See Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Photo by Mommy Poppins
See Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Photo by Mommy Poppins

Free Admission for Kids at Southern California's Best Family Attractions, Museums, & Theme Parks

Getting in free at Disneyland: it's one of those precious moments of childhood that if you blink, you miss. But unlike the ones you can't put a price on, this one is worth about $100. In other words, it's really worth keeping track of when those free admission deals for kids run out. If you're working your way down our LA Kids' Bucket List, you should probably coordinate with the cut-off ages below; some of the museums you can catch on their free admission days, but several other attractions below really drive home the bittersweet point that you're only young once.

Note that the cut-off ages below imply that when a child reaches the age listed, he or she no longer qualifies for free admission.

Free for Kids Under 2

America's Teaching Zoo
Fillmore & Western Railway
La Habra Children's Museum
Los Angeles Zoo
McCabe's Family Concerts
Noah's Ark at the Skirball
Santa Barbara Zoo
Underwood Farms

Photo courtesy of the Page Museum at La Brea Tar Pits

Free for Kids Under 3

Aquarium of the Pacific
Autry Museum
Discovery Science Center
Disneyland & California Adventure
Island Packers Channel Island & Wildlife Cruises
Knotts Berry Farm
Madame Tussauds Hollywood
Magic Mountain & Hurricane Harbor
Museum of Flying
Natural History Museum
Page Museum at La Brea Tar Pits
The Queen Mary
San Diego Zoo & Safari Park
Skyspace LA
Soak City
Splash! Buccaneer Bay
Universal Studios

Free for Kids Under 4

The Huntington Gardens
IMAX Movies at the California Science Center
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Petersen Automotive Museum
Ripley's Believe It or Not

Free for Kids Under 5

Descanso Gardens
Los Angeles County Arboretum
Los Angeles Metro Trains & Buses

Photo courtesy of the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE

Free for Kids Under 6

Adamson House & Malibu Lagoon Museum
Heritage Square Museum
Japanese American National Museum
LA County Fair

Free for Kids Under 12

Bowers Museum
Museum of Latin American Art
Orange County Museum of Art
Rose Bowl Flea Market

Free for Kids Under 13

Los Angeles Maritime Museum
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Free for Kids Under 18

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) with free Nexgen membership
Pacific Asia Museum

Free for Kids Under 19

Norton Simon Museum
Orange County Great Park Balloon Ride (Free for all as of 2019!)
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) (Free for all as of 2020!)

Looking for even more ideas? We have neighborhood suggestions, too—like 25 things to do with kids without leaving Burbank, Redondo BeachHollywood, or Culver City!


Originally published May 13, 2013

Paleo Playdates
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University - 10:00 AM Pick
Cayton Creators Community Program
Cayton Children's Museum - 10:00 AM
Hollywood Legion Theater Drive-In
Hollywood American Legion Post 43 - 12:00 PM
Sugar Rush
- 12:00 PM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides