Monday, August 5, 2013

Top 10 Children's Activities In Los Angeles

Worthwhile Free Activities For Children in Los Angeles

NEXTGEN Program At the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA)

Add creative activities to your children's life. There has been this wonderful arts program at the LACMA that is completely free for children and teens under the age of 17. You can find the NextGen Application for here . The best part about the NextGen program is that when a child is a NextGen member, he or she can bring an adult into the museum for free.

The most popular program at LACMA is Andell Family Day on Sundays from 12:30 to 3:30 P.M. You can find the schedule here . It's a hand-on method of learning different techniques on different arts topics. My children have made color African mask drawings masked by blocking inks, Japanese potteries, collages, Greek mosaic art, and many other projects. Further, the kids have been on family tours with curators who know how to engage the children. You don't have to be a NextGen member to enjoy this program because this is usually outside. You can always complete a NextGen application on site, so don't worry if you did not send in a NextGen application.

There are a number of free events at LACMA such as gallery conversations .

Homepage of LACMA is here.

LACMA is open every day except Wednesdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Regular Hours:

Monday 12 noon-8 pm
Tuesday 12 noon-8 pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 12 noon-8 pm
Friday 12 noon-9 pm
Saturday 11 am-8 pm
Sunday 11 am-8 pm
Saturday, September 24 | All levels of the Ahmanson Building will close at 5 pm



Griffith Observatory--The Building and Grounds Are Always Free

Griffith Observatory is one of the most popular attractions in Los Angeles. The Observatory is located in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood, and is 1,134 feet above sea level, visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin.

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

This address can be entered into GPS or mapping programs to get to the Observatory.

From the calendar page of the website, you will find upcoming free parties and special events.


Weekdays (Wednesday-Friday)
Open Noon - 10:00 p.m.

Weekends (Saturday-Sunday)
Open 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Mondays and Tuesdays

California Science Museum in Exposition Park

The California Science Museum is one of my favorite museums. The most exciting new is that on April 12, 2011, NASA Administrator General Charles Bolden announced that the California Science Center is one of four institutions chosen to receive a Space Shuttle Orbiter. The Museum is now the home of the Space Shuttle Endeavor.

700 Exposition Park Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Neighborhood: South Los Angeles
(323) 724-3623

Official website:

Hours of Admission

The California Science Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

There are Monthly Free Museum Days

Use This Handy Chart To Plan Your Visit To Los Angeles


 Getty Center/Getty Villa

One of the newer landmarks in Los Angeles is the Getty Center, the newer of the two Getty Museum. The Getty Villa had been recently renovated. Both Museum are free, but the Getty Villa requires online reservation of tickets, which can be found on this page,

Hours for the GETTY CENTER site and galleries:

Tuesday 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Closed Mondays and on January 1, July 4 (Independence Day), Thanksgiving, and December 25 (Christmas Day).

Hours for the GETTY VILLA site and galleries:

Monday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Tuesday CLOSED
Wednesday Varies; see below
Thursday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Closed Tuesdays and on January 1, July 4 (Independence Day), Thanksgiving, and December 25 (Christmas Day).

A list of current family programs can be found at

For other visiting information, please click here.

The event calendar is here

Shakespeare By The Sea

Shakespeare By The Sea's core program is its free summer festivals at various parks. SBTS now present a repertory season that runs for 9 weeks - 5 weeks in San Pedro and 4 weeks in other venues throughout LA and Orange County.

Here is a list of park locations.

For more information, click here. Keep checking back for the next season's calendar. 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier is a great place for children to visit. In addition to the beach, they can watch the street performers and artists entertain. And while the rides and games at Pacific Park will require money, admission to this amusement park on the pier is free. Finally, there are numerous fishermen waiting for the fish to pull their lines. The sunset is absolutely beautiful.

During the summer, the Pier hosts a dance series. Here is a look at the lineup.

Los Angeles Central Library Events for Children 

The Los Angeles Central Library has a beautiful children's department. The best kept secret is that this library generally has the best collection of children's book series because it's not frequented by parents or children. Instead of putting a book on hold, why not drop by and browse their collection. Plus, it also has a variety of children's programs, including storytelling and puppet 

It also has a great collection of DVD, books on tape, and music CDs. 

Swimming At Los Angeles Park and Recreation

Swimming at any one of the swimming pools run by the Los Angeles Park and Recreation is free for children 17 and under. There are many indoor swimming facilities that are open year round, whereas the outdoor ones tend to be open only during the summer season.

Here is a list of swimming pools in the City of Los Angeles. On the left, there is a link to year round swimming facilities. 

Farmer's Market/The Grove

One might wonder why this farmer's market and mall would make the list of free children's activities in Los Angeles. Not only is this one of the oldest farmer's markets, but the new mall that is attached to it has a beautiful fountain where the water dances to music. My kids just love the watch the waterwork. The mall also has a list of activities for children.

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