If you are planning to visit LA with the family, you certainly won’t be stuck for things to do. From Disneyland to the Getty Centre, and from Universal Studios to the La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles has got it covered.
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure are likely to be top of your agenda, offering fun for both young and old. Although not in the city of LA itself, all you need to do is jump in the car and drive for around an hour to be transported to the magical world of Disney. It is possible to reach Disneyland by public transport; ask your concierge for up-to-date timetables and directions.
If your family loves theme parks and all things Hollywood, then a trip to Universal Studios is a must. Check out where movies are made on the famous Studio Tour which provides some great insights into the magic of Hollywood along with the special effects and Animal Actors show, a fun way to learn about the fascinating world of movie-making. Afterwards, why not see these special effects in their technical glory on some of the rides based on your favourite TV shows and films?
Enjoy all the fun of Knott’s Berry Farm for a fabulous family day out. A family theme park with water rides, rollercoasters and live entertainment, Knott’s Berry Farm is a great way to get your theme park thrills if you are sticking to a budget.
If your family prefers your Hollywood antics to be a little more sedate, then a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame is perfect. Head down Hollywood Boulevard and see if you can spot your favourite star of the silver screen, or head to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and see how your handprints measure up to some of Hollywood’s most famous star
Prefer your tours sitting down? Rest the little ones’ feet and take a trip aboard one of the Hollywood bus tours. Explore the glamour of Sunset Boulevard, see the homes of Hollywood Glitterati and find out more about where the rich and famous have previously lived.
For more about Hollywood, LA’s theme parks and the many different types of entertainment the area has to offer, take a look at our Entertainment and Sports page.
If yours is an active family, the Marina del Rey offers kayak and sailboat hire, while Santa Monica Beach offers an enormous sandy strip, plus the attractions of Santa Monica Pier.
If you like the weird and wonderful, then don’t miss a trip to the famous Venice Beach. The pedestrian-only promenade offers the chance to see one-of-a-kind performers, artists and fortune-tellers.
For more information about the beaches Los Angeles has to offer, head over to our Beaches page.
History and culture
Head to the La Brea Tar Pits and check out the world’s most famous Ice Age fossil excavation site. There are no dinosaurs here, but plenty of fossils of prehistoric animals, including giant jaguars, mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers.
The Getty Centre offers exhibitions presenting enormous collections of European and American art. Admission to all exhibitions is free, and there are plenty of family-friendly hands-on activities too.
Visit the iconic historical landmark Watts Towers in the aptly named Watts district: a collection of 17 interconnected structures, including the Watts Towers Arts Centre, which offers tours and exhibitions open to the public.
If you and your family would like to soak up as much of the downtown LA culture as you can in one tour, then a Los Angeles Conservancy walking tour is a great way to do just that. These regularly scheduled walking tours run on several themes and areas, including art deco, modern skyline and historic downtown.
If you prefer your culture to have a musical flavour, then the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a great place to go to catch performances from internationally renowned musicians, offering classical, jazz and world music, plus a whole host of family-friendly events.
Parks and gardens
See Hollywood on a different scale from the Griffith Observatory. View the famous Hollywood sign from the north side of the observatory, explore the surrounding Griffith Park and head inside for exhibits exploring space and science.
The Huntington Gardens offers something for your whole family, with its 120-acres of gardens open to visitors. If you have children aged between two and seven, you should definitely explore the Children’s Garden, which offers hands-on activities focussing on the elements earth, fire, air and water.
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