Free Places to Visit with Kids in LA

Los Angeles is filled with a variety of fun options for the entire family to enjoy. I've lived here all my life and there's still places that I haven't been to! That's why you'll always find us exploring the city, but costs do add up, especially for a family of 4.

So before we go anywhere, I do a little research first. I check for discounts + coupons, parking info (especially if its CASH ONLY), and I look for tips. Believe it or not,  if you check the website of the place you're visiting, I guarantee you'll find tips that'll make your family visit more enjoyable. Doing a little research can help save you money. It's helped me spot FREE places in LA to visit, that's kid-friendly and more importantly...kid-approved!

So here's a list of kid-friendly places in LA that's FREE. If there's a place I'm missing, please let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to add it!

1. California Science Center is one of our favorite places to visit. From hands-on activity centers to a 188,000 gallon tank with a kelp forest filled with sea life, you can literally spend the entire day here. AND I can't forget to mention it's also home to the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Its highly recommended to reserve online tickets for $2 since it gets busy. There's also ticketed exhibits with limited engagement like King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh and educational IMAX films. Parking is $12 (Cash Only), so I recommend taking public transportation like the Metro Expo Line to avoid traffic as well. 

California Science Center
700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

2. California African American Museum is located right next to the California Science Center in Exposition Park and admission is aways FREE. Besides its 4,000+ permanent collection to view, CAAM is family-friendly and offers workshops for kids! Be sure to check the calendar of events before you go. 

600 State Drive, Exposition Park 
Los Angeles, CA 90037

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3. LACMA offers free youth memberships for kids 17 years and under. The best part, especially if you've got multiple kids, each NexGen member can bring one adult guest for FREE admission. So when you go, don't forget to sign-up and definitely visit the Boone Children's Gallery, where the whole family can learn the art of brush painting. 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90036

4. Santa Monica Airport is the perfect place to watch aircrafts land and take-off from the observation deck...located right next to the tarmac! It's much smaller compared to LAX and it's not as crazy/busy (perfect for toddlers) and parking is free. You're also able to listen in on aircraft activity from the Control Tower - which is broadcasted through surrounding speakers. There's also picnic tables, an enclosed park, soccer field, and The Museum of Flying to visit (for a nominal fee). 

Santa Monica Airport 
3223 Donald Douglas Loop S
Santa Monica, CA 90405

5. Travel Town Museum is the place for train enthusiasts of all ages! The museum is filled with locomotives from different time you an up-close look at history. It's also great place for picnics, photo shoots, and birthday parties! For $2.75, ride the miniature train TWICE around the museum. Parking is free. 

Travel Town Museum
5200 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, California, 90027

ngeles, CA 90027
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Los Angeles, CA 90027

6. The Getty Center - Besides spectacular views and beautiful art pieces...there's a Family Room filled with hands-on activities for the kids. Check the calendar of events for their Garden Concerts for Kids! Parking is $15, $10 after 3pm. 

The Getty Center
For GPS and maps use
N Sepulveda Blvd & Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049

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7. The Getty Villa is free but an advance time-entry ticket is required and you can find it on their website. I've never been here - so this is on my "must-do" list. Like the Getty Center, there's a Family Room with hands-on play. And before you go, definitely read tips for exploring art in the ancient world with kids.  Parking is $15, $10 after 3pm. 

17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

8. Griffith Observatory is where you can reenact your favorite LA LA LAND scene. Okay, no...but it's a fun family-friendly place to visit cosmic exhibits and observe the stars! Admission is free and theres a small fee to watch the Planetarium show. If you're planning on watching, check the website for show times, because kids under 5 can ONLY watch the first showing. 

2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027

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