If you’re looking for things to do in Los Angeles with kids besides visiting Disneyland or taking pics with the comic book characters littering the Walk of Fame, look no further. These are our picks for the best kids’ activities in Los Angeles for tourists and locals alike. The best part? We have deals for a lot of these activities, making it even easier to spend quality time with the kids before they grow up.
Nestled in the hills of Griffith Park is the 133-acre animal sanctuary that’s been serving the city since the 1960s. Kids and their parents can wander past habitats designed to mimic the natural environments of everything from gorillas to elephants to meerkats, which provided inspiration for The Lion King’s animators. And for just $5, kids can feed the giraffes a tasty snack. It’s no wonder this is one of best things to do in LA with kids.
At the Science Center, kids can watch bugs break down rotten wood (Rot Room), race solar cars (Solar Car Competition), and use bat radar to locate prey (Animal Senses). The main attraction, however, is the Space Shuttle Endeavour, a retired orbiter that had a memorable trip down LA's streets to arrive at its museum home. General admission is free, but visiting the Endeavour costs $3 for a timed ticket.
A ferris wheel and roller coaster. Nostalgic arcade games. An aquarium. Visiting Santa Monica Pier is one of the quintessential things to do in Los Angeles with kids because it’s packed with kid-friendly activities like these. Our favorite way to kill an afternoon? Strolling along the pier, ice creams in hand, watching the street performers do their thing.
Where else but Hollywood can you ride on the tusk of an elephant, walk on a ledge of a skyscraper, or stroll alongside A-list celebs on the red carpet? The Museum of Illusions’s 3D illusions and Upside Down House—where visitors walk on the ceiling—make for memorable family photos and Instagram snaps. Plus, kids 5 and younger are free.
The world-renowned La Brea Tar Pits bring the past to life every day. Because it’s an active dig site, the fossils of plants and animals from the last 50,000 years are discovered at the tar pits every day. Kids get to see mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and giant ground sloths, as well as watch scientists prepare specimens in the Fossil Lab.
Give the kids (and let's be honest, yourself) permission to go wild at this anger-room facility, where participants smash breakables in soundproof rooms. Kids 10 and older are welcome here, making it an ideal bonding activity for families with older children.
This massive aquatic center might be LA’s largest public pool, but with its water slides, white-sand beach, cabanas, and mountain vistas, it feels like a tropical resort. Families can pack a picnic lunch and spend the majority of a hot LA day here for only $4/adult and $1/child.
Kids literally bouncing off the walls is a good thing at Sky Zone. Here, people of all ages bound around on wall-to-wall trampolines, slam dunk basketballs into lofted hoops, and leap out of the way of dodgeballs. So basically, it’s the perfect place to go when you want to tire the kids out.
This climbing gym, with locations in LA, Santa Ana, and Playa Vista, entertains all ages with traditional rock and boulder climbing. But it really stands out with its Sender City climbing centers, where kids can scale a building like Spider Man, scurry up a black-light wall, and careen down an almost vertical drop slide—all while safely buckled into an auto-belay system.