The Best Things to do in Los Angeles, California with Kids

The 15 Best Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids

A family vacation in Los Angeles can mean so many different things. Los Angeles is home to tons of kid-friendly and family-friendly attractions, from studio tours to theme parks to museums. The hardest part isn’t finding things to do but instead finding where to start.

Planning a family trip to Los Angeles and wondering where to spend time with your little ones? We’ve compiled a list of the best kid-friendly things to do in LA, from art museums with kid-focused activities to theaters with showings your children won’t ever forget. 

Stick to this list, and your kids are bound to have an amazing time in the City of Angels!

15 Fun Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids

1. Experience Universal Studios Hollywood

Best Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids: Universal Studios Hollywood

If you’re visiting Los Angeles with kids, Universal Studios Hollywood is a must-do because there’s something for kids of all ages. 

Little ones will delight in the “Secret Life of Pets” and “Despicable Me” rides and play spaces, while older kids will have a great time chasing down Bowser in the new ride at Super Nintendo World, flying with Harry Potter, and checking out the movie magic on the Studio Tour. 

Even bigger thrill-seekers will love coming face-to-face with the Indominus Rex on the “Jurassic World” ride or escaping the clutches of “The Mummy.” Meanwhile, kids of any age will have a great time meeting all of their favorite Dreamworks characters, like Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Poppy, and King Julian.

2. Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific

Cool Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids: Aquarium of the Pacific

Long Beach is where you’ll find the Aquarium of the Pacific, one of the best things to do in LA with kids. With 11,000 ocean animals to see here, your kids will delight in traveling under the water to explore the worlds below. The aquarium also hosts special programs that allow kids to do hands-on learning about the ocean.

3. Play Around the Santa Monica Pier

Unique Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids: Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is like a giant playground, which is why it’s one of the most fun things to do in LA with kids. The pier is home to Pacific Park, which features several family-friendly rides. You’ll also find a historic merry-go-round and the nostalgia-filled Playland Arcade at the pier, as well as shops, dining, a marine education center, and a trapeze school.

4. Explore the La Brea Tar Pits

Fun Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids: La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits is much more than a museum. It’s also the only active urban fossil dig site in the world. In addition to seeing new discoveries happen right before your eyes, you can also watch staff prepare fossils for the public, see incredible findings that are already in the museum, watch live theater performances that take you back to the Ice Age, and learn more about the distant past in the 3-D theater.

La Brea Tar Pits Museum Ticket

5. Take in the View from Griffith Park

Los Angeles with Kids Bucket List: Griffith Park

Griffith Park offers more than one of the best things for kids to do in Los Angeles. In addition to taking in the incredible view of the famous Hollywood Sign, kids can also enjoy seeing the stars in the Griffith Observatory, riding the park’s beloved merry-go-round, hopping aboard the Griffith Park Railroad at Travel Town, seeing the animals in the Los Angeles Zoo, and much more. 

6. See a Show at El Capitan Theatre

Must do things in Los Angeles with Kids: El Capitan Theatre

There are many theaters in Hollywood, but if you’re looking for a theater with some of the best activities for kids in LA, you’re looking for El Capitan Theatre. This Disney-owned theater is a bright and colorful movie palace playing the best family-friendly movies.

But this theater takes things a step further by offering more fun and inclusive ways to enjoy the films. From sensory-friendly showings to sing-a-longs, the screenings here suit the needs and interests of every child.

7. Take the Warner Bros. Studio Tour

What to do in Los Angeles with Kids: Warner Bros. Studio Tour

If your little one loves movie magic, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is one of the most fun LA activities for kids. See where your family’s favorite shows and movies got made, explore interactive exhibits that let you experience movie magic firsthand, and see memorabilia from shows and movies like the DC films, the “Harry Potter” franchise, and much more.

8. Visit the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Best Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is free for kids 17 and under, is one of the most family-friendly things to do in Los Angeles, especially if your family is filled with movie fans. 

Kids will love the interactive exhibits that let them uncover how their favorite animated movie came to life and even accept their own Oscar. Meanwhile, adults will love the showcases that focus on the history of some of the greatest movies and the people who made them.

This museum also goes further to ensure that they create a safe and fun space for everyone. From Saturday matinee screenings to hands-on workshops, there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do. They also have special sensory-friendly screenings and museum experiences for children who might be too overstimulated by the museum on its own.

9. Explore the California Science Center

Los Angeles with Kids Things to do: California Science Center

The California Science Center is the largest museum of its kind on the West Coast. This museum is always a fun place to take the little ones, thanks to all its hands-on exhibits that encourage exploration and experimentation.

Discover the secrets of the space shuttle Endeavor, come up close to a colossal example of what’s going on inside our bodies, meet creatures from ecosystems around the world, and much more in the interactive experiences in this museum. You can also see stories about our world come to life in the IMAX theater.

10. Visit the Kidspace Children’s Museum

Over in Pasadena, a trip to the Kidspace Children’s Museum is one of the most fun LA activities for kids. This museum puts kids first, being designed specifically for those 10 and under. 

Through hands-on exhibits, kids are encouraged to learn through play. While they’ll learn about different subjects, like engineering and physics, they’ll also walk away from this museum with a better understanding of other cultures, thanks to the exhibits across this 3.5-acre campus.

11. Scavenger Hunt Through The Hammer Museum

Best Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids: The Hammer Museum

If you want to take your little ones to an art museum during your trip, The Hammer Museum is one of the best museums to visit in LA with kids. It also happens to be one of the best free things to do in Los Angeles. This art museum and cultural center goes above and beyond in helping parents make sure their kids get the most out of their visit.

The museum put together a helpful Discovery Guide filled with interactive activities that are both fun and educational. It encourages kids to think about art in a new light, helping them understand how art affects people. 

12. See The Huntington Library, Art Museum & Botanical Gardens

Cool Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids: Huntington Library

It’s easy to spend a whole day at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, which offers some of the best activities for kids in Los Angeles. Located in San Marino, this complex is much more than just one museum and provides ways to keep kids engaged and learning.

The Huntington Library features more than 11 million items, while the Art Museum includes more than 45,000 works of art of all different kinds. Meanwhile, the beautiful botanical gardens cover 130 acres with themed gardens, including the interactive Children’s Garden.

13. Step Back in Time at the Natural History Museum

Unique Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids: Natural History Museum

Visiting the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is one of the best Los Angeles activities with kids, especially if you have a budding archaeologist in your group. This museum, which is the biggest of its kind in the western US, covers 4.5 billion years of history.

Meet the creatures who once roamed the Earth in the Dino Hall, learn about the natural world in the Nature Gardens, and more. Kids will leave this museum thinking about the world around them in new ways.

Visit the Natural History Museum

14. Have a Fun Day at Knott’s Berry Farm

Fun Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids: Knott’s Berry Farm

The trip to Buena Park is well worth it to visit Knott’s Berry Farm. From exploring the Old West in the authentic Ghost Town to celebrating California’s Hispanic heritage in Fiesta Village to embracing California’s beach lifestyle at the Boardwalk, there’s so much to do at this beloved theme park!

The park celebrates each season with something new, so you never get the same experience twice. Whether you’re in town for their famous Boysenberry Festival, to get your scare on at Knott’s Spooky Farm, or to ring in the holiday season with Knott’s Merry Farm, you can always guarantee a fun and family-friendly time!

15. Take a Family Trip to Disneyland

Los Angeles with Kids Bucket List: Disneyland

Although you’ll have to take a trip out to Anaheim for this park, Disneyland is one of the best family-friendly things to do in Los Angeles. This magical place actually consists of two parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. 

If you’re visiting with younger kids, you might find that Disneyland Park is more suitable. There are more rides that little ones can go on, as well as more shows that are family-friendly. Plus, seeing the nighttime show at Sleeping Beauty Castle is an experience kids won’t ever forget!

Meanwhile, over at Disney California Adventure Park, you’ll find more thrill rides that will delight older children, like The Incredicoaster, Radiator Springs Racers, and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission BREAKOUT!

There you have it! The 15 best things to do with kids in Los Angeles. What’s your favorite kid-friendly thing to do in LA? Let us know in the comments!

Planning a trip to California? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!



  • Jacqueline Gualtieri

    Jacqueline is a writer and editor pursuing the freelance life to explore the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, she spent her college years in Boston before settling down with her partner and puppy in Monterey, California.

    When she’s not writing, you can often find her planning her next trip. Road trips are her favorite, whether it’s driving across the country or simply exploring a new city in her own backyard. She loves uncovering the history of every new place she goes.

    Jacqueline has a restless passion for learning and makes it a goal to pick up a new skill every year. She’s picked up embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and cross-stitching, but she’s hoping to master more languages to help her in her travels. She’s also a published author, with short stories and poetry appearing in several anthologies.

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