Historical Attractions in California with kids

You’ve heard the saying “History can be fun”…well, we think history IS fun (especially in California!)

California is filled with history, and what better way to learn about it with children than to experience the many places to visit in The Golden State  that can actually take you back in time!

Historical attractions come in all shapes and sizes. There are landmarks where iconic events happened. There are homes of historic figures filled with treasures and artifacts from their amazing lives. There are historic buildings whose walls are filled with stories from California’s past. 

The best way for kids to learn about history, is to actually visit the places where history happened. It makes sense! Kids can use their imagination as they read and hear all about events, people and places, and feel like they have gone back in time.

There are plenty of things to do with kids in California when it comes to history, so what are we waiting for - let’s GO! 

Showing results 1 - 35 of 464

Filter by: Historical Attractions
Show all
  • The Golden Gate Bridge

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    San Francisco

    An iconic San Francisco landmark and internationally recognised symbol, now offering Bridge Tours, exhibits and walking tours!

  • Alcatraz Island

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    San Francisco

    Explore the first lighthouse built on the West Coast, and that iconic federal penitentiary known as "The Rock".

  • Hearst Castle

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    San Simeon

    Hearst Castle is one of the largest of approximately 5,000 historic house museums in the U.S., with one of the most sophisticated guided tour programs in the country.

  • Handprints of The Stars

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Hollywood

    An iconic and historical must see on any visit to Los Angeles - TCL Chinese Theatre (previously Graumans)

  • Exploratorium

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    San Francisco

    The Exploratorium is an experimental, hands-on museum designed to spark curiosity, regardless of your age or familiarity with science. There are hundreds of exhibits to touch, pick up, and tinker ...

  • Crab Cove Visitor Center

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Alameda

    Crab Cove Visitor Center at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda features all new exhibits opened in April 2004. You can see bay creatures in the 800-gallon aquarium system, use interactive stations ...

  • The Purple Crayon

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    San Francisco

    Purple Crayon is an arts and crafts studio for children and adults. We give parents an easy way to help their children express creativity. Everyone will enjoy coming to our warm, inviting space ...

  • The Discovery Museum History Center

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Sacramento

    The Discovery Museum History Center in Old Sacramento features exhibits that showcase Sacramento's vibrant history. One of the many fun family places to visit if you're looking for things to do in ...

  • Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Folsom

    The Folsom Powerhouse is part of a colorful chapter of Sacramento history and is also an example of the tremendous advance in the commercial application of electricity.

  • USS Pampanito Submarine

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    San Francisco

    A fun, educational and historic look into a real life WWII submarine!

  • Chabot Space and Science Center

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Oakland

    Chabot Space & Science Center inspires and educates students of all ages about our Planet Earth and the Universe. Its observatory, planetarium, exhibits, and natural park setting are a place where ...

  • National Steinbeck Center

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Salinas

    In the John Steinbeck Exhibition Hall, literature jumps off the printed page and into your imagination. Discover Steinbeck\'s world through interactive, multisensory exhibits for all ages, rare ...

  • Heritage Square

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Los Angeles

    A living history museum reflecting the settlement and development of Southern California from the Civil War to the early 20th Century, Heritage Square Museum offers visitors a look into the everyday ...

  • Deer Hollow Farm

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Los Altos

    An educational center and working homestead located in the Rancho San Antonio Preserve, with self-guided tours around a real farm!

  • Empire Mine State Historic Park

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Grass Valley

    Learn all about gold at one of the world's largest and most established mines. Historical tours are available, plus living history events and permanent exhibits.

  • Musee Mecanique

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    San Francisco

    A stunning collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines, all in working order.

  • SS Jeremiah OBrien

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    San Francisco

    Explore this historic vessel in it's entirety, book a cruise trip if you can or visit on a Steaming Weekend to see the engines at work.

  • Bodie Ghost Town

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Bridgeport

    Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. An amazing ...

  • Forestiere Underground Gardens

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Fresno

    Explore Ancient Roman architecture, underground rooms and passageways, and unique micro-climates at this listed Historical Site.

  • Rancho Los Alamitos

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Long Beach

    A fascinating attraction listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with a sacred Tongva village, traces of an 1800s ranch, and 1920s gardens.

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Orange Empire Railway Museum

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Perris

    The Orange Empire Railway Museum (OERM) is a railroad museum founded in 1956 in Perris, California as the "Orange Empire Trolley Museum." The museum also operates a heritage railroad on the museum ...

  • The Getty Centre

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Los Angeles

    The Getty Center museum is incredibly family-friendly and a great way of introducing younger children to art in a fun and informative way.

  • Page Museum La Brea Tar Pits

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Los Angeles

    Explore the wonders of the tar pits and the fossils that were found in them - dating all the way back to the Ice Age! Historical adventures in Los Angeles!

  • California Science Centre

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Los Angeles

    Amazing exhibits and interactive worlds for the whole family to explore, covering all things science and the wonders of the world!

  • Petersen Automotive Museum

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Los Angeles

    A fun and fascinating museum for all those car loving kids! Over 150 automobiles are displayed of all shapes, models and makes...a great family fun day out in car loving Los Angeles!

  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Los Angeles

    Explore 4.5 billion years of history at this fascinating natural history museum in Los Angeles, with exhibits on the planet, culture, and nature - and great for kids!

  • Travel Town Museum

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Los Angeles

    The Travel Town Transportation Museum is an outdoor museum which preserves and celebrates the railroad heritage of the western United States--its history and its artifacts. Particular thematic ...

  • Castle Air Museum

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Altwater

    Represents history in a way the whole family can share with our awe-inspiring majestic warbirds. We have a total of 50 aircraft on display ranging from WWII to the present.

  • Catalina Island Life Museum

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Avalon

    The Catalina Island Museum celebrates the Island\\\'s rich cultural heritage. Current exhibits include an award-winning exhibit featuring the romantic era of Catalina\\\'s steamships, Native ...

  • Habitot Childrens Discovery Museum

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Berkeley

    Series of engaging physical, role-play, imagination and learning settings ideal for families of kids 1 to 5 years.

  • Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Burlingame

    See the World's Largest Pez Dispensing Machine, an example of every Pez dispenser made, unique exhibits of other classic toys and more at this museum of memorabillia! Plus Toy and Banned Toy Museums.

  • The Childrens Museum At La Habra

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    La Habra

    The Children's Museum at La Habra shows how important play is to learning. Through play, children develop skills, express creativity, discover the larger world and learn to work with others.

  • Lomita Railroad Museum

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Lomita

    Dedicated to the proud era of the steam engine, complete authenticity is the hallmark of the Museum. On display is a Southern Pacific Railroad Steam Locomotive (1902-1960) and Tender. Nearby stand a ...

  • The Museum Of Tolerance

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Los Angeles

    Each year the Museum serves over 300,000visitors, including students, educators, law enforcement officials, corporate professionals, and community members from the USA and around the world.

  • Zimmer Childrens Museum

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Los Angeles

    The Zimmer Childrens Museum is dedicated to teaching people about the BIG IDEAS of global citizenship, community responsibility, and cultural sensitivity. Our mission is to promote values that ...