By Jennifer Cuellar, on June 8, 2019

Free Things to Do in Los Angeles with Kids

Home to movie stars, glittering lights, and more museums than you thought could fit in one city, Los Angeles is a town you and the kids will love. Sure, you’ve probably heard that LA can be expensive, but you can certainly rack up the deals with a little savvy!

Here are the top free things to do in LA with kids.

1. Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame--one of the best free things to do with kids in Los Angeles.
Via oneinchpunch/

Do you and the kids have a favorite actor or actress? Track down their star on the Walk of Fame, or go for a stroll and see how many names you recognize on your family day out in Los Angeles.

2. Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory, one of the best free things to do with kids in Los Angeles.
Via Sean Pavone/

Do you have a young Jedi on your hands? Embrace their love of outer space when you visit the famous Griffith Observatory. The stars and planets are so pretty, they could even make Kylo Ren smile. The free exhibits and telescope viewings are open Tuesday through Sunday.

3. Free Museums

 California Science Center, one of the best free activities for families in Los Angeles.
Via Steve Jurveston/Flickr

There are a ton of fun free things to do in LA, including museums that curious young minds will love. Make a stop at the California African American Museum, which features sculptures and thought-provoking art pieces. Learn something new at the California Science Center—and check out the spaceship Endeavour while you’re there. And visit the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust for an honest view of history and how the young and old can change the future.

4. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Starfish at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, one of the best free things to do with kids in Los Angeles.
Via donielle/Flickr

With over 100 local species swimming , floating, and bobbing around, the aquarium is one of the most popular things to do in Los Angeles with kids. If you’re there on a Friday, watch the marine specialists feed the seahorses. Admission is free for children 12 and younger.

5. Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, one of the top free things to do with kids in the city.
Via Hayk_Shalunts/

You can’t beat West Coast sunsets when you’re watching them from this 110-year-old-landmark. Walking along the Santa Monica Pier is one of the top free activities in Los Angeles, but if you don’t mind spending a couple bucks, it’s only one dollar to ride the old-fashioned carousel if you’re a kid, and two dollars if you’re an adult.

6. Rodeo Drive

Scenic view of Rodeo Drive, a top free attractions for families in Los Angeles.
Via Diego Grandi/

While the shops along Rodeo Drive sell clothes as expensive as a small mortgage, walking on this famous street is perfectly free! Keep your eyes open for celebs and paparazzi.

7. Book Readings

Open book at a bookstore, a top free activity for kids in Los Angeles.
Via Pixeljoy/

There’s a ton of great bookshops all over the city. Stop into Children’s Book World, a popular family-friendly place in Los Angeles, which features Saturday morning readings.

8. Venice Beach

The pathway along Venice Beach, one of the best free things to do in Los Angeles with kids.
Via telesniuk/

There are some beaches so famous, the name alone conjures up images of roller skates and tie-dye. Venice Beach is the place to people watch before unrolling the big family beach towel on the sand.

9. Echo Park Lake

 A scenic view of Echo Park Lake, a top free attraction in LA for families.
Via Gabriele Maltinti/

Most folks think of LA as a city purely made of steel beams and palm trees, but there is in fact a huge lake looking out to the skyline. Take the kids for a walk around the lovely Echo Park Lake, which features plenty of photo-perfect spots.

What are some of the top things to do in Los Angeles on a budget? Check out these helpful tips for saving some cash during your family trip.

  • Aim your trip for January, February, or September, when flights are the cheapest. Just remember a light jacket.
  • Bundling up savings is a good bet, especially if you’re in town for several days. Check out a Go Los Angeles All-Inclusive pass for discounts on about three dozen attractions.
  • Try something you’ll only do in LA—like surfing! Learn to Surf at Venice Beach provides lessons that will have you and the kids riding the waves in no time.
  • Do the kids want to be movie stars one day? Save money on movie studio tours—like the Warner Bros. Studio Tour or the Universal Studios HollywoodTM VIP tour—and give them a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood magic.

Ready to see what LA is all about? When you’re looking for ways to enjoy Los Angeles on a budget, following these tips and more will help you and the kids enjoy a trip of a lifetime in the City of Angels.

Header image attribution: Nate Hovee/