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Things To Do

17 Fun Things to do with Kids in L.A. (That Adults Will Like Too!)

September 6, 2017 by Sheryl Craig

Finding shared activities that are as much fun for kids as they are for adults can be quite the challenge. Parents usually want to plan an activity with some educational value, while kids typically crave full-on playtime as an escape from the classroom.

Today’s busy Los Angeles families face competing personal interests, but that shouldn’t preclude spending quality time doing things everyone can enjoy. After all, L.A. provides a slew of playful adventures that cater to all ages.

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So when you find some spare time during the week or the weekend that you can share with the kids, check out this fantastic list of 17 favorite L.A. places to visit when the kids get restless.

Griffith Observatory View

A view of DTLA from Griffith Observatory. Photo by Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

1. Moonlight Rollerway

When your family wants an activity that keeps everyone moving, check into Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale on Sundays from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Family Skate Night invites families of every generation to participate. Once known as Harry’s, this roller rink opened in 1956. Today it’s a second home to skaters who enjoy a vintage experience rolling along the rink made of the original 2 ¼ -inch maple flooring.  -> Roller rink ahead

Harry Potter Rollerskating Disco

Harry Potter Night at Moonlight Rollerway. Photo: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

2. Underwood Family Farms

A day spent at the farm is priceless. Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark welcomes guests of all ages – a perfect arena for kids to explore and learn, while adults engage in farm-to-table shopping. When you arrive, grab a red wagon to collect farm pickings like freshly-grown cabbage, carrots, kale, leeks, strawberries and so much more. Underwood has some fun upcoming fall events, including antique tractor weekend, western weekend, fall harvest and Big Dave’s Christmas trees. -> Fresh produce here

3. Au Fudge

Located in West Hollywood, Au Fudge offers you some adult time while your kiddos play with the Au Fudge Au Pairs in the designated creative space. Brunch, lunch and dinner seatings and play times are available for up to 30 children. The creative space welcomes children of all ages, but keep in mind that kids under 2 must be accompanied by an adult, and the Au Pairs do not change diapers. Activities include cooking, gardening, and robot building. So, while the kids are playing, how about a glass of wine? -> Find playtime here

4. Sky High Sports

Sky High Sports is a unique experience encouraging kids and adults to play together. This indoor trampoline park in Woodland Hills is suitable for all ages, from tots to ageless grandparents. From bouncing and jumping along the trampoline lane into a pool of soft, foam squares to playing hoops on the bouncy basketball court, families can take advantage of special family-of-four prices which include jump-time, pizza and chilled water. -> Jump in here

5. Duff’s Cake Mix

Star of The Food Network’s Ace of Cakes, Duff Goldman is a household name among many families. Duff’s Cake Mix, his L.A. endeavor, welcomes both kid and adult designers who get a firsthand, lively experience in creating and designing cupcakes or a cake. It’s a messy but fun time — thankfully not in one’s own home kitchen. Reserve Duff’s Cake Mix table time after enjoying lunch in this chic Melrose Ave. neighborhood, perhaps at nearby Urth Cafe, which is kid-friendly.

Get a little messy here

6. California Science Center

A day roaming the California Science Center will give everyone the feels. Prepare to be wowed when you get an up-close look at space shuttle Endeavour, now housed at the Science Center. Connect with Body Worlds, an exhibit that examines the potential, challenges and awe of human anatomy and health. Be sure to reserve tickets to one (or two) IMAX movies at the on-site theater. Each theater features a seven-story screen that gives viewers an unprecedented movie-viewing experience. (The IMAX theaters will be closed from September 5 to October 10, 2017 to undergo a laser installation). -> All things science here

The California Science Center Aquarium. Credit: Brian Champlin.

The California Science Center aquarium. Photo by Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

7. Royce’s Arcade Warehouse

Royce’s Arcade Warehouse is jam-packed with video game classics, fun for both kids and grownups. An inexpensive and super-fun activity in the Valley, Royce’s Arcade charges a nominal entrance fee of $3 per person to come and enjoy unlimited arcade play on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Chatsworth arcade’s highlights include Pac Man, Star Wars, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter II, Jurassic Park, Centipede, air hockey and good old-fashioned pinball machines (and many more!). -> Pull out the joystick

Royce's Arcade Warehouse

Royce’s Arcade Warehouse. Photo credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

8. Neon Retro Arcade

Still got the game bug? Neon Retro Arcade is an Old Town Pasadena depot where you and your kids can indulge in old-school arcade games of the ’80s and ’90s. Connect with the kids over some friendly competition while playing Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Pac Man, Star Wars (the 1983 version), Ghosts & Goblins, Qix and Wrestlemania. Check Neon Retro’s social channels to find out new game announcements. -> ’80s vibes here

9. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Take the amazing opportunity to explore Southern California’s natural oceanic habitat at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, located at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. Examine beautiful and informative live exhibits such as the Susanne Lawrenz-Miller Exhibit Hall and the aquarium’s Exploration Center. Be sure to take a look at the historical building – it was designed by Frank Gehry in 1981. The aquarium, however, opened in 1935 and continues to serve numerous visitors of every age. -> Go deep sea here

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10. Natural History Museum

Step back in time when you visit the Natural History Museum. All generations get a kick out of the Dinosaur Hall — seeing the three T. rex specimens up close never fails to entertain. The new creepy-crawly but safe Spider Pavilion (September 15 to November 26, 2017) should not be missed. Avoid L.A. traffic by riding the Expo Line to the museum — hop off the Expo Park/USC or Expo/Vermont stops. -> Dinosaur fans gather here

Natural History Museum

Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum. Credit: Allie Caufield via flickr cc

11. Paley Center for Media

The Paley Center for Media is an esteemed organization in Beverly Hills known for its archive of nearly a century of television and radio history, including children’s programming. You can watch your favorite TV show on a movie-size screen. Free weekend screenings are a great activity for families. September events include a free My Little Pony family screening. -> Find TV favorites here

12. El Capitan Theatre

The El Capitan Theatre is the ultimate Los Angeles movie experience for kids and adults alike. Owned and run by Disney, this “movie palace” is a historic landmark that was built in 1926. You’ll get to see first-run special movie premieres from Walt Disney Studios, as well as favorites including Moana, Brave, A Goofy Movie and more. VIP tickets offer preferred seating, popcorn in a souvenir cup and a drink. Spend some time before or after the movie marveling at the restored Wurlitzer organ and enjoying its music. -> Discover the ultimate movie experience

13. The Autry Museum of the American West

Pan for gold like the 49ers did and imagine family life in the Old West when you visit The Autry Museum of the American West. This Griffith Park museum is a gallery of Native American art and artifacts, film memorabilia, family programming and music for kids and grown-ups. Participate in activities inspired by life in the American West, including hands-on gold panning, exploring toys and games of the past across various cultures, and singing along to music of the open range. -> Check out the Old West

Play at The Autry

“Play” at The Autry opens June 18, 2017. Photo by Brian Champlin

14. Bob Baker Marionette Theater

A true cultural landmark of L.A., the Bob Baker Marionette Theater has welcomed hundreds of thousands of children into its world of brilliant puppetry. Each show is magically led by master marionettes skillfully maneuvering stringed puppet characters donning bright, colorful costumes amid music and themed sets. Check website for show themes, schedules and tickets. -> Puppets come to life here

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15. Skirball Cultural Center

The Skirball Cultural Center definitely unites Angelenos of all ages. One of the Center’s many draws is Noah’s Ark at the Skirball, an interactive exhibit that brings the story of Noah’s Ark to life (bonus: free first-come, first-served tickets to the exhibit are available on Thursdays). Be sure to check out The Skirball’s archaeological dig site, festivals and musical performances, family art and live concerts, too. -> Multi-generational fun here

Noah's Ark Skirball

Noah’s Ark at Skirball Cultural Center. Photo by Tracie Hall via flickr cc

16. The Blvd Kitchen

Getting close in the kitchen with your kids has a lot of relationship benefits. Blvd Cooking School in Sherman Oaks offers classes for kids and adults to share quality time without the stress of making a mess in your own kitchen. The multi-generational Family Fridays classes teach basic kitchen skills as you create a tasty meal like tacos and pizza. Chef Michal Harris runs the professional kitchen space. -> Cook up a storm here

17. Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory recently got a lot of action when the solar eclipse passed through Los Angeles. Open and free to the public, Griffith Observatory offers a free public telescope so that visitors can check out our evening skies. Take a tour through the Samuel Oschin Planetarium like Emma and Ryan did in La La Land to check out an amazing cosmic presentation. -> Stargazers welcome here

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