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10 Great Ideas For A Los Angeles Family Vacation

MomsLA is your source for Things to do in Los Angeles With Kids

Whether you have relatives coming into town for a family vacation in Los Angeles or you’re looking for some inexpensive summer staycation ideas, this is the list for you. Our 10 ideas for fun things to do with kids in Los Angeles on vacation will take you all around the city to some of the definite “must see, must do” spots in LA. Plus, they’re all family-friendly and easy on your wallet.

Guide to the Hollywood Bowl. #losangeles #hollywoodbowl

In Hollywood:

Hollywood Bowl

2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068

Attending a concert at the Hollywood Bowl may very well be the quintessential summer outing. The Bowl hosts a variety of concerts in different musical genres including classical, jazz, world music, and more in an absolutely unforgettable setting. Click here to read our Guide to the Hollywood Bowl.

In Malibu:

The Getty Villa

17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Head to Malibu for the day and visit the Getty Villa, a re-creation of an ancient Roman country house. The art on display represents 7,000 years of ancient art — from the end of the Stone Age to the fall of the Roman Empire. You’ll also be enchanted by the Villa’s four gardens featuring fountains, ponds, and arbors. Admission is free, though an advance, timed-entry ticket is required. Parking is $15. The Getty Villa is closed on Tuesdays and opens at 10:00 am every other day. (Click here to read our post “10 Things To Do In Malibu With Kids”).

If you're visiting Los Angeles for vacation for the first time, or if you live in Los Angeles and are looking for something fun to do, we have a list of the best places to families to visit. #losangeles #familytravel #california #southerncalifornia #losangelesvacation #losangelesfamilyvacation #familyvacation

In Griffith Park:

Griffith Observatory

2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90027

You’ll definitely want to plan to explore Griffith Park. And if you can’t decide what to do first, make sure the Griffith Observatory is at the top of your list. The Griffith Observatory highlights the wonder of outer space in a family-friendly, accessible way. There are telescopes and a multitude of exhibits that will keep the kids (and parents) engaged, curious, and in awe. And on clear days, you’ll enjoy great views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign! There is a cafe on site as well. (Outside food and drinks are not permitted inside the Observatory).  The Observatory is closed on Mondays. Admission is free; though there is a fee for shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. (Click here to read our Guide to the Griffith Observatory).

In Mid-Wilshire:

The Original Farmers Market

6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90036 and

The Grove

189 The Grove Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90036

A trip to the Farmers Market allows families to simultaneously experience the past and the present. The Farmer’s Market has been owned by the Gilmore Family since the late 1800’s. In 1934, farmers began selling their fresh produce from the corner of 3rd and Fairfax. Since then, the Farmers Market has continued to grow and evolve, although many of the merchants have been a part of the Farmer’s Market for a very long time (including Bennett’s Ice Cream and Magee’s Kitchen). Also, be sure to stop by Kip’s Toyland, which has been family-owned and operated for over 70 years (and doesn’t sell any electronic games!)

Adjacent to the Farmers Market is The Grove, a shopping and dining destination. See a movie at the theaters (which host special “Monday Morning Mommy Movies”), read and play in the children’s section of Barnes and Noble, check out American Girl Place, and more. There are many dining options available too. Be sure to take a free ride on the Trolley (which travels between The Grove and the Farmers Market) and watch the Dancing Fountain. (The Fountain “dances” to different songs every hour and was designed by the same company who designed the famous fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas).

Click here to read our Guide to the Original Farmers Market and the Grove.

Pacific Park ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier.

In Santa Monica:

Santa Monica Pier

Ocean and Colorado, Santa Monica, CA

The Santa Monica Pier is equally popular with tourists and locals. This historic pier is designated as the official western end of Route 66. Families won’t run out of things to do, including Pacific Park, the amusement park located on the Pier. You’ll find a variety of games and rides for all ages, including the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel.

Take a ride on the Historic Carousel which also features a vintage soda-fountain inside. Playland Arcade features a variety of games (including many classics). If you’re feeling adventurous, stop by Trapeze School New York Los Angeles.

And located on the beach, right under the Carousel on the Pier, you’ll find the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. On exhibit are more than 100 species of marine animals, all of which are found in the Santa Monica Bay. In addition, different events are held each day the Aquarium is open. (The Aquarium is closed on Mondays).

Click here to read our Guide to the Santa Monica Pier.

In Hollywood:

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Blvd and Vine Street

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is considered to be the world’s most famous stretch of sidewalk. Located on Hollywood Boulevard as well as Vine Street, the famous Stars honor those who have made contributions in the categories of Motion Pictures, Television, Recording, Radio, and Live Theatre/Live Performance. The first Star honored Stanley Kramer in 1960. Ceremonies are free to attend and a list of upcoming ceremonies can be found online. (Actor Jeff Goldblum received his Star on June 14th). And while you’re exploring the Walk of Fame, you’ll come across many other Hollywood landmarks including the El Capitan Theatre, the TCL Chinese Theatre, and the Hollywood Wax Museum to name a few. Be sure to click here to read our post 14 Fun Things To Do With Kids in Hollywood.

If you're visiting Los Angeles for vacation for the first time, or if you live in Los Angeles and are looking for something fun to do, we have a list of the best places to families to visit. #losangeles #familytravel #california #southerncalifornia #losangelesvacation #losangelesfamilyvacation #familyvacation

In Downtown Los Angeles:

Olvera Street

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Los Angeles, CA 

Olvera Street is known as the “birthplace of Los Angeles.” Visit this lively outdoor marketplace and enjoy a variety of vendors, dancers and musicians, handcrafted items, and delicious food. Families can explore on their own or take advantage of free docent-led tours of Olvera Street and El Pueblo Historical Monument. While you’re downtown, don’t forget to check out other popular spots such as Grand Park, The Broad, and the Central Library. Click here to read our post “9 Things To Do With Kids in Downtown Los Angeles” for all the details.

In Long Beach:

The Queen Mary

1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802

Once a world-class, luxury ocean liner, the Queen Mary is now an event venue, floating hotel, and major tourist attraction. Today, families can opt for a unique staycation and/or participate in one of the various tours that are also offered. A variety of dining options await you, including The Promenade Cafe which offers plenty of family-friendly menu choices. The Queen Mary’s website even offers suggestions for your itinerary, depending on the length of time you wish to stay and explore. And before you head to Long Beach, be sure to read our post 10 Things To Do In Long Beach With Kids by clicking here.

In Beverly Hills:

Ride the Beverly Hills Trolley

Civic Center Dr. and Third St., Beverly Hills, CA

Visitors from all over the world come to Beverly Hills. If you’re a local (or somewhat local) family, one of the best ways to explore the city is by taking advantage of the free trolley service that runs quite frequently during the summer — July 5th  to September 2nd, Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. (From January through June and September through November, the trolley only runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm). Check the website for a map of the trolley’s route. And before you go, be sure to read our post “10 Family-Friendly Things To See and Do in Beverly Hills” by clicking here.

In Downtown Los Angeles and Echo Park:


1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 and

Dodger Stadium

1000 Vin Scully Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Support our professional sports teams. During the summer months, you can root for the Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) at Dodger Stadium and the Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) at the Staples Center.

Click here to read our post “10 Awesome Things About Dodger Stadium,” and click here to read our post “What to Eat at Dodger Stadium.”

If you're visiting Los Angeles for vacation for the first time, or if you live in Los Angeles and are looking for something fun to do, we have a list of the best places to families to visit. #losangeles #familytravel #california #southerncalifornia #losangelesvacation #losangelesfamilyvacation #familyvacation


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