Los Angeles with kids By Mimi Slawoff
Here are some of the best things to do in Los angeles with kids. (Flickr: April K)
Planning a family vacation to Los Angeles may seem overwhelming, especially with kids of varying ages and interests. Fortunately, the range of diverse family-friendly attractions makes it’s easy to plan an itinerary to please everyone in your family.
Things to do in Los Angeles with kids are seemingly endless. They include theme parks, outdoor activities, world class museums, farmers markets and must-see touristy spots. With so much to see and do, brainstorm together as a family and map out your trip to LA. Whether your family goes gaga over Hollywood or prefers soaking up sunshine and culture, L.A. is a top destination for a family vacation.
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Must-See Tourist Attractions
There are many things to do in Los Angeles with kids that are iconic and not to be missed. Hollywood may be a bit gritty but has a glittering history. Go during the day to see famous attractions. These include the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the family-friendly El Capitan Theater and historic Pantages Theater. A sure kid pleaser is Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, home to 11,000-plus ocean animals. See sharks, jellies, penguins and much more in spacious habitats. And just up the coast, catch a beautiful California sunset in Santa Monica. Things to do in Los Angeles with kids include splashing in the surf and riding a Ferris Wheel on the famous pier.
Nutty for Nature
Find an array of outdoorsy things to do with kids in Los Angeles in Griffith Park, a 4,200-acre urban space with many family-friendly attractions. Take a hike, bring a picnic and visit the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Families will also find lots of active things to do in Los Angeles with kids at one of the many nature areas. Visit the Eaton Canyon Natural Area, Topanga State Park, the Arboretum of Los Angeles County, and the Whittier Narrows Nature Center. For a sun and surf day, head to Zuma, one of LA’s most family-friendly beaches in Malibu.
Exploring LA’s many top-notch, family-friendly museums is definitely one of the many fun and educational things to do in Los Angeles with kids. Some are even free (except for paid parking)! These include the massive Getty Center and interactive California Science Center. Be sure to add the crowd-pleasing Natural History Museum to your list of amazing things to do in Los Angeles with kids. See a bunch more on Museum Row. In close proximity are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Petersen Automotive Museum, and the George C. Page Museum. You’ll smell before you see the famous La Brea Tar Pits! History buffs seeking unique museums should check out the Annenberg Space for Photography and the Museum of Neon Art.
Thrilling Theme Parks & Studio Tours
For many families, theme parks and studio tours are at the top of the list for things to do in Los Angeles with kids. Universal Studios Hollywood has family-friendly themed rides and takes you behind the scenes of movie making. Six Flags Magic Mountain, on the other hand, is the king of roller coasters. For the movie and TV buffs in your family, book a behind-the-scenes studio tour. See sound stages, sets, and back lot streets at Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures and Paramount studios.
Feasts for Foodie Families
Culinary things to do in Los Angeles with kids include food tours, farmers markets and exploring diverse ethnic neighborhoods. Indulge your palate at Olvera Street (muy bien tacos), Little Tokyo (tasty Japanese noodles) and Chinatown (savor chow mein and dumplings). More yummy things to do in Los Angeles with kids include dining at Grand Central Market, a downtown landmark since 1917. At the Original Farmers Market you’ll find a variety of things to do in Los Angeles with kids. Enjoy a meal, shop for specialty foods and gifts, and participate in one of the many seasonal events.
Mimi Slawoff of Planetfamilytravel contributed this to MiniTime. She is a Los Angeles-based journalist and a seasoned family travel expert who explores the world with her three children and writes about their journeys.