It's like Alice, after she ate the cake. Photo courtesy of South Coast Botanic Garden
It's like Alice, after she ate the cake. Photo courtesy of South Coast Botanic Garden

What’s Open in LA for Kids Right Now

With the latest round of stay-at-home orders lifted at the end of January and numbers declining daily, the city just might be turning the corner. Playgrounds have reopened. Outdoor dining is now allowed. Family favorites with outdoor spaces are slowly opening their doors—like aquariums, zoos, mini golf courses, go kart tracks, and more. Add those to the list of gardens, parks, drive-ins, carhops, hikes, water sports … well, there are actually a lot of things that are open in LA right now.

Combine the newly allowed openings with the wealth of outdoor activities available to Angelenos, and you can almost feel the city start to hum back to life. (You can definitely see the freeways filling up!) Here we are tracking every single thing that is open for kids and families in Los Angeles. Bookmark this page; we'll update it frequently as more spots announce their reopening plans.

While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate distance. If you arrive at an event that appears too crowded try using the “nearby” search feature on our event calendar to find something else to do.

What's Open Now in LA includes drive-thru experiences

Electric Mile Drive-thru is a dance music fest in your car. Photo courtesy of Insomniac

Drive-Thru Experiences in Los Angeles

  • Stranger Things Drive-Into
    A drive-into experience based on the hit Netflix series? Stranger Things have happened! Currently, tickets are available through March 28. 
  • Drive-thru Cruis'n the Park Car Show at Magic Mountain
    Guests cruise through the park from the comfort and safety of their own cars for a drive-thru auto show experience featuring more than 100 automotive displays, presented by world-famous West Coast Customs, tickets are available through March 14.
  • Drive-thru Fair Foodie Fest
    The drive-thru Fair Foodie Fest is at the Rose Bowl weekends through March 14 for drive-thru fair food from the car.

Now open is the Museum of Illusion in Los Angeles

Don't look down! Photo courtesy of the Museum of Illusion

Museums in Los Angeles That Are Open

  • Donut Life Museum
    This new OC popup is a selfie sweet-tooth dream and is open Thursday-Sunday through April 1.
  • Battleship Iowa
    The San Pedro floating monument is open for self-guided tours of the outdoor spaces, using the free mobile app.
  • The Museum of Illusions
    Hollywood's photo-op destination is open at 10% capacity, with masks and social distancing in place.
  • The Museum of Dream Space
    Another Hollywood photo-op destination is open at reduced capacity, with masks and social distancing in place. These rooms and experiences are inspired by the work of Yayoi Kusama, so for families missing the Infinity Mirror Room at the Broad Museum, here's your chance to recreate a little of that digital art magic.
  • Noah's Ark
    The Skirball found a way to bring back the beloved Noah’s Ark—by moving it outside. This outdoor exhibit had to close over the holidays, but with the stay-at-home order lifted, the museum plans to open the exhibit again soon (for members only!).
  • The Heritage Museum
    This DTLA gem is now open for self-guided tours of the grounds.
  • Pretend City
    While closed to the general public, small groups can rent out a freshly sanitized museum to play with peace of mind for two hours. Perfect for birthday parties, or small pod outings.
  • Southern California Railway Museum
    The museum has reopened its campus and outdoor exhibits for visitors, while indoor exhibits and car barns remain closed. Train and trolley rides resume February 6.

Meet friendly lorikeets at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Photo by cruz__26/Instagram

Places in LA Where Kids Can Visit Animals

Now open in LA are many of our favorite zoos, like the Santa Barbara Zoo

Kids can see animals in person again at favorite local zoos. Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Zoo

  • The CatCafe Lounge
    Now open for kids needing kitten cuddles.
  • The Ocean Institute
    This Dana Point marine center is open weekends for outdoor excursions.
  • Wildlife Learning Center
    The center is open for two different private tours, both of which include animal meet and greets. (Perfect for birthday parties…)
  • The Shadowland Foundation
    While the foundation has suspended Saturday visits with wolves, families or small groups can still book a private experience to meet (and feed) wolves in person.
  • The Gibbon Conservation Center
    The Gibbon Conservation Center, the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to gibbons, offers tours to visit the rarest group of apes in the western hemisphere. Private tours can be booked for families in February, but starting in March, book tickets to a public tour.
  • The Living Desert
    The desert zoo is open, and a trek to Palm Springs rewards visitors with a chance to get up close and personal with bighorn sheep, mountain lions, desert tortoises, and countless other animals.
  • Oasis Camel Dairy
    While currently only offering private tours, this is an experience no one can forget: a visit to Oasis Camel Dairy, just north of San Diego. Tours can include feeding and taking rides on the camels.

What’s Open at Theme Parks

  • CityWalk at Universal Studios
    While Universal Studios is closed, CityWalk is open, and right now is the first (and perhaps only) time Harry Potter fans can try Butterbeer without purchasing tickets to Universal Studios. Get it while you can. Outdoor dining and shops are also open. Opening on March 12 is Taste of Universal, where guests can roam the lot and sample tasty foods from across the park.
  • Downtown Disney District
    Disneyland might be closed, and passports gone, but for kids, yearning for a Mickey fix the Downtown Disney District is open. Shops are open at 20% capacity and some restaurants are open for takeout and outside dining. Also open: a new (and bigger) Star Wars Trading Post. A Touch of Disney opens at California Adventures Park on March 18!
  • Legoland California's The Big Shop
    Legoland California will be open on select dates, starting March 5, for Build N' Play days, where little builders can play outside, build with Legos, hear music, dine outdoors, and see the sights. Also, the Legoland Castle Hotel is now open and hotel guests receive FREE access to Miniland U.S.A. and The BIG Shop while staying.
  • Great Wolf Lodge
    Great Wolf Lodge is now accepting reservations for guests starting on May 22, so get a jump on booking your next family getaway now.

Now open in LA are all playgrounds and parks, like Shane's Inspiration

Shane's Inspiration at Griffith Park is open. Photo courtesy of Landscape Structures

Parks and Playgrounds Are All Open in LA

now open in LA - sand sledding the beach berms

Sand sledding! Do it while you can...

Beaches and Piers in Los Angeles—What’s Open?

Entertainment and Stores Now Open in LA

  • Apple Stores
    Apple Stores across the Southland are now open for Genius Bar and shopping appointments. So if you've been the sole tech support for your family, in-person help is now available.
  • Mini Golf
    Mini golfing is now allowed and our favorite spots are open or opening soon.
  • Drive-in Movies
    Drive-ins are popping up all over town! (We’re adding new venues all the time.)
  • Go Karts
    Go karts with outdoor tracks are now allowed to operate, which means K1 Speed in Anaheim is now racing, as is Go Kart World in Carson, and Boomers in Irvine (which also has mini golf and batting cages).
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop
    These shops are open at greatly reduced capacity, keeping it safe for kids who really need a new lovey.
  • Irvine Park Railroad
    Choo-choo, this track is running its open-air train daily. Pony rides and paddleboat rentals are also available at Irvine Park. Bring a picnic and make a day of it!
  • Open Air Malls
    The Grove, The Americana, and Palisades Village, (and others) are all open with outdoor dining and shops limiting the customers allowed in each store.

horseback rides are available at stables all over LA

Take a ride under the Hollywood sign. Photo courtesy of Sunset Ranch

Outdoor Sports & Activities for Families in Los Angeles

  • Horseback Riding Stables
    Horseback riding is allowed, and all our favorite spots are open!
  • Winter Sports Resorts
    Ski or shred at a local ski resort; they’re all open this winter with social distancing guidelines in place.
  • Batting Cages
    If your little slugger is missing Little League, batting cages are allowed to reopen. (Call before visiting one, as only outdoor cages are open and reservations may be required.)
  • Snow Tubing
    While the snow lasts, snow tubing spots are all open, too!
  • Water Sports Rental and Lesson
    With ocean breezes clearing the air and longboards and boats enforcing social distancing, SUP, kayak, surf, and other water sports rental shops and lesson providers are all open for business.
  • Beach Bike Rentals
    Rent (or bring) a bike to ride the beach bike path, bike rental shops and beach biking paths are open.
  • Swan Pedal Boats
    Rent a swan boat at Lake Balboa or Echo Park Lake.
  • Fishing
    We mentioned that fishing is allowed off the Santa Monica Pier now, but you can also go fishing (and rent gear) at these local lakes.
  • Hot Air Balloon Rides
    And now for something completely different: go up, up, and away in a hot air balloon. Temecula has several companies offering balloon rides over the vineyards.
  • Waterski and More
    Take a day trip to Lake Elsinore, where kids as young as 5 years old can learn to wakeboard, wakesurf, waterski, and more at LA Wake
  • Long Beach Waterbikes
    Maybe you can’t walk on water, but the whole family can bike on water, day or night, at Long Beach Waterbikes.
  • Golf and Tennis in LA County
    Golf courses and tennis courts are open. LA City Golf has a few par-3 courses that are inexpensive and great for kids who are just learning. And the LA Department of Recreation and Parks has several parks that reserve courts by the hour online (and are also very inexpensive).
  • Gondola Rides
    There are two spots now open in Southern California where the whole family can take a gondola ride: Long Beach and Oxnard. (Funny, no gondolas in Venice!)

Farm Fresh Outings for Families in Los Angeles

  • Farmers Markets
    Farmers markets all over LA County are open, and while samples and pony rides are currently on hold, visiting your local farmers market is a great way to support local farms who have been hit hard this year.
  • Tanaka Farms
    Guests can take a wagon ride around the farm and pick some veggies.
  • Underwood Farms
    The Underwood Farms Moorpark location is also open daily for pick your own visits to the field, as well as saying hi to the animals at the animal center.
  • The Original Farmers Market
    This open-air market makes for a nice change from the grocery store for stir-crazy kids. Also now open: outdoor dining! So get groceries for the week, and enjoy a meal (or ice cream, or donuts) today.

What's Open iin LA Now: Descanso Gardens

Something is always blooming at Descanso. Photo courtesy of Descanso Gardens

Gardens That Are Currently Open In LA (All of Them!)

Hiking trails are now open in Los Angeles, including the Vasquez Rocks area

Exploring the gorgeous Vasquez Rocks. Photo by Meghan Rose

The Best Hiking Trails in Los Angeles for Kids Are Open

Horses and mini cars are two unique ways to tour Griffith Park.

Toodle around Griffith Park in a mini car. Photo courtesy of Sunny Day Scoot

Outings & Adventures for Families in Southern California

  • Fillmore & Western Train Rides
    With reduced capacity and masks, families can take a Saturday scenic ride on a Fillmore & Western train beginning February 6.
  • Whale Watching Cruises
    Take a whale-watching trip at the height of whale migration season; boats are running from several harbors.
  • Long Beach Glass Bottom Boat
    Take a harbor tour on a glass-bottom boat, day or night, in Long Beach on the weekend.
  • Sunny Day Scoot
    These thrilling tiny, open-air cars are still available to rent to toodle around Griffith Park.
  • Ziplines
    Take a day trip to one of these spots where the whole family can soar through the air.

Where Families Can Dine Outdoors in Los Angeles

  • Outdoor Dining
    As of January 29, outdoor dining could resume in LA County at reduced capacity. These are a few of our favorite places to dine outdoors, with kids.
  • Paradise Cove
    Get food to go and hit the beach at Paradise Cove (serving Wednesday-Sunday from 11am-5pm).
  • Carhops and Drive-Ins
    Carhops and drive-ins make for a retro outdoor dining experience!
  • Cupcake ATMS
    You can always grab a cupcake and go from one of the Cupcake ATMs in town.

Take a trip to Catalina to see wild bison.

See wild bison in Catalina. Photo courtesy of Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

Daytrips & Staycations That Families Can Take in LA

  • Palm Springs
    As of February 18, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has reopened and is taking trips up to the snow. Swimming in the desert, sledding on the mountain!
  • Catalina Island
    See the buffalo on Catalina Island; boats are running at reduced capacity and times to the island.
  • Joshua Tree National Park
    Joshua Tree is now open for hiking and exploring.
  • Channel Islands
    Island Packers started running trips to the Channel Islands again at the end of January—now is a beautiful time to go visit the island dwarf fox or take a kayak around one of the islands.
  • Calico Ghost Town
    The old mining town is a great historical exploration spot.
  • Terranea Resort
    For a weekend getaway without even leaving the county, Terranea opened again the last weekend of January.
Open: America's Teaching Zoo
America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College - 11:00 AM
Hollywood Legion Theater Drive-In
Hollywood American Legion Post 43 - 12:00 PM
Storybook Time in the Farm
Orange County Great Park - 1:00 PM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides