The best playgrounds in Los Angeles are meant to provide your family with hours of entertainment and some good old-fashioned exercise. They’re perfect for children of all ages – and even adults who want to relive their childhood! This guide will teach you about the benefits of playgrounds, take you on a tour of the best ones in the Los Angeles area, and give you tips on how to make your own fun with your kids at home. It’s time to start planning your next trip to the park!
The LA Zoo is a great way to spend a day with your kids. There are many different areas to explore, from Australia to Africa. Your kids will be sure to love seeing all of their favorite animals like elephants, kangaroos, and hippos. It’s also home to many endangered species like koalas and sea lions. The zoo is free, but parking will cost you $15-$20 depending on when you go and where you park.
The Griffith Park playgrounds (there are several!) are a favorite among families with kids of all ages. The playgrounds are not far from the carousel, which is great for those who need a break from active playtime. Parking can be challenging at peak times, so try to go mid-morning or early evening if you can! Griffith Park also has hiking trails and picnic areas that are wonderful places to explore with your family.
Just over 100 miles north of downtown LA, Legoland is an amusement park aimed at younger kids (though older kids will certainly enjoy it too). Inside, you’ll find a full-size pirate ship, numerous Lego villages and castles, as well as many rides and games that have some sort of link to Lego. Outside there are impressive water play areas and splash pads, a wave pool and water slides. The best park for kids in Los Angeles playground has more than 50 million bricks! And if you’ve got time to spare before your flight home or just need somewhere fun to spend a day while you’re on vacation, there’s also Legoland Water Park (inside Legoland California) which includes thrilling rides like Tidal Wave Bay and Buccaneer Beach.
Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica is home to one of LA’s best public playgrounds, located on Santa Monica Pier. This is a great choice if you want to take your kids swimming or have a picnic while they run around and get their energy out. And just walking around Santa Monica Pier is a fun activity, too. If you’re traveling with older kids who aren’t going to be content with a playground, check out nearby Muscle Beach. It gets crowded—but it’s also got an awesome vibe. Plus, every day at high tide there are surfers right off the beach (that only stay when waves are good). You can bring your kids down and watch them swim—it’s pretty cool!
Kidspace Children’s Museum
What could be better than playing and learning with your children? At Kidspace Children’s Museum you can do just that, as well as take advantage of parent programs and events. This is one of two museums on our list that is strictly for children, making it a great destination for kids to play and learn together. Come on in, explore exhibits such as Toddler Town, or spend time at their library—the options are endless! There’s even fun musical performances throughout most days. For anyone looking to have a good time with their kids without spending too much money or too much time, Kidspace is definitely one of your best bets! If you want more information about how to go about getting here, check out our guide!
Please Touch Museum
The Natural History Museum of LA County is just one of many great places to take kids in and around LA. Other favorites include Children’s Park, where you can play on kid-sized trains and slides, or Griffith Park (with a carousel and sledding hill). While museums are not typically considered playgrounds, they have so much more to offer families than just a playground. The Natural History Museum houses an incredible collection of plant and animal specimens from all over the world, like a complete mounted Steller’s sea cow, which was hunted into extinction by man. They also have shark jaws that will make your toddler shriek with delight.
MOCA GAIA Art Center
Located in Little Tokyo, MOCA GAIA is a great place to bring kids. The museum offers hands-on exhibits and workshops, so families will have a blast there. MOCA GAIA hosts plenty of events designed specifically for kids, like family-friendly movie nights and artist lectures. (37 Grand Ave.)
Natural History Museum of LA County
The Natural History Museum of LA County has one of the best playgrounds in Los Angeles. The museum is located right next to Griffith Park, and families can visit their Dinosaur Hall or explore nature exhibits. Children can climb on rocks and dig for fossils at NHMLA’s two-story Dinosaur Hall, which contains over 40 life-size dinosaurs (some move!) as well as skeletons that give kids a sense of how large these creatures were. Kids can also climb on top of rocks with names like Pteranodon and Stegosaurus, or they can dig up fossils with tools found within a human-size egg crate.
You’ll find water fountains and a miniature golf course here, but Expo Park is most notable for having one of Los Angeles’ biggest playgrounds. The facility is divided into two play areas, one for kids under 5 and another for older children. There are slides of all shapes and sizes (including a huge spiral slide that shoots you down at fast speeds), climbing structures, swings and much more. Kids can enjoy themselves without worrying about finding an outlet to charge their iPads—this is definitely old-school fun! (333 S. Figueroa St., Expo Park)
The Japanese Garden at Redondo Beach Pier
The first time my family visited the Japanese Garden we were blown away by how much there was to do and see. You can go on a short, guided tour with a park ranger, take part in hands-on activities like bonsai tree-growing or origami making, or simply bring a picnic and relax on one of its many benches. The 10 acres are enough to occupy you all day long—even if you have kids. And once you’re done exploring, head over to nearby Redondo Beach Pier for some beach time! It’s easily one of my family’s favorite playgrounds in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is a city of endless possibilities, and for families looking for a playground that offers something for everyone, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re a fan of classic playground equipment like swings and slides or prefer something more challenging, these five Playgrounds in Los Angeles will have your family entertained for hours on end!
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