Los Angeles, the city of dreams and sunshine, is a paradise for family adventures. With its diverse range of attractions, it offers a vibrant palette of fun, education, and memories that last a lifetime. From theme parks with exhilarating rides to museums that make learning fun and interactive, the list of things to do is seemingly endless. The city’s sunny weather also provides the perfect backdrop for a multitude of outdoor activities. Whether it’s soaking in the sun on Venice Beach, hiking in Griffith Park, or having a picnic by the Getty Center, there’s never a dull moment in LA.
For those planning a visit to this vibrant city with their kids, the task of narrowing down which attractions to visit can be quite daunting. However, there’s no need to worry because we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together an extensive list of the 30 best things to do with kids in Los Angeles, ensuring a balanced mix of both popular attractions and hidden gems that families are sure to enjoy. We’ve taken into account fun, learning, and above all, the potential to create lasting memories for you and your kids.
1. World of Illusions
Kicking off our list is the World of Illusions, an absolute must-visit place to take your kids in LA. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, this unique attraction consists of four distinct exhibits that will leave you and your kids amazed.
The first exhibit, the Museum of Illusions, features a stunning array of 3D paintings that leap off the walls. Your children will be thrilled to interact with these optical illusion artworks, providing not just fun but also a touch of education about perspective and perception.
The second exhibit is the Upside Down House, comprising seven rooms where everything is topsy-turvy. Here, you can walk on the ceiling, adding a whimsical twist to reality that your children will absolutely love. Next, step into the Giant’s House, where you’re surrounded by enormous everyday objects – a fascinating way to see the world from a different perspective.
The final exhibit, Smash It, allows visitors to safely smash plates against the wall, a perfect opportunity for some stress relief. At a starting price of $30 for adults and $20 for kids, the World of Illusions offers a day full of excitement and fun, making it a standout among LA attractions.
2. Griffith Observatory
Perched atop Mount Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory is one of LA’s iconic landmarks and an excellent place to take your kids. They will be thrilled to explore the universe through the Zeiss telescope, the largest public telescope in the world, offering enchanting views of the stars and planets. The observatory also hosts interactive exhibits and live shows that present complicated astronomy concepts in an engaging, accessible manner.
3. LA Zoo
Set in Griffith Park, the LA Zoo is home to more than 1,400 animals, making it a paradise for young animal lovers and a great place to take your kids in Los Angeles. From the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles) to the Rainforest of the Americas, the zoo provides an exciting journey through various habitats.
4. Natural History Museum
Located in Exposition Park, the Natural History Museum boasts a wide range of exhibits and is another fantastic place to take kids in LA. Dinosaur Hall is a favorite among kids, showcasing T-Rex and Triceratops fossils. The Butterfly Pavilion and the Nature Gardens also offer fun, hands-on things to do.
5. Kidspace Children’s Museum
This Pasadena-based museum provides children with a chance to learn through play. With exhibits like the Galvin Physics Forest and the Arroyo Adventure, Kidspace encourages creativity, exploration, and physical activity, making it an ideal place to take children in Los Angeles.
No trip to LA would be complete without visiting Disneyland. Known as “the happiest place on earth,” Disneyland offers a multitude of rides, shows, and character meet-and-greets . From soaring through the skies in Dumbo the Flying Elephant to embarking on a Star Wars adventure in Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland is a magical place to take kids for unforgettable experiences.
7. Pacific Park
This amusement park on Santa Monica Pier features rides, games, things to do, and food that kids will love. Take a spin on the Pacific Wheel, the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel, or try your hand at classic carnival games. Pacific Park is an excellent place to take children for a day of fun, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the iconic Santa Monica coastline.
8. The Getty Center
While art museums might not be the first thing to come to mind when planning family things to do, The Getty Center is a fantastic place to take kids in Los Angeles. Its Family Room offers interactive art installations suitable for children, and its beautiful gardens and stunning views of LA make it a lovely place to spend the day.
9. California Science Center
Also located in Exposition Park, the California Science Center is a perfect place to take kids who have a keen interest in science. It offers interactive exhibits and live demonstrations that make learning fun and engaging. Kids can also see the Space Shuttle Endeavour up close, a sight that is sure to inspire awe.
10. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Another great place to take kids in LA is LACMA. The museum has a dedicated family program that includes art workshops and storytelling sessions. Plus, children will surely enjoy posing with Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation at the museum entrance.
11. La Brea Tar Pits
Los Angeles is home to one of the world’s most famous fossil localities, the La Brea Tar Pits. This unique site offers fascinating insights into the prehistoric world. Kids can watch paleontologists at work in the Fossil Lab, making it a thrilling and educational place to take your kids.
12. Petersen Automotive Museum
For kids interested in cars and mechanics, the Petersen Automotive Museum is the place to go. This museum showcases an incredible collection of vintage and modern vehicles and offers interactive exhibits that engage kids and adults alike.
13. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Located beneath the Santa Monica Pier, this aquarium is a great place to take kids to learn about local marine life. Kids can touch sea stars, watch shark feedings, and discover the importance of conservation.
14. The Original Farmers Market
This historic market offers a variety of food stalls, specialty shops, and fresh produce. Kids will enjoy trying different foods and discovering new flavors. It’s a fun and tasty place to take your kids in LA.
15. Bob Baker Marionette Theater
This charming puppet theater is one of the oldest of its kind in the United States. Kids will be enchanted by the colorful marionettes and the delightful shows, making this a unique and entertaining place to take them.
16. Los Angeles Philharmonic
For a touch of culture, take your kids to a concert by the LA Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Many programs are designed for families, making classical music accessible and enjoyable for kids.
17. Echo Park Lake
Rent a pedal boat and enjoy a leisurely ride on Echo Park Lake. It’s a great place to take kids for a relaxing day out in LA, offering beautiful views of the downtown skyline.
18. Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
The Huntington offers art collections, a library with rare books, and extensive botanical gardens. The Children’s Garden and the Conservatory engage kids with interactive exhibits about plant life, making it an excellent place to take kids in LA.
19. Autry Museum of the American West
Located in Griffith Park, the Autry Museum offers exhibits on the history and culture of the American West. Your kids will love the “Imagined West Studios” exhibit, where they can step onto a Western film set and learn about the mythology of the Old West. Don’t miss the ethnobotanical garden, which showcases native plants used by indigenous communities. The Autry Museum is an educational and exciting place to take kids in Los Angeles, providing a unique perspective on American history.
20. Dodger Stadium
If your kids are sports fans, a visit to Dodger Stadium is a must. Take them out to the ball game and let them experience the electric atmosphere of one of the oldest ballparks in the United States. Participate in the stadium tour to learn about the history of the LA Dodgers and see behind-the-scenes areas usually off-limits to the public. It’s a home run of a day for any sports-loving family!
21. The Japanese Garden
For a serene and beautiful outing, take your kids to the Japanese Garden in the San Fernando Valley. This 6.5-acre garden is a place of tranquility and aesthetic beauty, with a tea house, a meditation garden, and a stunning lake filled with colorful koi. Your kids will love the peacocks roaming the grounds and the waterfalls cascading into the ponds. It’s a great place to introduce your kids to different cultures and enjoy nature in the heart of LA.
22. Battleship USS Iowa Museum
Docked in the Port of Los Angeles, the USS Iowa is a WWII-era battleship turned museum. It’s an exciting place to take kids in LA, offering them a hands-on history lesson. They can explore the massive ship, learn about life at sea during wartime, and even try out a flight simulator.
23. Descanso Gardens
Another fantastic place to take kids in Los Angeles is Descanso Gardens. This 150-acre botanical garden offers plenty of space for kids to run and play. The Enchanted Railroad, a 1/8th scale model train, is a particular favorite with younger kids. The seasonal blooms throughout the year ensure the scenery is always stunning.
24. The Skirball Cultural Center
The Skirball Cultural Center is dedicated to exploring the connections between 4,000 years of Jewish heritage and the democratic ideals of the U.S. For kids, the Noah’s Ark exhibit is a highlight. This interactive, hands-on exhibit allows kids to climb, build, explore, and make believe, all while learning about cultural diversity.
25. Discovery Cube Los Angeles
This science center in the San Fernando Valley is a great place to take kids for an educational day out. It offers interactive exhibits on environmental science and technology, encouraging kids to learn through play.
26. Los Angeles Fire Department Museum
This museum in Hollywood houses old fire trucks and firefighting gear, as well as memorial displays for fallen LAFD firefighters. It’s a great place to take kids to learn about the history of firefighting in Los Angeles and the important work these heroes do every day.
27. Zimmer Children’s Museum
This museum offers hands-on exhibits for younger kids to explore various professions and environments, such as a hospital, a fire station, and an airplane. The Zimmer Children’s Museum is an excellent place to take kids in LA to stimulate their imagination and learn through play.
28. Kids World Indoor Playground
This indoor playground in Oak Park is a great place to take kids when outdoor activities aren’t an option. With areas for toddlers, older kids, and even a lounge for parents, Kids World offers a safe and fun environment for kids to run, play, and interact.
29. Underwood Family Farms
Located just outside of LA in Moorpark, Underwood Family Farms is a great place to take kids for a day of outdoor fun. This working farm allows kids to pick their own fruits and vegetables, interact with farm animals, and enjoy a variety of seasonal activities. From tractor rides to animal shows, it’s a great way to connect kids with nature and understand where their food comes from.
30. The Broad Museum
Last but not least, The Broad Museum in downtown LA is an exciting place to take kids interested in contemporary art. It houses more than 2,000 works of art and offers free general admission, which is a great bonus for families. The museum’s unique architecture and interactive exhibits, such as Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room, will surely captivate your kids’ imagination.
Los Angeles is an incredible city, bursting with things to do and places to explore. From amusement parks to museums, farms to observatories, LA offers a diverse array of activities that can cater to kids of all ages and interests. This list of 30 places to take your kids should help you plan your itinerary and make your LA trip an unforgettable experience for the whole family.
As you navigate through these attractions, remember, the essence of LA lies not just in its famous landmarks, but also in its hidden gems. So, venture off the beaten path, and you might just find your family’s new favorite spot. In Los Angeles, the possibilities are endless, and every day can bring a new adventure.
What are some unique places to take kids in Los Angeles today?
There’s an endless list of activities to keep your children entertained in Los Angeles. Today, you could visit the World of Illusions, which stands out as one of LA’s most unique attractions. It houses four fantastic exhibits, including an upside-down house and a giant’s house, where your kids can experience being surrounded by oversized everyday objects. The Museum of Illusions within it offers 3D paintings that create an illusion of depth and are perfect for taking fun photos. If you’re looking for something different, the Smash It room allows you to blow off some steam by smashing plates against the wall.
How can I spend a rainy day with kids in Los Angeles today?
While LA is known for its sunny weather, there are still plenty of engaging indoor activities for those rainy days. Today, you could visit the California Science Center, an educational playground where kids can discover the wonders of science through hands-on exhibits. The Natural History Museum, with its dinosaur fossils and extensive collection of historical artifacts, is another great place to take kids that promises an immersive journey through time. Alternatively, you could visit the World of Illusions. This indoor attraction not only provides shelter from the rain but also offers an exciting and unique experience. Kids will love exploring the upside-down rooms and posing with the 3D illusions, making a rainy day in Los Angeles a memorable one.
What are some budget-friendly places to take kids in Los Angeles today?
Los Angeles offers numerous budget-friendly activities for families. Today, you could visit the Griffith Observatory. It’s free to enter, and the kids will love learning about space and the stars. The Getty Center is another free attraction that offers a Family Room with interactive art installations. If you’re looking for a more unusual experience, the World of Illusions has an entrance fee, but it provides four different experiences in one location, making it a cost-effective choice for a full day of fun.