50 Things to Do This Summer With Your Kids

Our mantra this summer is “discover something new.” Sure, you’ve got your favorite beach, picnic spot and ice cream shop. But with the endless variety the city has to offer, why stick to the same old-same old? Take these lazy summer days to explore and uncover. And with that in mind… here is our checklist of 50 fabulous things to discover about Los Angeles this summer.

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1. Go swimming by the beach, not at the beach! Pick between a pool with history at the Annenberg Beach House or protected ocean water with slides at Seaside Lagoon. (Or visit both…)

2. Of course you’re hitting the park this summer. But have you visited these two hidden gems that are near the water and feature native plant life?

3. Take in a free show for kids at a local park. This summer’s production of “The Quibbling Siblings” will resonate with your young ones.

4. Deer graze on the hillside behind the stage as top acts from around the globe teach, perform and inform at the Ford Theater’s Big!World!Fun! series for kids.

5. We’ve got playground suggestions for toddling tots you need to trap, or big kids who want to explore something new.

getty villa

photo credit: the consortium via flickr

6. Pinkies up! Get elegant at this Tea by the Sea in a villa with views.

7. Reach for the stars: you can see them from this favorite free spot.

9. Birds of a feather squawk together. This parrot sanctuary will leave you cawing for more.

10. Your favorite faeries await you in the gardens – and they’ve added new cowboy and mermaid tails, er, tales, too.

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photo credit: Yamashiro

11. This local farmers market location is turning 100 and has a view, great food, super drinks and kids activities. And it’s only open in the summer…

12. Unless you’ve got an African safari planned this summer, this is your big chance to lie down with lions.

13. There’s only one spot in L.A. where you can find warm sand, fun rides, and cotton candy as big as your head. Not to mention a Ferris wheel that spins you over the ocean.

14. Who needs the pool, when the city is full of fountains fit for a splash?

15. Be careful not to get sand in your popcorn when you catch a movie on the beach.

16. Right about now, you’re missing your school’s art teacher a LOT – Martha Stewart you’re not. Let them get artsy and craftsy without the mess at home at one of our favorite drop-in art spots.

17. The painted ponies go up and down at these perennial family favorite attractions.

18. With such beautiful weather, there’s nothing like packing up a meal to go and heading outdoors for a family picnic. Try a new spot from our list of outdoors eating spots with spectacular scenery.

ASBBS kids 4

photo credit: All Star Baseball School

19. Summer is perfect for enjoying America’s pastime – Dodger Dogs, anyone?

20. Toast marshmallows over a roaring campfire with the local rangers.

21. Discover a new favorite restaurant – maybe one that another kid recommends?

22. Explore duck ponds, nature centers, gorgeous hiking and snapping turtles – all seconds from Sunset Boulevard.

23. This Hollywood landmark has concerts under the stars the kids will enjoy (think Bugs Bunny or Beatles night), or if you’re worried about bedtime, take them to a SummerSounds morning show.

24. Shakespeare that leaves the kids begging for more? The Actor’s Gang free show does the bard in the style of Star Wars, punk, superheroes, monsters and more, all to get kids into the story.

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photo credit: stev.ie via flickr

25. Nothing says summer like freshly picked, sun kissed berries. Are you in the mood for strawberries or blueberries today?

26. Paddle around the lotus blossoms at this local lake that features a playground, gourmet goodies and green green grass.

27. Take a family vacation where you can ride, fish, feed the chickens and get away from it all…

28. Just because your little ones are too small to walk doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the outdoors, too.

29. Our favorite restaurant to open in an age: Superba. Yes, you can hit a hot spot with the kids!

30. Sip some wine in the shadow of an architectural gem while the kids play, food trucks serve up dinner and a DJ spins.

31. Check out three local ice cream faves, each with a twist: science, locally sourced or peddled to perfection.

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photo credit: Jolie Loeb

32. Discover a new neighborhood! May we suggest a laid back beach town, an eastside happy spot, a sushi mecca, a boho corner or a trip to the east?

33. Set up camp atop a seaside bluff and cruise about on the local ferry to explore this kid-friendly island. Want a more remote island, that’s still just a day trip? Try this one!

34. The Zoo has spring babies and a new Rainforest – have you been lately?

35. Visit the beautiful butterflies in Exposition Park (and catch an IMAX flick while you’re there).

36. Head to Universal Studios to check out the new Despicable Me ride (it’s got a water feature, so you won’t broil in the valley in the summer!).

Minions Despicable Me

photo credit: Jennifer Arrow

37. Visit the Little House on the Prairie location, and watch the shows with the kids! (Or check out another famous TV landmark…)

38. Central Park has nothing on our mid-city park! With ponies, museums, a zoo, trains, hiking, playgrounds, golf and more, you can explore Griffith for days.

39. It’s too hot to cook! Food trucks by the beach keep you cool by letting you leave the stove off for an evening, and supplying the ocean breezes (and dinner!).

40.Pick a pavilion, any pavilion.  LevittLA and Levitt Pasadena have great (free) shows for kids all summer long.

41. See a show at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, where Sunday is Funday with family shows weekly at 11 a.m.

42. Shave ice is the new cupcake, with spots popping up all over town. It’s a tasty and different way to cool down.

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photo credit: Meghan Rose

43. Anyone for polo? You can take in a match at the Will Rodgers polo fields for free almost every weekend in the summer.

44. Sailing, sailing, over the bounding main – you can head out on the ocean for a Pyrate Adventure, a Whale of a time or a simple sail.

45. One of our favorite museums in town has free concerts on the grounds every Friday and Saturday night. Bring a blanket, a picnic and a pillow for when the kids tire of running around the tar pits.

46. Whew. Summer is exhausting. You’ve earned an icy brew – here are several spots where you can enjoy one and bring the kids along, too.

47. Visit at least one museum you’ve never been to. We suggest this super cool slammer museum.

48. Schools out, but we still love our books. Revel in the air-conditioned, book-filled splendor of these fabulous local libraries.

49. Take time for a mommy & me mani-pedi and show off those slick tootsies in your summer sandals.

50. Take the kids to bounce off that energy (in the AC).

What is on your summer bucket list?

-Meghan Rose