50 Things To Do in Los Angeles with Kids this Spring: Your Spring Bucket List
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.
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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 strawberries are the best. Photo courtesy of Tanaka Farms
3. Visit a local farm
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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
28. Bubbles are back at Bubblefest
Pop on over to Bubblefest at Discovery Cube Orange County March 30 through April 17.
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
31. Visit everything at Hancock Park
Explore the wild West at the Autry. Photo by The Autry Museum of the American West
32. The Autry Museum of the West awaits
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
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
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge takes you to a galaxy far, far away: Anaheim. Photo by Joshua Sudock/Disney Parks
39. Disneyland, of course
40. See LA's most famous marionettes
See Gertrude the Goose in Rapunzel Alone. Photo by Cooper Bates
41. See a fairy tale come to life
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.
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.
Explore another gorgeous SoCal city. Balboa Park photo courtesy travelinusa.us
47. Road trip to San Diego
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