The Best Kids Party Ideas in Los Angeles

When we were young, we thought that life was so beautiful. And we didn’t even get a party in the City of Angels.

~

Santa Monica at sunset

Imagine being a child celebrating their party in La La Land, in the shadow of the Hollywood Sign and the orbit of Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Kevin Spacey other big celebs. With its theme parks, Hollywood memorabilia and creative family museums, Los Angeles makes for a children’s paradise. You could hang out on one of the beaches, hang out at the mall or hang out at the arcade games of the Santa Monica pier. As long as you’re hanging out. That seems quite Californian. Just make sure the kids don’t fall in the ocean, as it’d be a bit of a downer on the whole birthday experience.

So, without further ado, let’s party like it’s 1999, which somehow happened more than a decade before your child’s birth. There’s a lot of choice for kids party ideas in Los Angeles, but never fear, the Plum Guide experts are here. And this is what we’d do, if we had kids. Can a guide even have kids? Who knows, maybe one day…

Universal Studios

Let's start with one of the best kids party ideas in Los Angeles, shall we? Bring your little one and their friends to the coolest place in the univers(al). So, you’ll have to put up with Jimmy Fallon’s voice on the Hollywood tour – kids seem to like him, right? But then you get to travel through the mouths of the dinosaurs out of Jurassic Park on a water ride and zoom through Springfield on a pretty realistic Simpsons simulator. And hey, the site hands out special Universal Studios birthday buttons for kids who can prove it’s their birthday…so, expect a button.

Rollercoaster ride at Universal Studios

Rollercoaster ride at Universal Studios

Restaurants

You’ve all heard the birthday songs at TGI Fridays. Americans know how to celebrate a birthday with passion and vigour. Smash through the levels of the retro arcade games in the Button Mash restaurant or ramble through the San Pedro Fish Market. Little kids can get into the face painting and karaoke at the Giggles ‘n’ Huggles restaurant, if you can get past that name, while the equally annoyingly named Twinkle Twinkle Kids Café also has a great children's play area. (Ok, so this might not be quite the food tour through Los Angeles you hoped for, but you can always come back without the kids next year.)

Family Museums

Yes, museums can be fun, so don't shy away from them when thinking of kids party ideas in Los Angeles. La Brea Tar Pits Museum is certainly not the pits. Don’t use such old-people expressions with the kids at the party; they won’t understand a word of it, what with their ultra-modern Tamagotchis and Gameboys. But yes, the museum itself is a lot of fun and a great place to learn about the Ice Age through excavated fossils, which, in their eyes, resemble us. Then, there’s the Kidspace Children’s Museum, with its interactive museums, and the Pretend City Children’s Museum that teaches little ones about problem solving.

Theme Parks

It’s a little ambitious, but if you’re up for keeping track of a motley crew of children, as they zoom through the worlds of a theme park, be our guest. Indeed, be our guest and get on the Beauty and the Beast cups at the Disneyland Park. It also has many other rides that don’t happen to correspond with a thing we just wrote. And the city is packed with other thrilling options, including the Pacific Park, the Boney Island and the Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Games

Kids and games go together like birthday ideas in Los Angeles. Pretty darn well, if you ask us. So, you can’t go wrong, if you head on down to the Game Truck or the Santa Monica Playhouse. You can also rent out a space at Play, which has the options of Messy Art party and an Art & Music day. For something a little more on the pampering side to deal with the stresses of being a little kid, try Le Chic Spa.

Piers

Did we say games? Stroll out along the double-headed behemoth that is the Santa Monica Pier and lose the kids in the arcade. Seriously, do keep an eye on them, it’s a pier…so it’s surrounded by ocean and probably sharks and things. They’ll also enjoy wandering along the Venice Fishing Pier, the Manhattan Beach Pier and the Hermosa Pier. When was the last time you read pier so many times in one pier-less paragraph?

Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

Beaches

As it happens, you’ll usually find a beach right next to a pier. That makes sense, right? Teach the kids to surf on the choppy waves of the beaches in Malibu. Check in at the aquarium at Long Beach, before playing volleyball with the little ones in the party on the sand (you’ll beat the smallest easily). Take the kiddos past the Muscle Beach for a sight they won’t soon forget, then settle on the Venice Beach for all manner of organised fun and games. Most beaches are lifeguard patrolled and considered pretty safe, but do keep an eye on the children.

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