Los Angeles has so much to offer families with world class museums, amusement parks and endless entertainment. The West Coast’s largest hands-on science center has a multitude of varied and interactive activities that can keep the whole family busy for days here.
The Discovery Room is designed for kids 7 years old and under to learn more about the exhibits.
I couldn’t leave out the beaches that line the coast and make LA a fun beach destination. Many local favorites include Leo Carrillo State Park which offers nature walks, Will Rogers State Beach, Manhattan Beach, Malibu Surfrider Beach and of course, the famous and eccentric Venice Beach. Check the calendar of events on each area to hopefully see festivals and parades during your visit.
Free TV Show Tapings – It is possible to attend a taping and see the behind the scenes actions of some of your favorite  TV shows.
That is wonderful that the science centre is free, that has to be one very good council to keep that going. I didn’t make it to the Griffith Park Observatory but would include it on my next visit. We’ve never been to Los Angeles (only my husband, almost a decade ago) so your guide will help us greatly when we go. An island girl at heart who loves cruising, National Parks & traveling the world with two kids in tow.
If you’ve been looking to get to know Los Angeles on the cheap (and have loads of fun in the process) then this is the map you’ve been waiting for! The nice thing about the Google Maps Maker is that you can actually de-select the layers so if, say, you only want to look for free museums, it’s extremely easy to filter for those.
Feel free to bookmark, embed on your own site, and most of all, enjoy (and if you have suggestions or corrections please let us know in the comments below). Whether you are looking for the newest designer couture or the best place to eat fish tacos while soaking in the SoCal sun. 3.) Walk the Venice Boardwalk – free and full of eclectic jugglers, face-painters, dancers, roller-bladers, and sidewalk art – Venice Beach Boardwalk is a spectacle every day of the year and is unequivocally FREE. 4.) Window Shop Rodeo Drive – Rodeo drive has some of the most expensive glamour and glitz in the world, something it proudly is famous for.
5.) Be part of a TV Show Audience – Attending a TV show screening is one of the highlights to any trip to LA, but what most people don’t know is that you can see it free and live – you just have to plan in advance. 10.) The Banning Residence Museum is an 1864 Greek Revival Museum, a fabulous mansion, and home to life as it was back in the late 19th century.
11.) The California Science Center is routinely a family favorite where through interactive exhibits you can learn about everything under the sun – literally.
12.) The Getty Villa – Something like the little sister to the bigger Getty Center, the Getty Villa focuses on Greece and Rome, with a fantastic sculpture garden and education center.
14.) The Fowler Museum at UCLA – The Fowler exhibits pieces from all over the world – including Africa, Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, and is free to all. 15.) The Hollywood Bowl Museum – Located on the same grounds as the legendary Hollywood Bowl, the Hollywood Bowl Museum is free for those interested in the great acts that play and once-played LA.


16.) Downtown LA Artwalk – The Second Thursday of every month, downtown Los Angeles’ galleries become available to the public in the coolest event of the Los Angeles summer.
19.) Summer at the Hammer Museum – Every summer the Hammer Museum puts on free outdoor concerts. 20.) Saturdays Off the 405 at the Getty Center – Boasting not only some of the best views in all Los Angeles, but from May 18 – Aug.
21.) Twilight Concerts at the Santa Monica Pier – Reggae, Indie, Pop – you name it – if it goes well with people and the summertime, the Twilight Concerts at the Santa Monica Pier will be playing it. We go to LA once a month due to its close proximity to our home and our ties to family and friends who live up there.
This award-winning museum with an enviable hilltop location and stunning architecture is also very family-friendly. The treasure-hunt wall with peepholes has art collection details and is a great way to engage kids with art.
For a minimal $2 reservation per person fee online, visitors are taken into exhibits on the history of the Endeavor, interesting film on how it was moved to here closing the streets of LA that took over 60 hours.
There are over twenty beaches in the region and open to many activities that range from tidepooling, surfing, windsurfing, beach volleyball or just playing in the sand. There are 53 miles of trails for hikers of all levels and plenty of open spaces for picnics and a day in the park. Los Angeles is a very diverse area and one of our favorite things to do is explore the various ethnic neighborhoods. My kids enjoy visiting the temples, seeing the merchandise and trying out food in these neighborhoods. We especially love going to the beach this time of year (winter) and going to the tide pools.
I know you’ll like how they put the Endeavor exhibit together and its many Southern CA ties.
Best visited on a clear, sunny day for a picnic and a stroll, the area features pristine views complemented by the yachts and charter boats of the harbor below. As the first established Chinatown in America, the area quivers with cultural history, woven into a now-modern and bustling community.
Similar in many ways to the style of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, the 17 interconnected structures represent a striking example of the American Naive art movement. Mulholland Drive and the Santa Monica mountains sport some of the best views in all LA, and the sunsets here are magical.
This doesn’t mean that Rodeo Drive isn’t for the rest of us too – it makes great window shopping and it’s perhaps one of the best places to spot a star in LA. Probably the most iconic museum in all of Los Angeles, the Getty sits high atop its perch in the Santa Monica highlands and boasts a truly impressive array of renaissance paintings, sculpture, and modern photography.
The first Friday of every month plays host to the Venice Beach artwalk which is fast becoming one of the area’s highlight events. Shop, eat at authentic Mexican restaurants, listen to Mariachi music, tour the Avila Adobe (the oldest existing house in LA), and visit the Old Plaza Church and Old Plaza Firehouse.
The City of Angels has many diverse and iconic attractions but it’s not the most bargain-friendly city for families to visit.


The five, modern buildings house an extensive collection of European drawings, sculptures, decorative arts, photographs and paintings. Get the Scavenger Hunt cards for kids to take around the museum to enhance their museum visit. Strolling the Ocean Front Walk is like walking through a carnival of lively characters and entertainers.
The LA Zoo, carousel rides, horseback riding, pony rides and museums among other things can all be found at this vast park. There are interactive exhibits for kids to learn all about astronomy like the 150-foot timeline of the universe, the Foucault Pendulum (demonstrates the Earth’s rotation) and various telescopes to see the night sky or see sun spots. Stay around the downtown area and you can visit Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Koreatown and Olvera Street. It’s a wonderful way to expose kids to other cultures and learn the variety of food, customs and languages. Most have a minimum age of 18 years old but there are some available Disney Channel shows with a minimum age of 10 years old. I did see the Space Shuttle when I was in LA – and tried to envision the world it flew in. Thank you for letting people outside of LA know how many great things there are to do here with kids!
It’s funny because when they were first transporting the shuttle to the center, I was driving to work one morning and was stopped at a traffic light. While the Hollywood sign’s grounds are barred from public access, some great nearby hikes allow for great angles for photos. Other restored historic buildings include the Old Plaza Church and the Old Plaza Firehouse. Though there are plenty of things to spend your money on in LA (Rodeo Drive and Dodger Stadium come to mind), there are still plenty of great free things to do in town if you’re looking into getting out into the Californian sunshine without spending too much coin.
Head up to Malibu or keep winding through the pavement – you can take the PCH (aka Highway 1) all the way up into Oregon if you want. Olvera Street has El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument which was the original site of the city’s foundation.
Also check this website for more information to attend tapings or possibly be a game show participant.
When I looked to my left, the shuttle was parked a block away in the parking lot behind Citibank! From Franklin Avenue in Hollywood, go north on Beachwood Drive; turn left at Ledgewood Drive and twist and wind uphill. So many, in fact, that it makes more sense to break them down into categories than to simply list them. It was so amazing to see it even in that context, so I can imagine how awesome it will be to see it up close, especially once they start displaying the shuttle upright as if it were on a launch pad.




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