50 Things To Do in Los Angeles with Kids this Spring: Your Spring Bucket List

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad are filled with gorgeous blooms. Photo by Chris Jimenez/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0
The Flower Fields at Carlsbad are filled with gorgeous blooms. Photo by Chris Jimenez/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Wildflowers bloom, waterfalls gush (or trickle, depending on the recent rain), and after a long winter at home, it's finally time to start venturing out again to take advantage of all the wonderful things to do in Los Angeles in the spring. Spring is the best time to explore LA—the weather is gorgeous, but it's before desert destinations get too hot and beaches get too crowded. Without further ado, here is our roundup of 50 great spring activities in Los Angeles for the whole family. These picks range from outdoor adventures to museums—plus a few suggestions for ticketed activities and even some spring day trips and getaways.

Don't forget, you can find more seasonal happenings in our Los Angeles Spring Fun Guide or our always-bursting Event Calendar, where we are adding new events every day.

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Outdoor Family Activities in Los Angeles this Spring

1. Meet Buddy at the Southern California Railway Museum

Hop aboard the Dino Train and STEAM Festival at the Southern California Railway Museum, featuring “Buddy” from the PBS show Dinosaur Train.

2. See guaranteed gorgeous blooms for miles

Even in a dry year, the famous Flower Fields in Carlsbad are bursting with gorgeous flowers. Wander 50-acres of ranunculus flowers overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a sweet pea maze, plus poinsettia and orchid displays.

Springtime strawberry picking at Tanaka Farms. 
Springtime strawberries are the best. Photo courtesy of Tanaka Farms

3. Visit a local farm

Visit Springtime on the Farm at Underwood Farms or take a Strawberry Picking Tour at Tanaka Farms.

4. Meet exotic animals

Take your little animal lovers to the Zoo! In Southern California we are so lucky to have a plethora of zoos to visit including the LA Zoo, the Santa Barbara Zoo, and the biggest beast of all, the San Diego Zoo.

5. And sea creatures

At The Aquarium of the Pacific, kids can see sea otters, sharks, sea jellies, frogs, lorikeets, and more.

RELATED: Find an Amazing Petting Zoo Near Los Angeles Where Kids Can Have Animal Encounters

Meet an ostrich in person near Solvang.

It's not every day you can meet and feed an ostrich. Photo courtesy of Ostrichland USA

6. Take a trip up to Solvang

Don't forget to put down your aebelskivers (delicious Danish donuts stuffed with jam) long enough to stop in to see over 100 amazing ostriches and emus at Ostrichland USA.

7. Take a hike!

While you can hike all year in LA, our favorite hikes to see wildflowers, waterfalls, and wildlife are all best in the spring.

 
Eat in your own greenhouse at Lady Byrd Cafe in Echo Park. Photo by Ali Buck

8. Dine al fresco with the kids

Take advantage of the warming weather to eat at a beautiful outdoor spot — on a patio, in nature, dangling over the ocean, or dining among peacocks.

9. Hit the drive-in

When the days become longer and the evenings warmer, drive-in movies are the best. Spring is when drive-ins playing family-friendly fare start to pop up in every part of town.

10. Go tidepooling

Discover the underwater worlds that lurk under the sea at our favorite tide pools.

11. Ride horses in an iconic spot

Take a horseback ride right under the Hollywood Sign — or you can choose a mountain or coastal ride.

12. Go water biking

Maybe you can’t walk on water, but the whole family can bike on water, day or night, at Long Beach Waterbikes.

13. Visit the Battleship USS Iowa

Battleship USS Iowa is one of our favorite outdoor museums, and your family can take a self-guided or behind-the-scenes guided tour to explore areas off-limits to the public.

14. Visit Six Flags Magic Mountain

You and the kids can get your scream on at Six Flags Magic Mountain; a perfect outing with the whole family is possible with our handy guide.

15. Take a trip to Legoland

If roller coasters are a bit much for your young ones, Legoland California is perfect for even the littlest theme park enthusiast.

16. Check out SoCal's newest theme park: Sesame Place San Diego

Join Big Bird, Elmo, and the rest of their friends at Sesame Place San Diego.

RELATED: The La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum: How To Have a Historic Visit with Kids

See Butterflies at the Natural History Museum.
Take a closer look at the Natural History Museum's Butterfly Pavilion. Photo by Gina Cholick/ NHM

17. It's butterfly season!

Butterflies abound at the Butterfly Pavilion at NHM and SOAR: Tropical Butterflies at South Coast Botanic Gardens. And don't forget to adopt your caterpillar during Butterfly Season at Kidspace in Pasadena. 

18. It's playground season

Visit an amazing playground and let the kids burn off that blossoming springtime energy as they joyously climb, swing, see-saw, and slide. 

19. Go fly a kite

These great green parks have plenty of room to fly a kite, up to the highest height.

20. Grunion run!

Every LA kid has to go on a grunion run at least once. Make this the year! Plus, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro offers many resources about this fishy full moon phenomenon and how to enjoy it.  

21. Mini golfing

Hit the (mini) links and go mini-golfing.

22. Go kart racing

Or perhaps your little speed demons would rather take to the track. There is go-kart racing at Go Kart World in Carson, at K1 in multiple locations, and at the Mulligan Family Fun Center in Murrieta.

23. See art outside a museum

Take a self-guided street art tour of the city.

 
The view from Stargazing Tower at the Huntington Gardens. Photo courtesy of huntington.org

24. Visit one of our favorite gardens

At the Huntington Gardens, you can explore the Children's Garden and the new parts of the Chinese Gardens.

25. Visit the heart of downtown

Take a trip on DTLA's famous Angel's Flight and then catch a bite at LA's Grand Central Market. 

26. Visit the original heart of downtown

Visit Olvera Street for a dose of LA history, and a hearty helping of some of the best churros in town.

RELATED: The Coolest (Affordable) California Vacation Rentals for Families

MOXI in Santa Barbara is a fantastic children's museum.
Take a trip to Santa Barbara to the children's museum. Photo courtesy of MOXI: The Wolf Museum

Indoor Activities in Los Angeles this Spring

27. Head up the coast to MOXI

MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation is fun for the whole family. As if you needed another reason to take a trip up to Santa Barbara.

28. Bubbles are back at Bubblefest

Pop on over to Bubblefest at Discovery Cube Orange County March 30 through April 17. 

Kids can play pretend at Pretend City. 
The make-believe beach is loads of sun-free fun. Photo courtesy of Pretend City

29. Pretend City

Let your kids give "adulting" a try at Pretend City, the interactive child-sized city. Imaginations are set free as children can play in a make-believe grocery store, farm, art studio, and beach.

30. Check out the California Science Center

The Science Center is free, and nowhere else can you and your kids enjoy some "space ice cream" as you imagine your life in orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour

31. Visit everything at Hancock Park

Take in a day at the LACMA campus and enjoy the Metropolis II, the Tar Pit Museum, and the new Academy Museum.

RELATED: An Insider's Guide to Kidspace Children's Museum

The Autry Museum of the West has loads of local exhibits.

Explore the wild West at the Autry. Photo by The Autry Museum of the American West

32. The Autry Museum of the West awaits

You and your little city slickers can enjoy The Autry Museum of the American West, AKA LA's "Cowboy museum" right across from the LA Zoo.

33. The Petersen Museum

Got a little gear head? Drive on over to The Petersen Museum.

34. Disney without Disneyland prices

Oh my Disney: the specially-ticketed exhibition All That Glitters: The Crown Jewels of the Walt Disney Archive runs through June 19 at the Bowers Museum.

35. See Pixar's new movie

Set loose some panda-monium at Turning Red's pre-show dance party at The El Capitan theater.

Get some books at the last bookstore. 
The book tunnel at The Last Bookstore is amazing. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

36. Buy books

Visit the Last Bookstore and stock up on some books for the kids. Plus, just smell the books. Live, real, actual books!

37. The Museum of Illusions

Watch your kids defy the laws of gravity and physics at the Museum of Illusions.

38. Get crafty

Visit Color Me Mine for pottery painting or Meri Cherry's art studio for crafting. Maybe the kids can make something for grandparents for Mother's Day or Father's Day.

RELATED: Get Ready for Summer: Discover the Best Summer Camps in LA

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge takes you to a galaxy far away.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge takes you to a galaxy far, far away: Anaheim. Photo by Joshua Sudock/Disney Parks

39. Disneyland, of course

Visit Mickey and his friends at Disneyland and/or Disney California Adventure before the summer rush. Plus, the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival is running through April 26. 

40. See LA's most famous marionettes

March, waltz, and tap dance beside the kids while seeing It's a Musical World at Los Angeles's famous Bob Baker Marionette Theater. 

 
See Gertrude the Goose in Rapunzel Alone. Photo by Cooper Bates

41. See a fairy tale come to life

At Rapunzel Alone, take in a brand new live re-imagining of this classic fairy tale at The Wallis through March 19, and then at The 24th Street Theatre March 26 through April 16. 

42. Escape to an Escape Room

These great Escape Rooms for kids plunge kids into a real-life, puzzle-solving experience.

43. Hit a water park, no matter the weather

Spring showers won't get in the way of enjoying Orange County's indoor water park at the Great Wolf Lodge.

RELATED: Campgrounds Near Los Angeles with Extra Entertainment For Kids

See wildflowers in the desert.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is beautiful in the springtime. Photo courtesy Kerem Hanci Photography

Take a Day (or Weekend) Trip This Spring

44. Visit Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park is just about two hours from LA and offers a variety of landscapes, including plenty of those eerie-looking trees that gave the park its name.

45. Sip and play in Temecula

Temecula is a kid-friendly wine region where the kids play while parents enjoy the fruits of the local vineyards. 

46. Visit Anza-Borrego Desert, California's largest state park

Anza-Borrego Desert has a fascinating desert landscape that will make kids forget all about the urban jungle for a while.

Balboa park in San Diego makes for a great weekend trip. 
Explore another gorgeous SoCal city. Balboa Park photo courtesy travelinusa.us

47. Road trip to San Diego

As if the world-class zoo wasn't enough (and it is), San Diego has Seaworld, Balboa Park, the possibly haunted Whaley House, and so much more.

48. Visit the Channel Islands

Go kayaking by the Channel Islands and you may see frolicking dolphins, sea lions, and even bald eagles.

49. Palm Springs, it's not just for old people

Your kids will love the endless sun in Palm Springs — enjoy the dates, dinos, hiking, riding the aerial tramway, and just hanging by the pool.

50. Go to the hottest place (Death Valley) before it gets too hot!

Death Valley has recorded the highest temperatures in the western hemisphere, so going before the summer heat hits is perfect. Explore the salt flats, sand dunes, majestic mountains, and (of course) the ice cream shop.

Top photo by Chris Jimenez/CC-BY-2.0

Butterfly Season at Kidspace
Kidspace Children's Museum - various times
Butterfly Pavilion at the NHM
Natural History Museum - various times
Exhibition: Hayao Miyazaki
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures - various times
SOAR: Tropical Butterflies at South Coast Botanic Garden
South Coast Botanic Garden - various times
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