QUESTION

What are the best attractions in Los Angeles if I have two little kids?


curated by 293 crowd contributors

We pulled together 13 of the most popular web sites to create this page, including la.mommypoppins.com, www.latourist.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com. We've organized their information into the most commonly discussed topics below, ranging from Playground, energy burners to Entertainment. A total of 56 crowdworkers were involved during the process, of which 28 of them gathered the information, 28 of them organized the information by different topics, and 0 of them synthesized the information into this article.


Overview

Playground, energy burners: There are several great attractions in the LA area that your children can go to to burn off some energy. They include: Adventureplex, Peekaboo Playland, the Magical Playground, and Adventures of Curious George.

Aquariums: Enjoy a highly interactive experience at the Aquarium on the Pacific, where kids can touch critters ranging from sea stars all the way up to sharks! This free venue provides over thirty aquarium exhibits along with annual events which includes grunion runs and a two-day festival/march celebrating Children's Day.

Animal attractions: Los Angeles offers many animal attractions for adults and children alike. Among the numerous attractions, the Enchanted Tiki room, Griffith Park and Serenity Park Parrot Sanctuary are among the most popular and offer the best experiences.

Parks and gardens: This is a brief list of some kid-friendly attractions in Los Angeles. Many of them are friendly for the whole family, not just kids!

Best museum for kiddos: There are several interesting museums in the LA area. Depending on your interests, several of them can be great for taking children to. Many have free or cheap admission.

Food: Los Angeles has many fun dining options that the kids will love! Traditional fare like burgers and ice cream are available, as well as more exciting options like a family picnic or a historic farmers market.

Outdoor activities: LA’s top attractions, museums and outdoor activities are guaranteed for family fun in Los Angeles.

Interactive museums for kids: Los Angeles has many attractions that are fit for family with children, including the California Science Center and the Kidspace Children's Museum. The museums are fun and educational.

Entertainment: There is a lot of entertainment options in Los Angeles for families with children. From TV show tapings to amusement parks, families can be confident that they can find the atraction of choice in the city of angels.


Playground, energy burners

Playground, Energy burners

There are several great attractions in the LA area that your children can go to to burn off some energy.

There are a variety of great, energy burning attractions for children of all ages in the Los Angeles area.
Adventureplex – Manhattan Beach
There’s adventure to spare here with a ton of energy burners including a basketball court, mazes, tunnels, climbing bouncy houses, gymnastic mats and plenty of playrooms.

Adventures of Curious George
The 30,000 square-foot adventure, built in 2008, is the friendliest part of the park for the youngest set.
Kids will delight experiencing the attractions at the famous moneky's park. Best For: Tots (0-2) Kids (3-6) Kids (7-9)
Magical Playground in West Covina
Children will enjoy a bounce house, jungle gym, and multiple playhouses, alongside lots of structures for wearing kids out while indoors. Additionaly, there are train tables, playsets, Legos and building toys for kids who enjoy focused, imaginative play.

Peekaboo Playland – Eagle Rock
Who says your kids can’t play and learn? The Peekaboo Playland is a very progressive and uniquely artistic indoor play space for your kids’ creative energy to flourish and grow.

Aquariums

Meet more than 11,000 ocean animals at this all-inclusive aquarium in Long Beach. Kids get closer than ever to exotic creatures of the Pacific through several fantastic exhibits. Hand-feed brilliantly colored lorikeet birds as you stroll through Lorikeet Forest, then journey over to Shark Lagoon to reach in and touch more than 150 small sharks in the shallow touch pools. Don’t miss out on the favorite aquatic babies exhibit and let the little ones learn a little something at the research station. Be sure to look up and meet the giant whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling.At the Aquarium on the Pacific, your family will have an unbeatable interactive experience.
The museum is free for all but they do suggest a donation ($5/adult, $1/kids) to help keep this wonderful community resource going. Parking is free and easy on the street or you can pay $1/hour for right out front.

Animal attractions

Animal Attractions

Los Angeles offers many animal attractions for adults and children alike.

The Enchanted Tiki Room has flowers and 200 singing birds, and charming air conditioned shows for all ages.

Griffith Park is located on 4200 acres and it is home to a large number of attractions.
Travel Town is a train museum located in the complex. You can climb aboard many old trains and take a ride on the miniature train that tours you around the yard.
The Merry-Go-Round was built in 1926 and has 68 horses for you to ride.
The L.A. Zoo has exhibits that are newer featuring Asian elephants and gorillas. If you are craving for more in this area, you can check out the Griffith Observatory with a planetarium, public telescopes, and astronomy exhibits, or the Autry museum of the American West.

If you want a fun, and free place to visit and even talk with some animals then you should visit the Serenity Park Parrot Sanctuary at the Veterans Administration campus in Westwood. These are all rescued birds that welcome visitors. If you’re looking for quick and easy outing with the children, look no further than this well-kept secret in the shadow of Westwood’s skyscrapers. It’s an awesome little animal attraction for kids who love animals.

Parks and gardens

Echo Park: If you're in search of a place where the kids can run around and be kids, this is one of the nicest. Children will enjoy the year-round swimming pool and entertaining playground at Echo Park, and adults will be enchanted by the multitude of beautiful lotus flowers that grow at the end of the lake.
Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens: While the Huntington Library and Art Collections provide interesting exhibits, your kids will most likely prefer exploring the vast gardens. There are multiple different gardens, like the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Jungle Garden and Shakespeare Garden. You won't want to miss the interactive Children's Garden! Build with magnetic sand, play in houses made of plants, or experience vibrations in the sonic pool.
Lake Balboa Park: If you're in San Fernando Valley, Lake Balboa has tons to explore! You can rent bikes (or surreys) and ride along the long bike path, bring a remote control boat for the water, or even go fishing! The facility has picnic sites, barbecue pits and many children's play areas. Just across the street you'll find the Japanese Garden, a 6 1/2 acre authentic Japanese garden perfect for taking a leisurely walk.
Huntington Gardens: If you want something a little further off the beaten path but completely worth the drive, it warrants a visit. Huntington Gardens is located just outside of Pasadena, east of downtown L.A.
The African American Museum: Kids will enjoy the vast seven acre Rose Garden, where they can smell the 16,000+ roses, play by (or try to jump in!) the fountain or take a relaxing picnic break.

Best museum for kiddos

Best Museum for Kiddos

There are several interesting museums in the LA area.

At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA, as it's known, free admission on the second Tuesday of each month will admit you into all permanent galleries. Visit LACMA on a Sunday for a chamber music concert and/or to sit in on recitals by local or visiting musicians. From April through November, hear jazz performed at the museum every Friday for free from 6 to 8 p.m.

For hands-on, educational fun, this museum delivers. Though the majority of the exhibits are geared for elementary school-aged kids on up, there's a great zone for toddlers. ...Best For: Kids (3-6) Kids (7-9) Tweens (10-12) Teens (13+)

It's one of the most popular museum destinations in California, and your kids won't want to miss out on 400,000 square feet of fun, scientific exploration. The museum keeps young ones entertained by presenting science through exhibits tied to popular culture or blockbuster movies. Plus, there are tons of hands-on activities and demonstrations in Science Court. Last, but certainly not least, you'll all leave awestruck by the 7-story IMAX theater that brings worlds "as small as an atom and as vast as the universe" to life right in front of your eyes.


Food

Food

Los Angeles has many fun dining options that the kids will love! Traditional fare like burgers and ice cream are available, as well as more exciting options like a family picnic or a historic farmers market..

In-N-Out Burger: If you haven't heard of In-N-Out Burger, then you don't know what you’re missing! The famous burger joint hasn't changed much since it opened in 1948, and many people proclaim their burgers to be the best around. You can feel like a local by ordering from the "secret" menu that isn't displayed anywhere but accepted at any location. I'll take my burger “Animal Style” and mustard “grilled”. Vegetarian? No worries, just ask for a grilled cheese.

Hollywood Bowl: For a family night out you can't beat the Hollywood Bowl. The reasons why I am not giving this 5 stars is because of the stacked parking and lack of enough picnic spaces. If you plan ahead you can have someone leave early and reserve spots, otherwise you are fighting with crowds to bring your food in and eat. You can also you bring your own drinks.

Bob's Big Boy: Located in Burbank, this eatery is the oldest Bob's in the country. It was built in 1949 and still maintains its 1950's California coffee shop style. Don't miss the Decadent Hot Fudge Cake or a classic 1950's Coke.
Neptune's Net: If you're spending the day at the beach in Malibu, you'll have a great meal at Neptune's Net. Order their famous New England clam chowder, and the fish and chips for the kids.

Carney's: You may have heard of Pink's, the famous Los Angeles hot dog stand. Carney’s is just as good and perhaps more fun for the kids. Both locations (one on the Sunset Strip and one in the San Fernando Valley) are housed in old Pacific Railroad passenger train cars. So grab a hot dog or hamburger and climb aboard!

Original Farmers Market: At its famed location at 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue, the Original Farmers Market opened on a dirt lot in July 1934 with farmers selling goods from the backs of their trucks. Today, the operation is open daily with baked goods, meats, produce, seafood, nuts and candies. It's free to enter.

Fosselman's Ice Cream Ice Cream Quick Bite: Your taste buds are in for a treat with flavors like green tea and seasonal pumpkin at this family-owned ice cream parlor.

Luscious Dumplings: Tiny family-run Chinese restaurant offering some of the best dumplings and noodle soups in the San Gabriel Valley.

El Cholo Cafe Mexican: El Cholo’s menu is renowned for its margaritas. The festive atmosphere and reasonably good Mexican fare also draws crowds.

La Grande Orange Café: Occupying a historic train depot, La Grande Orange Café offers satisfying renditions of American comfort foods.

Heirloom Bakery & Cafe Bakery Quick Bite: In the artsy Mission West district of South Pas, this colorful café features breakfasts, quiches, salads and pizza, plus freshly baked breads and scones.

Outdoor activities

Outdoor Activities

LA’s top attractions, museums and outdoor activities are guaranteed for family fun in Los Angeles..


LA’s top attractions, museums and outdoor activities are guaranteed for family fun in Los Angeles.

Old Chinatown Plaza - The never-ending activity and bright colors found in this Los Angeles neighborhood are enough to attract any child's attention. Feed the goldfish in the outdoor ponds and visit the many shops of Chinatown for Oriental souvenirs and other Chinese-related items.

Santa Monica Pier: The Santa Monica pier is home to a host of great activities for kids and families. Ride the historic carousel or check out the attractions at Pacific Park, an amusement park located right on the pier. You can also try your luck at midway games, eat on the ocean-front, visit the small aquarium, or rent bikes for a ride along the beach.

The Awesome Playground – Highland Park: The aptly named spot offers a vast array of indoor and outdoor fun for little ones up to 10 years of age, featuring a 60 ft. inflatable obstacle course, giant slide, indoor crooked house and even a race track for the aspiring Andrettis. Open Play hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday for only $8 per child.

Beach: How can we not mention the LA beaches? Dig the toes in or build a sandcastle on one of our favorites – the very clean and scenic stretch of Zuma Beach just off the PCH in Malibu.
Then head south to swim with the belugas or dolphins at SeaWorld.

Cold Water Canyon Park: This well maintained canyon has it all for family fun. With toddler and stroller friendly trails, great views, alternating shade and sun, as well as lots of trees and grassy areas to take a play break. Find it at 12601 Mulholland Drive, Beverly Hills

This free outdoor transportation museum is a family favorite with little fans of Thomas. With steam locomotives to scramble over, a train to ride around the park (just $2.75), and train tables to play on (FYI, it’s BYO-Trains), this is an outing that is worthy of a weekly visit.

Interactive museums for kids

  • Most of the major museums in Los Angeles have programs to make their content more accessible to children.

  • You can't go wrong with the California Science Center

  • Kidspace Children’s Museum - Southern California’s “Premiere Children’s Museum" is nestled in Brookside Park next to the Rose Bowl. The exhibits will inspire your kids to enjoy learning.

  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - Suitable for all ages but especially attractive to kids, this museum is a sure thing for families, even those with toddlers and pre-schoolers. Kids who visit this museum will love everything they see, especially the giant dinosaur bones and the dioramas featuring their favorite animals. All children under 5 are free.

  • Visit Griffith Observatory

  • Visit Kidspace Children’s Museum

Entertainment

Entertainment

There is a lot of entertainment options in Los Angeles for families with children.

For little tykes, A Bug's Land is the place to be; Flik's Fun Fair even claims: "the smaller you are, the bigger the fun" in its play area.
For just a few bucks ($6/kids-$8.25/adults), you can round the day off with a spectacular 3D IMAX show.
See a play at the Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga.
See a movie at Disney's El Capitan.
The Bob Baker Marionette Theater has been entertaining children since 1961. Baker, a master puppeteer, has more than 3,000 puppets and many of them join in the shows, which happen once a day on Sunday through Friday(except Monday) and twice on Saturdays.
Want to try your hand at skydiving without the airplane? iFly is an indoor skydiving experience that's open to everyone over the age of 3. After donning your gear and getting a safety briefing, you'll step into a massive vertical wind tunnel with an instructor and actually fly.
When it comes to family fun, Pacific Park is your go-to destination. Located on the historic Santa Monica Pier, it's the West Coast's only pier-set amusement park. The world's only solar-powered Ferris wheel will raise your whole family to new heights -130 feet above the ocean- for a fantastic coastline view. Younger travelers love riding up, down and around in the Crazy Submarine ride just for kids. So hop on rides, play games and eat that carnival-style food all while soaking in Southern California's endless sunshine at this family playground.
While backlot tours of studios such as Paramount Pictures, NBC, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. will cost around $20-50, a myriad of television tapings take place at these studios and tickets to sit in on a taping as a part of a show's live audience are free. It's best to order the tickets ahead of time by visiting the show's website; look for details on calling or writing in for tickets. Be a part of the audience of shows such as Last Comic Standing, Deal or No Deal, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Ellen, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and more.
Travelers with small children should check out the intriguing Pillow Theater, which is geared towards 3-6 year-olds.