Best Kid-friendly Daytime Activities in L.A.
Los Angeles isn’t just the most populous city in California and the second most populous in the United States. It’s more than the home of the entertainment industry and Hollywood. It’s also packed with fun, kid-friendly things to do during the day — and they don’t have to be as expensive as an excursion to Disneyland!
Our list of daytime activities in L.A. includes kid-friendly restaurants, educational opportunities, outdoor adventures, and more. Grab our guide the next time you’re stumped for things to do in L.A.
Pick an activity at Griffith Park
Griffith Park is a sprawling landmark in L.A. that covers over 4,500 acres. There’s plenty to see and do at Griffith Park. Does your kiddo love animals? Head to the Los Angeles Zoo to see and learn about the hundreds of animals living there. Is he a nature lover? Check out the gorgeous fauna and flora in the Botanical Gardens. Is she obsessed with space and the stars? Griffith Observatory has free admission and has planetarium shows, interactive exhibits, and beautiful views.
Grab a bite at Giggles N’ Hugs
This casual dining spot in Canoga Park is a perfect choice for family dining. Giggles N’ Hugs has a large kids’ menu complete with classics like grilled cheese, pizza, and fish sticks. Even better, they also have vegan, gluten-free, organic, and healthy options for meals. The main draw at Giggles N’ Hugs is the large indoor play area, complete with slides and ball pits. Plus, there’s another Giggles N’ Hugs location in Glendale, in case the Canoga Park location is too far of a drive.
Explore the aquarium at Santa Monica Pier
Sure, Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is one of the most popular aquariums in the area, but give the smaller aquarium at Santa Monica Pier a try, too. Every Sunday afternoon is “Shark Sunday” where visitors can learn about sharks and watch them feast on food. As a bonus, kids 12 and under have free entry to the aquarium. And if marine life isn’t their thing, there’s the rest of Santa Monica Pier to explore: the Carousel, Pacific Park, Playland Arcade, and so much more.
Roam around The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore is an iconic, multi-level book and record store in L.A. Patrons can browse their selection of new and used items, but the star of the show is the store atmosphere and layout. High ceilings, whimsical book displays, and quirky art will fascinate the kids. Make sure you hit up the kids section on the first floor before roaming the rest of the store.
Looking for a different bookstore? There’s also Children’s Book World off Pico Boulevard, not far from Zimmer Children’s Museum.
Check out the La Brea Tar Pits
What kid doesn’t go through a dinosaur-loving phase? The LaBrea Tar Pits are a blast to explore, with its fossil sites, excavator tours, fossil labs, and museum exhibits. Viewing the pits is free, but tickets are required to enter Page Museum. After exploring both, head over to the adjacent Hancock Park to relax, people watch, or have a picnic.
Walk around a museum for free
Many museums have free admission for kids, or free admission on certain days of the month. Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena has Free Family Night on the first Tuesday every month, so bring the kiddos there for interactive (and sometimes messy) exhibits. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA, is free for kids 12 and under. There’s also the Los Angeles Arboretum, where kids under 5 are always free, but admission is free for everyone on the third Tuesday of the month.
There are so many kid-friendly and inexpensive places to explore all over the city. The next time your kiddos say “I’m bored,” check out one of these classic Los Angeles activities. There’s an activity that will please even the pickiest of kids, whether they love science, books, nature, art, or simply enjoying that L.A. warmth and sunshine.