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Planning your Trip to Los Angeles

Los Angeles is best known for its glitz and glamour lifestyle. No trip to the Southern Californian metropolis of Los Angeles is complete without a trip to Hollywood; the home to the rich and famous. LA offers a breadth of experiences that don’t always have to cost a small fortune! Luckily for those visiting with kids, there are still many free attractions. The majority of the most popular places such as the sun-kissed beaches, historic tourist destinations, and beautiful gardens do not charge admission. 

Whether you decide to head straight for the thrills of Disneyland, Universal Studios, or star-spotting in the Hollywood Hills, LA has all the makings for an amazing holiday destination. Los Angeles is packed with child-friendly museums, beautiful beaches, and attractions to keep the kids entertained 24/7. 

Whether you’re visiting for the first time or you’re a regular visitor, our tips below  will help you navigate the best free things to do with kids, restaurants to visit and where to stay, and much more, read on for your free advice on visiting LA with kids.

Looking for ways to entertain the little ones in LA? Many locals already know that having fun in LA doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re stuck on what to do; exhausted from your list of usual places to visit and looking for some inspiration, then you’ve come to the right place. Here is our list of free things to do in Los Angeles with the kids.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Possibly one of the most popular tourist spots within LA; comprising over 2600 brass stars, stretched over 18 blocks, let the little ones spot their favourite movie star plaque on the Hollywood Hall of Fame. 

Hollywood Sign 

Traveling to Hollywood is not complete without a photo of the Hollywood sign. Although it's visible from all over the city, it can be hard to get a good angled shot. We recommend a hike up to the sign or you can easily access it with a car or by public transport. 

Santa Monica Pier

Whether you visit the latest art installation, ride the famous carousel, or watch the performing street artists, Santa Monica Pier is the place to be. Also, not to be forgotten is a visit to the Pier Aquarium where kids can learn about the local aquatic life and immerse themselves through interactive exhibits. 

Venice Beach

Over the last couple of decades, Venice beach has transformed from shabby to chic and is now one of the most visited neighbourhoods of LA. Think movie stars, skaters, bodybuilders, and street entertainers. Venice Beach is one of the most visited and fun places in L.A. If you’re looking for that bohemian edge and sound vibes, then head to Venice Beach.

It’s not uncommon for LA to host around 50 million visitors a year! Don’t let that put you off when travelling with kids, as the flocks of travellers are spread over eighty cities. It’s actually not that difficult to avoid huge crowds. 
Southern California boasts almost 300 days a year of wonderful sunshine so you’re almost guaranteed to have delightful weather most of the time you visit with your kiddies. However, we would say the best time to visit LA is from March to May and then again between September and November. Airfares and hotels tend to be cheaper during these months and the temperatures range between the 60s-80s.

Looking for places to stay in LA with kids? You’ve come to the right place. Los Angeles has been voted one of the hottest cities to visit with everything from vibrant neighbourhoods to mesmerising beaches. LA has a lot to offer in terms of interesting places to visit and fun things to do nearby with kids. Deciding on where to stay can prove difficult as there is so much choice!
The diversity LA has to offer makes any visit truly awesome. Golden beaches and an abundance of theme parks make the LA dream come true for kids of all ages. Journeys through the movie industry to the fantasy that is Disneyland will make a trip to LA an activities holiday you and your children will never forget. 
Accommodation ranges from extravagant beach resorts to back-packer friendly hostels so there is something to suit all budgets. When it comes to deciding where to stay in LA with kids it can become tricky, as many parts of the city become rather lively on an evening and are not always suitable for young children. LA is fortunate to be surrounded by the lushest forests, majestic mountains and the beautiful beaches that flow elegantly to the Pacific Ocean. Many are unaware that LA is one of the most diverse, ethical, and religious cities in the world. Fact check; the Roman Catholic ArchBishop of LA is the largest of its kind, making LA unquestionably one of the world's most visited cities.

Here we explore some of the most popular neighbourhoods in the city so you can plan where to stay here in LA. The best neighbourhoods to visit in LA with kids are:


Visiting LA with kids is not complete without a visit to Disneyland. Disneyland theme park is the go-to family destination and hosts more magic per square inch than any other resort in the US. Anaheim is perfectly located for access to Disneyland and all of the Hollywood area. 

Santa Monica 

Santa Monica is one of the best places to stay with kids as it offers quick access to the city either by public transport (45min-1hr) or by car which is around 30 minutes drive. You also have easy access to major attractions and proximity to Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica culturally plays a big part in LA. If you’re a first-timer to LA you will want to check out Santa Monica Pier and the beach nearby. Stop off at Main Street and visit the local cafes or if you’re more of a beach lover and want to sunbathe, you’ll be spoilt for choice along the 3.5 miles of beautiful coastline. 


The land of taking pictures! Spend endless hours searching for your favourite movie stars and take in the pop-culture atmosphere. This part of LA carries a lot of magic offering children of all ages something to keep them entertained.

Hollywood Hills

Hollywood hills host many celebrities and their million-dollar houses. To get a good view of the city and possibly cite Jessica Biel or Jason Bateman be sure to head to Runyon Canyon Park. Here you can enjoy a hilly walk and a nice view of Hollywood Hills. It's hard not to get caught up in the Hollywood buzz. 

Downtown Los Angeles 

Downtown is the financial heart of the city, steeped in history. Packed with cultural attractions and artistic flair., including the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Central Market court. Downtown is the hub central for public transport which makes travelling around the city relatively simple.  

Beverly Hills 

Beverly Hills can work out to be costly, especially when visiting with children but it needn’t be expensive.  Located in South California’s major family attractions, Disneyland and Universal Studios. Here you will find a variety of kid-friendly activities, family tours, and plenty of dining options. If you’re lucky, you may see some of the world’s richest celebs walking around. It is rather fun to wander around and take in the sights as well as celebrity spotting. 

Don’t be put off travelling around LA with children. There are many transport options to get you to where you want to be. The subway and train systems are easy to hop on and off. Buying a Metro Day Pass allows you to ride the subway or buses to your destination. 

Go Metro App

The Metro Transit app is easy to use and helps users navigate their way around LA with ease and in real-time. You have easy access to options to get around; bike-share, public transport, and scooters.  However, as robust as the public transport system is, LA is very spread out and as each neighbourhood is so diverse it’s recommended to hire a car to help you explore all that LA has to offer. If you’re planning to visit multiple attractions across the Los Angeles area, you will need a car to drive. To make your life easier, you may want to consider booking a hotel nearest to your itinerary destinations. 

Now that you’ve decided to take the kids to LA, you now need to figure out which are the best hotels for families. You’ll find that most of the attractions in LA are fairly spread out so deciding where to stay can prove difficult. It can be a balancing act deciding where to stay and ensuring you’re booking the right location and fantastic amenities, whilst not spending a fortune.  

In this guide, you will find the best family hotels where location and amenities, and value for money. In addition, all the popular areas such as Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Anaheim are listed. 

Magic Castle Hotel 

Location: 7025 Franklin Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028
The Magic Castle Hotel is in close proximity to the top tourist hot spots as well as offering some of the best amenities for families. Spoil yourself with the free soft-serve ice cream and 24- hour snack bar. Be sure to leave some room for the free popsicle which can be delivered to you by the poolside by ringing the Poolside ‘Popsicle Hotline’ 
Staying at the Magic Castle Hotel entitles you to private access to the Private Magical Castle Hotel where you can be served delicious brunch and lots of other scrumptious treats. 
For the kids, a complimentary breakfast is served, and included also is their very own robe and slippers! 

Terranea Resort 

Location: 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Staying at the Terranea Resort can feel remote and excluded from the hustle and bustle but in fact, you’re surrounded by a large golf course, 4 ocean pool pools, and 8 different restaurants and cafes. 

There is so much to do at the Terranea Resort including kayaking, nature walks, and adventure camps; giving the children lots of entertainment and the parents a much-needed rest. 

The Orlando Hotel

Location: 8384 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048
The Orlando Hotel is packed with fun things to do for the kids. The hotel offers pet-friendly rooms, a heated swimming pool, and perhaps the most interesting package of all is its American Girl Hotel Package. Upon arrival, your child will be papped by the hotel paparazzi and given in a keepsake photo frame. Additionally, the American Girl Package includes a doll and doll bed (they can take home) and bathrobe and slippers for whilst they stay. 

If you’re looking for a pamper package for you and your children then the Orlando Hotel is a must. 

The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey 

Location: 4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Families wishing to spend a little buck and some time near the water, can opt to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey. This wonderful hotel caters to all needs (including the kids) and if you happen to be travelling with your furry-legged friend, they can stay there too. Choose from the on-site spa, or take a dip in the heated water salt pool. 
The Ritz-Carlton offers a special program for children called Ritz Kids. Children can take part in fun activities and earn rewards. 

Loews Hollywood Hotel

Location: 1755 N. Highland Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028
The Lowes Hollywood Hotel is located centrally at the Hollywood and Highland complex, making it easy to see Hollywood and only being a short distance from Universal Studios. 
The Lowes do spoil their guests. Parents can chill by the rooftop pool sipping their cocktail of choice whilst the children take part in the special activities the hotel has to offer. 

The Lowes Loves Kids program promises to keep your little ones entertained during their stay. Offering a library of video games (including a Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360) A complimentary gift for children under 10 and a special kids closet, complete with magazines, car seats, toys, and much more!

Los Angeles is famous for its urban and chilled-out lifestyle. Many famous movie stars live within Los Angeles because of the beautiful settings, luxurious lifestyles, idyllic beaches, and great food. 
LA is a mecca for foodies. There are many hotels, food trucks, and fine dining restaurants to choose from. Famous for their different delicacies, providing you with modern gastronomic experiences. If you’re a food lover, then LA is the place to be. From pork ribs smothered in mozzarella to the iconic sticky strawberry doughnut, food in LA does not disappoint.
Listed below are some of the must-try whilst visiting LA:

Strawberry Donuts

As a warning these are not your typical dainty doughnuts, they are huge and taste amazing. The Strawberry doughnut is famous and often attracts families from all over California to indulge in this delicious delight. The fluffy doughnut is filled with fresh strawberries and topped with homemade strawberry jam. Make sure you plan ahead as they’re only available from February to September making them extra hard to come by. 

French Dip Sandwich

The French Dip Sandwich is also known as the Beef dip. Consisting of a French Roll, filled with thinly sliced beef, served with onions, beef juice, and swiss cheese. This savoury delight is an absolute must due to its distinct flavours. The French Dip sandwich is renowned and anyone (non-veggie of course) has to try it. 

Woodfired Pizza 

Pizza is a must-try in any part of the world, but the taste of pizza in Southern California is on a different level. Pizza topped with your kiddie's favourite toppings and plenty of cheese, blister away in some of the world's best wood-fired ovens, creating the most delicious pizza for your kids. Food markets in LA bustle with food trucks selling their version of this cheesy delight. No visit to LA is complete without a slice of woodfired pizza. 

Cheesy Pork Ribs

Everyone knows that LA serves the best Korean Food. The Cheesy Pork Rib is ideal for sharing with family and friends. This flavourful dish is finished tableside and topped with melted mozzarella. This dish is a must and worth trying. 

Los Angeles Map