Echo Park is a neighborhood that’s seen substantial change since its establishment as one of LA's first suburbs over 120 years ago. These days it’s not very suburban, boasting an eclectic mix of homes and shops and a reputation as a hotspot for artists and hipsters. But this dense, walkable neighborhood is not just for single young people—it’s also one of the most family-friendly neighborhoods in LA with abundant parks, unique attractions, and plenty of great food and coffee. Whether you want to catch a baseball game, eat some vegan treats, walk hidden stairs, or shop in the future (!), Echo Park is a great neighborhood to explore with kids.
Find a new, used, or rare book at Stories and grab a snack from the café to eat on the patio. This little store really gives back to the local community, and if you're just visiting the hood, the staff will make you feel like you live here.
Go for a hike (or play disc golf) at Chavez Ridge and have a barbeque afterward in Elysian Park.
Have your kids hunt for Elysian Park's secret swing! You might find it, and you might not, through no fault of your own... Sometimes the swing gets taken down, but eventually, it always gets replaced. Here are the best directions we've found for how to find it (when it's there!).
Speaking of Elysian Park – this is the home of the Dodgers! Watch the Boys in Blue at the historic Dodger Stadium, or come in the off-season to take a tour of the stadium.
Say hello to your new prickly friend. Photo courtesy of Cactus Store
Another quirky shop in Echo Park that kids really enjoy is Cactus Store. Currently, it's only open on the weekends, but this little desert oasis sells every kind of cactus imaginable, and it's a great place to browse and learn.
Bring out your kid's inner fashionista with a visit to Lemon Frog Vintage. With loads of inexpensive items, it's a great place to shop for items for the costume box.
Discover Chavez Ravine Arboretum. Photo courtesy of City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
Want more cool plants? Visit the Chavez Ravine Arboretum. It's been here since 1893, is completely free, and was named a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1967.
Pack a picnic and head south of the 101 to take in the sweeping downtown views from Vista Hermosa Natural Park, which also features a nature-themed playground.
Introduce your kids to the benefits of yoga with an outdoor class at Elysian Park. Editor's Note: These classes are no longer being offered as of August, 2023.
Place a call to the future on a relic from the past. Photo courtesy of the Echo Park Time Travel Mart
For something funky and totally unexpected, visit The Echo Park Time Travel Mart. Part actual store, part art installation, it’s the only place in LA you can buy goods from the past, present, and future! It's currently open only on weekends, but also has an online store so you can visit and support the store and the non-profit behind the concept, 826LA, anytime.
If your kids love skateboarding, take them to Marsh Street Skatepark in Frogtown. If they're too young to hop on a board, they'll still love to watch the big kids shred.
Swing by the Echo Park branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. It's a great little library that (when events are allowed) hosts storytimes for kids. Fun fact: it's also the only public library in Southern California with a dedicated Filipino heritage collection.
Get a workout on the beautiful Micheltorena Stairs. Photo courtesy of LA Tourism & Convention Board
Take in the neighborhood on foot by exploring some of the hidden stairs cut into the hills. Get a taste of LA history and get some great photo ops on the painted stairways.
Want more Echo Park history? Take the kids on a self-guided free walking tour of Angelino Heights, a neighborhood in LA that was settled over 100 years ago and is full of Victorian homes.
Carroll Ave. in Angelino Heights has the house from the TV series Charmed. Photo by Carolyn/CC-BY-2.0
If your kids get hungry while you're visiting Echo Park, Masa of Echo Park is a local favorite. This family spot makes cheesy, mouthwatering deep-dish Chicago pizza. And because it's Echo Park, there are also vegan options.
Speaking of vegan, Yoga-urt's vegan soft-serve and smoothies are so good, you won't care that they're also pretty good for you.
If buttery baked goods are your preference, get a delectable sweet treat from the Echo Park location of LA's own Valerie. Teach your children the magic of a perfect petit four!
Get fresh fruits and veggies for the weekend at the Echo Park Farmers Market from 3-7:30 pm every Friday at Sunset and Logan.
Take a bike break and grab a snack. Photo courtesy of Spoke Bicycle Cafe
Go for a bike ride on the Los Angeles River Greenway Trail (where the river isn’t just a concrete ditch!) and get a snack at one of Frogtown’s unique cafes and restaurants like Spoke Bicycle Café.
While it’s temporarily closed for refurbishment, Echo Park Lake is a neighborhood must visit. Take in views of the skyline while you pedal around the lake on swan boats. The park reopens on June 30, 2021.