Once Los Angeles reopens, you and your kids will probably be dying to get out of the house. And if you’re in charge of a sports team, youth group, or after-school class, finding a fun place to take the kids in your care becomes even more important.
Los Angeles offers an abundance of interactive museums and beautiful outdoor spots that are equally fun for adults and for children. We’ve chosen five of the best to make it easy for you to plan your next day out with your kids.
Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory
Even if you’ve been to Griffith Park before, you probably haven’t experienced all of the activities this spot in the Santa Monica Mountains has to offer. At the Griffith Observatory, you’ll find exhibits about the solar system and an array of telescopes, including the enormous Zeiss telescope. Let your kids see the coelostat, a device designed to let you safely view the sun, or treat them to a show at the planetarium.
If you want to spend some time outdoors, hike to the famous Hollywood sign on one of Griffith Park’s trails. The Mt. Hollywood Trail is best for younger kids, but if you have teens or avid hikers in your group, you can try the Brush Canyon or Cahuenga Peak trails. All three trails provide an up-close view of the 45-foot white letters that make up the iconic sign.
Treat your kids to a piece of living history at the Venice Canals. Abbot Kinney designed this LA neighborhood to resemble Venice, Italy, and though many of the canals have since been turned into streets, four still remain. The canals are bordered by charming houses with their own docks, and many residents have row boats or kayaks that they take out on the water.
The neighborhood has paved walkways and footbridges so you can easily walk or bike around the area while watching the boats float by. The canals district also has wheelchair-accessible paths, making it a great place to explore for all kids.
Santa Monica Pier
Almost everyone has heard of the Santa Monica Pier, but many people don’t know that it has a long history. Before you take your kids there, let them look up pictures from when the pier was originally built in 1909 or learn about how the pier was impacted by the Great Depression. Then they can rent poles to fish off the end of the pier or ride the roller coaster, carousel, and Ferris wheel.
Have little ones who don’t love rides? They can play arcade games or watch street performers juggle and play music. Santa Monica is also home to Heal the Bay Aquarium, where your kids can learn about more than 100 species of aquatic wildlife.
The Getty Center offers free admission and features one of the best collections of European art in the U.S. Kids will love the Family Room, where they can build a sculpture out of tubes, draw on an illuminated manuscript, or read books on a bed that looks like it belongs to an 18th-century aristocrat.
Your kids can also prepare to see the art by looking through the peepholes on the “treasure hunt walls,” which will show them details from famous paintings. Once they know what they’re looking for, take them to the galleries to see works by Rembrandt, Renoir, Manet, and van Gogh.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
What kid (or adult) doesn’t love dinosaurs? The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has plenty of them. See Triceratops and T.rex fossils locked in battle, and let your kids dig for pretend fossils in the Discovery Center. The Discovery Center also hosts Bugtopia, where children can build bugs out of magnets or watch the sphinx moth go through its life cycle.
The museum isn’t only fascinating inside, though. It’s surrounded by expansive gardens, including a Pollinator Meadow where native flowers draw in bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Teach your little ones about how spiders help the environment at the Spider Pavilion, or book advance tickets so you can see the colorful insects at the hugely popular Butterfly Pavilion.
Plan a Future Trip Around Los Angeles
When you’re ready to explore LA with your kids, you’ll find carnival rides, hiking trails, and museums waiting for you. Need a way to get around the city? You can contact National Charter Bus for safe, sanitized private bus rentals around Los Angeles. Now’s a great time to start planning all the kid-friendly activities you want to do throughout LA.