Things to Do in Los Angeles for Toddlers: Our Top 10 Picks

Los Angeles, with its theme park, beaches, and zoo, is a playground for all ages, including the littlest adventurers like toddlers. With its sunny skies and endless attractions, it’s a wonderland where toddlers can explore, learn, and giggle their way through each day.

things to do in los angeles for toddlers

From hands-on museums designed just for them to sprawling parks perfect for picnics and playtime, LA rolls out the red carpet for families seeking fun with their tots. But where do you start in a city so vast, with its zoo, monuments, and countless locations, feeling almost like home? We’ve scoured the City of Angels to bring you top-notch activities that promise big smiles for your tiny travelers. So if you’re on the hunt for unforgettable moments with your toddler in tow, scroll down as we reveal our top picks that are sure to make your visit memorable.

1. Visit the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Taking toddlers to the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens is a perfect way to introduce them to the wonders of the animal kingdom. This place offers more than just a glimpse at animals; it’s an educational journey through various ecosystems around the world.

Kids love seeing their favorite animals up close. From towering giraffes to playful monkeys, there’s plenty to capture their toddler’s imagination and curiosity. The zoo houses hundreds of species, making every visit a new adventure.

But it’s not just about watching animals from afar. The zoo provides interactive experiences that are both fun and educational. At Muriel’s Ranch, kids get hands-on with gentler creatures, learning about care and empathy for living beings. They can even feed flamingos or giraffes, turning an ordinary day out into an unforgettable experience.

The learning continues with shows like the World of Birds and Elephant Care Demonstration. These aren’t your typical animal shows; they’re designed to educate visitors on animal behavior and conservation efforts worldwide. It’s a great way for toddlers to learn about environmental stewardship in an engaging way.

2. Explore the California Science Center

explore the california science center

Exploring the California Science Center offers a unique adventure for toddlers, filled with interactive learning experiences. This destination stands out as a family favorite, particularly for its engaging exhibits designed to make science fun and accessible.

One of the center’s highlights is the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Visiting this iconic shuttle together can ignite a toddler’s curiosity about space exploration and technology in an unforgettable way. Imagine their wide eyes as they gaze upon a real spacecraft, sparking endless questions about the stars and beyond.

The Ecosystems exhibit is another must-see area that introduces young minds to different habitats around the world. It’s an excellent opportunity for toddlers to learn about environmental awareness from a young age. They’ll discover how diverse our planet is through interactive zones that simulate rainforests, deserts, and oceans.

3. Play at Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round

Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round stands out as a conservation carousel that has been bringing joy to families for over a century. Its unique charm and historical significance make it a must-visit for anyone with toddlers in Los Angeles.

This merry-go-round isn’t just any ordinary playground equipment. It’s a piece of history, meticulously preserved to maintain its original beauty and functionality. As you watch your toddler light up with excitement, riding on the beautifully crafted horses, you’re also giving them a glimpse into the past. This experience combines fun with an informal history lesson, making it both enjoyable and educational.

Playing at Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round offers more than just entertainment; it’s an opportunity to teach your toddler about rhythm and motion in the most engaging way possible. The gentle up-and-down movements and the carousel’s music provide a sensory experience that can help in developing their coordination and musical awareness.

During your visit, take some time to discuss the mechanics behind how merry-go-rounds work. This can spark curiosity in young minds about engineering and physics without them even realizing they’re learning something new.

4. Discover the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

discover the natural history museum of los angeles county

Taking your toddler to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is like stepping into a giant storybook where dinosaurs still roam the earth. Imagine their wide eyes as they gaze up at the towering dinosaur skeletons, sparking an early interest in paleontology. This isn’t just any museum visit; it’s a prehistoric journey through time that can turn little ones into budding scientists.

The museum doesn’t stop at dinosaurs. It offers a range of interactive exhibits designed with young visitors in mind. These hands-on experiences are more than just fun; they’re educational gateways fostering curiosity about the natural world. Toddlers can touch, play, and learn, making each exhibit a vibrant classroom without walls.

But there’s more to explore outside the exhibit halls. The Butterfly Pavilion and Nature Gardens are magical places where toddlers can get up close with local wildlife and plant species. It’s not every day they get to chase butterflies or spot birds in their natural habitats within a bustling city like Los Angeles. These outdoor spaces encourage families to take learning outside, promoting an appreciation for nature’s wonders.

5. Enjoy the Kidspace Children’s Museum

Enjoy the Kidspace Children’s Museum offers an excellent way for toddlers to dive into a world of fun and learning. This unique spot is nestled in the heart of Los Angeles and stands out as a favorite among both kids and adults. It’s more than just a place to pass the time; it’s where young minds are inspired, and imaginations soar.

One of the museum’s highlights includes engaging in Early Learner Program classes. These sessions are tailored specifically for toddlers, focusing on developing motor skills and socialization through hands-on activities. It’s an ideal setting for little ones to explore new textures, colors, and shapes, all while making new friends.

The outdoor spaces at Kidspace encourage sensory exploration like no other. Areas such as water play zones and Kirby’s Kids Corner offer endless opportunities for learning through play. Toddlers can splash around, feeling the cool water on their hands, or get creative with art supplies under the sun.

Safety and education go hand in hand at this museum, thanks to Play Facilitators who guide children through each activity. Their expertise ensures that every experience is not only fun but also beneficial for toddler development.

6. Have fun at the Travel Town Museum in Griffith Park

have fun at the travel town museum in griffith park

Travel Town Museum in Griffith Park ignites a passion for trains in young minds. This unique spot allows toddlers to explore historical engines and take a memorable ride on the miniature railway. It’s not just about seeing; it’s about experiencing the rich history of transportation.

For an unforgettable birthday celebration, consider hosting it inside an actual train car. Imagine the excitement in your toddler’s eyes as they celebrate with friends and family in such a unique setting. It’s not every day you get to party on a train!

The museum also fosters imaginative play among its youngest visitors. With toy sets like Thomas the Train available, children dive into a world of creativity and problem-solving skills. These playful activities are more than fun; they’re educational too, teaching kids about teamwork and engineering basics without them even realizing it.

7. Spend a day at Santa Monica Pier and Beach

Santa Monica Pier offers a perfect blend of beach relaxation and pier entertainment, making it an ideal spot for families with toddlers. The pier boasts classic attractions that not only provide fun but also a touch of historical appreciation. Among these, the carousel stands out as a favorite for its timeless charm and gentle ride, suitable for even the youngest visitors.

For little ones curious about marine life, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is a must-visit. It features interactive displays and educational programs designed to engage toddlers in learning about ocean creatures in an enjoyable way. This hands-on experience can spark an early interest in science and nature among kids.

Balancing your day between relaxing on the beach and exploring pier activities allows for a comprehensive experience that caters to both parents’ desire for leisure and children’s need for stimulation. The beach offers ample space for building sandcastles or simply letting your toddler splash around in the shallow waves under the sun. Meanwhile, various pier activities keep the excitement going without overwhelming them.

8. Experience the El Capitan Theatre’s Disney movie magic

experience the el capitan theatre's disney movie magic

Taking your toddler to the El Capitan Theatre transforms a regular movie day into an unforgettable adventure. This historic venue offers more than just a chance to watch Disney classics; it turns screen time into a special event. Imagine the joy on your child’s face as they step into a grand theater, where every movie feels like a premiere.

Before the main feature starts, the El Capitan Theatre takes entertainment up a notch with pre-show activities often themed around the movie being screened. These engaging experiences might include live performances or interactive displays, making each visit unique. It’s not merely about sitting through a film; it’s about creating memories in an iconic Hollywood setting.

Moreover, this experience is also educational for toddlers as they learn about theater etiquette in an environment that is both fun and welcoming. From learning to stay seated during the show to understanding when to clap, your little ones will grasp these concepts naturally amidst their excitement.

9. Explore the interactive exhibits at the Discovery Cube Los Angeles

Discovery Cube Los Angeles offers a vibrant space where toddlers can dive into STEM concepts through engaging, hands-on exhibits. This destination stands out as a beacon for young minds eager to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in ways that are both fun and educational. The displays are not just visually appealing but are designed to spark curiosity and encourage exploration.

Children get to touch, play with, and manipulate various exhibits which makes learning feel like an adventure. Each display is an opportunity for toddlers to develop problem-solving skills and critical thinking. Imagine your child’s excitement as they figure out how to make things work or predict what will happen next in an experiment. It’s these moments of discovery that make the visit unforgettable.

Moreover, Discovery Cube doesn’t stop at just providing interactive displays; it enriches the experience by offering special workshops and events tailored for families with toddlers. These programs are perfect for parents looking to give their children a head start in STEM education while ensuring they have a fantastic time.

10. Take a family hike in Runyon Canyon Park

take a family hike in runyon canyon park runyon canyon park

Runyon Canyon Park offers a fantastic opportunity for families to enjoy the outdoors together. With easy trails that are perfect for little legs, it’s an excellent way to introduce toddlers to the joys of hiking while promoting physical activity and a love for nature.

The park is known for its scenic views of Los Angeles, which serve as a beautiful reward after a hike. These panoramic vistas provide a unique teaching moment where parents can talk to their toddlers about landscapes and cityscapes, sparking curiosity about the world around them.

One of the best parts about taking your family on a hike in Runyon Canyon Park is the chance to encounter local flora and fauna along the trail. This setting creates an ideal backdrop for fostering environmental awareness from an early age. Parents can point out different plants and animals, explaining their roles in the ecosystem, which helps children understand the importance of preserving natural habitats.

Moreover, certain areas within Runyon Canyon offer shade, making it more comfortable during warmer days. It’s always good to plan your visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon when it’s cooler if you’re hiking with toddlers.


We’ve just given you the lowdown on the top spots in Los Angeles that are perfect for toddlers. From zoos and museums to parks and theaters, there’s a whole world of adventure waiting for your little ones in this vibrant city. Each place we mentioned is a treasure trove of fun, learning, and unforgettable memories. Trust us, these experiences are not just for the kids; they’ll tug at your heartstrings too, making every moment worth it.

Now, let’s not just sit on this goldmine of information. It’s time to pack those bags, grab some sunscreen, and set off on an epic family adventure. Los Angeles awaits with open arms to dazzle your toddlers with its magic. And hey, who knows? You might just find yourself having as much fun, if not more. Let’s make those childhood memories unforgettable together!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens suitable for toddlers?

Absolutely! It’s a fantastic place where little ones can see their favorite animals up close and enjoy the beautiful botanical gardens. It’s like stepping into a real-life storybook!

Can toddlers enjoy activities at the California Science Center?

Yes, they sure can! The California Science Center has lots of hands-on exhibits perfect for curious minds. Think of it as a giant playground where science is the main attraction.

What makes Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round a good choice for young children?

The Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round is like taking a spin back in time. Its old-world charm and joyful music make it an enchanting experience for tots. Imagine riding on a magical horse that never gets tired!

Are there toddler-friendly exhibits at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County?

Definitely! The museum offers interactive displays that let tiny explorers touch, play, and learn about our natural world. It’s like being a mini Indiana Jones but with dinosaurs!

Why should families visit Kidspace Children’s Museum with their toddlers?

Kidspace is designed with little ones in mind, offering countless interactive experiences that spark imagination and creativity. Picture it as a playground where every corner teaches something new without them even realizing it!

What can toddlers do at Santa Monica Pier and Beach?

Santa Monica Pier and Beach are perfect for sandcastle building, carousel riding, and soaking up some sun. It’s like having your very own giant sandbox but with ocean views!

Is Runyon Canyon Park appropriate for family hikes with toddlers?

While it might seem daunting, choosing easier trails makes Runyon Canyon Park ideal for family outings. Imagine an adventure through nature where you’re likely to spot some wildlife – just keep those little legs in mind when picking your path!