Much of larger-than-life L.A. is as appealing to kids as it is to adults. Many of the city's best attractions, like Venice Beach's Ocean Front Walk, Hollywood's Farmers Market, and Downtown's Olvera Street (part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument) have a kid-friendly, carnival-like atmosphere. The novelty of sights such as the Walk of Fame and Grauman's Chinese Theatre appeals to kids as well. Older kids in particular love to go on studio tours and to TV tapings.
Then there's the kid-centric museums. Kids who are into dinosaurs will dig the La Brea Tar Pits and the cool prehistoric creatures on display at the adjoining Page Museum (really, you have to drag your kids out of here). The California Science Center will entertain, stimulate, and even teach (sshhhh) kids about science, technology, biology, and the world around them. The Natural History Museum, the Science Center's neighbor in Exposition Park, has giant dinosaur skeletons, an insect zoo, and a museum shop packed with terrifically fun model kits and other irresistible toys. The Petersen Automotive Museum is packed with cool-looking cars and motorcycles, as well as a science-themed Discovery Center designed just for kids.
Thanks to the Winnick Family Children's Zoo, the Los Angeles Zoo is an all-day adventure for the kids. This excellent children's zoo has a top-notch petting zoo, exhibition animal-care center, Adventure Theater, and other kid-cool attractions. Or how about an afternoon of horseback riding on the trails through the Hollywood hills? Here's one you haven't thought of: the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center. Deceptively educational programs for kids include exploratory games such as "The Getty Art Detective" and "Perplexing Paintings." There's also a family room filled with picture books and games, storytelling sessions, weekend family workshops, and self-guided audio tours made specifically for families.
But wait, there's more. Young tourists will also like the surreal Universal CityWalk shopping mall, the carousel and arcade at Santa Monica Pier, and the miniature train ride at the Travel Town Transportation Museum in Griffith Park. If they're sports fans, there's sure to be a few tickets available for a pro baseball, basketball, or soccer game in town. And if all this isn't enough, there's always Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and Six Flags California amusement parks. Or heck, just get the kids a toy bucket and shovel and spend the day at Santa Monica State Beach.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.