Looking for something fun and different to do with the kids? We’ve got you covered… for the next three years or so. Read on for our epic LA family fun bucket list. From unforgettable day trips to local hidden gems, here are 100 things to do in and around SoCal. Let the memory-making begin!
1. Visit the apple capital of SoCal to pick a bushel, press your own cider, churn butter and more.
2. Experience autumn in LA with at trip to Ice House Canyon in the Angeles National Forest. Crisp air and fall foliage, here you come!
3. Speaking of fall, head to Moorpark for Underwood Farm's Fall Harvest Festival, kicking off on Sept. 28 this year. Where else can kids cheer on a pig race, get lost in a corn maze, bottle-feed a baby goat and pick their own pumpkin!
4. Take the kids trick-or-treating in Toluca Lake, where homeowners go all out with over-the-top, spooky-fun decor.
5. Stay up late enough to attend a Griffith Observatory Star Party.
6. Sleep at a museum!
7. But also get to the museum first thing in the a.m., so you can snag tickets to Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room–The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away at The Broad.
8. Master the in the Courage Climber, a massive suspended rope structure at the Cayton Children's Museum.
9. Find the end of the rainbow at the Rainbow Mist Arbor outside the Skirball Cultural Center. (And then, of course, check out award-winning Noah's Ark.)
10. Touch a starfish at The California Science Center.
11. Play rocket scientist with a free tour at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
12. Score a free NexGen Membership at LACMA and visit as often as you can.
13. Get muddy, wet and sandy at KidSpace Children's Museum. (Hint: Bring a change of clothes.)
14. Between March and September, visit the Butterfly Pavilion at the Museum of Natural History.
16. Discover the peacocks at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens.
17. Feed a giraffe at the LA Zoo.
18. Or monkey around at the Gibbon Conservation Center.
19. Got older kids? Howl with the wolves during the Shadowland Foundation's 2-hour educational tour.
20. Two words: Grunion run.
21. Find faeries in a local park with A Faery Hunt.
22. Splash in the fountain at Downtown’s Grand Park.
23. Get lost in the stacks at the Central Library.
24. Soak up the art deco style and ride the rails at Union Station.
26. See the whole city from above you as you whoosh down the glass OUE Skyslide.
27. Stroll along the colorful Olvera Street, the birthplace of Los Angeles, where kids will be drawn to the colorful guitars, marionettes and more.
28. Speaking of marionettes, get tickets a show at Highland Park's Bob Baker Marionette Theater.
29. Head to the westside to discover the charm and magic of the Venice Canals.
30. Play hooky from school and take your kids to the Santa Monica Pier during the week (when it's sure to be less crowded), and ride the iconic carousel and ferris wheel, play a game of skee-ball and more.
31. Have a magical brunch at The Magic Castle—on weekends, the private club opens its doors to little ones.
32. Take a family bike ride around the Hollywood Reservoir.
33. Sip a Shirley Temple in the lobby of the munchkin hotel (aka The Culver Hotel).
34. Come November, don't miss what might be the world’s wackiest parade: The annual Doo-Dah Parade.
35. Order a burger and pie a la mode at the counter of LA dining institution The Apple Pan.
36. Be serenaded over supper at Hollywood's oldest Italian restaurant, Miceli's.
37. Visit the historic El Capitan Theater for Tiny Tot Tuesdays.
38. Go back in time at the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum.
39. Learn to pan for gold with a weekend trip to The Autry.
40. Giddy-up and grab a horse ride at one of these equine-friendly spots.
41. Discover all the Jurassic attractions at Universal Studios. (Consider going on a weekday in November to avoid the crowds.)
42. Come winter, go ice skating at the Holiday Ice Rink in Pershing Square, opening on Nov. 14.
43. Drive along Altadena's famous Christmas Tree Lane.
44. Who cares that we don’t have snow? Sled the LA way: At the beach's sand dunes.
45. Hop aboard the Christmas Train to chop down your own tree on the Fillmore and Western Railroad.
46. Don't miss the LA Zoo Lights during the holidays.
47. See the tree lighting at The Americana at Brand in Glendale.
48. Make Los Angeles Ballet's The Nutcracker performance a holiday tradition.
49. Spend a weekend in one of the most Christmas-y towns in America, just 2-3 hours from LA.
50. Upgrade your Instagram feed with a kiddie photoshoot at any of these artsy, only-in-LA walls.
51. Be inspired by the awesome Watts Towers by Simon Rodia.
52. Explore Burbank's Rancho Equestrian neighborhood, where kids might just see a horse trotting down the street.
53. Take a trip to SoCal's enchanted isle, where the buffalo roam and no cars are allowed: Catalina.
54. Teach kids the importance of giving back and take part in a local beach cleanup day.
55. Meet Thomas and Percy at the Southern California Railway Museum.
56. Discover Sensory-Friendly Saturdays at the Grammy Museum.
57. Hit up Smorgasburg LA to eat and drink your way through a Sunday.
58. Drive to Palm Springs for date shakes, camel rides, a visit to Joshua Tree and a tram ride to the snow.
59. Thar’ she blows! It's officially whale-watching season Jan. through Apr. Go catch a boat and watch the migration route for whales who are heading south down the coast to Baja.
60. Say hi to the seals and sea lions at Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific.
61. Come spring, ride the Enchanted Railroad and see the cherry blossoms in full bloom at Descanso Gardens.
62. Pick strawberries and eat 'em at their freshest.
63. Hop over to the Bunny Museum—it's wild, wacky and exactly what you want from a bunny museum.
64. Root for the boys in blue! Tour the coolest mid-century baseball park in the country and stay to see the Dodgers play ball!
65. LA loves to read! Stop by the LA Times Festival of Books, where you can find plenty of kids books and readings for little ones.
66. More fun for the bookish-set: Read to a pup at an LA public library!
67. Plus, visit downtown's The Last Bookstore, a refurbished bank with books stacked in gravity-defying displays that will delight little ones.
68. See what's in bloom at the Children’s Garden at the Huntington Library and Gardens.
69. Hold a baby goat at the Hollywood Farmers Market.
70. Stop by Barnsdall Park where you'll find Frank Lloyd Wright’s historical Hollyhock house, free family art afternoons, a cutting-edge art gallery and more.
71. Search for treasures at one of these top-notch flea markets.
72. Play tourist in your own town with a visit to the hand and footprints Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
73. Put your pinkies up for tea at the Bel Air Hotel.
74. Take young court jesters and fair maidens to the Renaissance Faire.
75. Get the royal treatment at Medieval Times.
76. Dine like Walt Disney once did at museum-cum-restaurant Clifton's Cafeteria.
77. Hike the otherworldly Vasquez Rocks in the Santa Clarita Valley.
78. BAM. POW! Make like Batman and visit the Bronson Caves.
79. For more Caped-Crusader fun, head to the Petersen Automotive Museum to see the Batmobile, plus Back to the Future's DeLorean and more iconic cars.
80. Swim in Malibu's lava lake.
81. Take a roll down the grassy hill at La Brea Tar Pits. (Oh, and check out the museum's exhibits, too.)
82. Go glamping in Topanga.
83. Schedule a day trip to Newport Beach's Balboa Fun Zone, which just happens to be the birthplace of the frozen banana.
84. Enjoy a cold one at our favorite kid-friendly breweries.
85. Splash in the tide pools at Leo Carillo State Park.
86. Take advantage of free fun all summer at these LA malls.
87. Don't just visit Disneyland—visit like an insider with our top-secret tips.
88. Join the circus (sort of) with a lesson at Santa Monica's Trapeze School.
89. Chugga-chugga on over to the RailGiants Museum at Pomona's Fairplex, home to the LA County Fair.
90. Too hot (or cold, or rainy) to play outside? Check out LA's newest indoor play space.
91. Broaden kids' palates with the strange-yet-delicious ice cream flavors from Salt & Straw.
92. Ride a gondola in Long Beach.
93. Watch a polo match at Will Rogers State Park. Bonus tip: You can also tour Will’s house and stables and hike to a gorgeous view of the mountains and ocean.
94. Make like a pirate at the Tall Ship Festival.
95. Cool off at these splash pads and spraygrounds.
96. Have a mini stay-cation at one of these hotel pools offering family day passes.
97. Cowabunga! Make like the Beach Boys and take a surfing lesson.
98. Bring your blankets to these outdoor movie spots and watch a film under the stars.
99. Get a little culture with Shakespeare in the Park.
100. Attend a free concert at the Hollywood Bowl.
—Meghan Rose, Andie Huber & Shannan Rouss