Los Angeles Family Vacation Ideas – Attractions, Activities & Things to Do for Vacation

L.A. is a great family city. Whether you’re interested in Hollywood and pop culture, cultural attractions, or the great outdoors, there’s something to love in Los Angeles.

If you’re planning a family trip to L.A., then check out our list of the top kid-friendly attractions in the region. It’s curated by industry experts and represents some of our personal favorites.

Our top Los Angeles family vacation ideas include:

  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Knott’s Berry Farm & Soak City
  • Pacific Park
  • Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Natural History Museum
  • Bike Rentals
  • California Science Center & IMAX
  • Harbor Cruise
  • Griffith Park & LA Zoo
  • Walk of Fame & Hollywood Attractions

Save on Family Vacation Attraction Ideas

Regular admission to a number of these family friendly attractions are available on the Go Los Angeles Card.

Choose as you go from top visited attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

Learn more about our Los Angeles passes, attractions and prices.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal-Studios-Hollywood-pt-2One of the most popular family attractions in Los Angeles, Universal Studios Hollywood combines the best of a studio tour with all the highlights of a theme park.

Everything is turned up to 11 here. First, enjoy informative, behind-the-scenes tours of real back lots, sound stages, and more.

Then, hit up all of their phenomenal rides and attractions, from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and beyond.

Last but not least, save some time to explore Universal CityWalk, a shopping and dining destination that’s a great complement to the park itself.

Getting In: Universal Studios Hollywood tickets are available as a premium attraction option with the 3-, 5-, and 7-Day Go Los Angeles Cards.

Knott’s Berry Farm & Knott’s Soak City

LAX knott's berry farm (2)If you’re really in the mood for some amusement park fun, then a visit to Knott’s Berry Farm is in order.

America’s first theme park is still going strong, with delightful park characters, exhilarating coasters, and a nice selection of children’s rides.

Check out the newly opened HangTime rollercoaster at Knott’s, the steepest coaster in California that plunges over the water, creating some cool thrills for riders.

Visit their sister park, Knott’s Soak City, on a particularly hot day. They’re right next to each other, so they could also be part of the same fabulous day!

Getting In: Knott’s Berry Farm tickets and Knott’s Soak City tickets are both included with the Go Los Angeles Card. 

Pacific Park

pacific-park-santa-monica-pier-ferris-wheel-and-gamesMore of a classic amusement park, Pacific Park is the perfect beachside attraction for the whole family to enjoy.

Hop aboard charming rides like their solar-powered Ferris Wheel. Then, get your thrills on with the West Coaster, a steel roller coaster right at the water’s edge.

There are also many gentler rides for the little ones, like Inkie’s Wave Jumper and Inkie’s Pirate Ship.

Come for the rides, stay for the cotton candy and carnival-style games.

Getting In: Pacific Park tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium-of-the-Pacific-2With its specific focus on the marine life of the vast Pacific Ocean, this top-notch aquarium is perfect for the animal lovers in your family.

See creatures as diverse as brilliant fish from the coral reefs Tropical Pacific to the fascinating creatures of the chilly Northern Pacific, scattered across their 19 major habitats.

Highlighted exhibits include Jellies, Shark Lagoon, June Keyes Penguin Habitat, and more.

Getting In: Aquarium of the Pacific tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.

Natural History Museum

LA-County-Natural-History-Museum-3Featuring an expansive collection of natural and cultural artifacts from throughout history and across the globe, the Natural History Museum in Downtown L.A. is a great family attraction.

Exhibitions highlight biodiversity and cultural change in fascinating ways. Walk through halls of dinosaur fossils, gemstones and minerals, and ancient Latin American archaeological treasures.

A visit here is sure to inspire curiosity!

Getting In: Natural History Museum tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.

Griffith Park & LA Zoo

la-zoo-botanical-gardens.A.’s massive Griffith Park is the perfect family destination. It’s a large expanse with plenty of trails for hiking or cycling, spaces for picnics or Frisbee-tossing, and many of its own delightful attractions.

For example, the Griffith Observatory is a nice scientific institution with exhibits, telescopes, and live shows, and the L.A. Zoo (and accompany botanical gardens) are enchanting and educational.

If nothing else, you should take a drive through the park to soak up the beautiful natural vibes.

Getting In: Griffith Park is free to explore. LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.

Bike Rentals

3-Hour-Mountain-Bike-and-Roller-Blade-Rental-1Stay active and enjoy the weather with a bike ride! Whether you want to explore Griffith Park or the sunny boardwalks of Santa Monica, there are plenty of options for you to pedal around.

Choose this option for a wide selection of rental options in Santa Monica. They also offer roller blade rentals for some retro fun your kids will love!

Perry’s Café (the rental place) also sells a nice selection of food and drinks for lunch, so make an entire afternoon of it!

Getting In: Los Angeles bike rentals are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.

California Science Center & IMAX

California-Science-Center-5If you’re already planning on going to the Natural History Museum, a nice complement is the California Science Center, also located in Exposition Park.

They offer permanent exhibits on a variety of topics, like Air & Space, Ecosystems, Creative World, and more.

Their special exhibitions are really awesome, too, and include things like the Space Shuttle Endeavour and Body Worlds: Pulse. Special exhibitions change over time and may not be there at the time of your visit, so check the calendar before you go.

Getting In: Admission to the California Science Center is free. The Go Los Angeles Card provides California Science Center IMAX tickets.

Harbor Cruise or Whale Watch

Harbor-Cruise-Long-Beach-1Head out onto the water for a fun way to enjoy the sunny weather in L.A. A Harbor Cruise from Long Beach is a good way to sightsee the waterfront and enjoy relaxing breezes.

Or, opt for a whale watch for a specialized focus on these majestic creatures.

Both tours provide plenty of opportunities to see local marine life, and are narrated by marine mammal educators from the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Getting In: Long Beach Harbor Cruise tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.

Walk of Fame & Hollywood Attractions

hollywood signYou simply can’t visit L.A. without some nod to their Hollywood attractions.

If you want something low key, fun, and free, head to the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. Look for your favorite actor or artist’s star, and take a photo with it.

There are also plenty of other Hollywood attractions to enjoy if you want to further your adventures, like the TCL Chinese Theatre or the Egyptian Theatre, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, and celebrity homes tours.

Getting In: The Hollywood Walk of Fame is free to explore. The Go Los Angeles Card includes admission to many Hollywood attractions.

Hike in Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Los Angeles and for good reason, there are multiple trails of varying lengths and difficulties that all offer great views.

Trails vary in length from 0.8 to 3.3 miles, making this a perfect vacation hike without taking up your entire day. Runyon Canyon is famous amongst locals and tourists alike, many visitors bring their dogs, making the area that much more enjoyable.

You may just see some celebrities while getting your morning jog in as the trails in Runyon Canyon are a favorite of Hollywood’s stars.

Getting In: Admission to Runyon Canyon is free to the public.

Remember to Save on Family Friendly Admission

There you go. A few suggestions for attractions and activities for your upcoming Los Angeles family vacation.

Regular admission to a number of these family friendly attractions are available on the Go Los Angeles Card.

We hope you consider adding some of these fun ideas to your family vacation itinerary.

Go Los Angeles Card

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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