Los Angeles isn’t just glitz, glamour, and movie stars. In fact, it’s a vibrant city with unique attractions, a fun beach culture, diverse neighborhoods, and incredible natural beauty.
We’re here to share some of the places that make a trip to Los Angeles so special.
Get started planning your trip with this list of 15 things to do with kids in Los Angeles along with 5 must-stay hotels and 5 unique spots to shop and eat!
- L.A. means traffic, and lots of it. So you’ll always want to allow plenty of time to get where you’re going. And plenty of patience. Try and plan your days to allow for activities that are close to one another to keep traveling time down to a minimum.
- Most hotels offer shuttle service to popular sights and attractions, so take advantage of them when you can.
- There is so much to do in and around Los Angeles that you won’t be able to see it all in one trip. Allow yourself to explore at a slower pace to be able to take it all in and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
5 Unique Spots to Shop & Eat in Los Angeles
Even though Los Angeles has a wealth of places to eat and shop, what makes a trip memorable are the unique spots. That’s why we’ve put together five of our favorites.
- The Last Bookstore – If you have book lovers in your family, The Last Bookstore is a must see. You can browse through new and used books, records, and comic books. There are five art studios, a massive yarn shop, unique book sculptures including a tunnel made out of books, and even a mammoth head!
- Randy’s Donuts – Looking for something sweet? Search no further. A 32-foot tall donut sits on the roof of this world-famous spot. Grab some delicious donuts then head outside to take some memorable selfies.
- Grand Central Market – This cool spot is the perfect place to eat and wander. It features vendors offering delicious local and international cuisine. And across the road, through a bright orange archway, you can take a ride on the Angels Flight Railway, the world’s shortest railway that is over 100 years old.
- The Time Travel Mart – This fun retail shop will not disappoint. Find unique souvenirs from all different time periods. Kids and adults will have fun exploring dinosaur eggs, floaty pens, postcards and bumper stickers, games, posters, small toys, and so much more.
- Pink’s Hot Dogs – This hot dog spot is a Hollywood legend. What started as a hot dog stand back in 1939, is now a bustling L.A. restaurant featuring a seemingly never-ending menu of hot dogs with unique and delicious toppings.
5 Must-Stay Hotels in and Around Los Angeles
We’ve got you covered with a list of 5 must-stay hotels:
- The Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza – Located right in downtown L.A., this hotel is only a taxi or shuttle ride away from the best sights. There are plenty of kid-friendly dining options, and they’ll receive their own welcome gifts at check in. Splash in the heated outdoor pool and save some money by prepping meals in the in-room kitchens.
- The Magic Castle Hotel – Looking for something fun and quirky? This hotel fits the bill. One and two-bedroom suites feature full kitchens. You can splash in the heated pool, explore the gift shop for fun magic-related items, or pick up the pool’s red phone and call the “Popsicle Hotline” to have free popsicles brought right to you.
- The Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles – This hotel chain is known for catering to kids. They have plenty of family-friendly amenities including room options that include a kitchen, a rooftop pool, complimentary cookies, board games and game consoles, and best of all – kids stay free!
- The Courtyard Los Angeles – This hotel is easily accessible. It’s close to the airport and offers a shuttle service to nearby attractions. There’s kid-friendly dining, a heated rooftop pool, and an onsite gym. Suites are available to keep larger families comfortable.
- The Hotel Casa del Mar – If you’ve been dreaming of staying on the beach, this hotel doesn’t disappoint. Located right on the Pacific Ocean, you’ll have views of the water and the Santa Monica Pier. Have a picnic on the sand or take a swim in the pool.
15 Things To Do with Kids in Los Angeles
- Griffith Park & Observatory – See the city from above at this L.A. landmark. Kids will love visiting the planetarium, going to a star party, and exploring over 400 acres of natural beauty at Griffith Park which surrounds the observatory. You can ride trains at the Travel Town Museum or visit Shane’s Inspiration Playground.
- Warner Bros Studios Tour – Your kids will be fascinated by all of the TV and movie memorabilia as well as the behind-the-scenes backlot tour. Hold a real Oscar, wear Harry Potter’s sorting hat, see costumes and props, and visit sets from some of your favorite shows.
- Melrose Ave Walking Tour – Discover some of the city’s most-photographed spots on this walking tour. If you have a budding photographer, they will be inspired by the colorful backdrops and will love snapping endless photos. There are great stops along the way to grab a coffee or do a little shopping for that perfect souvenir.
- La Brea Tar Pits & Museum – Take a trip back to the Ice Age right in the heart of L.A. Along with the bubbling tar pits, there are literally hundreds of Ice Age fossil displays. Kids will love the chance to see paleontologists working on ongoing excavation projects.
- Venice Beach – Head down to the beach for a truly Southern California vibe. Visitors come here from all over the world, and it’s easy to see why. Walk the boardwalk to see street performers and skateboarders, take advantage of great shopping and dining, or just stroll along the beach.
- Malibu Creek State Park – Get outside the city and discover this hidden treasure. You’ll feel like you’re hiking through the wilderness of Southeast Asia. With more than 8,000 acres, the park is the perfect place to fish, bike, rock climb, or go horseback riding.
- Universal Studios – This popular theme park has a little something for everyone, from rides and shows to meet-and-greets. There is so much to do and see that you’ll want to allow a whole day there, including Universal City Walk. Plan out your day by downloading their app, and if you’re able, a Universal Express Pass is well worth it.
- Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens – Visit more than 250 different species that call this famous zoo home. Check out exhibits from around the world or visit the gardens for an incredible array of plant life. Feed the giraffes, mingle with the flamingos, get your face painted, or take a ride on the carousel.
- Natural History Museum of Los Angeles – This is the spot for those who love nature and dinosaurs. Watch dinosaurs come to life at Dinosaur Encounters and discover unique hands-on experiences and amazing exhibitions. You can also explore urban nature at the Nature Gardens.
- California Science Center – Do you have a kid that is obsessed with space and science? Check out the Space Shuttle Endeavour, visit a kelp forest, see an IMAX film, or explore L.A.’s ecosystems. There are plenty of galleries and interactive exhibits to keep you entertained all day long.
- The Getty Museum – This free museum sits atop a hill and offers up amazing views and beautifully sculptured gardens. From the parking lot, you’ll take a cable-pulled tram all the way to the top. The museum will be a favorite of art lovers both big and small.
- Santa Monica Pier – One of the most photographed spots in the world, this famous pier juts out right into the Pacific Ocean. Ride the giant Ferris wheel, play carnival games, watch the street performers, grab an ice cream cone, or just enjoy the views.
- Bob Baker Marionette Theater – Watch puppets come to life at L.A.’s longest-running marionette show. No matter where you sit, you’ll have a perfect view since the puppets perform in the round. When the show is over, kids will get a backstage tour and free ice cream!
- Aquarium of the Pacific – Take a drive down to Long Beach and visit this much-loved aquarium. With a focus on education, there are plenty of exhibits and opportunities for up-close-and-personal experiences with a variety of exotic creatures. Be sure to visit the shark lagoon, the whale exhibit, and the adorable sea otter habitat.
- Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens – It’s easy to spend most of your day here. The library is beautiful and houses some of the most incredible collections. The art museum has over 42,000 works of art. The Children’s Garden encourages kids to splash, make music, hunt for fairies, and play among topiary animals.
Make the most of your trip by picking your faves from this list – then start packing!
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