Los Angeles for Kids

The Best Things to do in LA with Kids

Los Angeles may be better known for Hollywood glitz, crazy nightlife and out-of-control celebrities, but if you itemized every one of them, there are literally hundreds of things to do with kids in Los Angeles. Since a list that long would be very tedious, here are the most popular or unique activities for children in LA grouped here by theme. 

  • 01 of 09

    Los Angeles Theme Parks

    A Bug's Land at California Adventure
    ••• Heimlich's Chew Chew Train in A Bug's Land at California Adventure. Photo © 2011 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    The Los Angeles area is theme park heaven for kids. Beyond Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, you have the family-friendly Knott's Berry Farm and the teen testing ground of Six Flags Magic Mountain, not to mention all the Los Angeles Area Water Parks.

    More on the Top Theme Parks in LA

  • 02 of 09

    Los Angeles Area Zoos and Aquariums

    Children in tunnel at Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach.
    ••• Lonely Planet / Getty Images

    For animal and fish fans, the stars of the show are the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park, but kids will also enjoy the smaller Santa Monica Pier Aquarium or Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro and the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park.

  • 03 of 09

    Top LA Museums for Kids

    Quick Culture Art Tour of LACMA
    ••• Quick Culture Art Tour of LACMA. Photo © 2007 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    Most of the major museums in Los Angeles have programs to make their content more accessible for children, but some are a more natural fit than others. Check out the Top Los Angeles Children's Museums for kids of all ages from toddler exploration to early art appreciation and scientific discovery. 

  • 04 of 09

    Children's Entertainment

    Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Los Angeles
    ••• Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Los Angeles. Photo © 2009 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    The entertainment capital of the world has a wide variety of live entertainment especially for children. There are plays, puppet shows and comedy shows designed to appeal to kids from 2 to teen. Kids 10 and older may even be able to attend a children's TV show taping. Explore the Best Live Family Entertainment in LA for more ideas.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Griffith Park

    Travel Town Train Museum at Griffith Park
    ••• Travel Town Train Museum at Griffith Park. Photo © 2005 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    The City of Los Angeles is bisected by a mountain range. A couple of those mountain peaks are within the 4210 acres of Griffith Park. The many kid-friendly attractions in the park include the LA Zoo, the Griffith Observatory, the Autry Center for Western Heritage, Travel Town Train Museum, Pony Rides, the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round and plenty of opportunities for hiking and picnicking.

    Visitors Guide to Griffith Park

  • 06 of 09

    Outdoors with Kids in LA

    People ride bikes and walk along the beach at sunset in Santa Monica, California.
    ••• Brian Eden / Getty Images

    The whole outdoors is your playground when vacationing with kids in Los Angeles. From a day at LA beaches to a hike or horseback ride in the local mountains, there is always plenty to do. Rent bikes, skates or a surrey to explore the beach path. Take a family adventure learning vacation and learn to surf or paddle board. Take to the water in a kayak on calm inland waters or on the ocean. A whale-watching tour is another good way to enjoy the outdoors and help your kids develop an appreciation for the environment.

  • 07 of 09

    American Girl Place

    American Girl Place at the Grove
    ••• American Girl Place at the Grove. Photo © 2016 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    OK, it's a girl thing, but watching your girls share tea with their (or borrowed) dolls at the American Girl Café is pretty precious. And then there's the shopping…

    More on visiting American Girl Place

  • 08 of 09

    Knights and Pirates

    Pirates Dinner Adventure
    ••• Pirates Dinner Adventure. Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    Kids can revel in their fascination with knights and pirates at permanent venues and multi-weekend events around Los Angeles. Medieval Times in Buena Park is the original dinner show jousting match between armored knights. The Pirate's Dinner Adventure follows the same structure with an interactive pirate-themed show. Annually, there are 11 weekends each spring when ye olde renaissance fairs and pirate festivals run back to back. There are also a couple pirate festivals that are part of the Long Beach International Sea Festival every summer.

    Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for the sword fights that will ensue at your house if you take your kids to watch live knights and pirates.

    Check for Pirate discount tickets

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Take the Kids to a Ball Game

    Los Angeles Dodgers v Minnesota Twins
    ••• Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images

    Although we lack a professional football team, you can take the kids out to see the Dodgers or Angels play baseball, the Lakers or Clippers play basketball, the Galaxy play soccer, or the LA Kings play hockey. Regular cheap seats at a baseball game can be an inexpensive treat, or look for discount tickets for better seats at LA sporting events at Goldstar.com or ScoreBig.som.