15 Fun Family-Friendly Things to Do with Kids in Southern California

Sunny Southern California is a well-liked vacation spot for both locals and visitors.

Beautiful beaches, museums, zoos, aquariums, sightseeing excursions, and a variety of family-friendly attractions are among the region’s most prominent features.

Although Southern California is one of the most popular summer travel destinations in the nation, Southern California will never run out of exciting things to do with your family.

Below are some family-friendly activities in Southern California that will help you make your trip special and memorable.

  1. Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego — San Diego

One of the most remarkable ways to learn about San Diego is to take an Old Town Trolley Tour. It provides a wide range of trips to meet the needs of its clientele.

Why We Recommend This Activity

You and your family will have a wonderful time exploring San Diego’s Old Town Trolley Tours while being entertained and informed by the conductor.

Depending on what you wish to accomplish, there are a variety of packages available from San Diego’s Old Town Trolley Tours.

There are zoos, marinas, museums, retail areas, and so much more that you may explore.

The Ghosts & Gravestones tour is one of the most well-liked options.

By selecting this package, your loved ones will have the opportunity to learn about the notorious wild individuals who perished in San Diego and about the ghosts who haunt the creepiest places and old structures.

Recommended Ages

San Diego’s Old Town Trolley Tours is a good time for people of all ages.

  1. San Diego Zoo — San Diego

The San Diego Zoo, situated in Balboa Park, is one of the most well-known zoos in the country.

More than 3,500 creatures and 650 subspecies call it home.

This zoo was a significant innovator in the field of cage-free animal exhibits.

Why We Recommend This Activity

One of the best things to do with kids in Southern California is to take them to the San Diego Zoo.

This excellent zoo offers hundreds of animal exhibits to view, along with numerous family-friendly tours, activities, and programs.

The Kinderzoo is a fun program for your kids, where they can produce arts and crafts, take part in storytime, meet zookeepers, and get up and personal with animals.

The Zoo Corps is an additional program where your kids may take part in learning about animals and the environment and discover how to conserve wildlife.

The other features, like play areas, aerial tram rides, and miniature train trips, will also be enjoyed by your family.

Recommended Ages

Children ages 3-5 may participate in Kinderzoo, while adolescents ages 13 to 17 may join the Zoo Corps.

  1. Pacific Marine Mammal Center — Laguna Beach

A rehabilitation facility that specializes in treating and rehabilitating marine mammals is the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

In addition to volunteering, learning about marine life, and meeting the creatures, visitors may do much more.

You can also see the lovely on-site butterfly garden.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Visit the Pacific Marine Mammal Center if you’re seeking some of the top family activities in Southern California that you can enjoy together.

Your loved ones will have a memorable experience as they interact with stunning animals, including pacific harbor seals, northern elephant seals, California sea lions, and northern fur seals.

Your children will enjoy visiting the Pacific Marine Mammal Center’s lovely butterfly garden and learning about marine animals and other aquatic creatures.

Recommended Ages

All ages are warmly welcomed at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

  1. Oak Glen Preserve — Yucaipa

The Los Rios Rancho, the most prominent apple ranch in Southern California, the Montane Botanic Garden, and a Children’s Discovery Center are all located in the stunning refuge known as The Oak Glen Preserve.

Why We Recommend This Activity

You should take your family to Oak Glen Preserve this weekend for a much-needed getaway from the bustle of city life.

One of Southern California’s most stunning family destinations is Oak Glen Preserve.

Its most well-known attraction is Los Rios Ranchos, a lovely apple farm where you may harvest apples and have delectable meals and just-baked pastries.

There are also many entertaining events that you may enroll in, such as Astronomy Night, where you can use a variety of telescopes to view the stars, planets, and other wonders of our galaxy.

Another one is Behold the Beauty, where you can paint and produce stunning artwork amidst the beauty of nature.

Recommended Ages

Infants, toddlers, kids, teenagers, adults, and seniors are invited to visit Oak Glen Preserve.

  1. Universal Studios Hollywood — Universal City

Universal Studios Hollywood is a spectacular theme park offering a wide range of exciting rides and family-friendly attractions.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Take your children to Universal Studios Hollywood if you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in Southern California so they can enjoy the day to the utmost on the park’s numerous attractions.

Universal Studios Hollywood has all the attractions you might desire, including 3D and 4D theaters, live-action plays, water slides, roller coasters, walkthrough attractions, and character encounters with Scooby-Doo and the Minions,, among many more.

In addition to attractions based on well-known films like Harry Potter, The Simpsons, and Kung Fu Panda, many stores and restaurants offer themed merchandise, making the overall experience richer.

Recommended Ages

Every age group can enjoy Universal Studios Hollywood, a family-friendly destination.

  1. Pretend City — Irvine

Pretend City’s children’s museum has seventeen different interactive and hands-on exhibitions.

It tries to enhance children’s knowledge and thought processes through deliberate play, educational programming, role-playing, and various other methods.

Why We Recommend This Activity

I recommend visiting Pretend City if you want to try engaging in activities with toddlers in Southern California.

The exhibits here are all scaled down to the size of your children and form one connected metropolis.

Each exhibit offers educational value, and they won’t even be aware of it as they enjoy themselves.

For instance, they learn math while learning weight and length in the grocery store exhibit and science in the doctor’s office exhibit.

Recommended Ages

Although Pretend City is accessible to all children, it is best for those aged 0-12.

  1. Aquarium of the Pacific — Long Beach

The Aquarium of the Pacific is a spectacular aquarium that provides visitors with various indoor and outdoor exhibits to explore.

Additionally, this aquarium provides its visitors with activities and events.

Why We Recommend This Activity

If you’re looking for fun family activities, consider going to the Pacific Aquarium.


If your family wants to view sharks, sea lions, seals, penguins, jellyfish, sting rays, mussels, sea turtles, or any of the countless other creatures, there are a ton of displays from which to pick.

Aquarium of the Pacific offers a Lorikeet forest, where visitors can see and feed the lovely birds and admire the aquarium’s unique marine life.

Additionally, there is a penguin exhibit where your kids can sit next to the birds and take numerous pictures.

Recommended Ages

No matter your age, the Aquarium of the Pacific is fantastic for the whole family.

  1. Moorpark Family Center — Moorpark

Moorpark Family Center, number eight

One of the two farm centers that make up the Underwood Family Farms is the Moorpark Family Center.

It provides tours and activities that recreate a natural agricultural setting.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Bring your loved ones to the Moorpark Family Center today to enjoy a lovely time while maximizing your time on the farm.

Your kids can choose fruits and veggies, ride on horse-drawn carts or tractors, haul wheelbarrows around, and visit the magnificent farm.

There is even an animal area where your kids may ride ponies and pet and feed farm animals like newborn goats, sheep, and bunnies.

Additionally, there is a market where you can purchase farm-fresh goods.

Recommended Ages

The Moorpark Family Center is age- and family-friendly.

  1. San Diego Botanic Garden — Encinitas

A sanctuary for rare and exotic plants from all over the world is the San Diego Botanic Garden, formerly known as the Quail Botanical Gardens.

It has numerous additional gardens and the most extensive bamboo grove in the nation.

Why We Recommend This Activity

The San Diego Botanic Garden is among Southern California’s top family-friendly attractions.

This magnificent garden is ideal for your family because it includes gardens that your children will appreciate.

A playhouse, a dinosaur garden, and a tiny garden railroad are all included in the children’s playground known as The Seeds of Wonder.

Another garden for kids is Hamilton’s Garden, where kids may play with natural musical instruments, draw on giant chalkboards, and construct things out of foam or wooden blocks.

You can take part in yoga lessons at the San Diego Botanic Garden for a soothing experience.

Recommended Ages

All ages will enjoy visiting the San Diego Botanic Gardens. Your preschool-aged children should play in the Seeds of Wonder garden.

  1. Adventure City — Anaheim

Children who prefer milder rides might visit Adventure City, a theme park.

One of the smaller theme parks in America, Adventure City, first opened its doors in 1994.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Adventure City is one of your most pleasing possibilities if you’re trying to create a family holiday itinerary that will keep the kids delighted.

Many amusement park rides have been modified to be kid-friendly at Adventure City, including less intense rollercoasters, a drop tower, an arcade, a creative play area, a rock climbing tower, a petting zoo, a train ride, a carousel, and many other enjoyable attractions.

Recommended Ages

Whether traveling with a little child or a teenager, Adventure City has rides ideal for individuals of all ages.

  1. Dockweiler State Beach — Playa Del Rey

In addition to swimming, Dockweiler State Beach provides visitors with numerous other activities. It has 3.75 miles of shoreline.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Visiting Southern California’s stunning beaches, including Dockweiler State Beach, is one of the most excellent free family activities.

Your kids will love building sandcastles in the smooth sand at Dockweiler State Beach or swimming in the azure ocean while being closely watched by diligent lifeguards.

Because your older children may enjoy surfing and playing a game of beach volleyball, this beach is equally enjoyable for teenagers.

In addition to concession shops serving various delicious snacks and drinks, this picturesque beach has firepits ideal for a family bonfire. At the same time, you relax on the fine, powdery sand.

Recommended Ages

No of their age, everyone in your family is welcome at Dockweiler State Beach.

  1. A Faery Hunt — Encino

A Faery Hunt is a beautiful occasion that enables youngsters to have a magical experience through interactive displays and activities.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Let your kids live in a storybook for the day as they take in this incredible experience.

Your children will have the chance to dance, sing, see live performances, dress up as a fairy, princess, prince, or hero, and participate in various other outdoor activities here.

A Faery Hunt allows you to organize birthday celebrations for your kids and includes private performances, an excellent guest character, and much more.

Recommended Ages

While accessible to all, A Faery Hunt is most suitable for children ages 0 to 12.

  1. SeaWorld San Diego — San Diego

A theme park with an animal theme, SeaWorld San Diego offers exhilarating rides, animal interactions, animal shows, and primarily marine animal displays.

Why We Recommend This Activity

You should take your group to SeaWorld San Diego so they can spend the day admiring and getting up close to the beautiful marine life and enjoying the amusement park rides.

Your family will enjoy the Sea Lions Live, Dolphin Days, and Orca Encounter live performances at SeaWorld San Diego, where they can watch the beautiful animals perform and dance.

At the Dolphin Encounter Tour, your kids will enjoy meeting, touching, and feeding the dolphins.

Your kids will also learn how to communicate with these intelligent animals from animal professionals.

The variety of exciting rides, including roller coasters, water rides, splash parks, and many more, will be enjoyed by your older children and teenagers.

Recommended Ages

For visitors of all ages, SeaWorld San Diego is open and welcoming.

  1. Griffith Park — Los Angeles

Los Angeles’ Griffith Park is a sizable and beautiful city park.

Located in the Santa Monica Mountains, this stunning park is one of the biggest urban parks in North America.

Why We Recommend This Activity

I suggest visiting Griffith Park if you’re seeking places to go for cheap family entertainment.

This enormous park is a fantastic spot to bring your children since they will have joy riding the merry-go-round and playing on the extensive playground.

Your tribe may learn about the universe, stars, and meteorites and enjoy seeing numerous performances at the planetarium at the wonderful observatory located in Griffith Park called the Griffith Observatory.

Additionally, there is a gift shop where you can purchase trinkets.

Recommended Ages

Whatever the ages of your family members, Griffith Park is the ideal destination.

The paved paths are ideal for pushing strollers when traveling with infants or young children.

  1. California Science Center — Los Angeles

The California Science Center is a large museum featuring several science exhibits, interactive activities, and an IMAX theater that is a part of Exposition Park.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Consider visiting the California Science Center if you’re seeking family-friendly activities in Southern California that are both informative and entertaining.

Your children will adore the several exhibits in this beautiful museum, including the Ecosystems exhibit, where they can view live animals and enjoy interactive displays while learning about the earth’s ecosystems.

The Air and Space exhibit is another one where you may look around and see aeronautical items while learning about the value of scientific principles.

The Ecology Cliff Climb, a rock climbing sport, and the High Wire Bicycle, where you can ride a safe bike 43 feet above the earth on a one-inch wire, are also enjoyable attractions that your family may attempt at this museum.

Recommended Ages

The California Science Center is ideal for everyone and has no age restrictions. The minimum age requirement for the Ecology Cliff Climb is five years old.