10 of the Best Kids’ Museums in Los Angeles

You might know Los Angeles for the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, and theme parks, but there’s much more to LA with kids than meets the eye. We give you the GoWhee low-down.

10 of the Best Kids’ Museums in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is known for its world-class food, entertainment, theme parks and so much more.

What you might not know, however, is that it is also home to some amazing museums for both adults and children alike. In fact, I might even argue that the children’s museums are equally, if not more so, thrilling for adults. They are engaging, hands-on, and fun!

Here, children are able to learn first-hand about subjects they may not otherwise have the chance to know about different areas of the world, science, art and more. 

Here are the 10 best kids’ museums in Los Angeles. You’ll want to add them to your Los Angeles travel itinerary.

10 Best Kids Museums in Los Angeles

1. Kidspace Children’s Museum

The Kidspace Children’s Museum is a place where children can play, run, create and enjoy the over 3.5 acres and over 40 interactive indoor and outdoor exhibits made just for them!

The museum’s mission is to nurture the potential of all children through kid-driven experiences and create happy, active learners. Kids can climb and explore being active with their bodies through movement on the play structures or splash and play in the Arroyo Stream.

This place is designed with your child in mind.

Good To Know: The museum is free on the first Friday of every month. Advance reservations are required, and tickets are released around two weeks prior to the date of your visit.

2. California Science Center

The California Science Center is a favorite for kids. It’s large and has 4 major exhibits:

  • World of Life,
  • Creative World,
  • Ecosystems, and
  • the amazing Space Shuttle, The Endeavor.

If, for no other reason, you chose to visit, go for the space shuttle… it’s absolutely incredible!

Good To Know: This museum is open to the public seven days a week, most days of the year, with free general admission to its permanent exhibit galleries

Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach one of the hidden-gem things to do in Los angeles with kids
Credit: Stephen Andrews

3.Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, also known as Night at the Museum (as local kids call it), is a trip back in time. Kids will love the museum’s new Dinosaur Hall. It’s one of the most extraordinary dinosaur exhibits in the world!

With more than 300 real fossils and 20 complete dinosaurs and ancient sea creatures, this is a dino-mite experience that delivers on the wow factor. Plus, you can enjoy the shows, live animals, dioramas from around the world, nature gardens and their special seasonal exhibits like the butterfly gardens!

4. Cayton Children’s Museum

ormerly known as The Zimmer Museum, The Cayton Children’s Museum near the Santa Monica Pier is dedicated to discovery-based exhibits and immersive play.

With interactive and hands-on experiences, children are able to create art, have space to play, and engage as they learn. Exhibits include:

  • a real-life helicopter,
  • a giant net in the sky,
  • an animal hospital,
  • climbing structures,
  • and so much more to keep both kids’ brains and bodies working. 


5. Discovery Cube Los Angeles 

The Discovery Cube is a family favorite. This fantastic museum is dedicated to STEM education, and environmental protection, as well as more science and health exhibits.

The museum has over 50 hands-on activities, from a simulated helicopter ride to grocery shopping and recycling, training like a hockey pro, a wind exhibit, and so many more fun things to do.

Plus, their rotating shows and exhibits are impressive and definitely, something to look out for.

Good to Know: You can also find a secondary location in Santa Ana, Orange County

6. Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific, while maybe not a museum in the most traditional sense, is definitely a fun place to learn about our oceans.

It’s a terrific place to take your kids! This world-renowned aquarium is one of the best there is. Here you can touch tide pool creatures, get up close to sharks and jellyfish, and experience tides and creatures like never before.

Your kids will learn so much and have even more fun doing it. 

7. Travel Town Museum

Travel Town Museum is located in Griffith Park. It’s a perfect spot to visit for kids who love trains! This museum is rich with LA’s railway history and has a fantastic selection of locomotives, freight and passenger cars, cabooses, and so much more.

For added fun, be sure to ride the miniature train that runs around the museum.

Good to Know: It’s open every day of the year except Christmas and it’s FREE! All aboard!


8. La Brea Tar Pits

Who knew the ice age existed in the middle of Los Angeles? The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is one of the richest paleontological sites in the world and the ONLY one being actively excavated in an urban setting.

After seeing the saber tooth tiger fossils along with other cool fossils inside the museum, head outdoors, where scientists actively excavate ice age creatures outside in the tar pits.

There is a lot to see and do in this area, and it is one of a kind. You definitely want to spend a day exploring this beautiful, unique museum.

If you walk around the grounds, you may even see some of the outdoor exhibits of the LACMA: like floating rocks and Urban Lights.

9. The Getty Museum

The Getty Center is an art museum in the truest sense. High in the hills, you will be wowed by beautiful architecture, world-class exhibits, and the piece de resistance, the amazing gardens. 

Kids will also love picnicking outside and the tram ride that takes you to the center. 

Good to Know: Admission to the Getty Center is FREE, although you will need to pay for parking.

10. Griffith Observatory

Let’s talk about an icon of Los Angeles. The Griffith Observatory is one of the most popular attractions in LA and for a good reason. This place is simply magic.

Besides the amazing view from the top, you can bring the enchantment of space right to your family’s fingertips with a visit. With amazing technology, exhibits, and telescopes, you will not only learn in theory about space but experience it up close and personal.

On a clear night, you can view magnificent stars right outside the observatory. The phenomenal location overlooking the city gives amazing views day or night, so there really isn’t a bad time to visit. 

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