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While visiting Los Angeles with a baby may sound overwhelming, it can actually be both manageable and enjoyable. With beaches, parks, gardens, museums and more, the City of Angels is a sprawling playground and most attractions are stroller friendly.
One of the best things about visiting Los Angeles is there’s something for all generations. When you’re traveling with a baby in LA, you’ll find many stroller-friendly places to visit. In fact, as the largest city in southern California, Los Angeles has a long list of family-friendly beaches, museums, botanical gardens and much more.
Museums and other indoor attractions may have COVID restrictions. Always check individual websites for the latest information. But with so many outdoor attractions and activities available, there’s no shortage of family fun. While visiting Los Angeles, officials recommend face coverings, keeping your distance, washing your hands and monitoring your health.
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If this is your first time visiting the Greater Los Angeles area with your young family, you may be wondering what to include in your itinerary. Here’s our list of 7 fun things to do when visiting Los Angeles with a baby.
1. Beach, Beach Baby: Visit Santa Monica and Venice Beaches
Wide sandy beaches, the Santa Monica Pier and festive farmers markets make Santa Monica a great family outing. In fact, Heal the Bay ranks Santa Monica Beach among L.A.’s top five cleanest family beaches. The Santa Monica Pier has a historic Ferris wheel, rides and restaurants. Take a walk along the pier for panoramic ocean views. A stroller-friendly boardwalk connects Santa Monica to Venice Beach, which also made the top five list of cleanest beaches. Santa Monica has several large parking lots, making access to both beach areas a breeze.
TravelingMom Tip: Take a scenic drive along Pacific Coast Highway, which follows the coastline.
2. Take Baby to The Grove
Find cute clothes for your family at The Grove, an open-air mall with stores, entertainment, a dancing water fountain and double-decker trolley. In non-pandemic times, The Grove has a free children’s program. In addition, the Pottery Barn offers a free storytime. Adjacent to The Grove (you don’t even have to re-park), is the Original Farmers Market, an open-air space with food stalls, shops and seasonal entertainment.
3. Explore Baby-Friendly Griffith Park
If your schedule allows, set aside an entire day to wander through Griffith Park. This historic part of Los Angeles is home to the Griffith Observatory, the Los Angeles Zoo and Travel Town Museum. Train buffs of all ages will enjoy seeing the collection of vintage locomotives. You can even arrange to have a birthday party inside a locomotive. Train rides are available in Travel Town and the nearby Griffith Park & So. Railroad. Within Griffith Park are hiking trails, including one that leads to the iconic Hollywood sign. You can also see the Hollywood sign from the Griffith Observatory.
TravelingMom Tip: Pack a picnic to enjoy at one of the scenic picnic areas in Griffith Park.
4. Exposition Park Museums and Rose Garden with Babies
The L.A. area has many exciting and diverse family-friendly museums. With paid parking, some museums offer free admission. Situated in the 160-acre Exposition Park is a collection of world-class museums, educational facilities and entertainment venues. The California Science Center (free) is a great place to explore science, math and technology.
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To learn about the cultural heritage and history of African Americans, visit the California African American Museum (free). Also popular with families is the Natural History Museum, the largest natural and historical museum in the western United States.
Need a rest? The seven-acre Exposition Park Rose Garden is a great place to relax in Los Angeles with a baby.
TravelingMom Tip: With paid parking, some museums offer free admission. Others offer free museum days, so be sure to check their websites when planning your visit.
5. Stroll Museum Row on Wilshire Blvd.
Situated about 10 miles from Exposition Park is Museum Row, home to several museums, cafes and Hancock Park. You’ll smell the La Brea Tar Pits before you see them. But it’s worth seeing the actual dig sites where fossils from the Ice Age are still being excavated right on Wilshire Boulevard. It’s amazing to see the excavations as well as the teams analyzing them in the see-through Fossil Lab. Exhibited are fossils from saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, mammoths and other animals that lived in the Los Angeles basin 50,000 years ago.
Also situated on Museum Row, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Petersen Automotive Museum, a fun place to visit with babies and their brothers and sisters who love cars.
TravelingMom Tip: Also situated on Museum Row is Hancock Park, a nice green space to relax with your family.
6. Blooms and Babies: Tour Los Angeles Area Botanical Gardens
Strolling through gardens is a sensory experience the entire family can enjoy, even babies. There are several beautiful botanical gardens in Los Angeles County. The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens are among L.A. County’s historic places.
Located near Pasadena, about 12 miles from downtown LA, the Huntington has stroller-friendly paved paths that meander among 16 themed gardens spanning 120 acres. The themed gardens include a children’s garden, rose, camellia, Chinese, Japanese and jungle gardens. And if you’re traveling with older kids, check out the paintings, sculptures, photographs and European art in the art galleries.
The Getty Center is another fun place to visit with kids. It’s a huge complex with many art galleries, gardens, fountains and statues. Even if your kids are too young to appreciate the art galleries, they can play or nap in the Central Garden.
Descanso Gardens is a hidden gem in La Canada, a suburb in Los Angeles County. A mostly forested area, Descanso has paved paths, gardens, streams, ponds and lawns.
7. Southern California Theme Parks with Babies
While southern California theme parks remain mostly closed due to COVID, the outdoor shopping and dining spaces are open. For example, Universal Studios Hollywood is closed, but CityWalk is open. Disneyland is closed, but Downtown Disney is open. California Adventure is scheduled to reopen for “A Touch of Disney,” a limited, time-ticketed dining/shopping experience.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Even if little ones can’t go on the big rides, they can meet characters and play in the Super Silly Fun Land. The Minion-themed interactive outdoor play area has 80 water-play features, a dry zone with slides and kiddie rides.
Disneyland and California Adventure
Located in Orange County, Disneyland and California Adventure rides and attractions are currently closed. But you can still get your Disney fix. When California Adventure reopens on March 18, guests can stroll through the park to buy food, drinks and merchandise. “A Touch of Disney” marks the first time in a year that guests can explore the entire park, including Cars Land and Pixer Pier, but without jumping on the attractions. The admission price of $75 per person includes parking and a $25 dining card. Tickets are available at Disneyland.com.