In a city packed culture, iconic history and some of the most beautiful weather throughout the country, it’s no wonder over a million homes in LA have children. The list of things to do with kids in Los Angeles grows every year — whether you plan to embark on an outdoor adventure, explore your child’s love of science or even eat at restaurants designed just for kids.
What’s more, so many of Los Angeles’ fun things to do with kids are also thrilling for the adults by their side. We’ve curated a list that of the top things to do with kids in Los Angeles that challenge, excite and allow kids to let loose in this vibrant city. Whether you’re moving to Los Angeles or just visiting for the weekend, head out across the sprawling city for a day of one-of-a-kind California exploration.
1. KidsSpace Children’s Museum
Perfect for the little ones under 10 years old, Kidspace goes against all the traditional rules of a museum. Enjoy an afternoon of hands-on learning driven by kids themselves and all the unique creativity they bring to a challenge. Build a fort from natural materials, dig tunnels through the sand and even climb up to the top of a tree to visit a hawk’s nest. For a calmer afternoon, kids can take a class in the greenhouse for a closer look at plants and the natural world around them. Looking for free things to do with Kids in Los Angeles? Come out for a Free Family Night on the first Tuesday of every month.
2. Griffith Park
Some of the most iconic spots in town also make the best places to bring kids in Los Angeles. Griffith Park includes the familiar Griffith Observatory, the LA Zoo and even the famous Hollywood Sign. Kids will also love riding the historic Merry-Go-Round, built in 1926, or taking a trip on over a mile of railroad track on the miniature children’s train. Spend a whole day basking in the outdoors by exploring all of the city’s parks and even hop on a pony for a ride. End the day at the Greek outdoor amphitheater for a musical event under the stars.
3. El Capitan Theatre
Looking to work a little Disney into your day? The historic El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood hosts movies and events in a breathtaking space that is sure to spark the love of the arts in every child. Catch a film in while sitting in a spectacular space from a bygone era or join them during a special event for toddlers and their families. You can even host your children’s birthday party here or explore the whole space in a one-of-a-kind backstage theatre tour.
El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, (818) 845-3110
4. Wildlife Learning Center
Head over to nearby Sylmar to spend a day with wild animals. Tucked in a scenic olive grove, the Wildlife Learning Center is a non-profit zoo and education center that aims to inform and excite people of all ages about our environment and natural habitats of animals. They care for over 100 displaced zoo animals that need a loving place to call home. Special talks and programs for kids include sketching classes, birthday parties and special afternoons for scouts and school groups. Even have an up-close-and-personal meeting with your favorite animal in a small group led by a zoo specialist.
5. Pirates Dinner Adventure
After a day of outdoor adventure and exploring things to do in LA with kids, you’ll need to have a good meal! Enjoy a four-course dinner right on the sidelines of the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, fit with sword fighting, a love story and full-audience participation. Join them throughout the year for special holiday shows around Christmas and Halloween. Parents and kids of all ages are welcome for pre-show fun and the night’s performance.
Both educational and a kid-friendly way to spend the day in Los Angeles, Rolling Robots celebrate every kid’s love of creation and science. In these hands-on classes, each student builds their own working robot. They can expand their love of all things technology, STEM and creative play. Join them for a one-time workshop or ongoing camp throughout the year. Some classes even dive into coding their own robot with a team.
Rolling Robots, 10955 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064, (310) 474-0198
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In ‘The Notion of Family,’ artworks from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries chart a trajectory of African American family and togetherness over generations. As a whole, the empowering artworks in the exhibition illustrate that the African American family is a model for thriving, even amid hardship. They suggest a sense of levity while also reflecting agency, love, strength, diversity, and unity from an African American perspective. Come see this empowering exhibition, now on view at CAAM.
7. California African American Museum
One of the most incredible free things to do in LA with kids, the California African American Museum provides a full afternoon of history and culture. Exhibitions showcase the key moments in African American history as well as both yesterday and today’ most iconic artists. The museum offers programs and events for families and their children of all ages, including guided tours and talks. Stop by for one of their Maker-Fest events for hands-on afternoon or art with the community professionals themselves.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art knows how to get kids excited about creativity. Free both for themselves and for an accompanying adult, youth memberships give them access to a full calendar of workshops, story hours and gallery tours. Check out the Boone Children’s Gallery for a day of painting, whether they’re brand new to art or already adore it. With so much to explore, it’s necessary to plan a few repeat visits to check out all the galleries and exhibits, making an annual pass beyond worth it.
9. LA County Library
This library is far more than a place to find your favorite book. A hub for activities for kids and teens in Los Angeles, the LA County Library’s events calendar is simply packed with ongoing events and learning opportunities for kids and teens of all ages. Join the library for an afternoon of STEM activities, gaming or even photography. Enjoy a girls day out at their mother-daughter afternoon tea event or bring the whole family for some live music. An all-encompassing cultural center, the LA County Library is an invaluable asset to the city.
10. Underwood Family Farms
If you’re looking for a simple afternoon with kids in LA, head to a local farm like the Underwood Family Farms. Head out for a pumpkin or strawberry picking tour to explore exactly how things are grown and where our food comes from. Animal education tours include feeding farm friends and learning about everything that contributes to farm life. This outing makes for an excellent affordable option of things to do with kids in LA.
As one of the world’s largest and diverse cities, living in Los Angeles presents endless opportunities for children. Spend a weekend exploring everything the city of angels has to offer, especially if you’re considering moving to LA.