Toddlers to Teens 10 Things to do in Los Angeles

July 17, 2018 Hilary

Toddlers to Teens 10 Things to do in Los Angeles

Space Shuttle Endeavour

How many times have we asked the question, “What should we do today?” With a teen and a (soon to be) ten year old in the house, the problem really isn’t coming up with an idea, it’s coming up with an idea that appeals to all ages. And, let’s get real, finding an activity that my teen will agree to is no easy feat.

Leo Carrillo State Park Malibu California

That’s the great thing about Los Angeles, no matter who you’re traveling with, toddlers, teens, or both you’ll find activities for every age. Many of which will appeal to all ages at the same time!

Angels Gate Park San Pedro Los Angeles California

From San Pedro on one end of LA County to Malibu on the other, here are 10 fun ideas for the entire family.

Point Fermin Park & The Korean Bell of Friendship

Point Fermin Park

You’ll find Point Fermin Park perched high above the ocean on the southernmost point  of Los Angeles. The park offers sweeping ocean views, wide grassy areas for running free, trees for climbing, a playground, picnic areas, and a historic lighthouse and museum.

Point Fermin Park San Pedro Los Angeles California

Point Fermin Historic Lighthouse

Take a stroll along the bluffs as we did, or bring a picnic and enjoy the view from one of the park’s many tables. If you keep your eyes open you just might see a dolphin.

Korean Bell of Friendship

Gifted to the people of Los Angeles in 1976 by the people of the Republic of Korea the Korean Bell of Friendship is located in Angels Gate Park, also known as the Korean-American Peace Park.

Angels Gate Park San Pedro Los Angeles California

Korean Bell of Friendship

The Bell, one of the largest in the world, weighs 17 tons and is rung when struck from the outside by a wooden log. The Bell’s pagoda, sometimes referred to as the Friendship Belfry, was built onsite by craftsmen flown in from Korea.

The bell is rung each year on the Fourth of July, Korean Independence Day, New Year’s Eve, and every September to celebrate Constitution week.

Point Fermin Park is located at 807 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro. The lighthouse and museum are open Tuesday through Sunday 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Admission is free. 

Leo Carrillo State Park

Spend a glorious day out at Leo Carrillo State Park, which is located on the Pacific Coast Highway (HWY 1) in beautiful Malibu, California.

Leo Carrillo Tide Pools Malibu California

There are rocks and caves waiting to be explored at Leo Carrillo State park

Activities at the park are many and include, exploring the tide pools, swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing, and beach combing. There are also caves and reefs for exploring, hiking trails, picnic tables and camping.

Leo Carrillo Tide Pools Malibu California

We spent the majority of our time exploring Leo Carrillo’s tide pools. Among the many creatures we saw were striped shore crabs, a baby sea star, a sunburst anemone, a black sea hare (slug), mossy chiton, blue banded hermit crabs, and black tegula sea snails.

Leo Carrillo is located at 35000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu and is open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm. The entrance to the park is on the East side of the Pacific Coast Highway. There are bathrooms and pay showers on site. Camping is available via the Park’s online reservation system.

Parking Fees: All day – $12.00 per car, per day, 3 hours – $9.00 per car, 2 hours – $6.00 per car, 1 hour – $3.00 per car.


You might also be interested in: Tide Pools & More at Leo Carrillo State Park

The Skirball Cultural Center & Museum

The Skirball Cultural Center  is home to one of the oldest and largest collections of Jewish cultural artifacts both in the United States and in the world. It is LA’s first Jewish museum, and it’s their mission to preserve and advance Jewish heritage in both social and cultural contexts.

Skirball Museum Los Angeles California

Surface Tension Street Art Exhibit at the Skirball

What does that mean? It means that if you visit the Skirball you’ll be treated to some pretty amazing exhibits. Currently Jim Henson and his Muppets are featured, but with past and future topics ranging from street art in LA to supreme court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg you’re sure to find something of interest for all ages.

The museum’s permanent collection displays Jewish artifacts, art and ceremonial objects from ancient to modern times and is both fascinating and at times heartbreaking.

Skirball Museum Los Angeles California

Jewish Exhibit at the Skirball

Noah’s Ark

If you have younger children, you won’t want to miss Noah’s Ark, a permanent installation and playground within the Skirball museum.

Skirball Museum Los Angeles California

Noah’s Ark at the Skirball

No matter your age, I guarantee  you will be amazed when you step inside Noah’s Ark and are surrounded by the hundreds of amazing animal sculptures and puppets created from recycled materials and everyday objects. Activities inside the Ark include building an ark, conducting storms, and “feeding” the animals.

The Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Parking is FREE on-site. The Skirball is open Tuesday – Friday, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm and Saturday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Admission for adults is $12 General, $9 Seniors, Full-Time Students with ID, and Children over 12 and $7 for Children 2–12.  FREE to all on Thursdays. 


You might also be interested in: The J. Paul Getty Museums 

The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

Can you believe that at one time the bustling area that is now Museum Row was once the home of dire wolves, saber-tooth cats, and mammoths? It’s true! Of course that was 50,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years…

The La Brea Tar Pits Los Angeles California

The Outdoor Exhibits at The La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum offer a glimpse into what life was like in the LA basin long before people came along. You won’t see dinosaurs here, as they’d already been extinct for 65 million years when animals started becoming entrapped in the tar pits, but my kids still love to see the ongoing excavation pits, test their strength pulling the tar, and roam the museum’s gardens. Excavator tours are free with admission.

The La Brea Tar Pits & Museum are located at 5801 Wilshire Blvd. The Museum is open  9:30 am to 5:00 pm 360 days per year.

Basic admission for adults is $15, students and seniors $12, and children $7. Viewing the outside exhibits is free.


You might also be interested in: One Amazing Day in LA!

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

They may not have dinosaurs at the Tar Pits, but don’t worry because the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has that covered, and so much more! In fact we spent the better part of a day here and still left without seeing everything this amazing institution has to offer.

Natural History Museum Los Angeles California

Dinosaurs aplenty at the NHMLA

Did you know that skateboarding was invented in LA? So was the electric guitar! You can learn all about the City of Angels and its unique contributions to culture at the permanent exhibition: Becoming LA.

Natural History Museum Los Angeles California

Skateboarding was invented in LA

We loved the recent temporary Tattoo exhibition, which traces the history of inking skin over 5000 years. Did you know the black and grey style originated here in East LA?

Natural History Museum Los Angeles California

Tattoo is just one of many temporary exhibits available at the NHMLA

Younger kids will love the discovery center, the mammal halls, and roaming the museum’s gorgeous gardens.

The Natural History Museum is located at 900 W Exposition Blvd. The Museum is open  9:30 am to 5:00 pm 360 days per year. Basic admission for adults is $15, students and seniors $12, and children $7.


You might also be interested in: 11 Places To Get Your Culture Fix In Los Angeles

California Science Center

Young and old will enjoy a visit to the California Science Center where touching and interaction are a welcome and necessary part of any visit. From The Space Shuttle Endeavour to under the sea ecosystems, and the human body, there is no shortage of things to see and do.

California Science Center Los Angeles California

Space Shuttle Endeavour

King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh will be on display at the Science Center through January 2019 before it embarks on a ten city world tour. Many never before seen artifacts are on display including a bed, larger than life statues, and funerary jars.   Children under 10 may not appreciate 3000 year old golden sandals, but I sure did!

California Science Center Los Angeles California

The King Tut Exhibition

The California Science Center is located at 700 W Exposition Blvd. The museum is open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm 7 days a week 362 days per year.

Admission to the Science Center is free, however certain exhibits are timed and ticketed

The Expo Line

Both the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Science center can be reached via the Expo Line, a newly operating commuter train, which runs east/west from the heart of Downtown Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Pier.

Public Transportation in Los Angeles

The Expo Line runs east/west from Downton LA to the Beach

Exit at the Vermont Station for both museums, as well as many other nearby areas of interest. Check the Metro website for timetables, fare information and routes.

Swan Boats on Echo Park Lake & The Echo Park Time Travel Mart

Swan Boats

The kids were very excited about our visit to Echo Park Lake, where our main goal was the Lake’s swan pedal boats. We took turns waiting in the line, while the rest of the group passed the time walking the lake path and watching the turtles and other wildlife in the park.

Echo Park Lake Echo Park Los Angeles California #lawithkids #echopark #familytravel #thingstodowithkidsinla

Echo Park Lake Swan Boats

Recently upgraded to include shade canopies, these brand new swan boats can hold from 2 – 5 guests. The kids really wanted to pedal, so we sat happily shaded in the back enjoying the fountain and city views while they did all the work.

The swan boats are open 7 days a week 9:00 am  – Sunset. Adutls are $11 and children (17 years and under) $6 for a one hour rental. 

Echo Park Time Travel Mart

With a motto like Wherever you are, we’re already then, how could we resist a visit to The Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers? Inside we found fun from every era, past, present and future including, dinosaur eggs, robot milk, t-shirts, and so much more.

Time Travel Mart Echo Park Los Angeles California #lawithkids #echopark

Wherever you are, we’re already then

All proceeds help support the free programs at 826LA a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative writing skills.

The Time Travel Mart is located at 1714 W Sunset Blvd., LA.  The Mart is open Monday – Sunday 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Stair Walk in Silver Lake

LA wasn’t always the car town it is now, and at one time public transportation was the primary mode of travel. People used an extensive network of staircases to get from their hillside homes to their transit stops. These days they are used primarily for urban hikes and exercise and a climb to the top will grant you fabulous views of the city.

Swan Stair View Silver Lake Los Angeles California #laskyline #familytravel #silverlakewithkids

View of Downtown LA from Silver Lake

Because these staircases are located within residential neighborhoods, they are often hidden from view, so finding them can be a challenge, but don’t worry I’ve got you covered.

This activity is best suited to those 10 and up. The Hidden Staircases walk begins at the Micheltorena Stairs across the street from Alfred Coffee. You’ll find the route we took here: The Hidden Staircases of Silver Lake.


You might also be interested in:
12 Things to do with Kids in LA’s Echo Park & Silver Lake Neighborhoods

Chocolate Tea & Lawn Games at the Huntington Langham Hotel

The Sunday Chocolate tea at the Huntington Langham is a real treat! You’ll know you’re in the right place when you smell the chocolate.

Langham Chocolate Tea Pasadena California

Chocolate Fountain

In addition to chocolate you’ll be treated to traditional tea sandwiches, scones and cream, and bottomless champagne. Oh, and yes multiple tea selections are available as well. Kids will love the specially made children’s tea sandwiches with kid friendly toppings.

Work off all that chocolate playing lawn games in the Horseshoe Garden including, croquet, frisbee golf, and badminton.

The Huntington Langham is located at 1401 S Oak Knoll Ave, Pasadena. Tea service is held everyday of the week, however the Chocolate Tea is only held on Sundays. Reservations are required.


You might also be interested in: Taste of Los Angeles

The Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

A library, science museums, and acres of unique and beautiful botanical gardens, including a fabulous children’s garden, make The Huntington a wonderful place for the entire family.

Huntington Chinese Garden San Marino Los Angeles California

The Chinese Garden at The Huntington

The exhibit showcasing a selection of the Huntington’s collection of original books, documents and letters was a favorite of mine. Especially interesting to me were Jack London’s draft of White fang, Henry VIII’s document concerning Luther and a collection of Shakespeare’s works.

If you have young children the Huntington Children’s garden is the place for you! It’s a magical spot with plenty to explore including water play, magnetic sand, tunnels, a playhouse, and volcan. When visiting this garden a change of clothing might not be a bad idea!

Huntington Children's Garden San Marino Los Angeles California

The Children’s Garden at The Huntington


You might also be interested in: Tourist In My Own Town

The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino

The Huntington is open Wednesday – Monday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Admission for Adults is $25 on weekdays, and $29 on weekends. Seniors (65+) and students are  $21 on weekdays, and $24 on weekends. Youth (4-11) are $13, and children under 4 are free.


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Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids and Teens #teentravel #LAwithkids #familytravel #losangeleswithkids

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Hilary

I love to travel & explore the world both near and far! I do my best to make the most out of life each and everyday! I have two boys and wherever I go, they go! This means they are, at the ages of 9 and 15, world travelers and all around go along guys! There isn’t anywhere I can’t take them! It is my hope this blog will be a way to share the fun things I’ve learned while on our many adventures together!

Comments (50)

  1. I like your collection of things to do in LA for the younger crowd. I have been to many of them myself (and I’m a bit older than the teen crowd.) I was surprised how much I enjoyed visiting the LaBrea tar pits. The Skirball Cultural Center sounds fascinating and like a place I will visit next time I’m in LA

    • Hilary

      The Skirball is a wonderful place for all ages! I love all these places, but I’m a kid at heart!

  2. I’m always amazed by how much there is to do in LA that I just don’t know about. You’ve put together a great list that will appeal to lots of different age groups, which is very well researched with lots of great images. Well done and thanks for all the tips!

    • Hilary

      Thank you. There is just so much to do here. I suffer constantly from FOMO, but have learned to live with my affliction.

  3. This is such a great collection of things to do in LA! I had to look up what bluffs are (broad, rounded cliffs). I knew that skateboarding was invented there, but not the electric guitar (I’ll have to tell my son!). xx Maria

    • Hilary

      Thank you! I was excited to learn about the electric guitar too, as my son plays. We have lots of broad rounded cliffs here in Southern California. haha!

  4. So many of these even I would enjoy! I’ve always wanted to see the La Brea Tar Pits because of a movie I once watched… couldn’t say which one now! #FarawayFiles

    • Hilary

      Yes, I feel like all of these things would appeal to all ages, kids or no kids!

  5. You did it again 🙂 Love the friendship bell, the lighthouse and the tattoo exhibit, but most of all I am so surprised and delighted there is a commuter train running now. That is one thing that “bothers” be about Los Angeles, the lack of good public transportation. I don’t drive, so getting around is kind of hard. Now I can go from downtown to one of my favourite places, Santa Monica 🙂 #farawayfiles

    • Hilary

      Yes, we’ve taken the train many times, we live in Santa Monica, and it’s so convenient!

      • You do? Lucking you!! Spent all my money, and had to buy an additional suitcase, at the 3rd Street Promenade 😀

      • Hilary

        Ha ha! That’s been a problem I’ve had in the past too! One time in Italy…

  6. Clare Thomson

    Every time I read one of your LA posts, I’m amazed at how much this city has to offer everyone! There’s always something new to discover in your posts. I know we’d love all of these. Some are fun, some beside the sea, some historic, some arty… Literally something for everyone, old and young. #FarawayFiles

    • Hilary

      It really truly does have something for every one of every age. Believe it or not I’m nowhere near discovering all that it has to offer… Guess I’ll have to keep exploring.

  7. All of this sounds brilliant – even if I did visit LA without my kids! I saw your picture of the lighthouse on instagram the other day but didn’t realise it was a lighthouse – I have a thing for lighthouses! And, also, how on earth do you know all the names of those creatures in the rock pools, I was very impressed! #farawayflies

    • Hilary

      It’s not your typical lighthouse it is? I recently learned I also have a thing for lighthouses, and saw many of them on our recent trip up the California/Oregon Coast. Don’t be too impressed 😘 I had to research what I saw in the tide pools. I found a great website that listed the type of sea creatures in our local pools. I compared my photos to theirs…

    • Hilary

      We loved the Swan Boats, surprisingly, it was way more fun than I thought it would be!

  8. Such a fun collection of ideas – it’s so easy to think LA= Hollywood only and forget how much more there is for families… something I am discovering from your blog! Would love to try a lot of these, and certain my daughter would too. #farawayfiles

    • Hilary

      There truly is so much more here than Hollywood and a day at the beach, though I do love the beach. In recent years I’ve done my best to find things a bit off the beaten path while traveling and have decided to do that in my own hometown as well!

  9. Can you believe that we haven’t taken out kids to California yet!? All of these sound fun but we especially love parks and lighthouses. #FarawayFiles

  10. Ruth

    I get your feeling since my husband has nephews with a 12 year age difference. It is a challenge to decide what to do. Going out with them at different times is not really an option. We have visited several of the places you show in here. We also go to ride bike at the beaches and we have camped at places like Big Bear. It is fun to go out with the kids. I mean there is so much outdoor fun to have in Los Angeles. #FarawayFiles

    • Hilary

      We love the beach paths and definitely all
      Enjoy riding our bikes along them!

  11. We live in Eagle Rock, but we still haven’t taken our 3-year-old yet to Noah’s Ark! I really ought to get on that. Los Angeles does have a ton of family-friendly activities, and I’m so glad you liked the chocolate tea at the Langham! We took our daughter there last year for a Christmas teddy bear tea and had a great time. #farawayfiles

    • Hilary

      My boys were a bit old for Noah’s Ark but still loved it anyway! Definitely go see it if you can find time!

  12. rosiedoal

    We live in the UK but as a family we love visiting LA and have taken the kids a few times. I haven’t been to some of the places on your list though and I think we can definitely try some of these places next time we fly out. #BlogCrush

    • Hilary

      Oh! I’m so happy you’ve discovered something new to try the next time you’re here! A mix of old favorites and new discoveries is my favorite way to travel!!

  13. Ladies what travel

    Wow, I wish I’d known about some of these places when I visited LA – they appeal to big kids too! 😉

    Noah’s Ark sounds like quirky fun and I have to admit that I visited the tar pits when I was last in the city as I’d seen it featured in some blockbuster disaster movies lol! #FarawayFiles

    • Hilary

      Yes, I think the Tar Pits have been featured in a few different films. Volcano might be one 🤔? We loved the animals inside the Ark they were all so clever.

  14. The Skirball Cultural Center & Museum sounds like it would be very interesting, the idea of mixing the old with the new makes it a bit more accessible to all ages. #farawayfiles

    • Hilary

      It’s a great place! We were excited to have discovered it!

  15. Sometimes it’s also hard to find activities that all adults in a group can enjoy together! 🙂 Great ideas here for children of different ages to enjoy in LA and there are a couple of activities that adults can enjoy too. Btw, I really love your pics – resolution is pretty good! 🙂 #FarawayFiles

    • Hilary

      Thank you so much! Photo resolution is a high priority for me! I’m a kid at heart so all of these activities appeal to me, but I know not everyone feels that way.

  16. The national history museum looks amazing and the science centre would appeal to my lot . I also have a 10 year old plus teenagers so I know the struggle in finding something everyone would like to do together!! Thank you for adding this to #blogcrush

    • Hilary

      It’s a great Natural History museum!! It’s a struggle sometimes isn’t it? I didn’t add my post to #blogcrush, but feel
      So honored that someone else did!!!

  17. What an amazing selection of activities to do with different aged kids. The Korean Bell look incredible- never heard of that before. My vote would be the Langham…erm bottomless champagne…yes please! Thanks for hosting #farawayfiles

    • Hilary

      There is so much to do here in LA I would suffer constantly from a fear of missing out, but I know more fun is around every corner, especially if you’re young at heart! I loved the Korean Bell, and nearby Point Fermin, such a family friendly activity.

  18. annette @afrenchcollection

    What a collection of amazing activities you’ve shared here. I’m loving the floor in the Skirball hall. Not sure if it would take me some getting used to walking on the floor without feeling like I’m doing the wrong thing 😉 #FarawayFiles

    • Hilary

      Wasn’t that floor neat!? It was only temporary for the street art exhibition, but I loved it. Would make a fun wallpaper I think…

  19. Such an informative post and for all ages! I hear the Tar Pits are really cool – that was on our agenda should we have carved out time for LACMA, since it’s nearby, but that never happened. Which is fine because our trip was complete perfection. Saving this post for another time! #farawayfiles

  20. Beth

    Such a great collection of places to visit with a family spanning different ages… like mine! My quick picks would be the swan boats (love that they added on the shade!), the science museum with the Endeavour space shuttle, and the Becoming LA exhibit at the Natural History Museum. Oh, and the Jewish museum sounds really interesting, too. I love the mix of outdoor and indoor activities. Your photos make it all look worth the while.

    I know that whenever we visit LA, I’ve got the best insight from your posts to work with. Thanks for sharing! #FarawayFiles

    • Hilary

      Thank you! I’m so glad you’ve found some fun ideas! We’ve certainly loved exploring all of them. I hope you do come visit LA, and if so, please reach out with any questions.

  21. hmmmm… That’s true Full time traveling is really hard for those who never tried any dare in normal life but peoples like you are real-life heroes. who never step back from any problem and fight with this. and your adventure always gives you great memories… I like to read it and would like to read more n more about your van life…. Keep it up…. love all of you…

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