Los Angeles, located in Southern California is the center of film and television industry in the United States. Many of the big television and movie studios offer behind-the-scene tours to tourists. Visitors also flock to Hollywood Blvd and the Chinese Theater to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Aside from the typical tourist sites many visitors expect to see on a visit to the LA area, there are lots of other family friendly activities for everyone to enjoy.
If you are looking for a place to beat the heat and for the kiddos to run around, check out Descanso Gardens located in La Canada Flintridge. The park is full of lily pads, roses and leafy trees. In the summers you won’t want to miss the Enchanted Railroad, daily story times, and family-friendly concerts.
Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena has over 3.5 acres of interactive exhibits including an indoor imagination workshop, ant colony climbing structure, and an interactive greenhouse. You may want to bring a change of clothes, a towel and water shoes as things can get messy.
Griffith Park in Los Angeles has something for everyone. You can hike to the Hollywood Sign from here, visit the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, or search the sky at the Griffith Observatory. The park also offers pony rides for $3, and three different train rides, a larger locomotive, a smaller train, and the L.A. Zoo train.
- The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is a 133- acre zoo founded in 1966 and owned by the city. It is home to more than 1,100 mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles.
- The Griffith Observatory offers a planetarium, exhibits, and public telescopes, plus amazing views of the Hollywood Sign. The Observatory is closed on Mondays.
The El Capitan Theater located on Hollywood Blvd in L.A. hosts Tiny Tot Tuesdays, and the theater adds something to every film experience with appearances by Disney cast members, live singing and streamers and confetti.
The worlds most famous ice age fossil site, The La Brea Tar Pits is located in the Miracle Mile District. There is a museum, a 3D film and excavator tours of the tar pits are available.
One of the city’s best accessible playgrounds is Aidan’s Place at Westwood Recreation Center. Kids of all abilities can play in a sand castle, ride a zip line, and enjoy a play airplane cockpit. The playground also has a series of misters, but on the hottest days go early or late in the day as there is not much shade.
Long Beach is home to the Aquarium of the Pacific. The aquarium has more than 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits. Kids can get up close with a penguin, touch a shark in the Shark Lagoon, or feed the lorikeets.
For the ultimate Hollywood experience head to Universal Studios Hollywood which has theme park rides, shows, a working movie studio as well as restaurants and shops. You can also take a tour of the backlot and legendary Studio Tour.
Disneyland, the first theme park in the Disney family, and the only theme park construction overseen by Walt Disney himself is located just southeast of L.A. in Anaheim and across the way from Disney California Adventure Park. The area also has three resort hotels and a Downtown Disney District.
Located on what was once a working berry farm in Buena Park, Knott’s Berry Farm is the oldest theme park in Southern California. It is also far less expensive than Hollywood Studios and Disneyland, especially when tickets are purchased online in advance for a specific date. The park consists of 4 themed areas and has special seasonal events throughout the year.
Professional Sports Teams- The Los Angeles area has eleven professional sports teams. For game tickets visit the team website or a reputable ticket broker.
Los Angeles Angels- Professional baseball team based in Anaheim, regular season runs late March through the end of September. Public tours are available of Angel Stadium are available March- September.
Los Angeles Dodgers-Professional baseball team, regular season runs late March through the end of September. A variety of tour options are available of Dodger Stadium.
Los Angeles Chargers- Professional football team based in Carson, regular season runs September through December. Team will be moving to a new stadium in Inglewood in 2020.
Los Angeles Rams- Professional football team based in Carson, regular season runs September through December. Team will be moving to a new stadium in Inglewood in 2020.
Los Angeles Lakers- Professional basketball team, regular season runs from mid-October through early April.
Los Angeles Clippers- Professional basketball team, regular season runs from mid-October through early April.
Los Angeles Sparks- Professional women’s basketball team, regular season runs mid-May though mid-August.
Anaheim Ducks- Professional hockey team, regular season runs from October through early-April.
Los Angeles Kings- Professional hockey team, regular season runs from October through early-April.
Los Angeles Galaxy- Professional soccer team, regular season runs from March through October.
Los Angeles Football Club- Professional soccer team, regular season runs from March through October.
Family Friendly Restaurants
Lemon Tree Kids and Family Restaurant- Serving Korean-Italian dishes in L.A. This establishment has an indoor kids’ play space with a merry-go-round and other attractions.
Grand Central Market- Located in a century-old market in Downtown L.A. When you arrive check out what the market offers before heading to the food vendor stalls. The vendors occupy more than 30,000 square feet of space with so many options to choose from including PB&J, pizza, tacos, chocolate, ice cream, Asian cuisine, bbq, deli, falafel and more.
Pizzana- The couple behind Sprinkles cupcakes in partnership with Actor Chris O’Donnell opened this Brentwood pizzeria. The Neapolitan pizza gets rave reviews for it’s very light dough. Families enjoy sharing a pizza, salad, and antipasti. Save room for dessert!
Engine Co. No 28- The restaurant is housed in a 1912 firehouse. There is a special kids menu and tons of firehouse memorabilia.
Giggles ’n Hugs- This establishment serves quality organic food and has a 2,000 square foot play space that the kids will love. Activities include karaoke, face painting, and crafts. In the evenings they have puppet shows, concerts, and magic shows. Two locations in the L.A. area, one in Glendale and the other is in Topanga.
Opaque- Located in Santa Monica, this restaurant is better suited for older children. Diners are guided into the restaurant by a blind waiter and seated at a table. Once seated, guests are brought the food that they ordered in the preparation area before entering the dining area. The experience leads to intense conversation, and lots of laughter as people try to find their food, drink and their mouths in the dark.
Golden Road Brewing- Something for both parents and kids! There is plenty of indoor/outdoor seating and games to keep everyone happy. Parents love the selection of local brews and kids love the simple kids’ menu with a choice between a burger, grilled cheese or penne pasta. Four locations in California, and three of which are in the L.A. area including Downtown L.A., Glendale and Anaheim.
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