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Three wooly mammoth statues in and around a lake surrounded by grass and palm trees on a sunny day.
La Brea Tar Pits, an ice age fossil site in the heart of Los Angeles.
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The 30 best things to do in Los Angeles with kids

From Griffith Park to the Natural History Museum, these are the top spots for families in LA

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La Brea Tar Pits, an ice age fossil site in the heart of Los Angeles.
| Shutterstock

There are so many kid-friendly places to see in Los Angeles, where do you begin? As the second-largest urban region in the United States, LA offers families more activities and adventures than many small countries, but that doesn’t mean they are all worth the time.

Sure, you could spend a week at Disneyland, but that’s not really what the city is all about. Take some pointers from the locals and see Los Angeles County as they do: Full of vibrant cultural opportunities, art, amazing outdoor spaces, and yes, even public transportation.

The weather in LA also means that a family vacation is worth the trek at any time of year. The city is a dream for kiddos who love to run and play outside in the sunshine. And even in places that are designed for kids—like Griffith Park or the children’s garden at the Huntington Library—adults will find plenty to pique their interest.

Whether you’re age two or 62, behold, the 30 best destinations in Los Angeles for families and kids.

Traveling to other cities with your kiddos? Don’t miss Curbed’s maps of the best family activities in Washington, D.C., Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans, Austin, and New York City.

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1. Descanso Gardens

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1418 Descanso Dr
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 949-4200
Visit Website

Full of lily ponds, roses, and leafy trees, Descanso Gardens lets kids roam free and explore the natural world. 

Don't miss the Enchanted Railroad, daily story times, and the family-friendly concerts in the summer.

A post shared by kaori (@bellysesame) on

2. Kidspace Children's Museum

Copy Link
480 N Arroyo Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 449-9144
Visit Website

With 3.5 acres of interactive exhibits including an indoor imagination workshop, an ant colony climbing structure, and an interactive greenhouse, the Kidspace Children's Museum is one of the top destinations for LA kiddos. 

Don't miss the outdoor Arroyo Adventure area, where children can learn about ecosytems by climbing a giant hawk's nest, building dams, and exploring a mud kitchen. 

Pro tip: Bring a change of clothes, towel, and water shoes; things can get messy.

A post shared by @bigbr0wnd0g on

3. Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

Copy Link
301 N Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 821-3222
Visit Website

Hop on the free shuttle from the Gold Line and head to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden for gorgeous mini-hikes and a variety of hands-on activities.

Kids will love the roaming peacocks, bookworms story time, and the family adventure classes offered monthly.

4. Griffith Park

Copy Link
4730 Crystal Springs Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 665-3051
Visit Website

Griffith Park has something for everyone, whether it's hiking to the Hollywood Sign, exploring the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, searching the sky at the Griffith Observatory, or taking a ride on the historic merry-go-round. But one of our favorite things to do is to take the kids to the Griffith Park Pony Rides, where for $5 a ride, children can choose from slow, medium, or fast ponies.

Griffith Park also boasts three different train rides: a larger locomotive operated at the Griffith Park & Southern Railroad, a smaller train rolling out of the Travel Town railroad, and the L.A. Zoo Choo Choo train. 

Pro tip: Local parents flock to Trails Cafe for picnic-style seating in the shade and plenty of pastries and sandwiches.

Children line up behind a telescope. There is a child looking through one eye through the lens of the telescope. Shutterstock

5. TreePeople

Copy Link
12601 Mulholland Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(818) 753-4600
Visit Website

Located on 45 acres of Goldwater Canyon Park in the Santa Monica mountains, TreePeople offers nature trails and experiential education with the goal of teaching kids environmental stewardship. 

Daily admission is free, but check the website for special events like moonlight hikes, group dog walks, and native plant classes.

A post shared by TreePeople (@treepeoplela) on

6. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Copy Link
1151 Oxford Rd
San Marino, CA 91108
(626) 405-2100
Visit Website

The Huntington consists of an extensive library of rare books, three separate art galleries, and a botanical garden that covers more than 120 acres. Kids will love exploring the desert, Japanese, rose, and Chinese gardens.

A conservatory provides middle-school-age students exhibits on botany, but for the little ones (2 to 7 years old), the Helen and Peter Bing Children's Garden is not to miss. 

Children can splash in the water, explore a fog grotto, climb through a prism tunnel, and even dance in a circular rainbow room.

Pro tip: Bring a swimsuit or change of clothes to take advantage of all the fun.

7. El Capitan Theatre

Copy Link
6838 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(818) 845-3110
Visit Website

Families love the old El Capitan Theatre, a glittering example of cinema that opened in 1926 on Hollywood Boulevard. 

Beyond hosting "Tiny Tot Tuesdays" for parents with toddlers, the Disney-operated theater also adds something extra to any film experience. Expect to see familiar characters, live singing, and the delighted faces of children as streamers and confetti fall from the ceiling.

The inside of a theater. There is a box office structure in the center. The walls are ornately decorated with mosaics and tile-work. There are movie posters hanging in lit frames on the walls. Shutterstock

8. Time Travel Mart

Copy Link
1714 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 413-3388
Visit Website

Older kids will get a kick out of the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a time travel-themed retail store with the slogan, "Whenever you are, we're already then." 

Run by 826, the founders of the Superhero Supply store in Brooklyn and the Pirate Supply Company in San Francisco, the Echo Park version sells humorous gifts from the past, present, and future. 

The front of the store boasts its quirky collection, while the back houses the nonprofit tutoring center where 20 to 30 students receive instruction each day.

9. Echo Park Lake

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751 Echo Park Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 847-0929
Visit Website

Located in central Los Angeles with a stunning view of Downtown, Echo Park Lake is a favorite destination for strolling, fishing, and picnicking. But the best part is the pedal boats available for rent. 

For just $6 per kid and $11 per adult, you can paddle around the lake for up to an hour.

A body of blue-green water surrounded by trails and palm trees Shutterstock

10. Los Angeles State Historic Park

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1245 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 441-8819
Visit Website

After being closed for more than three years, this Chinatown park has reopened with a whole new look. Families will love the new perks of a $20 million renovation: A pleasant pedestrian walkway, picnic areas, wetlands, a public fruit orchard, and an elevated lookout point.

Even better, the park’s also added a ranger station and a welcome center with the always-important bathrooms.

11. La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

Copy Link
5801 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(213) 763-3499
Visit Website

The world’s most famous ice age fossil site is conveniently located in LA’s Miracle Mile district. 

Kids can take an excavator tour of the tar pits to see what the scientists are digging up, then head into the museum for exhibits on the Ice Age or a 3D film showing how animals become trapped in tar. 

There’s also a fossil lab where budding scientists can see what happens after fossils are extracted from the tar. Pack a picnic and have lunch in the park surrounding the museum, right in the middle of all the tar pit action.

In the foreground is a body of water with sculptures of elephants at the edge. In the distance are palm trees and a large building. Shutterstock

12. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Copy Link
5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 857-6000
Visit Website

As the best art museum for kids in the Los Angeles area, LACMA delivers on top-notch art in a family-friendly environment. 

Start in the spacious modern art galleries on the second floor of the Ahmanson building, burn off energy in the LACMA sculpture garden, see the illuminating Urban Light sculpture, and don't miss the Boone Children's Gallery for painting and story time.

A group of children sit around a large table with various arts and crafts materials on the table. LACMA

13. Grand Park

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200 N Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 972-8080
Visit Website

Located in Downtown Los Angeles, between the Music Center and City Hall, the 12-acre Grand Park is an urban oasis complete with fountains, tons of green space and drought-tolerant landscaping, and bright pink benches. 

Kids will love the splash pad and the whimsical playground (closer to City Hall) that looks like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.

A child in a colorful outfit is doing a handstand in the foreground in shallow water. In the distance is a fountain and many children standing in and around the fountain. There are buildings and trees behind the fountain. Courtesy of Grand Park

14. El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument

Copy Link
125 Paseo De La Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 485-6855
Visit Website

The birthplace of Los Angeles is full of activities for the whole family. Take a stroll down colorful Olvera Street (and grab some churros); take a step back in time at LA’s oldest home, the Avila Adobe; visit the old Plaza Firehouse. Conveniently located across the street from Union Station, the historic site also hosts frequent kid-friendly events, from live music to dance performances to the annual Las Posadas festival every December.

15. Angels Flight Railway

Copy Link
350 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90013

If you have kids who love old-timey transit, it doesn’t get any better than Angels Flight—a tiny railway that climbs up and down Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles.

The two train cars are 116 years old and are an essential part of a Grand Central Market visit. The short ride costs $1 each way, or 50 cents with a TAP card.

16. The Los Angeles Public Library

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630 W 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 228-7000
Visit Website

Book lovers beware: You might want to stay in the children's section of the Downtown public library forever. Wander among the stacks, enjoy the rich wood shelves, gawk at the colorful California history murals, or opt for one of the many story times. 

Older kids will like the computer zone and the young adult section that contains a well-curated list of recommendations.

17. The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles

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404 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 624-1000
Visit Website

Sometimes kids just want to ride in an elevator, and there’s no better place to do it than at this Downtown LA hotel. The spherical, glass-walled elevators scurry up and down the building’s exterior, providing a thrilling view of the city’s skyline. The hotel’s space station-like interior is also fun to explore.

A glass-walled building made up of multiple connected spherical towers Shutterstock

18. The Last Bookstore

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453 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 488-0599
Visit Website

As California's largest used and new book and record store, the two-story Last Bookstore is part Harry Potter wonderland and part artist loft. 

Hit the kids section on the first floor and then take a stroll through the "Labyrinth" on the second floor, a quirky area with used books organized by color and a very photographable book tunnel.

19. Hauser & Wirth

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901 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 943-1620
Visit Website

This recently opened, 116,000-square-foot complex in the Arts District is one of six Hauser & Wirth art centers located around the world devoted to contemporary art and modern masters. 

Kids and parents alike will enjoy the art and the amazing indoor and outdoor spaces, and the onsite restaurant is not only kid friendly, it also boasts 12 rare-breed chickens that are sure to delight the younger crowd. 

Not feeling a sit-down meal? Bring your own lunch and picnic in the garden.

A post shared by Terner (@terner_p) on

20. CicLAvia

Copy Link
525 S Hewitt St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 355-8500
Visit Website

If you happen to be in Los Angeles during a CicLAvia event, drop everything and take the kiddos to this virbant car-free street festival. 

Working with the city, CicLAvia temporarily opens streets to all Angelenos to bike, walk, skate, dance, and play. Free to the public, it's a giant, family-friendly party that turns streets into parks. 

Check the website to find out when and where the next event will be held.

A street with multiple people riding bicycles. The street is lined with palm trees and shops. There is a person with rollerblades on amongst the bicycle riders. Rob Rovira/Flickr

21. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Copy Link
900 W Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 763-3466
Visit Website

This natural history museum impresses with more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. But while the exhibits are stunning and the dinosaurs are massive, the museum also delivers on the little things, like tiny chairs for tiny people. 

Check out the rotating exhibits and don't miss the Nature Lab, a hands-on science lab with live animals and touchable specimens suitable for kiddos of all ages.

A child looks inside a large life-size diorama of bears in nature enclosed in glass. Shutterstock

22. California African American Museum

Copy Link
600 State Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90037
(213) 744-7432
Visit Website

Located on the eastern end of Exposition Park, near Downtown, the California African American Museum aims to showcase under-represented artists of color. Ever-changing exhibits give kids a taste of the arts, and a robust family program hosts mixed-media workshops for all ages on select weekends.

23. California Science Center

Copy Link
700 Exposition Park Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90037
(323) 724-3623
Visit Website

Kids will like the IMAX theater and the rotating exhibits at the California Science Center, but the real draw is the space shuttle Endeavour on display in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion. 

The museum is in the process of building Endeavour a new home, but in the meantime you can still see the NASA shuttle that traveled to space 25 times between 1992 and 2011. 

Note that timed reservations are required to see Endeavour on weekends, holidays, and high attendance weeks.

A man, woman, and two small children look up at a large aircraft on display in a terminal with high ceilings. California Science Center

24. Tongva Park

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1615 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-8310
Visit Website

Santa Monica's $42.3 million Tongva Park opened in 2013 to rave reviews, especially given the 6.2 acre park's stunning transformation from parking lot to ideal outdoor space. 

Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the people behind New York's High Line, the park boasts 18-foot observation decks, winding walkways, rolling hills, and expansive lawns. 

Don't miss the playground and splash pad in the southeast quadrant of the park.

25. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

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1600 Ocean Front Walk
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-6149
Visit Website

Run by the nonprofit Heal the Bay, this under-the-radar aquarium on the Santa Monica Pier is home to 100 species of marine animals and plants. 

Kids rave about the interactive exhibits, the mesmerizing "moon jellies," and watching aquarium staff feed the horn and swell sharks.

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26. Discovery Cube Los Angeles

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11800 Foothill Blvd
Sylmar, CA 91342
(818) 686-2823
Visit Website

Originally built as an expansion of the much-loved, but long gone Children’s Museum of Los Angeles, this huge, kid-oriented science center finally opened in 2014. It features a wide array of regular exhibits and temporary exhibitions where young ones can take a virtual helicopter tour or hop aboard a Zamboni machine.

The expansive Hansen Dam Recreation Area next door is a great place for a post-visit picnic.

27. Aquarium of the Pacific

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320 Golden Shore #100
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 590-3100
Visit Website

With more than 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits, the Aquarium of the Pacific offers way more than a few fish in a tank. Kids can get up close with a penguin, touch over 150 sharks in Shark Lagoon, and feed colorful birds in the Lorikeet forest.

Pro tip: Consider reserving a spot in the Animal Encounters to feed a sea lion or other creatures.

28. Battleship USS Iowa Museum

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250 S Harbor Blvd
San Pedro, CA 90731
(877) 446-9261
Visit Website

As the West Coast’s only battleship open to the public, the USS Iowa Museum lets kids explore maritime history in an interactive way. Kid-friendly tours show all the exhibits on board, and a must-do scavenger hunt is a highlight.

29. Children's Book World

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10580 Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 559-2665
Visit Website

Kids and adults alike will love this cozy book store with more than 80,000 titles and loads of interesting stuffed animals and educational toys. Find your way using the helpful age-appropriate sections and check the website for story hours.

30. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

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3720 Stephen M White Dr
San Pedro, CA 90731
(310) 548-7562
Visit Website

This family-friendly marine life center isn’t as well known as the Aquarium of the Pacific, but it’s still got plenty to offer—starting with $5 admission for adults and $1 for children. The aquarium exclusively focuses on local marine life, and houses several exhibits on Southern California’s oceans in its Frank Gehry-designed building. Staff also offer free guided tidepool walks on weekends at nearby Cabrillo Beach.

1. Descanso Gardens

1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

Full of lily ponds, roses, and leafy trees, Descanso Gardens lets kids roam free and explore the natural world. 

Don't miss the Enchanted Railroad, daily story times, and the family-friendly concerts in the summer.

1418 Descanso Dr
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

2. Kidspace Children's Museum

480 N Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103

With 3.5 acres of interactive exhibits including an indoor imagination workshop, an ant colony climbing structure, and an interactive greenhouse, the Kidspace Children's Museum is one of the top destinations for LA kiddos. 

Don't miss the outdoor Arroyo Adventure area, where children can learn about ecosytems by climbing a giant hawk's nest, building dams, and exploring a mud kitchen. 

Pro tip: Bring a change of clothes, towel, and water shoes; things can get messy.

480 N Arroyo Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91103

3. Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

Hop on the free shuttle from the Gold Line and head to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden for gorgeous mini-hikes and a variety of hands-on activities.

Kids will love the roaming peacocks, bookworms story time, and the family adventure classes offered monthly.

301 N Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

4. Griffith Park

4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Children line up behind a telescope. There is a child looking through one eye through the lens of the telescope. Shutterstock

Griffith Park has something for everyone, whether it's hiking to the Hollywood Sign, exploring the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, searching the sky at the Griffith Observatory, or taking a ride on the historic merry-go-round. But one of our favorite things to do is to take the kids to the Griffith Park Pony Rides, where for $5 a ride, children can choose from slow, medium, or fast ponies.

Griffith Park also boasts three different train rides: a larger locomotive operated at the Griffith Park & Southern Railroad, a smaller train rolling out of the Travel Town railroad, and the L.A. Zoo Choo Choo train. 

Pro tip: Local parents flock to Trails Cafe for picnic-style seating in the shade and plenty of pastries and sandwiches.

4730 Crystal Springs Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90027

5. TreePeople

12601 Mulholland Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Located on 45 acres of Goldwater Canyon Park in the Santa Monica mountains, TreePeople offers nature trails and experiential education with the goal of teaching kids environmental stewardship. 

Daily admission is free, but check the website for special events like moonlight hikes, group dog walks, and native plant classes.

12601 Mulholland Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

6. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108

The Huntington consists of an extensive library of rare books, three separate art galleries, and a botanical garden that covers more than 120 acres. Kids will love exploring the desert, Japanese, rose, and Chinese gardens.

A conservatory provides middle-school-age students exhibits on botany, but for the little ones (2 to 7 years old), the Helen and Peter Bing Children's Garden is not to miss. 

Children can splash in the water, explore a fog grotto, climb through a prism tunnel, and even dance in a circular rainbow room.

Pro tip: Bring a swimsuit or change of clothes to take advantage of all the fun.

1151 Oxford Rd
San Marino, CA 91108

7. El Capitan Theatre

6838 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The inside of a theater. There is a box office structure in the center. The walls are ornately decorated with mosaics and tile-work. There are movie posters hanging in lit frames on the walls. Shutterstock

Families love the old El Capitan Theatre, a glittering example of cinema that opened in 1926 on Hollywood Boulevard. 

Beyond hosting "Tiny Tot Tuesdays" for parents with toddlers, the Disney-operated theater also adds something extra to any film experience. Expect to see familiar characters, live singing, and the delighted faces of children as streamers and confetti fall from the ceiling.

6838 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

8. Time Travel Mart

1714 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Older kids will get a kick out of the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a time travel-themed retail store with the slogan, "Whenever you are, we're already then." 

Run by 826, the founders of the Superhero Supply store in Brooklyn and the Pirate Supply Company in San Francisco, the Echo Park version sells humorous gifts from the past, present, and future. 

The front of the store boasts its quirky collection, while the back houses the nonprofit tutoring center where 20 to 30 students receive instruction each day.

1714 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

9. Echo Park Lake

751 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026
A body of blue-green water surrounded by trails and palm trees Shutterstock

Located in central Los Angeles with a stunning view of Downtown, Echo Park Lake is a favorite destination for strolling, fishing, and picnicking. But the best part is the pedal boats available for rent. 

For just $6 per kid and $11 per adult, you can paddle around the lake for up to an hour.

751 Echo Park Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026

10. Los Angeles State Historic Park

1245 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

After being closed for more than three years, this Chinatown park has reopened with a whole new look. Families will love the new perks of a $20 million renovation: A pleasant pedestrian walkway, picnic areas, wetlands, a public fruit orchard, and an elevated lookout point.

Even better, the park’s also added a ranger station and a welcome center with the always-important bathrooms.

1245 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

11. La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
In the foreground is a body of water with sculptures of elephants at the edge. In the distance are palm trees and a large building. Shutterstock

The world’s most famous ice age fossil site is conveniently located in LA’s Miracle Mile district. 

Kids can take an excavator tour of the tar pits to see what the scientists are digging up, then head into the museum for exhibits on the Ice Age or a 3D film showing how animals become trapped in tar. 

There’s also a fossil lab where budding scientists can see what happens after fossils are extracted from the tar. Pack a picnic and have lunch in the park surrounding the museum, right in the middle of all the tar pit action.

5801 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

12. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
A group of children sit around a large table with various arts and crafts materials on the table. LACMA

As the best art museum for kids in the Los Angeles area, LACMA delivers on top-notch art in a family-friendly environment. 

Start in the spacious modern art galleries on the second floor of the Ahmanson building, burn off energy in the LACMA sculpture garden, see the illuminating Urban Light sculpture, and don't miss the Boone Children's Gallery for painting and story time.

5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

13. Grand Park

200 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
A child in a colorful outfit is doing a handstand in the foreground in shallow water. In the distance is a fountain and many children standing in and around the fountain. There are buildings and trees behind the fountain. Courtesy of Grand Park

Located in Downtown Los Angeles, between the Music Center and City Hall, the 12-acre Grand Park is an urban oasis complete with fountains, tons of green space and drought-tolerant landscaping, and bright pink benches. 

Kids will love the splash pad and the whimsical playground (closer to City Hall) that looks like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.

200 N Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

14. El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument

125 Paseo De La Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The birthplace of Los Angeles is full of activities for the whole family. Take a stroll down colorful Olvera Street (and grab some churros); take a step back in time at LA’s oldest home, the Avila Adobe; visit the old Plaza Firehouse. Conveniently located across the street from Union Station, the historic site also hosts frequent kid-friendly events, from live music to dance performances to the annual Las Posadas festival every December.

125 Paseo De La Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012

15. Angels Flight Railway

350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013

If you have kids who love old-timey transit, it doesn’t get any better than Angels Flight—a tiny railway that climbs up and down Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles.

The two train cars are 116 years old and are an essential part of a Grand Central Market visit. The short ride costs $1 each way, or 50 cents with a TAP card.

350 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90013

16. The Los Angeles Public Library

630 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Book lovers beware: You might want to stay in the children's section of the Downtown public library forever. Wander among the stacks, enjoy the rich wood shelves, gawk at the colorful California history murals, or opt for one of the many story times. 

Older kids will like the computer zone and the young adult section that contains a well-curated list of recommendations.

630 W 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90071

17. The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles

404 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071
A glass-walled building made up of multiple connected spherical towers Shutterstock

Sometimes kids just want to ride in an elevator, and there’s no better place to do it than at this Downtown LA hotel. The spherical, glass-walled elevators scurry up and down the building’s exterior, providing a thrilling view of the city’s skyline. The hotel’s space station-like interior is also fun to explore.

404 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90071

18. The Last Bookstore

453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

As California's largest used and new book and record store, the two-story Last Bookstore is part Harry Potter wonderland and part artist loft. 

Hit the kids section on the first floor and then take a stroll through the "Labyrinth" on the second floor, a quirky area with used books organized by color and a very photographable book tunnel.

453 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

19. Hauser & Wirth

901 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

This recently opened, 116,000-square-foot complex in the Arts District is one of six Hauser & Wirth art centers located around the world devoted to contemporary art and modern masters. 

Kids and parents alike will enjoy the art and the amazing indoor and outdoor spaces, and the onsite restaurant is not only kid friendly, it also boasts 12 rare-breed chickens that are sure to delight the younger crowd. 

Not feeling a sit-down meal? Bring your own lunch and picnic in the garden.

901 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

20. CicLAvia

525 S Hewitt St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
A street with multiple people riding bicycles. The street is lined with palm trees and shops. There is a person with rollerblades on amongst the bicycle riders. Rob Rovira/Flickr

If you happen to be in Los Angeles during a CicLAvia event, drop everything and take the kiddos to this virbant car-free street festival. 

Working with the city, CicLAvia temporarily opens streets to all Angelenos to bike, walk, skate, dance, and play. Free to the public, it's a giant, family-friendly party that turns streets into parks. 

Check the website to find out when and where the next event will be held.

525 S Hewitt St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

21. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

900 W Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007
A child looks inside a large life-size diorama of bears in nature enclosed in glass. Shutterstock

This natural history museum impresses with more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. But while the exhibits are stunning and the dinosaurs are massive, the museum also delivers on the little things, like tiny chairs for tiny people. 

Check out the rotating exhibits and don't miss the Nature Lab, a hands-on science lab with live animals and touchable specimens suitable for kiddos of all ages.

900 W Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90007

22. California African American Museum

600 State Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037

Located on the eastern end of Exposition Park, near Downtown, the California African American Museum aims to showcase under-represented artists of color. Ever-changing exhibits give kids a taste of the arts, and a robust family program hosts mixed-media workshops for all ages on select weekends.

600 State Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90037

23. California Science Center

700 Exposition Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037
A man, woman, and two small children look up at a large aircraft on display in a terminal with high ceilings. California Science Center

Kids will like the IMAX theater and the rotating exhibits at the California Science Center, but the real draw is the space shuttle Endeavour on display in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion. 

The museum is in the process of building Endeavour a new home, but in the meantime you can still see the NASA shuttle that traveled to space 25 times between 1992 and 2011. 

Note that timed reservations are required to see Endeavour on weekends, holidays, and high attendance weeks.

700 Exposition Park Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90037

24. Tongva Park

1615 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Santa Monica's $42.3 million Tongva Park opened in 2013 to rave reviews, especially given the 6.2 acre park's stunning transformation from parking lot to ideal outdoor space. 

Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the people behind New York's High Line, the park boasts 18-foot observation decks, winding walkways, rolling hills, and expansive lawns. 

Don't miss the playground and splash pad in the southeast quadrant of the park.

1615 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401

25. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Run by the nonprofit Heal the Bay, this under-the-radar aquarium on the Santa Monica Pier is home to 100 species of marine animals and plants. 

Kids rave about the interactive exhibits, the mesmerizing "moon jellies," and watching aquarium staff feed the horn and swell sharks.

1600 Ocean Front Walk
Santa Monica, CA 90401

26. Discovery Cube Los Angeles

11800 Foothill Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342

Originally built as an expansion of the much-loved, but long gone Children’s Museum of Los Angeles, this huge, kid-oriented science center finally opened in 2014. It features a wide array of regular exhibits and temporary exhibitions where young ones can take a virtual helicopter tour or hop aboard a Zamboni machine.

The expansive Hansen Dam Recreation Area next door is a great place for a post-visit picnic.

11800 Foothill Blvd
Sylmar, CA 91342

27. Aquarium of the Pacific

320 Golden Shore #100, Long Beach, CA 90802

With more than 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits, the Aquarium of the Pacific offers way more than a few fish in a tank. Kids can get up close with a penguin, touch over 150 sharks in Shark Lagoon, and feed colorful birds in the Lorikeet forest.

Pro tip: Consider reserving a spot in the Animal Encounters to feed a sea lion or other creatures.

320 Golden Shore #100
Long Beach, CA 90802

28. Battleship USS Iowa Museum

250 S Harbor Blvd, San Pedro, CA 90731

As the West Coast’s only battleship open to the public, the USS Iowa Museum lets kids explore maritime history in an interactive way. Kid-friendly tours show all the exhibits on board, and a must-do scavenger hunt is a highlight.

250 S Harbor Blvd
San Pedro, CA 90731

29. Children's Book World

10580 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Kids and adults alike will love this cozy book store with more than 80,000 titles and loads of interesting stuffed animals and educational toys. Find your way using the helpful age-appropriate sections and check the website for story hours.

10580 Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

30. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

3720 Stephen M White Dr, San Pedro, CA 90731

This family-friendly marine life center isn’t as well known as the Aquarium of the Pacific, but it’s still got plenty to offer—starting with $5 admission for adults and $1 for children. The aquarium exclusively focuses on local marine life, and houses several exhibits on Southern California’s oceans in its Frank Gehry-designed building. Staff also offer free guided tidepool walks on weekends at nearby Cabrillo Beach.

3720 Stephen M White Dr
San Pedro, CA 90731