Favorite Kid-Friendly Activities in Los Angeles



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Written by Kristi Marcelle and Cagney Jarvis for Ciao Bambino.

With temperate weather and year-round activities, Los Angeles is a perfect vacation destination. Families should know that the LA area is sprawling and the best way to approach sightseeing is to divide and conquer. Rent a car, figure out what you want to do, and plan accordingly. Do you want beach, museums, or nature?

The beauty of Los Angeles is that there are many diverse and interesting experiences and attractions within driving distance for a day trip. Note, traffic and parking are notoriously horrible—plan for just 1-2 activities per day. Disneyland, of course, is a main kid-friendly attraction, but is located in Orange County and subsequently excluded from list.

Note: Be sure to read the Day Notes for the kid-friendly details on recommended attractions.

Ciao Bambino provides tips and advice around all things related to traveling with kids and is a guide to the best kid friendly hotels.

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Author: Ciao Bambino!


Day 2 - Los Angeles, Hollywood


La Brea Tarpits

The centrally located La Brea Tar Pits are a popular field trip for school children and families. The museum is home to over 3 million fossils from the last Ice Age; think saber-toothed cats, wooly mammoths and giant ground sloths. Peruse the fossils indoors then walk outside to the tar pits and you may find paleontologists at work excavating Pit 91 (only in the summer). The outdoor grounds are perfect for a picnic or drive to the landmark Los Angeles Farmers Market and The Grove LA for a variety of good ethnic and American fast food or sit-down options.


1

La Brea Tar Pits

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Location:

5801 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Contact:

tel: +1 323 934 7243 (Museum)
fax: +1 323 933 7546 (Museum Store)
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2

Farmers Market and The Grove

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Location:

6333 W. 3rd St
At Fairfax Ave, Hollywood
Hollywood, CA 90036

Contact:

tel: 888/315-8883
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Day 3 - Hollywood, Los Angeles


Griffith Park and Hollywood

Griffith Park is LA’s Central Park. It’s an oasis for city residents and many visit simply to hike and take in nature. Highlights of the park include the recently renovated Griffith Park Observatory, the Los Angeles Zoo and the very popular Travel Town which is every train-fascinated child’s dream. The park is large and spread out so it’s a good idea to plan your trip ahead of time.

On your way to or from Griffith Park you may want make a detour and visit the renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame and Mann’s (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theater, home to many movie premieres. Dressed up characters like Batman and Spiderman are usually strolling the area, available for photo opportunities. The Hollywood area takes on an adult feel at night so it’s best to visit with children during the day.

Across the street from the Chinese Theater, there is the Disney-owned El Capitan Theater which is a beautiful old theater that always features the latest Disney movie – usually with a live show at the beginning. When it’s not showing the latest first-run movies, they show he classics – a little bit of Disney in Hollywood.


1

Griffith Park

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Location:

4730 Crystal Springs Drive
Hollywood; entrances are along Los Feliz Blvd., at Riverside Dr., Vermont Ave., and Western Ave
Hollywood, CA 90028

Contact:

tel: 323/913-4688
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2

Los Angeles Zoo

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Location:

5333 Zoo Dr
Griffith Park
Los Angeles, CA 91203

Contact:

tel: (323) 644-4200
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3

Travel Town Museum

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Location:

5200 Zoo Drive
Griffith Park
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Contact:

tel: (323) 662-5874
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4

Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Location:

6801 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Blvd., between Gower St. and La Brea Ave.; and Vine St., between Yucca St. and Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Contact:

tel: 323/469-8311
fax: +1 323 467 6412(Tourist Information)
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5

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Location:

6925 Hollywood Blvd
Between Highland and La Brea Aves
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Contact:

tel: 323/464-8111
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Day 4 - Los Angeles


Exposition Park

Exposition Park near downtown Los Angeles is surrounded by the USC campus and is home to the Natural History Museum, the California Science Center (free admission) and IMAX theatre and the Rose Garden - a beautiful spot to picnic and burn off some energy. The Discovery Center in the Natural History museum is a good first stop with younger children who will have fun digging for dinosaur bones and touching everything, including on special days, some freaky looking insects and reptiles.


1

Exposition Park

Location:

Exposition Park Drive
National History Museum of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Contact:

tel: +1 213 763 3466
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2

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

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Location:

900 Exposition Blvd
Exposition Park
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Contact:

tel: 213/763-DINO (213/763-3466)
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3

IMAX California Science Center

Location:

California Science Center
700 State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

Contact:

tel: +1 213 744 7400
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4

California Science Center

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Location:

700 State Dr
Exposition Park
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Contact:

tel: 323/724-3623
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Day 5 - San Marino


Huntington Gardens

The Huntington Gardens are located in Pasadena, approximately 30 minutes from downtown LA. There are over 100 acres open to the public with many different gardens—including the kid-appealing Children’s, Japanese, Chinese, Jungle and Lily Ponds gardens. Lots of open space means kids can run and explore at their pace. While there is no picnicking on the grounds, The Tea Room and Café serve family-friendly food options. Note: the free admission day here (the first Thursday of the month) is extremely popular and may not be your best bet for a relaxing visit.


1

Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

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Location:

1151 Oxford Rd
San Marino
San Marino, CA 91108

Contact:

tel: 626/405-2100
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