are many parks to visit like Red Rock Canyon State Park and if you do go explore, you can find fields of flowers, fun rocks, and wildlife like lizards running around. If you want more locations to visit in Mojave, click here.