Los Angeles is sometimes touted as not especially child friendly, and looking around Rodeo Dr or the Sunset Strip, you might think that young Angelenos have been banished to a gingerbread cottage in the woods. In reality, LA offers a plethora of child-friendly attractions, from theme parks to interactive museums.

For Tots

  • Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round

Ride the very vintage merry-go-round that inspired Walt to create the 'Happiest Place on Earth'.

  • Southern Railroad

Ride tiny tracks in Griffith Park, where mini versions of vintage locomotives offer 1-mile joy rides through a leafy landscape.

  • Santa Monica Pier

LA's best-loved ocean pier is home to a Ferris wheel, old-fashioned merry-go-round and aquarium to boot.

Museums

  • Griffith Observatory

Watch eyes widen inside the world's top planetarium then scan the skies through a telescope.

  • La Brea Tar Pits

Get up close and personal with curious prehistoric beasts, right beside an ancient death pit.

  • California Science Center

Hands-on, high-tech exhibits exploring nature and technology, plus a real-deal NASA space shuttle and seven-story IMAX screen.

  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

You'll find one of the world's most impressive dinosaur exhibits at LA's Natural History Museum, as well as creepy bugs and a dedicated Nature Lab.

  • Zimmer Children’s Museum

Play instruments, fly planes and drive ambulances at this community-minded museum, specially designed for children aged eight and under.

  • Museum of Tolerance

Explore the life of Anne Frank and the importance of compassion and cultural understanding at this interactive educational center.

  • Kidspace Children’s Museum

Get wet and a just a little muddy at Pasadena's nature-driven museum, complete with educational gardens and water features.

For Thrills

  • Six Flags Magic Mountain

Hair-raising, adrenaline-searing roller coasters are the main drawcard at this massive Valley theme park.

  • Hurricane Harbor

Magic Mountain's adjacent water park cools kids (and kids at heart) with its wave pool, 1300ft river and soaring, fully enclosed speed waterslides.

  • Universal Studios Hollywood

Studio tours, live shows and theme-park rides keep the families coming to Universal Studios Hollywood.

  • Sunset Ranch Hollywood

Explore LA's wilder side with a horseback tour through rugged Griffith Park.

For Coastal Fun

  • Santa Monica

Fun-fair attractions, wide sweeps of golden sand and wade-friendly shallows beckon families at Santa Monica.

  • Aquarium of the Pacific

Eye up strange creatures from the shallows and the deep at Long Beach's knockout aquarium, which also runs harbor cruises and seasonal whale-watching trips.

  • Manhattan Beach

Long shallows and an aquarium with touch pool at the end of the pier.

  • Cabrillo Beach

Tide pools, the choice of calmer waters and the nearby Cabrillo Marine Aquarium make this stretch of sand perfect for younger kids.

For Budding Artists

  • Getty Center

A blockbuster art museum with child-friendly interactive displays, a kids' gift shop, entertainment and play-friendly gardens.

  • LACMA

Giant sculptures and a hands-on children's gallery will keep little art fiends buzzing at must-see LACMA.

Need to Know

  • Car Seats Children under the age of eight must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
  • Discounts Most attractions offer discounted admission for children, though theme parks often charge full price for kids as young as 10.
  • Strollers Generally not allowed on public buses unless they are folded.