Things to Do in Los Angeles with Kids for a Fun SoCal Trip

Planning a vacation to Los Angeles? Our local experts put together a list of our top things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

Consider adding a few of these kid friendly attractions to your vacation itinerary.

While the “City of Angels” may be best known for Hollywood’s glitz and glamour, there are also loads of kid friendly attractions you and your family will enjoy on vacation.

From laid-back beach communities to action-packed amusement parks (and everything in between!), this exciting metropolis has it all.

You’ll be amazed by the endless opportunities for entertainment and education at these museums, parks, and other great kid-friendly institutions.

Save on Admission to Kid Friendly Attractions

Many of these great kid friendly attractions are available on the Go Los Angeles® Card.

Choose as you go from dozens of top Los Angeles attractions and save up to 55% off combined admission vs paying at the gate. Or, build your own pass and save up to 20% off.

See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.

A few fun things to do in LA with kids included on the Go Los Angeles Card include…

  • Universal Studio Hollywood (included with 3, 5, or 7-Day Passes)
  • LEGOLAND® California
  • California Science Center
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • and more…

Universal Studios Hollywood


The ultimate Hollywood movie experience awaits your family at this part theme park, part working studio in the heart of Hollywood. With all of the rides and movie magic, it’s one of the most exciting things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

Tickets are included with 3, 5, or 7-Day Go Los Angeles Cards.

The park is filled with action-packed ways to experience Universal Studios’ most iconic movies and interact with your favorite characters. You’ll get to go on movie-themed thrill rides with incredible special effects, including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™, Transformers™: The Ride-3D, Revenge of the Mummy™ – The Ride, Jurassic Park® – The Ride, Shrek 4-D™, The Simpsons Ride™, and more.

Check the schedule and plan your day around the shows you want to catch, like the “Special Effects Show” or “Universal’s Animal Actors” and then take a little break from thrill rides on a 45-minute Behind the Scenes guided tour of Universal Studios Hollywood, a live working studio (you might even see some actors on set!), that includes the award-winning “King Kong 360 3-D” experience and ends with an all-new grand finale, “Fast & Furious-Supercharged!.”

Younger kids will love exploring “Super Silly Fun Land” and the “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” ride and getting to meet and greet some of their favorite characters around the park.

End your day at Universal CityWalk with dozens of unique restaurants, stores, and other things to do. A visit to Universal Studios is the icing on any LA trip.

Insider tip: large bags and loose items are not allowed on many of the rides. Consider renting a locker for the day to avoid temporary locker lines at popular attractions.

LEGOLAND® California


One of the best things to do in LA with kids and one of California’s most beloved attractions – LEGOLAND® California.

See your kids favorite LEGO® characters and toys brought to life and experiencing more than 50 LEGO-themed rides and attractions geared towards kids.

Be sure to check out the impressive Miniland USA, a LEGO re-creation of 7 areas of the United States comprised of over 30 million building blocks.

Fans of the LEGO movie will especially love getting to see ‘The LEGO Movie™ 4D A New Adventure,” exclusively at LEGOLAND, and continuing the adventures of Emmet, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, Benny, and MetalBeard.

California Science Center & IMAX Theater


It’s one of the most popular museum destinations in California, and your kids won’t want to miss out on 400,000 square feet of fun, scientific exploration.

The museum keeps young ones entertained by presenting science through exhibits tied to popular culture or blockbuster movies. Plus, there are tons of hands-on activities and demonstrations in Science Court.

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll all leave awestruck by the 7-story IMAX theater that brings worlds “as small as an atom and as vast as the universe” to life right in front of your eyes.

GRAMMY Museum®

the GRAMMY Museum is a must-see for music enthusiasts of all genres

Discover the power of music from past to present at the GRAMMY Museum. Featuring innovative, interactive, and cutting-edge exhibits, the GRAMMY Museum explores the historic and cultural significance of American music.

You’ll also be able to take a walk through the history of the GRAMMY Awards themselves with some of the most exciting stories and memorable moments in the Award Show’s time.

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier


When it comes to family fun and kid friendly things to do in the Los Angeles area, Pacific Park is your go-to destination.

Located on the historic Santa Monica Pier, it’s the West Coast’s only pier side amusement park.

The world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel will raise your whole family to new heights – 130 feet above the ocean – for a fantastic coastline view. Younger travelers love riding up, down, and around in the Crazy Submarine ride just for kids.

So hop on rides, play games, and eat that carnival-style food all while soaking in Southern California’s endless sunshine at this family playground.

Bike or Roller Skate the Santa Monica Boardwalk

Bike the Santa Monica Boardwalk

Head to Santa Monica and explore the boardwalk area on two wheels with a 3-hour bike or roller skate rental from Perry’s Beach Café and Rentals.

This part café, part beach rental destination, specializes in gear and equipment needs for active beach-goers who want the ultimate ‘beachy’ experience and a healthy menu that focuses on local and sustainable produce.

Insider tip: make a day of it, plan  your bike activity for the morning, grab lunch at Perry’s when you return your gear, check out the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, and then end your day with unlimited rides at Pacific Park for some classic, theme park fun.

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Image Credit: Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Image Credit: Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Home to over 100 species of sea organisms, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is a hands-on and interactive aquarium where visitors can touch sea urchins, sea stars, sea anemone, and more.

You’ll see lots of fascinating sea life, including eels, octopi, sharks, rays, and a variety of fish and invertebrates–all examples of animals you could find just off the coast of the Santa Monica beaches.

Knott’s Berry Farm

Head to Knotts Berry Farm for kid-friendly family theme park fun

For extreme thrill rides like roller coasters and high speed drops, head to Knott’s Berry Farm, America’s first theme park.

No matter what level of thrill you’re looking for, Knott’s Berry Farm has something for everyone. Kids will love the lower velocity rides, like the Balloon Race, Camp Bus, and Grand Sierra Railroad while the adventure-seekers can stick to the thrill rides like La Revolucion, Supreme Scream, and Wipeout.

Or, get the whole family together and take a turn on the Timber Mountain Log Ride, Bigfoot Rapids, Wheeler Dealer Bumper Cars, High Sierra Ferris Wheel, and the brand new 4-D interactive ride, Voyage to the Iron Reef.

Knott’s Soak City Water Park

See who in the family is fastest on a multi-slide race at Knott's Soak City

Located right next to Knott’s Berry Farm, this 13-acre water adventure park features 17 speed, tube, and body slides, a six-story funnel slide, a 750,000 gallon tidal pool, and a lazy river ride 1/3 mile long.

From extreme thrills or kiddie splash pools to pool-side relaxation, there’s fun for the whole family at Knott’s Soak City.

Aquarium of the Pacific


Meet more than 11,000 ocean animals at this all-inclusive aquarium in Long Beach. Kids get closer than ever to exotic creatures of the Pacific through several fantastic exhibits.

Hand-feed brilliantly colored lorikeet birds as you stroll through “Lorikeet Forest,” then journey over to “Shark Lagoon” to reach in and touch more than 150 small sharks in the shallow touch pools.

At the Aquarium on the Pacific, your family will have an unbeatable interactive experience.

Six Flags Magic Mountain


This great installation of the Six Flags franchise is a real treat for children of all ages. The 260-acre theme park is chock full of rides, slides, coasters, and more.

There are also a number of games and other fun attractions, plus a strong showing from all your favorite Looney Tunes characters. Don’t forget to take a picture with your personal favorite!

For the little ones, fun rides like the Grand Carousel or Road Runner Express are the perfect mix of fun and not too much excitement.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, the coasters X2, Tatsu, and Full Throttle are among the most thrilling rides at any theme park!

If you’re really in search of a great time, be sure to hop on the Twisted Colossus, a brand new coaster for 2015 that goes through 5,000 thrilling feet of track. Advanced technology makes this coaster faster and twistier than any of its predecessors.

Los Angeles Zoo


If you’ve got any animal lovers in the family, you won’t want to miss out on a visit to the LA Zoo and the accompanying Botanical Gardens.

Located in northern part of Griffith Park, this family-favorite attraction is home to more than 1,100 creatures from around the globe.

Some highlights among the zoo’s denizens include lowland gorillas, colorful exotic birds, impassive Komodo dragons, playful seals, rare snow leopards, and many more. You’ll even get the chance to meet several rare or endangered species.

Plus, the neighboring Botanical Gardens are themselves host to more than 7,000 plant specimens sourced from throughout the world. Two attractions for the price of one!

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium


Fascinated by the wondrous creatures of the sea? Have an aspiring marine biologist in the family? Spend an afternoon at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and indulge your love for all things aquatic at this state-of-the-art institution.

Set next to the spectacular Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park, this aquarium offers an unparalleled view, too!

A research facility dedicated to studying and preserving marine life native to Southern California, this educational institution is plenty of fun for kids.

The aquarium is populated with many of the creatures you’ll see just outside on the beach, from pelicans and sea lions to sharks and whales. Be sure to check the tide schedule before you visit so you can spend some time exploring the tide pools outside!

K1 Speed Indoor Karting


If your kids love go karts, K1 Speed Indoor Karting is the thing to do.

You’ll get to race around a real road course with the whole family and try to beat your siblings to the finish line.

Marvel at their zero-emission, European electric karts – real state-of-the-art machines. When you’re done racing around, stop for some snacks at the Pit Café.

Huntington Library and Gardens


This fascinating attraction combines the best of multiple worlds. With a world-class art gallery, lush gardens, and an extensive display of historical literary works (including a Gutenberg Bible!), there’s something to appeal to everyone at this prestigious institution.

Younger children will especially love exploring the beautiful grounds and gardens. 120 acres are divided into different themed gardens like the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden, and Rose Gardens.

Natural History Museum


This popular local museum is home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of natural and cultural artifacts.

Featured exhibition halls contain everything from dinosaur fossils to impressive gems and exquisitely recreated animal habitat dioramas.

Dinosaur fans of all ages won’t want to miss the interactive Dino Lab, where visitors can get a peek behind the scenes at real paleontological work.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Famously entertaining and fun, head to Madame Tussauds Hollywood to take pictures and interact with your Hollywood favorite actors and characters from all the classics.

The Hollywood location is known for their movie-centric themes and figures, so be sure to bring your camera!

Hollywood Museum

The Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles has fun for the whole family

The Hollywood Museum is filled with poignant displays of memorabilia and Hollywood nostalgia that will reinforce your love for the classic American institution of movies and entertainment.

You can browse through thousands of items, including Rocky’s boxing gloves, Indiana Jones’ whip, Cary Grant’s Rolls-Royce, and lots more.

OUE Skyspace LA

OUE Skyspace in LA observation deck

Head up the US Bank Tower to 1,000-feet above ground and get above it all for sweeping views of downtown LA and beyond. On the way to the top, stop off at the 54th floor and browse through the exhibits that walk you through lots of fascinating history and give you background on many of the sights you’ll see.

You’ll be able to see from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, and everything in between, including the iconic Dodgers Stadium and Catalina Island. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can upgrade your Go Los Angeles Card admission, upon arrival, to include a ride on the Skyslide – a fully-enclosed all glass slide that glides visitors from the 70th to the 69th floor on the exterior of the building.

Let’s Recap

There you have it – some of our favorite things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

Plan to add a few of these attractions to your vacation itinerary and we are sure you will have a fun time during your SoCal trip.

Remember, you can save on combined admission vs. paying at the gate to many of these popular family friendly attractions and more.

Go Los Angeles Card


    • Casey Makovich says

      Hi Tania,
      Thank you for your question! A 3-Day Go Los Angeles Card All-Inclusive Pass only includes one weekday admission to Universal Studios Hollywood.
      Hope that helps and have fun on your trip!

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