This summer spend your time in the sun making memories instead of watching your wallet.  Check out our list of summer deals for kids in LA, from deeply discounted summer-only memberships at children’s museums to cheap beach parking to summer ticket packs, that are sure to keep your fun-loving family on the move and in the money through the dog days.

photo credit: Andrea Conway Kagey

Kid Museums with Special Summer Memberships

Zimmer Museum
The Zimmer is the perfect place to take future Einsteins to be creative and feel inspired by the hands-on exhibits.  For the first time ever, the Zimmer is offering a special $55 Summer Fun Membership.  From June 1-September 30 you and your mini thinkers and tinkers can enjoy unlimited fun (and admission) to one of your kiddo’s soon-to-be favorite museums.  The Summer Fun Membership offers free unlimited admission for 1 named adult and all children/grandchildren in the same household as well as 1 one-time use guest pass and 1 one-time use class pass. You’ll also receive discounts on summer classes and be included in the Exclusive Members Only Hours and Members Only Evening (July 7).

Good to know:

  • The Zimmer is closed on Saturdays.
  • Free parking is offered on a first-come-first-serve basis in the lot on the west side of the building.  If this lot is full, try the pay-to-park lots on Wilshire east of La Jolla or the 1-hour metered parking or 2-hour residential street parking around the museum.

Zimmer Museum
6505 Wilshire Blvd.
Miracle Mile

photo credit: Sheryl Wachtel


This Pasadena imaginarium has a new 3-month membership program that will keep your kiddos out of your hair—and you out of the red—all summer long.  A hands-on sensory museum with interactive physics experiments, water features and creepy crawlies, KidSpace adds just enough education to your brood’s vacation from school.  The 3-month, $69 membership comes with unlimited admission for up to 4 kids in addition to one designated care giver or nanny for free.  Aside from the sweet discounts you’ll score in the Busy Bee Learning Store and Café, you’ll also get the invite to the coveted Members-Only events, early admission to special events and Free entry for Twilight Nights hosted by the museum.   Just check the website before packing the kids in the car, the museum closes on select Saturdays to accommodate UCLA football games held at the neighboring Rose Bowl Stadium.

Good to know:

  • Kidspace has exhibits that entertain and inform kids from 1-10, so it’s a perfect spot for families with kids who cover a range of ages.
  • Also, they have plenty of water features that keep kids cool in the SGV summer heat.

480 North Arroyo Blvd.

photo credit: Andrea Conway Kagey


See Wild Animals For Less With Summer Discounts

LA Zoo and Botanical Garden
If your little monkeys are driving you bananas this summer then plan a trip to the LA Zoo to take advantage of their Family Fun Fridays.  On Fridays from June 5-September 25, you can save cash by buying a family four-pack of 2 adult and 2 children tickets for just $54 (regular price $66).  Walk that extra $12 over to the gift shop and splurge on some new animal print swag, because your family four-pack also comes with a 10% discount on retail merchandise at any Zoo gift shop on the day of your visit.

Know before you go:

  • Tickets are only available online, so purchase and print before you come.
  • Not valid on July 3, 2015

5333 Zoo Drive
Griffith Park

photo credit: Jamie Pham

Aquarium of the Pacific
What better way to end the weekend than spending a relaxing evening with the fishes of the Aquarium of the Pacific at one of their Discounted Late Nights events.  During Sundays in the summer, the Aquarium will extend hours until 8:30 p.m. and admission after 5 p.m. will be $14.95 for adults and children alike (a $14 savings on each adult ticket).  Visit the fish, pet the sharks and check out the short films in the Ocean Theater. Your little fishes will be happy to stay up a little later for this special evening, and since it’s summer, they don’t have to head to school Monday morning!

100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach

photo credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

Deals That Will Keep You Wet All Summer

Santa Monica Day Beach Parking Permits
Beaching with even the littlest of surfers can be a real handful (of sand toys, sunblock and sandwiches) which is why parking close to the sand is such a must-do with tots in tow.  Use that extra gas money you’ll save circling for parking and put it towards the $27 monthly Day Beach Parking Permit you’ll love using while soaking up the rays at the Santa Monica Beach.  The permit can only be purchased in person at the office of Planning & Community Development and proof of California residency and a current CA vehicle registration is required. The permits are valid sunrise-sunset every day of the month you’re registered and is valid at most City of Santa Monica beach lots, excluding the Pier deck and the Annenburg Beach House.  Now you can hit the beach every day!

Good to Know:

  • Sold in person only.
  • Check the site for the list of lots that accept the permit.  Day Beach Parking Permit is not valid at meters, on-street parking or in the parking structures.

Traffic Services Division
168 Main Street, Rm 212
Santa Monica

photo credit: Anna Fox via Flickr

LA City Pools
Catch some rays and save some change this summer when you purchase summer passes for any LA City Pool.  A pass is available to youth, seniors and persons with disabilities at $25 for 30 entries during the recreational swim hours.  Since these passes are for specific scheduled swim times it’s best to check your local pool for the hours that they’ll apply. (Adult lap swim passes are also offered at the discounted rate of $87.50, good for 30 lap swim entries, but can only be used during lap swimming hours.)


Santa Clarita City Aquatics
Santa Clarita can get hot, hot, hot and that’s why this summer the City of Santa Clarita Aquatics is offering summer recreational swim passes good for all season long from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  At $65 for adults and $45 for kids, the whole family can enjoy splishing, splashing and water sliding with unlimited access to recreational swim at all city pools including the Aquatic Center Slide Pool.

Good to Know:

  • Only valid at the recreation pools, not the lap pools.
  • For more information on what the recreational swim pool hours are, call the Aquatics office at 661/250-3766.
  • The amazing Aquatic Center pool is worth the drive: even if you’re not a resident you might want to consider a pass and visiting here one a week this summer!


photo credit: Erin H. via yelp

Casitas Water Adventure
Kick back, relax and float the Lazy River while your water babies dive-in to the fun of Casitas Water Adventure.  Single Splash Passes are $12/guest on individual visits but for $65 per guest you could enjoy the Lazy River and water playgrounds all season long with no blackout dates.  Little pirates will ARRR-preciate the multi-level jungle gym complete with waterfalls, bridges and slides harbored within an 18” deep lagoon.  With 2 water playgrounds to explore and a splash pad for the littles, Casitas Water Adventure is sure to wear out even the most energetic California kid. You can make this your regular weekend getaway all summer long.

Good to Know:

  • Aside from water bottles, no outside food is allowed in the water park but picnic benches are located just outside for those post car-ride snacks.
  • Learn more insider tips about this little known cool spot at our in-depth look at visiting the water park.

Lake Casitas Recreation Area
11311 Santa Ana Rd.

photo credit: Amy Kim 

What are your favorite summer deals around town?  Let us know in the comments section!

—Andrea Conway Kagey