Museums are a fantastic way to introduce your kids to a wide variety of topics, from dinosaurs to artwork and even race cars and movies. Luckily, Southern California is a haven of educational and exciting places to explore and learn, with Los Angeles museums being some of the most renowned in the country.
The Best Los Angeles Museums to Visit With Kids
Plan a day out of the ordinary and take a look at the best museums near you. Who knows? Maybe you can learn something new as well!
Looking for more museums to explore? Check out our guide to the best children’s museums in Los Angeles and Orange County.
Although the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is not strictly a children’s museum, it offers plenty of learning opportunities to kids with a penchant for artistry. LACMA’s free Youth Membership program allows entry for one parent to accompany a child, which means the art world is at your fingertips for free. The possibilities are endless—from art lessons and storytimes to exhibits like Metropolis II that seem as if they were created with kids in mind.
Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Natural History Museum
A quintessential Los Angeles day trip, the Natural History Museum is a portal that takes kids to the most wondrous adventures Earth has to offer. From colossal dinosaurs to tiny insects and rare gems, they will experience it all, with specific programs designed just for kids.
Address: 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007
California Science Center
Created solely to teach kids how to love science, California Science Center is a children’s museum that adults can enjoy with the same childlike wonder their kids do.
The museum’s ongoing exhibits and numerous programs ensure endless fun. Get reservations here.
Address: 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037
La Brea Tar Pits
Calling all future paleontologists! The La Brea Tar Pits is a fascinating active fossil excavation site right at the heart of Los Angeles that provides a glimpse into eras long gone. Mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and other native specimens are up for display, alongside plenty of programs and activities for kids.
Address: 5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
A thrilling children’s museum that encourages a hands-on approach to STEM studies, Discovery Cube has creative exhibitions, such as the Science of Hockey, Helicopter Tours, and the Planetary Research Station. Rotating special exhibits offer something exciting to explore with each new visit.
Los Angeles Location: 11800 Foothill Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342
Orange County Location: 2500 N Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
If your kiddo is a car enthusiast with a need for speed, a visit to the Petersen Automotive is a must-do. This unique museum focuses on the history of cars and displays over 100 vehicles across 25 exhibitions. Some of the most memorable exhibits include kid-favorite Lightning McQueen and one of the Batmobiles.
Address: 6060 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90036
The silver screen has a unique type of magic that has captured our hearts for decades. If your kid is fascinated by films, then the recently-opened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is an excellent choice.
Beyond education programs, some of the fascinating exhibitions available at the moment include a look at Hayao Miyazaki’s work in some of children’s most beloved Ghibli films. The museum also hosts Calm Mornings, designated hours to experience the museum in a less sensory-stimulating setting.
Address: 6067 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Cayton Children’s Museum
This children’s museum is a colorful world of exploration tailored for kids under ten years. It boasts over 30 exhibitions that foster developmental skills through a hands-on approach full of pretend play opportunities and imaginative learning activities. Favorites include the Animal Hospital, where kids can “heal” plushie animals, and the Fire Station.
Address: 395 Santa Monica Place, #374 Santa Monica, CA 90401
What is your family’s favorite museum visit? Share any we missed on our list in our Facebook group.