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9 Fun Things To Do In LA’s Chinatown With Kids 2024

Updated for 2024

Chinatown in downtown L.A. is a popular tourist destination. It also has a rich history, with the first Chinese reaching Los Angeles in the mid to late 1800’s. Today, you’ll find many family-friendly activities in this special neighborhood.

9 Fun Things to Visit in Los Angeles’ Chinatown


The Haunt Ghost Tours
Chinatown District, Los Angeles, CA

If you have kids thrilled by ghost stories and mysteries, The Haunt’s real ghost hunt is a perfect evening activity. Armed with ghost hunting gear like a Spirit Box, dowsing rods, and your own EMF detector, you’ll use tools to seek out spirits, and unearth stories of forgotten graves, haunted houses, and the residual impressions that linger. The tour is considered family-friendly and not too scary for kids.

chinese american museum downtown los Angeles
The Chinese American Museum is a terrific place to learn about LA’s rich history

Chinese American Museum
425 N. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Chinese American Museum is located at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, inside one of the oldest surviving Chinese buildings within Southern California. Through the Museum’s exhibits, visitors will learn about the role Chinese-Americans have played throughout history. Different exhibits document different aspects of  Chinese-American life. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Admission is free though donations are appreciated.

Philippe The Original
1001 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Philippe is known as the “home of the French Dipped sandwich,” but you’ll find many choices here at this historic eatery. Breakfast is served here, but many people know Philippe as the place for sandwiches. And like many inventions, their “French Dipped Sandwich” happened by mistake — when owner Philippe Mathieu accidentally dropped a sliced roll into the roasting pan that was filled with juice. This may also be the only place in the city where you can purchase a cup of coffee for under a dollar. Kids will enjoy the sawdust on the floor and the family-style seating.

Self-Guided Walking Tour
Chinatown District, Los Angeles, CA

If your family would prefer a do-it-yourself kind of walking tour, Angels’ Walk LA has a suggested route for you. Check their website for specific information. The tour will take you by such popular spots as the Central Plaza, Phoenix Bakery (the oldest and largest bakery in Chinatown known for their strawberry whipped cream cake), and the Far East Plaza (regarded as the first modern ethnic shopping mall in the United States).

Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles
Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles

Olvera St
Olvera St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

This historic alleyway is chock-full of tiny stalls and shops selling Mexican imports, toys and novelties. Stop by Cielito Lindo for their taquitos and green salsa, and walk through LA’s oldest standing building, the 1800’s Avila Adobe. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is the definitive family-oriented history museum about early California life, and the Sepulveda Museum on Olvera St. is a short but fun walk through for families, with windows peeking into reconstructed 1800’s rooms showing what life was like.

la plaza de cultura y artes
La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Downtown Los Angeles

Central Plaza
Chinatown District, Los Angeles, CA

The crown jewel of Chinatown is the stunning Central Plaza, an architectural delight for all. While a relatively sleepy spot, it’s worth strolling through for photo ops at the Bruce Lee statue, in front of the fanciful buildings, and peeking into the cheesy tourist stores, where you can get lost in the cheap trinkets, t-shirts and toys. Burgerlords, Sage Blossom and Broadway Cuisine are great eats in the area.

Dynasty Center
Chinatown District, Los Angeles, CA

Chinatown’s last big shopping mall, Dynasty Center is a sort of indoor-outdoor flea market with a dizzying amount of stalls, featuring vendors hawking clothes, toys, appliances, fresh juices and more. $20 goes a long way here – send your kids on a scavenger hunt for the funkiest toys and costumes (just don’t get lost in the labyrinth).

inside the great hall at Union Station
Union Station is one of the most beautiful places to see in Los Angeles

Union Station
800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA

Union Station describes itself as the place “where Los Angeles begins.” It was built in 1939 and is considered to be the “last of the great train stations” as well as the “largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States.” Today, Union Station is much more than a transportation hub; it is also a venue for arts and entertainment. In addition, families can choose to participate in the “Metro Art Moves” tour (free tours of artwork in the Metro Rail system; all tours begin at Union Station) and the “Union Station Tour” (a free tour offered the second Sunday of each month).

Chung King Road
Chinatown District, Los Angeles, CA

Chung King Road is a pedestrian-only area of Chinatown, located in the West Plaza Area. You’ll find restaurants, shops, and art galleries here. Chung King Road is considered to be part of “New Chinatown” and was built in the 1930s and 1940s. Periodically, Chung King Road will host gallery walks and other special events.

Special Thanks to The Haunt Ghost Tours for adding updated information to this post!

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Disclaimer: MomsLA has made every effort to confirm the information in this article; however, things can often change. Therefore, MomsLA makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy of the information published here. MomsLA strongly urges you to confirm any event details, like date, time, location, and admission, with the third party hosting the event. You assume the sole risk of relying on any of the information in our list. MomsLA is in no way responsible for any injuries or damages you sustain while attending any third-party event posted on our website. Please read our Terms of Use which you have agreed to based on your continued use of this website. Some events have paid to be listed on MomsLA.

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