10+ Family Activities in Los Angeles for $50 or Less
Planning a fun, enjoyable trip to Los Angeles is no easy task for anyone, let alone a family. Due to the high cost of living, the crazy amount of traffic, and the enormous size of Los Angeles, finding reliable, affordable, local activities to entertain the whole family can be difficult, especially when you have a toddler in tow.
Are you planning a trip to Los Angeles in the near future? Check out this Things to Do video, created by CheapOAir, and catch a glimpse of the fun waiting for you in Los Angeles. Making the most of your time away while enjoying reliable activities can be a tall order. But CheapOAir can help you out. CheapOAir will be producing new videos each month, highlighting favorite vacation spots around the country. Follow CheapOAir’s YouTube page to help plan your next getaway.
Keep reading for a list of over ten toddler-friendly activities you can do with your family, in Los Angeles, for under $50. Keep in mind these activities were chosen based on the cost of two adults and two children, including at least one toddler. Take note of the nearby playgrounds under each activity, if you are looking for a place to let your children burn off some energy.
This post has been sponsored by CheapOAir, but all ideas and opinions are my own.
1. Griffith Park
With over 4200 acres, Griffith Park has a little bit of everything for everyone. You can easily schedule a day or two of activities to entertain the whole family.
You can hike to the Hollywood Sign and take in the best views of Los Angeles. Pack water and snacks, throw on your hiking clothes, lather on some sunscreen, and pick the right hiking path for you. Click here to find easy, moderate, and difficult hikes to the Hollywood Sign.
Cost: Free admission, free parking but parking lots fill up early.
Have a little one who likes trains? Check out two great attractions in Griffith Park, the Southern Railroad, and Travel Town Railroad. The whole family can ride the pint-sized trains for less than $15. Southern Railroad, is a mile-long ride, taking riders around the southeastern corner of Griffith Park. Travel Town Railroad takes passengers around the perimeter of the Travel Town Museum.
Cost: Train rides – $3.50/person over 12 years old, $3/child 11 years old and under.
If you are looking for gorgeous Los Angeles views, beautiful green space, and a historically famous Hollywood monument, then the Griffith Observatory should be on your agenda. Pack a picnic or purchase lunch at the on-site cafe and enjoy quality time on a blanket on the grounds while your kids burn off some energy.
Cost: Access to the building and grounds is free. The nearest parking lot costs $8-$10/hour. The parking lot at the Greek Theatre is open and free when no events are going on. But keep in mind it is about a mile away from the Observatory.
Lake Hollywood Park – 3160 Canyon Lake Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90038
This is the perfect park if you want a view of the Hollywood Sign, an enclosed playground, and plenty of space to run.
Shane’s Inspiration – 4800 Crystal Springs Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027
A popular Los Angeles all-inclusive park has activities for children of all abilities.
Los Angeles is known for its shopping, dining, and entertainment, and The Grove provides a unique, family-friendly trifecta for all three. You will find many popular stores like Nordstrom, Nike, and American Girl. The green space, where family-friendly events are often scheduled, allows you to relax while your children are entertained. Don’t forget to ride the double-decker trolley from one end of The Grove to the other. If you’re lucky, you may run into a celebrity or two while there.
Cost: Free to access The Grove. Parking in the on-site parking garage is free for the first hour.
Open since 1934, and next door to The Grove is The Original Farmers Market, where you can eat at one of the dozens of casual dining options, browse the trendy souvenir boutiques, and purchase something yummy from one of the gourmet specialty grocery shops. The sticker boutique, the fudge shop, and the toy store will be favorites for the little ones.
Cost: Free to access. Parking is available in a nearby surface lot and is free for the first two hours with validation from specific grocers in the Market.
Pan Pacific Park – 7600 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
A park, expanding 28 acres, includes three separate playgrounds, a public pool, baseball diamonds, a rugby field, basketball courts, a recreation center, and more to keep your family entertained.
LACMA, the largest museum in the western United States, is a great family-friendly museum. Explore the art galleries inside, enroll in a class, check out the sculpture garden, take photos near the Urban Light display, and then let the kids run around the beautiful outdoor grounds. A favorite outdoor exhibit, Levitated Mass, a giant boulder above a walkway, is a big hit for kids.
Cost: Admission – $25/adult, free for children under 12. To keep costs down, visit on the second Tuesday of every month when admission is free for all. Or, if you are a Bank of America cardholder, you get in free during the first full weekend of every month. And, if you are a Los Angeles County resident, you get in for free Monday through Friday after 3 PM. Parking is costly with a $16 flat rate, but metered street parking is available that will cost you a fraction of the lot if you can find a spot.
The only active urban fossil dig site in the world, The LaBrea Tar Pits is a great place to learn about the history of thousands of years ago. Outside, you can observe active dig sites where fossils of plants and animals from the last 50,000 years are discovered. Bring a ball for the kids to play with on the large grassy areas. Inside the museum, for a fee, you can view exhibits of recent finds including mammoths, mastodons, and sabertooth cats.
Cost: Access to outdoor exhibits is free. Admission to the museum – $14/adult, $6/child aged 3-12, free for children 2 and under. Parking is a $15 flat rate, but street parking is available for a lesser rate.
Pan Pacific Park – 7600 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
4. Hollywood Boulevard
You can’t come to Los Angeles and not indulge a little bit in the Hollywood scene. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is the place to do it for free. Strap kiddos into the stroller, people watch and search for your favorite celebrity stars. Find the exact location of stars by clicking here.
Cost: Free to access the Boulevard. Parking at Hollywood Blvd. & N Highland Ave. is free for two hours with validation from participating nearby businesses.
Going to the movies can be a real treat at this glamorous, historic, Disney-owned theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. With regularly scheduled family-friendly movies and occasional special screenings like a sing-a-long, your whole family will be entertained. The first showing on Tuesdays is a toddler-friendly screening with dimmed lights and a reduced sound level. Children under three are free but must sit on the lap of an adult. To save money, use discount sites to find promotions for ticket purchases.
Cost: Admission – $16/adult, $13/child ages 3-11, free for children 3 and under. Parking at Hollywood Blvd. & Highland Ave. is free for four hours with validation from the theater.
Plummer Park – 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90046
A large play area, tennis courts, and a Farmer’s Market on Monday mornings are just a few of the activities to keep your family busy at this West Hollywood Park.
Walking up and down luxurious Rodeo Drive is a must-do while in Los Angeles. With high-end shopping and exclusive dining experiences, you can still enjoy Rodeo Drive on a budget. Window shopping, people watching, and free parking make this experience worth it. Don’t forget to take the free trolley from Rodeo Drive to the Beverly Hills Civic Center and scope out the children’s section of the Beverly Hills Public Library.
Cost: Free, if you don’t buy anything. Parking is free for up two hours at many of the parking garages located on and near Rodeo Drive.
Roxbury Park – 471 South Roxbury Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90212
A hidden gem with two playgrounds, one for toddlers and one for older kids, as well as basketball courts, plenty of green space, and tennis courts.
If hiking with breathtaking ocean views, wading in tide pools, and relaxing on the beach sound appealing, then put Point Dume on your agenda. A bit more secluded from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, Point Dume allows you to enjoy the Earth’s beauty without too much extra effort. The hike around the peninsula isn’t too difficult, but the incredible coastline views may slow you down. You will make frequent stops to taking it all in. The nearby beaches are easily accessible. If you are lucky, you may even see the gray whales during their migrating season, December through April.
Cost: Free to access the beaches and trails. Limited, free parking is available on the street, but the beaches have paid parking lots available.
Malibu Bluffs Park – 24250 CA-1 Malibu, CA 90265
Scenic coastline views, a playground for little ones, and a large grassy green are just a few reasons to visit this park. Located between Point Dume and Los Angeles, it’s the perfect stop to make on your way in or out of town.
Spectacular views of LA, cultural exhibits, beautiful architecture, and free admission are just a few reasons to stop by The Getty while in Los Angeles. A free tram ride from the street level to the museum will entertain your little ones. Keep in mind parking can be expensive and sparse in the only parking garage available. You can also bike, bus, carpool, or use a ride-share to the Getty to avoid paying a parking fee.
Cost: Admission – free for everyone; Parking is $20/vehicle, or $15 after 3 PM.
Covering over 8,000 square feet and expanding from floor to ceiling, the Noah’s Ark exhibit is your child’s dream come true. You and your kiddos can climb to the top of the ark, play make-believe, crawl through the ropes, and explore the hundreds of animals, creatively made out of recycled items. Tickets do sell out in advance, so book them early.
Cost: Admission – $9/adults, $7/kid 2-12, free for children under 2.
Encino Park – 16953 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, CA 91316
Giant shady oak trees, large grassy areas, and a playground covered with canopies make this park a popular destination, especially when it is hot outside.
8. Santa Monica Pier & Boardwalk
Whether you want to get your heart rate up, take in the scenery, or enjoy historically touristy activities, it’s hard not to find something for everyone to enjoy at the Santa Monica Pier.
Stopover at SM Beach Bicycle Rentals and pick out bikes for the whole family. Pick up two adult bikes and attach a kids trailer to one, throw two kids in the trailer and take the bike path along the Pacific Coast. Each rental includes a helmet, a bike lock, and a basket.
Cost: Daily rate for bikes – $15/adult bike, $20/kids trailer (can hold two kids up to 100 pounds total).
Located on the Santa Monica Pier, with over 100 species of marine animals and plants, the aquarium is a big hit for families. Just steps away from the Pacific Ocean, you can watch staff feed the sharks and participate in interactive exhibits.
Cost: Admission – $7/adult, free for kids 12 and under.
A carousel found in the Hippodrome on Santa Monica Pier is a historical landmark, built in the 1920s. Children under 42” must be accompanied by an adult.
Cost: Each ride is $2/adult, $1/child. Children 2 and under ride free.
Tongva Park – 1615 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Built in 2013 and over 6 acres, this park is a hot spot in Los Angeles for families. Enjoy the playground, splash pad, rolling hills, and numerous observation decks.
Beach views, a splash pad, canopies, a playground, beach courts, a summer pool, and beach access are just some of the options to make your trip to the beach really enjoyable. The Annenberg Community Beach House provides all the amenities you and your family will need to enjoy one of the best beaches in Los Angeles. Keep in mind, although you do have access to the changing rooms and lockers, the pool is closed October through May. Pool and parking passes are given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cost: Admission – $10/adult, $4/child ages 1-17.
Douglas Park – 2439 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90403
An expansive playground, a couple of ponds with turtles, and grassy greens are just a couple of things this park has to offer. Restrooms on-site make it easy for those who may be in the potty training stage with their toddler.
Right next to LAX, one of the world’s busiest airports, the Flight Path Museum is an aviation and aerospace museum, with historical exhibits and educational tours for your family to enjoy. Get a close look at different types of planes, explore the inside of an airplane, and look at the various uniforms pilots and flight attendants have worn through the years.
Cost: Admission – $5/adult, free for kids 12 and under.
Just down the street from the Flight Path Museum, check out The Proud Bird. Watch planes land at LAX, while letting your kids run around the newly renovated playground. You can even grab a bite to eat at the indoor food bazaar.
Cost: Admission – free. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the bazaar.
Well, there you have it. Over 10 activities to do with your family in Los Angeles for less than $50 each. Enjoy the sunshine. Enjoy the views. Enjoy your special time with your family.
Now, I don’t have any details yet, but CheapOAir will be reaching out to followers, hopefully, you, in the coming months, to participate in an exciting opportunity. I can’t share any details now, but it will be fun. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter followers will get first notice to enter.