20 Things To Do in Los Angeles for Families | LA Travel

There is so much to do in Los Angeles County that I had a hard time putting this list together. In fact, I could have easily made it 50. But I tried to focus on places I’ve experienced first-hand with my family and a few suggestions from dear friends. I hope your family has as much fun as we have experiencing these great things to do in Los Angeles County.

Looking for things to do in Los Angeles? We have 20 of them for you and your family that you will surely enjoy! Things to do in LA | Things to do in SoCal | Things to do in California | Malibu Surfing | Surfing Tips | Travel Tips | Los Angeles Travel | Traveling with Kids | Aquarium of the Pacific | Griffith Observatory | La Brea Tar Pits | El Capitan Theatre | Olvera Street

Looking for things to do in Los Angeles? We have 20 of them for you and your family that you will surely enjoy!

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Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

This is a great place for an urban hike. The well-manicured gardens are fun to explore and there is plenty of local wildlife roaming the grounds. Pack a lunch or visit the cafe, just make sure you visit the waterfall.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library

Your kids will love to see Air Force One and the limousine used by President Reagan. This summer there is an excellent baseball exhibit on display as well. A day at the museum will bring plenty of our nation’s history to life for you and your family.

California Science Center

My kids always enjoy a trip to the California Science Center and best of all it’s on the list of FREE things to do in Los Angeles. The ecosystems exhibit is excellent, and for a small fee, you can visit the space shuttle Endeavor. Take advantage of the Family Discovery Room, a great place for your little ones to explore free of the larger field trip groups. There are several dining options here as well.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Orange County isn’t the only home to amusement parks. And if your kids are fans of the Despicable Me minions, they’ll be thrilled to try a new attraction. The tram tour of the sets is a classic experience and many new rides and attractions have been added over the last few years. There’s added value to your ticket as well since it is valid for the remainder of 2014.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Another great one on the list of things to do in Los Angeles, this museum is home to a variety of styles of art. Along with paintings and sculptures, you’ll also find furniture and other relics. The pink bed is always a favorite of the young ones. The museum offers some great dining options, from food court style to sit down restaurant. A family room can be found here and it does a great job of making connections with your little ones by giving them hands-on activities to interact with. On Tuesdays, they have Art Stops for families with children 5 and up through the end of August.

Dodgers Game

Dodger Stadium is one of the last great ballparks in America, and it has been recently brought up to date this season with charging stations and free Wi-Fi. The new bullpen viewing areas are great for the little ones to get an up-close view of the players. Fridays are a special treat too with a post-game fireworks show. My family loves going to Dodger Stadium for the game, the food, and the fun. Believe it or not, most kids would rather sit high above where the seats are less expensive and provide amazing sunset views. So take your family out to the old ballgame.

Raging Waters

If you’re in need of a place to beat the heat, nothing tops Raging Waters in San Dimas. This water park has plenty for your family to do. They have four areas built specifically for your little ones in addition to slides, wave pools and lazy rivers for the rest of the family. They even provide interesting ticket options which include a meal and a sports bottle. Don’t forget to bring the sunblock when you soak in the sun at Raging Waters.

Los Angeles Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo has done a great job with its renovations, the rainforest has been the latest. We just recently renewed our membership because we enjoy observing the animals and getting in a nice little hike in at the same time. My wife loves getting there early to see the elephants as they explore the grounds looking for carrots and celery on the path. My son enjoys the Lair, home to many of the reptiles and amphibians at the zoo. My daughter loves the Conservation Carousel with its vast array of beautifully painted animals to ride on.

Griffith Observatory

Take your family to see the stars when looking for things to do in Los Angeles. The planetarium hosts a variety of shows daily, and telescopes are available for stargazing free to the public all the way to 9:45 p.m. Parking can be challenging so a small hike may be involved. There is plenty of trail to hike around the observatory for that matter.

Looking for things to do in Los Angeles? We have 20 of them for you and your family that you will surely enjoy! Things to do in LA | Things to do in SoCal | Things to do in California | Malibu Surfing | Surfing Tips | Travel Tips | Los Angeles Travel | Traveling with Kids | Aquarium of the Pacific | Griffith Observatory | La Brea Tar Pits | El Capitan Theatre | Olvera Street

Hiking in L.A. – Things to do in Los Angeles

There are plenty of great hikes to be had in Los Angeles County and there really is nothing better than getting out and taking a nice hike with the family. Work your way up from easy to moderate and take in some off the grid places that are not accessible by car. It really is amazing what can be found all around the L.A. County, waterfalls, wildlife, and amazing views.

Go Fish

There are several parks in L.A. County that offer fishing spots. Fishing licenses are not required for children under 16 years of age. Fishing is another great activity that allows a family time to talk and exercise patience while waiting for a fish to bite. My kids have learned a lot about patience and perseverance while fishing the last two summers. Ultimately they’ve enjoyed it every time we went out.

Olvera St.

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Olvera Street is a great place to explore the Hispanic heritage of the city. This is great place to walk and explore the many shops and food stalls. Visit the first fire department in the city as well as the El Pueblo historic monument. My family likes to take the Metro light rail to Union Station when we visit since it is located across the street. You can always make this stop on your way to a Dodger game as well, we do this from time to time.

El Capitan Theatre

If your family enjoys Disney and Pixar films, this is the ultimate place to take in the latest movie. They often provide pre-show entertainment and have actual set pieces on display for you and your little ones to explore before and after the film. My children were able to take in Brave when at the El Capitan with their grandparents, they had a wonderful time.

La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits are always a hit with the kids. Not only do you get to see ice age skeletons in the museum, but you also get to witness the actual digging sites where some of these bones were found. They now offer excavator tours where you and your family can go behind the scenes of the dig.

Travel Town

Travel Town is a great inexpensive family treat. They have full size locomotives on sight to climb around and explore, small train sets for the toddler bunch to play with, and a miniature train set for the whole family to ride. The only thing that costs is the train ride and it goes for less than three dollars a person. I just noticed that they have a second location on the other side of Griffith Park. Train rides are the same price there too, and it looks to be fairly close to the Griffith Observatory as well.

Aquarium of the Pacific

My kids love visiting aquariums. They love exploring a world of sea life that is otherwise foreign to them. The Long Beach-based aquarium is home to 11,000 sea animals and over 5,000 species. Your kids are sure to enjoy a day exploring all the exhibits. If you’re looking for a deal, check out the select discounted late nights.


This tip came from a friend of mine, his kids love this place so it’s top on their list of things to do in Los Angeles. There is plenty to explore at this children’s museum, a physics garden, beehive, gardens, outdoor play, and more. This seems to be the place in L.A. to go if your in need of an excellent educational children’s museum.


Beat the heat in an air-conditioned bowling alley if you are looking for things to do in Los Angeles. Most have great summertime deals for you and your kids. My kids love bowling and we rarely get around to doing it, but every time they have fun and leave with a smile. Two games is more than enough for one visit and lighter bowling balls are usually available upon request. There’s even ramps to help your littlest ones get that ball down the lane.


Vacation Bible School is an excellent way to have some summer fun with kids from the neighborhood. Many churches of various denominations hold week-long programs filled with music, crafts, and outdoor play. My kids can’t wait to go each summer, in fact we end up bringing cousins and friends as well. So check out the local offerings and have a great time at a VBS.

Surf’s Up

Los Angeles County has plenty to offer from Malibu to Manhattan. A great beach for little ones is Mothers Beach in Long Beach. It’s wave-less and well supervised by lifeguards. My kids have a great time playing there in the water and the sand. Santa Monica has plenty to do on the pier. Get out and soak in the sun.

There are so many places on this list of things to do in Los Angeles that it may take you all year to see them. While your exploring Los Angeles County with your family keeps this list in mind. Some of the places on the list are fairly close together. You may even be able to squeeze a few into one day.  And remember we have a big list of things to do in Orange County as well!

Enjoy the journey with your family. These years don’t last forever. Make the most of them.

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