While the summer was chock full of memorable road trips, family vacations and summer camps, it’s almost that time of year again where back-to-school shopping, early morning carpools, and after school activities rule the day. Before you start moaning and groaning about not having any vacations in sight, we’ve got good news: our city is brimming with awesome activities for a staycation that may just feel like the actual thing. The best part is that your family can plan activities all over this fine city by day, and then tuck into your own cozy beds by lights-out. Here is a bucket list of activities for you and the kids to get you started on your close-to-home journeys.

1. Behold the beauty of the beach in your own backyard.

2. Enjoy amusement park rides and games at the quaint carnival setting at Santa Monica Pier.

3. Dip into a community pool (some even offer discounts with a library card).

4. Or take a more rugged dip in nature at these local swimming holes.

5. Take a hike at Malibu Creek State Park.

6. Get outside and enjoy the historic sights and sounds around L.A.

7. Treat the kids to a trip to Universal Studios.

8. Fly a kite while enjoying scenic views of the city and ocean.

9. Nosh on the world-famous Pink’s hot dogs. Or, take a trip to any of these kid-friendly hot dog joints. 

10. Is it a blazing day in Tinseltown? Here are 15 warm weather activities your kids will love.

11. Take a swing at a family-friendly mini-golf venue.

12.  Go fishing at Trout Dale.

13.  Break out the jogging stroller and head out on a hike.

14. Check out one of these great book stores for kids.

15. Get lost in the trees at the LA Arboretum.

16.  Discover flowers, cacti and more at the expansive Huntington Botanical Gardens.

17. Visit the Kidspace Children’s Museum or take a spin on the ice rink in Pasadena.

18. See stars at the Griffith Observatory.

19. Cheer on the home team at a Dodgers baseball game.

20. Why travel to Italy when our city features its own canals?

21. Get your mid-afternoon caffeine fix and let your kids play at a kid-friendly coffee shop.

How do you plan to make Los Angeles feel like your own vacation getaway? Let us know in the comments below!

—Beth Shea


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