Photo: Shutterstock/Logra

11+ of the Best Family Friendly Activities in Los Angeles

California Los Angeles Insider Guides Family Travel
by Matador Creators Feb 18, 2017

Los Angeles is a fun and lively city great for kids and parents or grandparents to explore together. The most famous of all kid attractions in LA is perhaps Disneyland but don’t overlook local institutions such as The Griffith Observatory, The California Science Center and the Dinosaur Hall at the National History Museum will make your child’s imagination soar. The coastal city also has countless outdoor family friendly spots. Here’s an array of different types of adventures to enjoy with the entire family in the region.

Editor’s note: These spots are all taken directly from travelstoke®, a new app from Matador that connects you with fellow travelers and locals, and helps you build trip itineraries with spots that integrate seamlessly into Google Maps and Uber. Download the app to add any of the spots below directly to your future trips.

Traveling to Los Angeles? Check out Matador’s Los Angeles accommodations guides:

Griffith Observatory

 Griffith ObservatoryLos Angeles, United StatesAbsolutely stunning views of the cityscape and the surrounding mountains. The ideal spot for your obligatory Hollywood sign viewing, while the observatory itself adds to the atmosphere with its classical architecture. Free, lots of hiking tras, and not far from downtown! #astrology #science #free #hiking #photography #landscape #cityscape #cityview #touristspots

Each month, the Griffith Observatory, along with the L. A. Astronomical Society, the L.A. Sidewalk Astronomers, and the Planetary Society, turn dozens of high-powered telescopes to the skies for the observatory’s monthly public star parties. At 2pm (yep, in daylight) on these highly anticipated Saturdays, professional and amateur astronomers, stationed across the lawn and over the observatory’s terraces, begin captaining people to the outer reaches of the Milky Way with stops to see Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s storm, the sun’s flares, and whatever celestial bodies prominently emerge.

The on-ground star of the party always is the Zeiss refracting telescope, which has served more than 7 million people since it was mounted in its rooftop dome in 1935, making it the most looked-through telescope in all the world.

Fly kites on Avila Beach Pier

 Avila Beach PierAvila Beach, United StatesLong, gorgeous beach and a super cute small town paradise in Central California. Perfect place to stop for a day/night on a California road trip. #beachtown

Kite flying is a serious business in California. If you need equipment, check out Evett’s Model Shop in Santa Monica or Sunshine Kite Company in Redondo Beach. Or show up and play during one of these L.A. kite festivals:

Kite Flying Festival @ Ascot Hills Park
Festival of the Kite @ Redondo Beach Pier
Otis Kite Festival @ Santa Monica Pier

California Science Center

 California Science CenterLos Angeles, United States😎👍

The museum is located in Exposition Park, next to the Natural History Museum. Enjoy interactive science exhibits and then nip next door and check out the three Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons in the dinosaur hall.

Huntington Dog Beach

 Huntington Dog BeachMarina del Rey, United StatesHuntington Beach – Dog Beach! Located North of Goldenwest and Lifeguard Tower 22 is the best place to take your dog to the beach in Southern California. Dogs are not allowed on the beach in LA County. HBDogbeach is an off-leash party for all dogs!

Huntington is one of the many dog-friendly parks in the city and a great place to hang out with the family. If you’re feeling adventurous, the best way to explore the beaches of Los Angeles is via the 22-mile Marvin Braude Bike Path. You can ride from Will Rogers State Beach near the Pacific Palisades in the north to Torrance Beach at the foot of Rancho Palos Verdes in the south with Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach in between. Bring sunblock and a swimsuit, and if you lack your own wheels rent a bike at one of the 12 Perry’s Cafes that line Santa Monica and Venice Beach.

The Last Bookstore

 The Last BookstoreLos Angeles, United StatesThe Last Bookstore in DTLA is a bookstore, and much more. You can walk through a tunnel of books, browse entire sections organized by book color, or get lost in the maze of new and used books.
Visiting LA? Pay a visit. #gallery #souvenirs #bargins #history

Check out the events page for an up-to-date listing of performances.

Los Angeles National Forest Park

 Los Angeles National Forest ParkLos Angeles, United StatesLos Angels National Forest Park offers one of the most scenic routes to drive through. The sights of mountains are endless. #nationalpark #outdoor #mountains #mountain #driving

Explore a nature playground, hit the trails & learn about the surrounding area and wildlife at the park’s education center.

Echo park

 Echo parkLos Angeles, United StatesIf you find yourself out in Silver Lake, definitely check out Echo Park. The relaxed, laid back vibe of this area is exactly what you need for a peaceful afternoon. Chase the ducks around or do some photography; A walk trough Echo park is a great way to spend time alone or with the kiddies. #outdoors #relax #activekids

Echo Park Lake is a favorite destination for a stroll, fishing, and picnics. But the best part is the pedal boats available for rent. The lake is petite, but what it lacks in volume it makes up for in ducks and geese and adorable baby turtles.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

 Walt Disney Concert HallLos Angeles, United StatesWith the head-turning uniqueness of the Frank Genry architecture, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a marvel to behold. One of the premiere music venues in Los Angeles the concert hall is the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. #musicvenue #livemusic #architecture #dtla

The concert hall is an architectural landmark and one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world. Check out the listing of events and concerts here.

Hollywood Sign Hike

 Hollywood Sign HikeLos Angeles, United StatesRigorous and hilly hike that takes you the closest you can legally get to the Hollywood Sign, with a true definition of an epic city panorama below. Protip: no not attempt this during summer, as the opportunities for shade are few and far between.

Unless you’re immune to L.A. tourist cliches, you may find yourself wanting to get a little closer to the Hollywood sign. If your little ones won’t manage the hike, the Lake Hollywood Overlook is probably your best Hollywood photo opp by car.

Ernest E. Debs Regional Park

 Ernest E. Debs Regional ParkLos Angeles, United StatesUncrowded, dog-friendly hiking trails in northeast LA. Great views of the city.

This park has facilities for picnics and fishing, and a suerb nature, conservation center with plenty of activities for kids. A great family destination or a place for a quick hike when you can’t make it out further from the city.

Discover Matador