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  • Dan Jurek
  • "What are must see places when traveling with kids in Los Angeles?"

Dan Jurek

Minneapolis, Minnesota

What are must see places when traveling with kids in Los Angeles?

I'm bringing kids that are less than 12 years old for the first time.  What activities are a must?  

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  • La Brea Tar Pits (attraction)

    5801 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles CA 90036 (323) 934-7243

    3 mentions

  • Los Angeles (city)

    Los Angeles California

    2 mentions

  • Santa Monica (city)

    Santa Monica CA

    2 mentions

  • Breanna Wilson

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    top answer by

    As a big kid myself, these are the places that I always say I'm going to take my niece and nephew when they visit:

    Echo Park Lake for the pedal boating! Pack a picnic and bring some extra bread for the ducks. Very relaxing and low key and a great way to enjoy some California sunshine.

    Sprinkles Ice Cream - because who doesn't love a cupcake with ice cream sandwiched in it.

    Sprinkles Ice Cream

    I'm not sure if this is something that your kids are into, but there's a HUGE American Girl store at The Grove. My niece would be in heaven if I took her there. Plus you can ride the trolley, get some candy at Dylan's Candy Bar, or just use one of the free blankets they have available and lounge in the center grass/picnic area.

    The Grove

    Santa Monica Pier and beach are always a hit.

    Milk is another fun ice cream shop to stop at if you're in the area.

    These aren't exactly the big touristy things that you'll read about in travel guides, they're more of the little gems around town that us locals love. Happy travels!

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    2. Sprinkles Ice Cream (attraction)
    3. American Girl (attraction)
    4. The Grove (attraction)
    5. Dylan's Candy Bar (restaurant)
    6. Santa Monica Pier (attraction)
    7. Milk (attraction)

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  • Rachel Zoe

    answered by

    My family loves going to Malibu—we spend the day at the beach then stop by Taverna Tony for dinner at Malibu Country Mart.

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  • JR Johnson

    answered first by

    Here's a couple ideas:

    Space Shuttle Endeavour @ California Science Center: it's in the museum area near the Coliseum. It's really cool to see, and good picture opportunity. There are some other museums nearby that could be fun too. The California Science Center has a lot of interactive exhibits and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has typical animal statute type exhibits but normally have an outdoor "live" exhibit that's worth a look. For example last time i was there they had 300 live spiders where you could walk through and check them out, literally ducking under their webs. Creepy/cool!

    Beaches: There are a few options. Most people would go to Santa Monica or Venice. Santa Monica has the Santa Monica Pier with all the carnival type of touristy games (not really my cup of tea). Venice Beach and Boardwalk could be a little seedy for your youngsters but it's a popular tourist stop.

    One option if you want some less touristy beach time would be to come down to Manhattan Beach and head toward the Manhattan Beach Pier. It's a nice/safe beach to play in the sand and go swimming (unless there is unusually large surf). At the end of the pier they have a small free aquarium with some touch tanks. It's fun. I take my girls there all the time. You can also rent bikes at Fun Bunns but call ahead to make sure they have bikes small enough for your little ones. You can ride down the strand all the way to Redondo Beach Pier. There try Quality Seafood where you can sit outside with a mallet crushing freshly steamed crab (on weekends they have mariachi music). My girls are too young to enjoy that yet.

    Also, the Aquarium of the Pacific is a bit of a drive, but the exhibits are great featuring a lot of local sea life. Plenty of interactive touch tanks too (rays, sharks, tide pools). Tip: arrive as soon as it opens... you'll beat the crowds.

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    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Space Shuttle Endeavour @ California Science Center (attraction)
    2. California Science Center (attraction)
    3. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (attraction)
    4. Santa Monica Pier (attraction)
    5. Venice Beach Boardwalk (attraction)
    6. Manhattan Beach Pier (attraction)
    7. Fun Bunns (attraction)
    8. Redondo Beach Pier (restaurant)
    9. Quality Seafood (restaurant)
    10. Aquarium of the Pacific (attraction)

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  • Jessica Mead

    answered by

    The other answer was pretty spot on, but I'll add a few. My kids 3 & 10 love whale watching!! There are also so fantastic parks. Polliwog Park is one of our favorites! We live in Playa Vista and it has a fantastic park as well! Our favorite beach is Zuma Beach. Disneyland Park, Disney's California Adventure and Knott's Berry Farm are all close by. The farmers markets throughout the city are fun and relaxing! Kings Canyon National Park is a little drive but worth it!

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    2. Playa Vista (city)
    3. Zuma Beach (attraction)
    4. Disneyland (attraction)
    5. Disney's California Adventure (attraction)
    6. Knott's Berry Farm (attraction)
    7. Kings Canyon National Park (park)

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  • Alexis Chontos

    answered by

    La Brea Tar Pits, and the associated Page Museum (http://www.tarpits.org/) A small and inviting museum that the kids will love, and you will, too! No swimming in the tar pit, though!

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  • Matt Saperstein

    answered by

    Griffith Park Travel Town and go to the Travel Town Museum.

    Went for my nephew's birthday party - if he loves trains he'll love it!



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  • Mary Anne Been

    answered by

    The beach for sure. Santa Monica has a beach butler and they offer beach toys. So if you're traveling from out of town, it's convenient. Also you should take them on a horseback ride up to the Hollywood Sign. The view is great. Kids also love the Griffith Observatory. Check the Museums, sometimes they have great exhibits for kids. The La Brea Tar Pits can be fun too.

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  • Mei & Kerstin Open Up Now

    answered by

    Los Angeles offers many kids friendly activities. Most people would think of Disneyland. Although it might be interesting, I don't think it's really a must see in LA, because there are Disneyland in other palces around the world too, and they're all practically the same. However, Universal Studios Hollywood is a much more interesting theme park. Of course, there is also one in Florida, but the one in LA is much worth going to, especially because of its location in Hollywood!

    If you want your kids to learn something about arts, culture and history, you should visit the Getty Museum, the Getty Villa and The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. They are much more than museums: they all also have amazing gardens!

    Click here to read our post about Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles. If you need more tips, feel free to contact us on our blog! :)

    Enjoy your time in L.A.!

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    2. Universal Studios Hollywood (attraction)
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    6. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens (attraction)

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  • Hannah Harper

    answered by

    Hi Dan. Just this past summer me and my family went to Los Angeles. Some must's are Santa Monica, In and Out burger, city tours, and Mann's Chinese Theater. Hope this helps!

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  • Fritzi Lareau

    answered by

    I think kids would love @San Pedro the LA harbor south of LAX. It is so unspoiled. There is the LA Maritime museum, the Cabrillo marine museum, with hands on tide pools, great beaches, and an incredible ocean view park with the Korean friendship bell.

    For a total tourist immersion, the Hollywood walk of fame, the Chinese theater and Roosevelt hotel.

    If your kids would sit through a concert, @Hollywood Bowl or @Disney concert hall.

    Downtown has @Olvera street, Chinatown, Japantown, Koreatown and the awesome Main Library.

    You can also get free tickets to taping of TV shows, and I think kids would enjoy the behind the scene view.

    There is so much to do in LA. @Griffith Park and @Gene Autry Western museum are also unique to LA.

    Good luck planning your trip.

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  • Leonard Lee

    answered by

    Don't forget Universal Studios Hollywood!

    Museums are sometimes a little tough when you're surrounded by sun, sand and surf! But definitely second La Brea Tar Pits which is very unique, as well as the previously mentioned science museums. Griffith Observatory is worth it just for the view, even if you don't go inside, and your kids will probably recognize it from one of the scenes in the first Transformers movie!

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  • Fern Tamkin

    answered by

    Disneyland Park is a must see. Aquarium of the Pacific, the Los Angeles Zoo and Knott's Berry Farm are great as well. The beach for sure?

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