Be a Tourist in Los Angeles During the Holiday Break
My kids both get out of school on Monday, December 19. That leaves an entire week for me to entertain them before the holidays even hit. My youngest son does much better when we are out and about so I’m planning to fill the time with some fun Los Angeles kid-friendly activities.
If you are in the Los Angeles area and need some ideas for kid friendly fun, here are some of my top picks.
Free or Low Cost Activities for Kids in Los Angeles
- Bike, Scoot or Walk the Strand: My favorite part about living in Los Angeles is that we can go to the beach all year long. We may not be able to go in the water, but we can still enjoy the beach. Take your kids on a walk, ride or scooter ride from the Manhattan Beach pier to the Hermosa Beach pier. You can also skip the work out and just visit the aquarium at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier.
- Take a Hike: There are so many amazing hikes in the Los Angeles area. You should be able to find something for every physical ability. Some of the trails at Griffith Park are only a mile in distance. My personal favorite is Malibu Creek State Park, however, it is almost 5 miles roundtrip so it isn’t ideal for little ones.
- Picnic at Travel Town: If your little ones love trains, you have to make the trek to Travel Town to have a picnic outside real live trains.
- Try a New Park: I don’t know about you, but we get in the rut of going to the same parks all the time. Especially since we live across the street from one park and another park is at my son’s elementary school. Travel outside your neighborhood and visit a different park for a change of scenery.
Low Cost Kid Friendly Activities
- Visit a Museum: There are so many great museums in Los Angeles. From LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) to MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) to The Broad or The Petersen Automotive Museum, you should find something both you and your kids will enjoy.
- Make Your Own Food Tour: Are there restaurants or desserts you’ve been wanting to try with your kids? Now is the time. Try something new every day. I had a friend who mentioned she wanted to do an ice cream taste of Los Angeles with her son. I want to do a donut tour with my boys. You can even do a chocolate tour at Mast Brothers.
- Retro Fun: Have you been bowling lately? A few Los Angeles bowling alleys have had makeovers recently so this is the perfect time to introduce your kids to bowling. You can also find a skating or ice skating rink to check out.
Staycation Splurge Activities in Los Angeles
This is your last week to squeeze in some last-minute holiday fun with the kids. Here are a few activities to try.
- Bob Baker Marionette Theater: I have lived in the Los Angeles area my entire life and have never heard of this place. I discovered it last week and took the kids to The Nutcracker puppet performance on Sunday and we had a blast. I will say, my three year old was somewhat terrified in the dark theater so if you have sensitive little ones, you may want to wait until they are a bit older. My 7 year old had the best time.
- L.A. Zoo Lights: At first, I was a bit bummed that we couldn’t fit this in to the holiday schedule this weekend since my husband’s company party falls on a Saturday. Then I realized, wait, the kids are out of school for an entire week before Christmas. We can keep them out late on one of those nights! I may even head over early and visit the zoo first since we are members.
- Visit an Amusement Park: This is out of our budget, but if you have room in yours, you may want to check out the holiday activities at Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm or Universal Studios. If it isn’t in your budget and your kids are young enough not to care, you can take them to the areas outside the amusement parks. They are usually decorated as well and you can enjoy the festivities for free. You can even buy a churros and see live musical performances at Downtown Disney.
The tough part about the kids getting out of school a week before Christmas is that it means that I have to be pretty much done with shopping and wrapping. I don’t want an audience for those activities and the thought of dragging my kids around crowded malls makes me slide into a panic attack.