Category: Destinations

Huntington Gardens

Botanical Gardens aren’t particularly engaging for kids, but the Children’s Garden and Plant Lab provide a positive experience.

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Adventure Playground

This playground has all the things little boys want to do but are rarely allowed: playing with nails, swimming in the mud, building a tree fort, or splashing in the fountain. It’s low-budget, get-messy fun.

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Columbia Memorial Space Center

Though the Columbia Memorial Space Center is largely an education center that hosts science classes and camps, it is open to visitors who want to come in and enjoy the little exhibits on display.

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Bowers Museum

An art museum was a hard sell to a couple kids under ten. But the cultural focus of the Bower Museum is so diverse, we found that there was something for everyone and had a great time.

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Adventure City

A mini-amusement park that hits all of the essentials without the lines and all-day dedication. Perfect size for a morning of easy fun.

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Rancho Los Alamitos

A historic ranch, botanical garden, and beautiful event location…but not a place for kids to play.

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Buccaneer Bay – Splash! La Mirada

A scaled down water park for younger kids, Buccaneer Bay hits the essentials without being overwhelming: lazy river, three slides for taller kids, a water play structure. It’s more of a local attraction than a family destination.

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USS Iowa Battleship

The Iowa is a fairly big battleship; it took the boys hour to comb through the decks. A brush with history and a glimpse into military life seems to ignite their curiosity. The scavenger hunt for “Vicki” was a simple way to keep them engaged.

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La Brea Tar Pits – Page Museum

The La Brea Tar Pits are awesome. An active excavation site in the summer, a beautiful park year-round, and a fascinating museum all-in-one. A definite LA must-see for young kids.

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Cabrillo Aquarium & Beach

Fun, free, and right next to the beach; the Cabrillo Aquarium focuses on local marine wildlife. The aquarium also features a touch tank and a children’s science area additional hands-on activities.

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Getty Villa

The Getty Villa museum caters to the art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. The architecture and grounds of the Villa are a work of art in themselves and serve as a perfect complement to the artifacts within.

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Tank Land

Tank Land is an organized and documented parking lot for tanks and other military vehicles.

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Shadowland Wolf Ranch

The Shadowland Foundation is devoted to the preservation and education about wolves. An hour-long educational presentation is followed by a trip to the fenced enclosure where you are able to meet, touch, feed, and experience “wolves” up-close.

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Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Beach is one of the “Weird California” beaches. You’re likely to spot colorful characters along the beach, and for the full experience take a walk down 3rd Street Promenade to view the street performers.

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Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple

A beautiful cultural experience is not exactly what the kids consider a fun day out, but I’m glad we took the guided tour around the architecturally stunning grounds.

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Kid Ratings & Stars

The "Kid Rating" measures the general enthusiasm of my two boys, not the quality or merit of the event.

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