With its balmy weather and Hollywood connection, Los Angeles makes a fun family destination in any season. Kids can see where their favorite movies are made and hop on rides at celebrated amusement parks, or get close to nature at the beach or in parks. A mix of indoor and outdoor fun, educational resources and playtime add up to plenty of options for kids in Los Angeles.
Visit an Attraction
Disneyland (disneyland.disney.go.com) is a must-visit if you’re in Los Angeles with the kids, and you can spend an entire day at this lively amusement park. Little kids will love classic rides such as Dumbo and Peter Pan; older kids can brave the Matterhorn or Space Mountain roller coasters. Rides such as Jurassic Park, Transformers: The Ride 3D and WaterWorld make a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood (universalstudioshollywood.com) family fun. Sign up for the behind-the-scenes studio tour, where kids can get a peek at iconic movie sets. Kids can take special classes at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens (lazoo.org) to learn about the animals who make their home there, but just exploring the more than 250 species in their habitats at the zoo can be fun.
Learn Something New
Dinosaur-loving kids will be entranced by the La Brea Tar Pits (tarpits.org), home to the largest collection of ice age animals and plants in the world. Don’t miss Project 23, where kids can watch professional excavators at work. Keep an eye out for Discovery Carts at the California Science Center (californiasciencecenter.org), where families exploring the exhibits on display can get a hands-on lesson in science concepts from the museum’s trained educators. The floor-to-ceiling Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Cultural Center (skirball.org) is full of whimsical animals made from unusual materials. Step outside the galleries into the arroyo to play in the rainbow mist.
Get Some Fresh Air
The Santa Monica Pier (santamonicapier.org) has tons of family fun, but bring your wallet because you’ll have to pay for many of the attractions. Ride the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park or the old-fashioned carousel before stopping at the pier’s aquarium or trying your luck at the arcade. Take advantage of Los Angeles’ oceanfront and schedule a whale-watching tour in the Pacific Ocean with Newport Landing Whale Watching (newportwhales.com). From December through April, you can spot California gray whales; blue whales and finback whales swim in the water from May to November.
Have a Little Fun
Sign up for one of the workshops at Rolling Robots (rollingrobots.com), and your kids can put their self-made robots to the test in the robot battle arena. Explore Griffith Park from horseback with Sunset Ranch Hollywood (sunsetranchhollywood.com). The hourlong guided tour hits the park’s highlights and makes a good beginner ride. Let kids burn off a little energy at the ESPN zone (espnzone.com), where they can drive, dunk, bat and throw at the sports-themed arcade. Kids will enjoy looking for familiar names along the Hollywood Walk of Fame (hollywoodchamber.net): Find Dr. Seuss at 6600 Hollywood Blvd., Donald Duck at 6840 Hollywood Blvd. and Snow White at 6910 Hollywood Blvd.