With its sunny climate, cultural institutes, beaches and amusement parks, there are loads of fun things to do in Los Angeles with kids. Whatever their interests, all across LA are family-friendly activities to suit all ages. Whether you are travelling with toddlers or teenagers, they will never be bored in the City of Angels.
Los Angeles with Kids: Fun Things to do
1. Venice Beach
From Malibu down to Long Beach, there’s 75 miles of coastline to explore in LA LA Land. There is no shortage of beaches. Venice Beach is a great area to explore with kids as there is just so much to see and do. It’s not all just about the sea and the sand. The streets around Venice Beach are fun and quirky with plenty of interesting shops and cool places to eat. Watch the boarders jump, flick and do all kinds of tricks at the skate park and then enjoy the impressive displays of fitness at Muscle Beach. This is the place to come if you want to pump iron in the sun. Of course, you can just enjoy the beach with its miles of sand and go for a dip or surf the waves. Venice really is a great beach destination in LA.
Kids will love being part of their favourite movies and mixing with their favourite TV characters on the Universal Studios tour. The top attraction at the century-old studio is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. For Potterheads, this is a magical, wonderous experience. The Jurassic World ride is also great fun and kids can mingle with digital dinos as the movie is brought to film before their eyes. There’s also 3D movies and stage shows and rides and attractions dedicated to The Simpsons, The Minions, Transformers and King Kong. This is one of the best places in LA for children as there is something for all ages to enjoy.
Get closer to the cosmos at the Griffith Observatory, and as a bonus, you get a terrific view of the iconic Hollywood sign. This beautiful building is a planeterium with lots of interesting exhibits and shows. In the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater, you can watch a short film about the rich history of the observatory. No doubt the star (pun intended) attraction is the Zeiss refracting telescope where you can view the night sky over Southern California and marvel at the solar system.
Located in LA’s Miracle Mile district, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is one of the world’s most famous ice age fossil sites. For little ones into dinosaurs and archaeology, this is a mesmerising experience. Kids can watch excavations happening in the park and see what the scientists are discovering. There are tar pits outside with animal sculptures in them and children can learn about how the animals became stuck in the tar by watching a 3D short film shown inside the museum. The museum has exhibits on the Ice Age and a cool fossil lab where you can learn what happens when fossils are extracted from the tar pits. It’s fun and fascinating and kids, and grown-ups, will love it!
Santa Monia beach is a very popular spot with families in LA. Not only does Santa Monica have a great beach culture – surfing, volleyball, rollerblading, swimming – but there is a small oceanfront amusement park on the pier. Known as Pacific Park, there are 12 rides, including the West Coaster and the Pacific Wheel, which is the first solar-powered Ferris wheel. There are fun games and attractions for children of all ages and plenty of restaurants, treat shops, and food carts to keep hunger at bay. Come here in the evening time and you will catch a stunning, colourful sunset.
Climb aboard Noah’s Ark at the Skirball for some serious fun! The ark is full of activities and displays and interactive exhibits so children can climb, build, explore and make-believe. The ark itself is a wonderful, whimsical wooden structure filled with filled animals. Noah’s Ark is a perfect place to bring toddlers and preschoolers. It is a great rainy-day destination, too. And yes, it does rain in LA, sometimes.
Stimulate their curiosity in space and science with a trip to the very educational and inspiring California Science Center. There are loads of exhibits and activities but the biggest draw is the chance to see the space shuttle Endeavour. On display in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, the Endeavour travelled into space 25 times between 1992 and 2011. There is also an IMAX screen showing films that will transport children to new worlds during this incredibly immersive experience. Don’t be surprised if the kids all want to be astronauts when they grow up after a visit here.