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3 things to do in Los Angeles with kids

3 things to do in Los Angeles with kids besides Disneyland

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3 things to do in Los Angeles with kids

3 things to do in Los Angeles with kids

Canadians tend to be pretty skimpy with their vacation time for big trips. When it comes to getting on a plane and hauling ass down the coast or across the country, we tend to do it in short bursts of 5 to 7 days.  This doesn’t leave for a lot of time if you’re visiting somewhere, especially a place like Los Angeles.

With 5 days to spend, you’ll probably end up at Disneyland for the majority of the time. And that’s a great thing, especially when it comes to kids. But if you want to expand your LA wings a bit and see a lot more, there are SO MANY PLACES to take your kids in and around LA. Here are 3 things to do in Los Angeles with kids:

Crystal Cove State Park

If you’re looking for a place to park an umbrella and towel (preferably one not taken from your hotel room. Too small. Too 3 things to do in Los Angeles with kidsscratchy), the area near Laguna Beach is one of the must-take-your-children places. Yes, you can drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and find many places to pull over and stop, but I really loved Crystal Cove State Park.

The sand is super soft, the waves not as big as Huntington Beach, and the kids wanted to play for hours. There’s different sections to Crystal Cove, and we stopped and parked our car near the camp ground. Can you imagine camping right near the ocean? I’m not a camper, but that view just might turn me into one.

The walk from the parking lot to the beach was simple thanks to an underground tunnel, and viola, you’re ready to spend the day exploring. Check out my Youtube video ‘2 hours at Crystal Cove State Park‘ and you’ll see what I mean.

 3 things to do in Los Angeles with kidsUniversal Studios Hollywood

Yes, I realize after many days at Disney you might not have that loving feeling for another theme park, but I seriously love Universal Studios LA. I love it for entirely different reasons than Disneyland. It’s gives you unique ride experiences, film history, and a brush with the movie industry, all wrapped up in a multi-level amusement park that’s full of misters to keep you cool.

Take your kids to see the Minions, the Transformers,  and then spend an hour in the water park before heading out on the Tram tour. It’s worth at least 8 hours if not more. And if you want to save a few bucks, use your Costco membership and buy your passes from Costco in the LA area. For the price of one day, you get an annual pass in case you come back next year.

Carolwood Pacific Railroad Company & Walt Disney’s Barn

If your little person likes trains, this one is a must-visit. In Griffith Park sits the barn where Walt Disney essentially created 3 things to do in Los Angeles with kidsImagineering. It’s a great place to look around and see different working trains, some of his tools and personal items, and check out how he ran his own train around his backyard on Carolwood Drive in LA.

But the coolest part of visiting Walt’s Barn is the miniature train ride. It winds its way through tunnels and trestles, past cool buildings and some scary looking people/monsters, and ends up back near a model railroad that captivated my little Thomas lover for quite some time.

For the price of a $3 donation, it was completely worth it.

While you’re in Griffith Park, you can also check out the old fashioned carousel, the LA Zoo, the Griffith Observatory where you can see the Hollywood sign off in the distance.

You can read more What to do in LA ideas on The Vancouver Province where I chronicled my 30 day California working vacation. Questions/Comments? Fire away in the comment section below.

 
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Shelly Wutke

I'm a freelance writer and copywriter who started this site to help me through the trials and tribulations of raising 4 kids. Along the way I've become the Editor of Home & Lifestyle for Best Buy Canada's blog, wrote for The Vancouver Province, and am currently working on my first travel book that's all about my love of a good old fashioned West Coast road trip. See you on the I5!

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