Things To Do in Los Angeles with Kids

Los Angeles Teachers’ Strike – Things To Do With Kids

Updated 1/21/19 – If you decide not to send your kids to school during the LAUSD Teachers’ Strike that will continue at least into Tuesday, many Los Angeles museums and libraries are offering free admission, rec centers are offering special programming and LA Metro is free to LAUSD students.

LAUSD and the teachers’ union have been meeting since Thursday, however, the strike continues on Tuesday, January 21st. This has left parents of nearly 600,000 students with a decision to make – send your kids to school without teachers or find something else for them to do.

We’ve compiled a list of options for kids that include the Natural History Museums, the LA Zoo and the Petersen Automotive Museum. Please note that older kids may need their LAUSD ID and younger kids must be accompanied by an adult. Adult admission is either free or discounted.

Here is a list of things to do with kids during the Los Angeles Teachers’ Strike:

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is offering special programming during the LAUSD Teachers' Strike. #losangeles

Free Admission to Natural History Museums of LA County – In response to the LAUSD strike planned for Thursday, January 10, the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) will offer free onsite general admission to all LAUSD students and chaperones, weekdays Monday-Friday, 9:30 am to 5 pm. In addition, students and chaperones will have access to grade appropriate self-guided activities and lesson plans for pick-up onsite.

All students will have access to free programming on Friday, January 11 at La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and—if still on strike—Tuesday, February 12 at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in Exposition Park- For information about the visiting during the strike, click here. For information on current exhibits and hours, visit

Free Admission to the Petersen Automotive Museum – The Petersen is offering free admission to LAUSD students Monday through Friday until February 2nd.  Students under the age of 13 must be accompanied by and adult. Middle and high school students over 13 will be admitted with school ID.

In addition to free admission, children and teens will have the opportunity to experience supplemental educational programs designed to help them learn about the history and future of the automobile. Each day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., STEAM-based tours and design projects, book readings and other activities will keep students engaged and provide opportunities for learning about the math, science and artistry behind cars,” according a press release from the Petersen.

LA Metro to Offer Free Rides to LAUSD Students – LAUSD students with a student ID card will be able to ride for free on strike days from 5 am to 7 pm., according to Metro.

“At Metro, we want to help those kids who may be staying home from school because of the strike find constructive and educational ways to spend their time,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Chair of the Metro Board. “Free Metro access will help make it easier for students and their families to get to parks, museums, libraries and other facilities.” “At Metro, we want to help those kids who may be staying home from school because of the strike find constructive and educational ways to spend their time,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Chair of the Metro Board. “Free Metro access will help make it easier for students and their families to get to parks, museums, libraries and other facilities.”

The LA Zoo is one of the great places to learn about science in Los Angeles

Free Admission to the LA Zoo – The Los Angeles Zoo will offer free admission Monday through Friday to LAUSD students in grades K-12 and $5 for accompanying chaperones, “providing a safe and educational place for students during the LAUSD teachers’ strike.”

“Students merely need to show proof of enrollment by presenting a school ID card, report card, school newsletter or similar proof of enrollment. Complimentary admission will be offered Monday through Friday and only on days LAUSD schools are impacted due to the teachers’ strike. Tickets are available at the L.A. Zoo box office only. This limited-time discount is NOT available online.” For more information, visit

Expanded Programming at the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace – LA students can socialize with pets, read to the animals and learn what groomers and trainers do. The Annenberg PetSpace in Playa Vista wants to support LA students so it’s expanding its programming beginning on Wednesday, January 15th and continuing through the end of the strike. Admission and programming is free.

Wallis Annenberg PetSpace is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is located at 12005 Bluff Creek Dr. in Playa Vista. Students must be accompanied by an adult. The PetSpaces asks that small groups of students are accompanied by an adult chaperone and that there is one chaperone per every 10 children. Visit for more information.

Free Admission at the Japanese American National Museum – The museum is offering free weekday admission to LAUSD students and their chaperones for the duration of the strike. Exhibits includes Common Ground: The Heart of the Community with more than 100 artifacts, photos and documents that chronicles 130 years of the Japanese American Experience and Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys. 

JANM is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays. Final admissions are made 30 minutes prior to closing. JANM requests that there be at least one adult for every ten students visiting together as a group and if you’re coming with a group of 10 to make a reservation. More information can be found at

LA Rec Centers and LA Public Libraries Offering Special Programming – In an email newsletter, Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “The City will be offering extended hours, increased staffing, lunch, and programming at select recreation centers; expanded library programming; free transportation on Metro and LADOT for L.A. Unified students; and free admission to a number of museums.”

The additional programming for school-age children at the following rec centers will take place from 8 am to 4 pm on school days. Kids can receive “supervision and lunch, play games, participate in arts and crafts, and engage in sports and fitness activities,” according to the mayor’s website. Parents interested in taking kids to one of the centers must fill out this registration form.

Here is a full list of Los Angeles Rec Centers offering expanded services:

  • 109th Street Recreation Center – 1464 E 109th Street 90059
  • Algin Sutton Recreation Center – 8800 S Hoover Street 90044
  • Alpine Recreation Center – 817 Yale Street 90012
  • Banning Recreation Center – 1331 Eubank Avenue 90744
  • Central Park Recreation Center – 1357 E 22nd Street 90011
  • Denker Recreation Center – 1550 W 35th Place 90018
  • Elysian Valley Recreation Center – 1811 Ripple Street 90039
  • Evergreen Recreation Center – 2844 E 2nd Street 90033
  • EXPO Center/ Roy A. Anderson Recreation Center – 3980 South Bill Robertson Lane 90037
  • Harbor City Recreation Center – 24901 Frampton Avenue 90710
  • Highland Park Recreation Center – 6150 N Piedmont Avenue 90042
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Recreation Center – 12560 Filmore Street 91331
  • Jackie Tatum/Harvard Recreation Center – 1535 W 62nd Street 90047
  • Lafayette Multi-Purpose Community Center – 625 S Lafayette Park Place 90057
  • Lanark Recreation Center – 21816 Lanark Street 91304
  • Lincoln Heights Recreation Center – 2303 Workman Street 90031
  • Mar Vista Recreation Center – 11430 Woodbine Avenue 90066
  • Martin Luther King Jr Recreation Center – 3916 S Western Avenue 90062
  • Mount Carmel Recreation Center – 830 W 70th Street 90044
  • Pecan Recreation Center – 145 S Pecan Street 90033
  • Poinsettia Recreation Center – 7341 Willoughby Avenue 90046
  • Queen Anne Recreation Center – 1240 West Boulevard  90019
  • Ross Snyder Recreation Center – 1501 E 41st Street 90011
  • Seoul International Park (Ardmore Recreation Center) – 3250 San Marino Street 90006
  • Sepulveda Recreation Center – 8825 Kester Avenue 91402
  • South Park Recreation Center – 345 E. 51st Street 90011
  • Sylmar Recreation Center – 13109 Borden Avenue 91342
  • Valley Plaza Recreation Center – 12240 Archwood Street 91606
  • Van Ness Recreation Center – 5720 2nd Avenue 90043
  • Van Nuys Recreation Center – 14301 Vanowen Street 91405
  • Wilmington Recreation – 325 N Neptune Avenue 90744
  • Winnetka Recreation Center – 8401 Winnetka Avenue 91306

If you’re looking for more things to do, see our post with 12 Free Things to do in Los Angeles With Kids, ourGuide to Museums in Los Angeles or 10 Educational (and Free!) Things to do in Los Angeles.

Things to Do in Los Angeles with kids sub banner

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