While our favorite playgrounds may still be closed, but there’s plenty of other free ways for kids to have fun at LA’s parks and gardens. Whether you’re looking to take a bike ride or explore a cave, there’s a park that fits the bill. Read on for our list of the best parks for every activity.

Flying a Kite

If you're up for a little drive, head south to San Pedro's 123-acre park Deane Dana Friendship Park and Nature Center, which offers views of Catalina Island in one direction, and the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountain ranges in the other. Located a short distance from the ocean, the park offers sea breezes and a large grassy bluff, ideal for kite flying.

1805 W. 9th St.
San Pedro
Online: sanpedro.com

Going for a Spin

For a super simple ride, perfect for beginning bikers, check out the 3/4 mile loop at Lacy Park in San Marino. The refurbished wide, paved path that makes a loop around the center of the park is an ideal place to practice brand new bicycle skills. Check out our full list of awesome, car-free bike paths for kids

1485 Virginia Rd. 
San Marino
Online: cityofsanmarino.org

Climbing Trees

Discover the ancient oak trees that abound at Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park in Glendale. The low, thick branches make it easy for little ones to practice their climbing skills safely. 

3901 Dunsmore Ave.
Glendale
818-249-5940
Online: parks.lacounty.gov

Taking a Nature Walk

The Arlington Garden in Pasadena offers a drought-tolerant oasis for kids to explore. Here, you'll find a citrus grove, kid-friendly rock maze, a succulent fountain, wishing tree and more. Birds, bees and butterflies all call this garden home and can be seen throughout the year.

275 Arlington Dr.
Pasadena
626-578-5434
Online: arlingtongardenpasadena.com

photo: istock

Having a Picnic

There's no better time than now to dine outdoors with the family. For a change of scenery (beyond your backyard), head to one of LA's top secluded picnic spots and enjoy a meal alfresco.

Exploring Caves

Enter Griffith Park at Canyon Drive and you're a short hike away from the famous Bronson Caves, a must-see for tiny explorers. Go early to beat the crowds (and the heat). For even more cave exploring, check out these beachside grottos.

3200 Canyon Dr.
Los Angeles
Online: laparks.org

Making a Splash

LA county brings some relief from the heat, opening splash pads and lake beaches around town. (Note: Splash pads at state parks and park operated by the city of Los Angeles and other cities, like Santa Monica and Glendale, remain closed.) See the full list here.

–Shannan Rouss

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