100 Fun Free Things To Do in Los Angeles with Kids

Right this way to all the free fun in LA, especially at the Griffith Observatory! Photo by Gina Ragland
Right this way to all the free fun in LA, especially at the Griffith Observatory! Photo by Gina Ragland
1/7/24 - By Matt Matasci

Free things to do in Los Angeles are words that likely grab your attention, and there's no shortage of free activities and attractions in a city as large as LA. Save your funds for birthday gifts, Christmas presents, summer camps, and theme parks, and instead, take advantage and plan out your days with the kids with all the many free things to do in Los Angeles. 

While it's no secret that it's expensive to live in Southern California, one of the benefits is just how many free things there are to do! From museums to tours to uniquely Angeleno attractions, you can live here for years and still not check every box. But if you're up for the challenge, here are 100 free things to do in Los Angeles with kids. 

For more free things to do in Los Angeles, see restaurants where kids eat free in LA, find out when all the free Los Angeles museum days take place, and discover more free fun in our Guide to Free Things To Do in Los Angeles with Kids


Free Things To Do in Los Angeles with Kids

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: Santa Monica Pier
Stroll the Santa Monica Pier and take in all the sights. Photo courtesy of Gina Ragland

1. Santa Monica Pier — Santa Monica

There’s plenty to do at the Santa Monica Pier without spending a dime. Walk to Pacific Park at the end of the pier to watch braver souls ride the Sea Dragon, then soak up some sun on the beach. Keep an eye out for the monthly Locals' Night, where the pier fills up with free activities for all ages. 

2. Griffith Observatory — Griffith Park

One of the most noteworthy structures in LA is the Griffith Observatory. Enjoy the stunning views (hopefully on a clear day) of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. While the surrounding landscape might distract you, don't forget to step inside the Griffith Observatory for fun and free interactive science exhibits. You can also stargaze for free from the observatory during the monthly Public Star Party

3. The Getty Center — Brentwood

Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views and let the kiddos see their first Van Gogh at one of Los Angeles’ most iconic museums. Pick up an Art Detective card in the Museum Entrance Hall for a scavenger hunt throughout the museum. Entry to the Getty is always free, but you do have to reserve tickets in advance and pay for parking. 

4. Hollywood Walk of Fame — Hollywood

Sure, it’s a little cliche and a bit of a tourist trap, but you can have a great time walking on Hollywood Boulevard, looking for your favorite celebrity stars on the Walk of Fame. Of course, there’s people-watching, but you can also check out the footprints at the TCL Chinese Theatre and the recently-renovated Egyptian Theatre. 

5. Venice Canals — Venice

Exploring the Venice Canals is one of the simplest yet most iconic free things to do in Los Angeles. Stroll across the bridges and admire the canals. 

6. La Brea Tar Pits — Mid-Wilshire

Where else can you stand below skyscrapers while observing an active archaeological dig? Just look out for the oozing tar in the grassy areas! The Page Museum charges an entry fee, but it’s completely free to wander around the expansive grounds and explore the free exhibits. LA County residents receive free admission to the Page Museum Monday to Friday from 3-5pm. 

RELATED: Hiking in Los Angeles with Kids: The Best Hiking Trails for Families 

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: Hike to the Hollywood Sign
Hiking to the Hollywood sign is an LA rite of passage. Photo courtesy of Gina Ragland

​7. Hike to the Hollywood Sign — Griffith Park

You may see the Hollywood sign every time you drive on the 101 or the 10, but hiking to it is a completely different experience. Not only will you get up close to the city’s most recognizable symbol, but you’ll also get a seriously great workout. 

8. The Getty Villa — Pacific Palisades

The Getty Villa is along the coast in Pacific Palisades (a different museum from The Getty Center) and houses the collection’s antiquities. If you visit the Getty and the Getty Villa on the same day, you can get a two-for-one parking deal. Tickets are free to the museum, but reserve them in advance. 

9. Runyon Canyon — Hollywood 

After getting some nice upgrades a few years ago, Runyon Canyon is as kid-friendly a location to hike as it gets. While you’re hiking, take in panoramic views of Central LA and the San Gabriel Mountains — and you might even spot a celeb!

10. California Science Center — Exposition Park

Most of the exhibits at this science museum are free, so long as you make reservations in advance. The Endeavour is a notable draw, but please note that the exhibit is currently closed as the spaceship lifts into the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. 

​11. Venice Beach Boardwalk — Venice Beach

It's not a beach you go to for, well, the beach. Instead, you go for people-watching to check out the scene. Peruse the peculiar street vendors, watch brave skateboarders at the skate park, and see the famous Muscle Beach. 

RELATED: Best Beaches for Kids and Families in Los Angeles & Orange County 

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: The Broad Museum
Admire contemporary art exhibits for free at The Broad. Photo courtesy of Gina Ragland

12. The Broad — DTLA

Kids who love art will find The Broad particularly inspiring. From an expansive Andy Warhol collection to the whimsical, balloon animal-like sculptures of Jeff Koons, it’s one of the best free contemporary art museums in the country. Reserve your free tickets in advance. 

13. Shane's Inspiration — Griffith Park

There’s so much to do at Griffith Park, but hands down, the best playground is Shane’s Inspiration. It’s meant for children of all abilities and is located right off Crystal Springs Drive on the east side of the park. 

14. Elysian Park — Elysian Park

Go urban hiking in Elysian Park, right next to Dodger Stadium. There are a variety of hiking trails, expansive fields for playing, and a few different playgrounds. 

15. Tournament of Roses Parade — Pasadena

Every Southern California resident has to see the Rose Parade in person at least once. It’s one of the most famous parades in the world and best of all, it’s completely free (and not that difficult) to watch. The Rose Parade is one of those free things to do in Los Angeles that should be on your bucket list. 

16. Los Angeles County Museum of Art — Miracle Mile

LACMA is one of the most well-known museums in Los Angeles. While it’s getting a major renovation, LA County children 17 years old and under still get a free NextGenLA membership that includes a complimentary ticket for their accompanying guardian. LA County residents also receive free admission on the weekdays after 3pm. 

17. UCLA's Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden — Westwood

Located on the east side of the UCLA campus, this almost-secret free botanical garden hides in plain sight. There's a koi pond, a few picnic tables, and a lush variety of over 3,000 plants. 

18. The Proud Bird — El Segundo

While The Proud Bird is technically a food hall, it's easy to make this a fun and free afternoon for any plane-loving kid. There's a playground with front-row seats to low-flying planes that come and go at LAX. There are free plane exhibits to explore both indoors and outdoors, too. Pack a picnic for this adventure and enjoy it at one of the many outdoor tables overlooking the playground. 

RELATED: The Best Playgrounds in Los Angeles: They're Even Worth Crossing the 405

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: The Last Bookstore
Get lost in a sea of books at The Last Bookstore. Photo courtesy of Gina Ragland

19. The Last Bookstore — DTLA

Spring Street is the epicenter of the DTLA renaissance, and no retail business is more emblematic of this change in fortune than The Last Bookstore. More than just an indie booksmith, this space is home to artisans selling their wares. Even if you don’t spend a dime, it’s worth walking through the book tunnels. 

20. Watts Towers — South Central LA

The Watts Towers are a perfect example of Los Angeles’ status as an artistic hub of the country. It’s free to visit these towers just off of the A Line Watts stop, though there is a suggested donation.

21. Rodeo Drive — Beverly Hills

Buying items from the swanky shops at the world-famous Rodeo Drive isn't exactly free, but window shopping is! It's also fun to just leisurely check out the beautiful pedestrian cobblestone street and pretend to be somewhere in Europe. Rodeo Drive is particularly impressive during the holiday season. 

22. Hollywood Bowl Museum — Hollywood

The Hollywood Bowl is one of the most historic music venues in the world, so it only makes sense that the grounds would be home to a museum that honors that legacy. Best of all, it’s free to visit! Not only can you visit the museum for free, but during the Bowl season, you can catch the philharmonic rehearsals for free.  During the day, when there is no performance, you can also pack a picnic and utilize the Hollywood Bowl as a public park. 

23. Leo Carrillo State Beach — Malibu

There are more things to do in Malibu with kids than you might think! There is no shortage of gorgeous beaches, and one of those is Leo Carrillo. There are coastal caves, tidepools, and sandy shores galore. The park even offers Junior Ranger and Campfire programs. Note that there is a parking fee. 

24. Hollywood Forever Cemetery — Hollywood

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is one of the most notable cemeteries in the city. It’s even on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s free to visit the gravesites of stars like Judy Garland, Cecil B. DeMille, Johnny and DeeDee Ramone, and Chris Cornell. 

25. Bob Baker Day — Chinatown

Fresh off their move to Highland Park, Bob Baker Marionettes are going as strong as ever. One of the most entertaining free family events of the year is the annual Bob Baker Day at Los Angeles Historic Park. Reservations are usually needed in advance and get there as early as possible as parking fills up very quickly. 

26. Hidden Staircases — Silver Lake

Even though the joke is that “nobody walks in LA,” the truth is many parts of the city are designed to accommodate pedestrians. This is particularly true in hilly neighborhoods like Silver Lake, where you can explore their uniquely painted staircases. 

27. The Hammer Museum — Westwood

The Hammer Museum near UCLA is great for a quick taste of art and culture. In addition to its galleries, the museum hosts free events for kids like ArtLab

28. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook — Culver City

The Santa Monica Mountains get all the glory when it comes to hiking in Los Angeles, but Baldwin Hills is an underrated favorite. The main way to get to the viewpoint is straight up the intimidating Culver City Stairs. These steps can be steep and challenging for smaller children. Luckily, there are easier side paths to make the trek less strenuous. 

29. LA Times Festival of Books — Exposition Park

Book lovers will delight at the LA Times Festival of Books at USC. Publishers, authors, and any other book-adjacent exhibitors form rows and rows of kiosks that you can peruse will be there. All of the outdoor events are free to attend. 

RELATED: Best Botanical Gardens for Los Angeles, Plus Cool Hidden Oases

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: Lake Balboa 
Enjoy a playground with lakeside views. Lake Balboa photo by Mommy Poppins

30. Lake Balboa — Van Nuys

Take a picnic and enjoy this urban oasis in the center of the Valley. Walk around the lake, watch the ducks, and climb on the playground. While this is one of the many free things to do in Los Angeles, you can also pay for swan boat and bike rentals. It's one of the best places in LA to see cherry blossoms, too. 

31. JPL’s Open House — Pasadena

Once a year, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena opens its doors to the public. Home to some of the most advanced science work in the world, this is the perfect event for budding scientists. Grab tickets for this free event the second they become available. 

32. Paul Smith Wall — West Hollywood

If your tween or teen needs a cool backdrop for their newest TikTok video, they're going to need you to hold the camera for them at the colorful Paul Smith pink wall. 

33. Vasquez Rocks— Santa Clarita

You've probably seen Vasquez Rocks in several movies and TV shows. This nature wonderland is a completely different landscape from the usual LA outdoor recreational adventures, similar to somewhere in Utah. Kids will love climbing all over the rocks, and there are live reptiles and a few exhibits inside the visitor center. 

34. Avila Adobe and Olvera Street — DTLA

Go back to the roots of Los Angeles at the original plaza. Olvera Street is a cobblestone pedestrian road lined with Mexican shops and some of the oldest buildings in the region. Avila Adobe, the America Tropical Interpretive Center, and the Museum of Social Justice are all free to visit. After walking down Olvera Street, stop at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and listen to mariachis and other street performers. 

35. In-N-Out Replica Museum — Baldwin Park 

There are few restaurants more synonymous with Southern California than In-N-Out. While the first restaurant was demolished to make way for the 10 freeway, a replica was built just south of the original. You can visit it and learn more about the delicious history of this fast food sensation (but don't expect to get any animal-style fries here—you'll have to go to a location in operation). 

36. Annenberg Beach House — Santa Monica

The Annenberg Beach House is a fun beach destination. It features a playground, splash pad, open seating, beach courts, and fields, all free of charge. They often have summer storytime on the beach, too. Note that there is a fee to use the pool and other amenities. 

37. Ferndell — Griffith Park

One of the most pleasant, kid-friendly “hikes” in Los Angeles is along the Ferndell trail. This meandering, shaded path follows a bubbling brook. There's also a playground, and the Trails Cafe is right there if you feel like splurging on a snack. 

38. Sand Hill Sledding — Playa del Rey & Venice Beach

It’s hard to find places in Los Angeles to sled on snow, but you can always hit the sand. Dockweiler State Beach is a great place to sled on giant sand hill berms.

RELATED: Hollywood with Kids: Things To Do in Hollywood 

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: FIDM Museum
See movie costumes up close for free at the ASU FIDM Museum. Photo courtesy of Gina Ragland

39. ASU FIDM Museum — DTLA

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising has a museum on campus that is free to visit. The museum doesn’t always have an exhibition on display, so check the website before visiting. When they do have an exhibit, they typically showcase movie costumes from recent popular films

40. Naples Island Canals — Long Beach

The Venice Canals might get all the glory, but the Naples Island Canals in Long Beach are just as lovely for a stroll. It's especially recommended to check out during the holidays when homes on the water are decked out in holiday lights and decor. 

41. Annenberg Pet Space — Playa Vista

Not only is it free for humans to visit the Annenberg Pet Space, but you can also bring your own pet. Because it’s also a pet adoption center, owned pets have to stay on the first floor. The Annenberg Pet Space has daily activities that help strengthen the human-animal bond. 

42. Burton Chace Park — Marina del Rey

While there isn't a playground at this Marina del Rey park, there is the entertainment of sea lions in the wild. This seaside park also hosts a season-long dazzling holiday light display called Marina Lights

43. Museum of the San Fernando Valley — Northridge

The San Fernando Valley plays a huge role in the history of Los Angeles, and this free museum in Northridge celebrates that influence. The museum aims to represent all cultures, races, religions, and ideas from the Valley’s history.

44. Vroman’s Storytime — Pasadena

This one hits close to home as my family has been regulars at Mr. Steve’s storytime for nearly a decade. But if there’s one free storytime to visit — especially if you’re in Pasadena or NELA, it’s Vroman’s. Not only is the storytime top-notch, but the store itself is a must-visit for its expansive collection of books and gifts. 

​45. Barnsdall Arts Park — Los Feliz

Home of the Hollyhock House, Barnsdall Arts Park is a great way to spend an afternoon. Pack a picnic and enjoy the views. 

46. The Roundhouse Aquarium — Manhattan Beach

Head to the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier and pay a visit to The Roundhouse Aquarium. While it’s technically free, the aquarium asks for donations. 

47. Central Library — DTLA

There are a lot of great libraries in Southern California, but few can match the Central Library in DTLA. There is an expansive kids section and regular free activities. Plus, you can even use the 3-D printer for free. 

48. Japanese Garden — Van Nuys

Taking up over 6.5 acres in the San Fernando Valley, The Japanese Garden is across the street from Lake Balboa. It can be hard to spot as it's hidden behind a large security gate. Free reservations are needed. 

49. Train Ride at Wilson Park — Torrance

The Southern California Live Steamers operate out of Wilson Park in Torrance and offer free public rides on the first Sunday (11am to 3pm) and third Saturday (12pm to 3pm) of the month. 

RELATED: Best LA Bike Rides, Trails, and Paths for Biking with Kids

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: Bike The Strand
Bike along the beach for over 22 miles on The Strand. Photo courtesy of Gina Ragland

50. The Strand — Santa Monica

The Marvin Braude Trail is also known as “The Strand” and it stretches almost continuously for 22 miles from Pacific Palisades to Torrance. Pick a few beach cities you want to explore and bike along this off-street, beachside bike lane. 

51. Wende Museum — Culver City

Young history buffs will be fascinated by the Wende Museum, which focuses its collection on art and culture during the Cold War. Veterans Memorial Park is also right next to the museum, which is a popular park and playground in Culver City that often has events. 

52. Shakespeare by the Sea — San Pedro

Every year in San Pedro, the non-profit Shakespeare by the Sea hosts performances in San Pedro for three weeks and then in other SoCal locations for four more weeks. There are usually two plays to choose from, all free of charge. 

53. Lake Hollywood Reservoir — Hollywood

Did you know there's a lake up in the Hollywood Hills? Stroll around this scenic reservoir for unique views of the Hollywood sign.

54. Westfield Century City — Century City

While none of the retailers at Westfield Century City offer anything for free, it’s a perfect example of what a mall can and should be. From the outdoor playground to the specially curated events, a day at Westfield is time well spent.

​55. Grand Park Fountain — DTLA

This one is better for little kids, but they’ll love splashing around in the fountain at the northwest end of Grand Park. 

56. Forest Lawn Museum — Glendale

A cemetery might seem like a strange place to bring your kids, but Forest Lawn has a small but fascinating museum on its grounds. There are rotating exhibits as well as a permanent collection.

57. Lunar New Year Parade — Chinatown

Get to this parade early to beat the crowds and secure your spot along the route. The Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown is a cultural celebration with dragon dancers, confetti, fireworks, and incredible food.  

RELATED: Noah's Ark at the Skirball: Is LA's Best Indoor Playground at a Museum? 

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: Free Day at The Skirball Cultural Center
Kids will love Noah's Ark during The Skirball's weekly free museum day. Photo courtesy of Gina Ragland

58. The Skirball — Brentwood

The Skirball has an incredible Noah's Ark indoor playground with interactive activities, toys, books, and climbing structures. The Skirball typically has an admission fee, but it's free to everyone on Thursdays, though tickets are required in advance. Take advantage of this amazing play space for kids as one of the free essential things to do in Los Angeles. 

59. Watch a Polo Match — Pacific Palisades

At Will Rogers Park, you can bring a picnic and watch polo matches free of charge. Even if you don’t know anything about the sport, it’s a fun outing to enjoy a beautiful park and see majestic horses in action. Note that there is a parking fee. 

60. The Nethercutt Museum — Sylmar

If your kids are into classic cars, look no further than The Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar as a must-visit. The free museum has vehicles from the 1900s to the 1940s, which can be seen during free, self-guided tours.

61. Greystone Mansion — Beverly Hills

This beautiful Tudor-style mansion has a rich (and sometimes dark) history. It often pops up in all kinds of movies and TV shows. The city of Beverly Hills now maintains the sprawling grounds as a public park, and it’s free to visit the exterior. Greystone Mansion is best for older kids as it is not stroller-friendly. 

62. CicLAvia — Various Locations

Throughout the year, the City of Los Angeles (and other surrounding cities) participate in an open streets celebration known as CicLAvia. Whether you want to walk, bicycle, skateboard, roller skate, or walk on stilts — you’re invited so long as you’re people-powered. These events occur all over the county, so check our Events Calendar for upcoming ones. 

63. The Park at Cross Creek — Malibu

The playground at Cross Creek is the perfect place for kids to play and parents to relax while enjoying the Malibu ocean breeze. 

64. Garvey Ranch Observatory — Monterey Park

The Griffith Observatory might be the most famous stargazing location in LA, but it’s not the only one. Garvey Ranch Observatory in Monterey Park is open to the public every Wednesday night from 7:30pm to 10pm. 

65. Huntington Gardens — San Marino

The Huntington Gardens in Pasadena are breathtakingly beautiful grounds, but unfortunately paying for a visit can be pricey. Luckily, admission is free on the first Thursday of every month with an advance reservation. Don't miss the Children's Garden when visiting. 

66. Mural Mile — Van Nuys

Los Angeles is well-known for its colorful murals, and one of the best places to check them out is Mural Mile in Van Nuys. 

RELATED: Best Pumpkin Patches near Los Angeles 

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: Pumpkin Rock
Take a Halloween family hike up to Pumpkin Rock. Photo courtesy of Gina Ragland

67. Pumpkin Rock — Norco

Hike up to Pumpkin Rock, where you'll encounter a gigantic rock painted like a jack-o-lantern. It can be a steep uphill climb, but there are alternate routes that make it easier to reach the top. The town repaints Pumpkin Rock every year in time for the Halloween season. 

68. Summer Fun Days — Long Beach

If you live near Long Beach, their parks department hosts Summer Fun Days at parks across the city. This on-custodial care drop-in recreation program is for kids between the ages of 5-12 and includes activities like art, games, and sports.

69. Runway Playa Vista — Playa Vista

It might look like another outdoor shopping center in LA, but what makes Runway special are all the weekly free kids activities that occur there as part of their Kids Club. There's also a kid's play area in the middle of the complex and many family-friendly seasonal events. 

70. Angelino Heights — Angelino Heights

If your kids are interested in the history of Los Angeles, take them to Angelino Heights near Echo Park. It’s one of the city’s oldest suburbs with elegant Victorian residences — some of which you may recognize from your favorite films, music videos, and TV shows.

71. Kidspace — Pasadena

On the first Friday of each month, Kidspace offers free admission. It’s one of the best children’s museums in the region, providing hours of fun for kids of all ages. Advance tickets are required. 

72. LA Audubon Society Birding Walks — Various Locations

Join the Audubon Society for free birding walks at one of several local parks. 

73. Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade — Newport Beach

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is a dazzling spectacle where festively adorned boats cruise through the harbor, creating a magical display of lights and holiday cheer. See the annual free tradition as the shimmering vessels illuminate the night, offering a unique and joyous celebration of the festive season in Newport Beach.

74. MOCA Museums — Various Locations

The MOCA Grand Avenue in DTLA, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in West Hollywood, and The Warehouse in Little Tokyo are free to visit. MOCA’s museums focus on modern art with eclectic collections.

75. Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve — Lancaster

Each spring, the social media universe blows up about Southern California superblooms and getting the perfect photo op. Even if you aren’t concerned about getting likes on Instagram, a spring wildflower hike during peak season in Antelope Valley is a must-do. There is a parking fee, and it's best to get there early as lines into the reserve can get long. 

RELATED: Spring Wildflower Hikes near Los Angeles

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: Oshogatsu Family Festival 
Celebrate Lunar New Year! Oshogatsu photo by Doug Mukai, for the Japanese American National Museum.

76.  Oshogatsu Family Festival — Little Tokyo

Celebrate the Japanese New Year at the annual Oshogatsu Family Festival in Little Tokyo, where vibrant cultural performances, traditional crafts, and delicious cuisine come together to ring in the spirit of Oshogatsu. 

77. California African American Museum — Exposition Park

Explore the cultural heritage and artistic expressions of the African American community. Immersive exhibits and thought-provoking displays celebrate diverse contributions and narratives of African American history. Note that the museum is temporarily closed—check the website for updates. 

78. Camp Poppy — Brentwood

Camp Poppy in Brentwood is like a free mini-camp at Brentwood Country Mart that takes place every Wednesday in the summer. Lemonade and snacks are provided. 

79. The Lotus Festival — Echo Park 

Echo Park Lake is always a great place to enjoy the sites and sounds of Central Los Angeles. But if you’re planning a visit, try to time it around the Lotus Festival in July. Every year, a different Asian Country or island is celebrated with arts, cultural activities, and more. 

80. The Spadena House — Beverly Hills 

Commonly referred to as “The Witch’s House,” with good reason, this whimsical Beverly Hills home makes the perfect Halloween photo opp.

81. Rose Bowl Loop — Pasadena

A favorite free activity of those living in Pasadena is to walk, run, or bike the Rose Bowl Loop. Take in the views of the Arroyo and the world-famous Rose Bowl. There are some Jackie Robinson historical plaques at the Rose Garden, and a nearby playground. Kidspace also shares a parking lot with The Rose Bowl. 

82. Solstice Canyon — Malibu

There are many great waterfall hikes for kids around LA County, but one of the most kid-friendly is Solstice Canyon. Not only does it have the payoff of a waterfall (albeit a small one that's sometimes a trickle), but you can also explore the ruins of a mansion. 

83. Tongva Park Splash Pad — Santa Monica

One of the newer parks in Santa Monica is Tongva Park, right next to the Santa Monica Pier and the 4th Street E Line stop. While there is plenty to do at the park, its biggest draw is the playground and splash pad—perfect for cooling off in the summer. 

84. Abalone Cove Park — Palos Verdes

When you think of a coastal hike in Los Angeles, Abalone Cove Park delivers the image you probably have in your head. This scenic gem provides breathtaking ocean views, tide pools, and coastal trails. 

85. Museum of Natural History — Exposition Park

Peruse captivating exhibits, interactive displays, and diverse collections that bring the marvels of science and history to life for visitors of all ages. While the Museum of Natural History has an admission fee, it's free for LA County residents every Monday through Friday from 3-5pm. 

86. Audobon Center at Debs Park — Montecito Heights

The Audubon Center at Debs Park offers an urban oasis for birdwatching, educational programs, and immersive nature experiences that connect communities with the diverse flora and fauna of the area. 

RELATED: The Autry Museum of the American West has a New Family Play Space

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles: Free Day at The Autry Museum 
Yeehaw for a free museum day at the Autry Museum! Photo by Jackie Jones for Mommy Poppins

87. The Autry Museum — Griffith Park

Discover the rich tapestry of the American West at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park, where engaging exhibits and collections showcase the diverse cultures, histories, and art forms that have shaped the dynamic narrative of the American frontier. Receive free admission at the Autry every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1pm to 4pm, and don't forget to check out their new family play space while you're there. 

88. Los Angeles Ballet's A Chance to Dance — West LA

The Los Angeles Ballet brings the beauty of dance to the community, offering free monthly classes and providing a unique and accessible cultural experience for all ages and experience levels. 

89. Fiesta Broadway Cinco De Mayo Festival — DTLA

With a large Mexican-American population, it’s no surprise that Los Angeles is home to the largest Cinco De Mayo celebration in the country. The festival takes up four blocks on Broadway in DTLA and features live music, cultural events, and food from all over Latin America. 

90. Beverly Gardens Park — Beverly Hills

Beverly Gardens Park is a linear stroller-friendly park that passes by the famous Beverly Hills sign, fountains, and even a small botanical garden with cacti and roses.

91. Books and Cookies — Culver City

Read stories, sing, dance, jam with musical instruments, and play with a parachute with Books and Cookies at Ivy Station in Culver City every Tuesday at 10am. Advance registration is required. 

92. Parks After Dark Winter Wonderland — Various Locations

I went to this event in Altadena with my family, and it’s certainly worth a visit. Kids that attend get free food and drinks, a free toy, and there’s even a snow play area and sledding. LA County Parks and Recreation holds these seasonal events at parks all across the county. 

93. Travel Town — Griffith Park

The story of Los Angeles heavily revolves around the rail industry, and Travel Town in Griffith Park is a celebration of this history. While the museum is free, there is a fare to ride the trains, which will probably be enticing after viewing some rails. 

94. Fowler Museum at UCLA — Westwood

With one of the highest numbers of museums per capita in the world, Los Angeles is chock full of smaller, curated collections like the Fowler, adding to more free things to do in Los Angeles. This gallery focuses on global arts and cultures from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Indigenous Americas. 

95. Torrance Art Museum — Torrance

This little museum in the heart of Torrance’s civic center emphasizes artistic expression in Southern California and the globe. The museum is closed during installation periods, so check its website before visiting. 

96. Santa Monica Place — Santa Monica

A mall is the last place you’d expect to visit without spending any money, but Santa Monica Place is a unique kind of mall. They have free special events and activities throughout the year, making it a perfect stop-off before you hit the beach. 

97. Echo Park Rising — Echo Park

All ages can check out up-and-coming bands from around the Los Angeles area on the streets of Echo Park during this free music festival. 

98. Descanso Gardens — La Cañada Flintridge

This beautiful botanical garden has a monthly free day on the third Tuesday of each month. Advance tickets are required. 

99. Joshua Tree National Park — Joshua Tree

There are a handful of free national park days throughout the year. Know that fee-free days are busy in national parks, and not all the national parks waive the fee. The closest national park to LA that can feasibly be done in a day without needing to spend money on accommodations (and honors the fee-free days) is Joshua Tree National Park. 

100. LAPL Library Card — Various Locations

There are so many fun and entertaining free things to do in Los Angeles! Getting a free LA library card provides even more free attractions through the Discover & Go program, where you can even get free passes to the Los Angeles Zoo. You can also “check out” a California State Park vehicle day-use pass, and hiking gear for the adventure. 

Places featured in this article: