The (Very) Best Things to Do in Los Angeles with Kids

Child stars aren’t the only ones who can enjoy the dazzling lights of the City of Angels. Here are the (very) best things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

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Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

You could say that being home to Disneyland, Universal Studios and countless other family attractions makes Los Angeles something of a unique draw for children. Use it as a bargaining chip to get them to complete all their chores and homework before you go. With a clean house and tidy bedrooms, you’re all set for the land of la la, whatever that means. And Los Angeles seems to have been built with the enchantment and ambition perfectly suited to a child’s eye.

There’s so much to do and such a wide-ranging choice, that it can all be a little overwhelming to plan. Don’t fret. We’re here to do our utmost to make sure your spoilt brats don’t ruin yet another beloved little ones enjoy this holiday as much as you do. Here are some of the best things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

Disneyland and other theme parks

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. We’re talking the Disneyland Park, SeaWorld San Diego and Six Flags Magic Mountain. In fact, there are so many of these themed worlds of fun that we could write an entire article on just that. In fact, maybe we will. We call copyright (is that how that works?). Don’t forget Knott’s Berry Farm, the Legoland California Resort and the Pacific Park.

Seaworld, San Diego, California

Universal Studios

What could be more exciting than blurring the boundary between family holiday and Hollywood legend at Universal Studios? Ok, so your kid isn’t going to be the next Christian Bale or Kirsten Dunst (are they sufficiently on-trend examples of the child stars of yesteryear?), but they’ll be able to get a little taste of the magic behind the movies. Oh, and a complex water ride takes you right into the mouths of the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. Spoiler: most of the tour is annoyingly led by Jimmy Fallon.

The Zoo

What kid doesn’t like the zoo? Plum Guide is not liable for slander, if it so happens your child doesn’t enjoy zoological parks. Anyway, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens also has…botanical gardens, so there’s something for everyone, and it makes for an idyllic open-air activity to make the most of the city’s climate. You can see why it’s one of the top things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

Hollywood

Oh, you thought that Universal Studios was enough of the Hollywood dream? Those kids aren’t going to be happy until they’re in the movies. Make sure they take a tour of the Dolby Theater to begin planning for that Oscar win – or buy a plastic award in the souvenir shop and be done with it, like we did. Check for your name on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and study the models of your favourite celebs in Madame Tussauds. They manage to get the plastic waxy look down perfectly.

Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

Museums

Kids don’t really like museums. Well, many of them do actually, so ignore that. But they’ll especially love the Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena. It’s really for under 10s, and comprises a range of outdoor exhibits where they can learn and take part. Bring a change of clothes and a towel, as there are some water activities. There’s also the The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, which may sound like a garden –which it is– but it’s also a museum with all sorts of exhibits on desert plants.

Beach

What could be more family-sounding than the Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey? Here, the water is shallow and placid, so it’s safe as Beverly Hills houses. Or feel the golden sand squelch between your toes on the Venice City Beach, before taking a walk along the pier. The Santa Monica Pier has a huge Ferris wheel that lights up at night. It’s a good place to leave the kids with your partner, while you make the most of the night shopping on Third Street Promenade.

Park

Sometimes, you don’t feel like getting all hot and sandy, which can be a bit of a nightmare with the kids and all. Fortunately, Los Angeles is teeming with green spaces. Stroll between the lily ponds and rose gardens of the Descanso Gardens and let your kids listen in at the daily story time sessions. Then, there’s the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, where you’ll spot peacocks and…well, there’s more story time. Must be an LA thing. And don’t forget the Griffith Park, right by that zoo (and botanical garden) we talked about earlier. You can get pony rides, look to the stars in the observatory and hike to the Hollywood Sign. Your kids can also partake in these activities.

Theatre

Forget the silver screen for a second. Los Angeles also has its fair share of stages for you old-fashioned types. And on Tuesdays at El Capitan Theatre, it’s Tiny Tot Tuesdays. We recommend you base your family in Venice if you’re looking to be close to an array of quaint and bohemian theatres.

So, that's our guide to the best things to do in Los Angeles with kids done. Looking for the perfect family accommodation in Los Angeles? Plum Guide’s gloriously meticulous home critics have checked everything to make sure its holiday rental homes are up to your high standards – from the location right down to the art on the walls. This means Plum Guide lists the world’s top 3% of rental homes. You'll find a Los Angeles home to suit every impeccable taste, meaning less time navigating 'up and coming' neighbourhoods miles out of town and more quality time with the family.

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