No one ever said having kids was cheap! But since the best things in life are free, having a blast with young kids in LA doesn’t have to break the bank. From seeing spaceships to spelunking the bat cave, check out the top things to do in Los Angeles with young kids that won’t send you scurrying to the ATM.

1. Explore the California Science Center

Where else can you see a space shuttle and a shark tank, not to mention play in one of three kids only Discovery Rooms, explore rotating science exhibits and watch as baby chicks hatch? And all for free? Rainy days (we could use a few more of those!), hot days, vacation days, or just “I’m bored” days, the Science Center is here for you. For just a few bucks ($5/kids-$8.25/adults) you can round the day off with a spectacular 3D IMAX show. Also free at Exposition Park: the California African American Museum, and the expansive seven acre Rose Garden, where kiddos can smell the 16,000+ roses, play by the fountain or take a picnic break. Plan on spending the whole day.

700 Exposition Park Dr.
Exposition Park, near USC

photo: Jeremy Miles via flickr

  • 1. Explore the California Science Center
  • 2. Head Down to Travel Town
  • 3. Meet Wildlife at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  • 4. Interact with  Art at LACMA
  • 5. Send Out a Bat Signal at Bronson Canyon
  • 6. See Stars at the Griffith Observatory
  • 7. Meet the Rangers at a Nature Center
  • 8.  Find the Free Day
  • 9. Bring Your Bookworm to the Central Library
  • 10. Get Wet at the Annenberg Beach

Did we miss a family favorite? Tell us below in the comments!

—Meghan Rose