Are wheels and wings all your kiddo obsesses over? If your kids just can’t get enough of vehicles of all shapes, sizes, and types, you’re in luck. Los Angeles and the South Bay are both home to incredible experiences for kids of all ages who love trains, airplanes, boats, and cars. Check out our extensive list of things to do with kids below.
Fun Things to Do With Kids Who Love Airplanes, Trains, Boats & Cars
This aviation-themed unique food hall featuring six culinary kitchens is open for lunch and dinner. Dedicated to showcasing aviation’s past, present, and future, The Proud Bird features memorabilia from the original Proud Bird throughout the property through interactive aviation exhibits. The memorabilia will remain a tradition and will forever be part of The Proud Bird. You can also watch the planes landing at LAX while you eat.
Santa Monica Airport Viewing Platform
Pack some snacks and watch the Cessnas and other lightweight planes take off and land from the viewing area at the front of the runway. You can also get a good view of the sky from the Airport Park on the south side of the runway.
Grab some In & Out and walk across the street where you can sit and watch the planes take off and land at LAX. If you have a plane-loving tot, you can’t beat this view.
The Western Museum of Flight is a non-profit, educational institution dedicated to preserving and displaying aircraft history and artifacts of Southern California’s aviation heritage. The Western Museum of Flight’s collection includes numerous Warbirds, aircraft and target drones, piston and jet aircraft engines, aircraft components, ejection seats, World War II instruments, aircrew accessories, and an extensive model aircraft collection. The Air Museum’s educational programs allow kids to see and touch the airplanes that made aviation history. The Air Museum also offers an inside look at completed and in-progress aircraft restoration projects.
Redondo Beach Semi-Submarine “Looking Glass” Tour
The “Looking Glass” is a 19-passenger USCG inspected semi-submersible underwater viewing boat. It has over six tons of lead to sink the lower viewing area, with two seven-foot-long underwater picture windows.
Battleship USS Iowa Museum – Los Angeles
The Battleship IOWA, a historic U.S. Navy ship that once served in WWII and the Cold War, is now a Los Angeles landmark. The museum connects the stories and the legacy of the Battleship IOWA with future generations through interactive exhibits and educational programs.
Catalina Express takes you to Catalina Island in just an hour with year-round service and up to 30 daily departures. Boats depart ports in Long Beach, San Pedro, and Dana Point.
Take a tour around the Marina by WaterBus. There are eight stops throughout the marina. Hop aboard at any one and take a mini cruise for the afternoon. The WaterBus operates seasonally from June to September on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
This unique neighborhood museum features antique, vintage, and muscle cars. The Kids’ Area features cars and tracks to play with, as well as dress-up gear and mechanic tent for pretend play. Oh, and did we mention the Zimmerman also houses a 1950’s-themed old-school ice cream parlor?
The incredible history of the Los Angeles Fire Department is preserved through two museums, a photo archive, 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.
Petersen Automotive Museum – Los Angeles
A visit to the Petersen Automotive Museum is sure to be an incredible memory for junior car fanatics. The museum spans 150 thousand square feet of exhibition space for vehicles from 1900 to today’s modern models. The collection of over 400 cars, including a Batmobile and Marty McFly’s DeLorean, will mesmerize young visitors.
Los Angeles Police Museum – Los Angeles
Exhibiting the history of the LAPD, with armored cars, radios, badges, plus interactive programs.
Travel Town Museum – Los Angeles
Located in the northwest corner of Griffith Park, this enchanting museum is the perfect place to visit with kids who love all things trains. Climb aboard and explore several old train cars on display. The Miniature Train Ride runs daily and takes visitors on a full circle tour of the museum grounds.
Irvine Park Railroad is a 1/3 scale train that takes kids and adults on a ride through the beautiful and historic Irvine Regional Park. Located in the foothills of Orange, Irvine Park Railroad is open seven days a week (weather permitting).
The mini-train rides have become a popular feature of Wilson Park. SCLS provides free train rides twice a month on the first Sunday and third Saturday of each month and on special occasions.
Museum exploring the history of steam trains, featuring engines and other cars, plus tours and events.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can jump on the Metrolink train and go on an excursion. Leave your car, skip the weekend traffic, and ride Metrolink with the $10 Weekend Day Pass. Valid system-wide on either Saturday or Sunday.