Spring Break 2022: 25+ Cool Things To Do in Los Angeles with Kids on Vacation
Believe it or not, it's almost time for spring break for kids in Los Angeles. Luckily, LA is a place most people dream of visiting for our enviable weather, mountains, beaches, and deserts, so it's easy to have a fabulous vacation without going very far. Make this well-deserved break feel like a real vacation with a unique day trip from Los Angeles, an overnight staycation, or even just some very cool local museum exhibits and events. There are so many things to do in Los Angeles, you might have to save a few of them for summer...
And don't forget, if you need more local events and outings to fill every minute of every day, our event calendar is chock full of local (and free) outings, and we add more to our calendar every day. We've got loads of seasonal suggestions in this giant Spring Bucket List for Kids, which you'll find in our Ultimate Spring Fun Guide for Los Angeles & OC.
Fun Events During Spring Break in Los Angeles
Take advantage of the kids' free weekdays to breeze over to LA's newest museum to see this amazing exhibit. Then you can spend the rest of your vacation time binging Miyazaki's wonderful movies at night!
Sure, this sounds stuffy, but it's actually one of the coolest annual museum exhibits in town. This exhibit is a celebration of costumes in the movies, and always includes the Academy Award-nominated films (which this year includes a kid-fave, Cruella, as well as the gorgeous costumes from West Side Story, and the futuristic clothing from Dune) as well as costumes from other popular films. This year that could include anything from The Eternals to Black Widow or even Spiderman: No Way Home. Seeing superhero costumes up close is a thrill for kids.
Stop by the Bowers Museum and channel your inner fancy by admiring jewels and accessories from Disney Movies such as Titanic, The Princess Diaries, and other memorable Disney movies.
Try filling the shoes of a scientist for a day while you help Dr. Goodall, a world-renowned scientist, on her mission at the Pledge Station. It's an awe-inspiring experience to see Dr. Goodall's hologram-like projection and participate in a variety of science-related activities at the NHM, such as matching the pant-hoot vocalization of a chimp.
Take your family to the GRAMMY Museum and dive into the sounds that have put a mark on society by inspiring social consciousness throughout American history.
Take a peek at what our planet used to look like millions of years ago when dinosaurs roamed the world in this immersive exhibition featuring over 80 life-size animated dinosaurs in a virtual reality recreation of their natural habitats.
Head down to the California Science Center to unleash the archeologist inside of you and discover what life was like 900 years ago in the Khmer empire, which once was the most extensive metropolis in the world.
Check out the new Sesame Place San Diego! Artist rendering courtesy of Sesame Place San Diego
Make It a Staycation Vacation
One of the biggest advantages of living in Los Angeles is being able to visit unique, world-famous neighborhoods without traveling far. If you’re looking for a local substitute for that Hawaii trip, Santa Monica’s Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows provide a relaxing beachside atmosphere, with private bungalows on the beach. For a rockier beach staycay, check out Terranea Beach Resort, where you can take advantage of the resort's offerings as well as local hikes, tide pool, and beach excursions.
Willing to travel a little further? The city of San Diego is renowned for its many family-friendly attractions and hotels. Animal lovers adore the world-famous San Diego Zoo, as well as Sea World and the brand new (just in time for spring break) Sesame Place San Diego. Your family can even have a sleepover at the Safari Park with a Roar and Snore safari adventure. Just north of San Diego in Carlsbad is kid-favorite Legoland California, too.
Leave the big city behind this spring break—just a couple of hours up the 101 is one of the country's most beautiful cities, Santa Barbara. This mid-size city is world-renowned for its beaches, culture, and great food, making it the perfect staycation destination for Angelenos.
Who needs Hawaii, when we've got our own island—Catalina. Spring break is the perfect time to take your family and get away from it all on this remote (yet close by) island destination. Take the kids on a Jeep Eco-Tour to see the bison that call the island home, try out snorkeling in Two Harbors, view marine life on a glass-bottom boat or undersea sub, or play mini golf at the center square of Avalon.
To check out the life of a cowpoke (while sleeping in total comfort in your private cottage), check out Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in the heart of Santa Ynez’s famous wine country where you can take part in activities like arts and crafts, fishing, boating, a cowboy pancake breakfast ride, horseback riding, and more. Don't forget to say hello to the talking parrot in the horse barn!
Get your own cabana at Universal Hilton for a posh pool day. Photo by Matt Matasci
Amazing Local Day Trips from Los Angeles
Disneyland needs no introduction, and we lucky Angelenos don't need to travel far to visit this enchanted place. Everyone else has to plan flights and hotels for this spring break classic, and we just have to hop on the freeway.
Not up for staying the night in a hotel but want to enjoy a luxurious pool? Consider a resort pass to a hotel like the Universal City Hilton, where you can rent a private cabana, order food and drinks, and relax by the pool. For boat lovers, The Marina Del Rey Hotel offers affordable resort pass options and is very charming with its marina-side setting.
Underwood Family Farms is a must-do for LA parents, so why not make it an all-day trip this spring break? The Moorpark location is the perfect place to get some fresh air while spending time on a farm that feels a hundred miles away from the city. PYO strawberries has already begun and Springtime on the Farm starts in April.
16. Whale watching
Spring break is right at the tail end of whale watching season in Southern California. Whale watching cruises are extremely popular, so you’ll have to act fast and book ahead to ensure a spot during spring break.
Even the littlest riders can hop up on a pony. Photo courtesy of Montebello Barnyard Zoo
LA residents are probably familiar with the big regional zoos in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange County, and of course, San Diego. However, if you're looking for something different, dig a little deeper and find a world of specialty animal encounters that allow your kids to get up close with animals.
Chug over to Irvine Park Railroad, where kids can meet the Easter Bunny and have pictures taken with him, participate in egg hunts, ride the train, and enjoy other ticketed activities.
Southern California is famous for its car culture. While the days of cruising the boulevard or heading out on a Sunday drive along Route 66 may be activities of a bygone era, a road trip is a great way to safely get out of your neighborhood and see points of interest around the region. Popular road trips from Los Angeles include Joshua Tree National Park, Temecula Wine Country, the Calico Ghost Town, and Anza Borrego Desert outside San Diego.
Oh, so you've been on a horse before? How about a camel ride! Photo courtesy of Oasis Camel Dairy
Sure, a horseback ride is fun but how many kids can say they've actually ridden on a camel? Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona gives kids the chance to ride one of these towering desert creatures. The best part is, this is a working Camel Dairy, and the whole family can take a private tour and feed the camels apple pops (you can feed the mini sheep, too).
Southern California is famous for its incredible biodiversity, so it makes sense that there are so many incredible botanical gardens to explore. The Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia, Descanso Gardens in La Canada, and Huntington Gardens in San Marino are all open and provide visitors the chance to visit many different types of forests and gardens. Starting April 1, the South Coast Botanic Gardens host SOAR, a separately ticketed event that features a newly-built butterfly pavilion. (Speaking of butterflies, don't forget about the Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural History Museum!)
Even when campgrounds are booked up, you can find great places to camp. Photo by Matt Matasci
Enjoy the Great Outdoors During Spring Break in LA
22. Go camping
My own city kids are always itching to bust out the tent and sleeping bags and go camping. With the weather starting to warm up, but before it gets hot, spring break is a great time to take the family on a camping trip. The good news is that there are many different options, including national parks and forests, state park campgrounds, and privately-owned campgrounds. The best bet is to try to book a site through the National Parks System or find a private campground like a KOA. Other favorite private options include OwlBee Farm in Hemet and (for something even more private and posh) try the Getaway House near Big Bear.
23. Or, glamping!
For people who don't find the work of camping makes for a relaxing vacation, SoCal has some fabulous glamping options. Try everyone's favorite El Capitan Campgrounds in Santa Barbara, venture to the desert to check out the hip AutoCamp in Joshua Tree (before it gets too hot), or head to the mountains for Huttopia in Paradise Springs.
Running over 20 miles from Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades to Torrance County Beach in Redondo Beach is the Marvin Braude Bike Trail. With the weather getting warm (but not too hot for a long ride) spring break is the perfect time to soak in the city's iconic coastal neighborhoods and cities.
LA has a fabulous hike for every week of the year, like the Solstice Canyon hiking trail. Photo by Connar L'Ecuyer/NPS
At the top of Beachwood Canyon in Hollywood is Sunset Ranch, which is open for horseback rides to the Hollywood Sign. You can choose from one or two-hour rides, or an evening tour. The one-hour ride takes you through the Hollywood Hills with views of the Hollywood Sign and LA Basin, while the two-hour ride goes to the top of Mount Hollywood and gives a 360-degree view of the city. It's just one of those things you gotta do, at some point. Why not now?
There are a surprising number of great places for fishing just a short drive from Los Angeles, and even a few within the urban area. If you're fishing in public waters, you'll need to get a fishing license for everyone 16 and older.
Additional reporting by Ana Belibasis