Don’t let social distancing spoil your summer. There’s still plenty of ways for kids to have fun, both at home and around town (while sticking to the latest COVID-19 orders, of course). From awesome backyard obstacle courses and sidewalk science experiments to waterfall hikes and pop-up drive-ins, here are 32 things to do this summer in LA.

1. Escape to Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, where kids can play hide and seek in the majestic Oak Forest with trees hundreds of years old, or relax by serene Japanese-style garden with its shaded paths and koi-filled stream.

2. The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia should definitely be on your summer bucket list. With 127 acres of flowers, trees and plants to explore (plus peacocks roaming about and a waterfall!), it's a true oasis. 

3. Kids can get their hands dirty at home and learn to grown their own herbs and veggies with these easy DIY gardening projects.

4. Discover snails, sea anemones, starfish and more at the tide pools in Leo Carrillo State Park.

5. Another Malibu must? Explore the sea caves and tunnels at off-the-beaten path El Matador Beach.

6. Make a splash at home (and cool off) with our guide to the best water inflatables for your own backyard. 

7. Sign kiddos up for an unforgettable virtual camp experience. Here's the latest update on our favorite LA camps.

8. Get into the swing of things with one-on-one socially distanced golf lessons for kids, many of them geared to little ones ages four and up. 

9. Have a summer birthday? Celebrate with these awesome virtual party ideas

10. Standard movie theaters may be closed, but you can see a flick on the big screen at this drive-in destination

11. Or may just create your own backyard movie night with this how-to guide

photo: Shannan Rouss

12. Take the kids back in time and dine carhop style at Burbank's Bob's Big Boy.  

13. Mels Drive-In restaurant, with three locations around LA, is also open bring back carhop dining for kids to enjoy.

photo: Jennifer Wolfe

14. LA is blessed with some of the best hiking trails in the country, but these unforgettable waterfall hikes take things to the next level.

15. Located between the Valley and the Westside, Franklin Canyon Park is convenient and close to home for many. Head there for more than five miles of trails to trek—not that you need to cover them all in one trip.  

16. Find the car-free bike path closest to your home and take kids for a spin. 

17. If you want to make your own neighborhood more bike and pedestrian friendly, apply for a Slow Street with the LADOT.

18. Kids not quite steady yet on two wheels? Here are eight tips and tricks to get them pedaling in no time.

19. Another option: Ride family style with one of these awesome cargo bikes for parents and kids.

20. Burnt out on dinner ideas? Order a ready-to-make meal kit from one of these LA restaurants and get cooking with the kids.

21. If you're looking to eat out and live near Long Beach, check out the city's all-outdoor, Open Streets dining options

photo: Shannan Rouss

22. Turn your daily walk into a fun-filled neighborhood scavenger hunt just for LA kids. 

23. Keep kiddos busy (and outdoors) with even more free printable scavenger hunts.

24. Book a private Zoofari Tour at Wildlife Learning Center, where kids can choose to feed a porcupine or a giraffe, or hold an armadillo. 

25. Speaking of wildlife, kids can "visit" the San Diego Zoo and Zoo Safari Park via 10 live wildlife cams. Watch rhinos resting alongside antelopes, orangutans swinging from ropes, pandas snoozing in trees and  more.

26. As a special treat for critter-loving kiddos, you can book a one-on-one virtual visit with Animal Tracks rescues, including monkeys, foxes, hedgehogs and more. 

27. Skip the middle man and head straight to the source! Go pick your own delicious summer fruits at these amazing LA area farms.

28. It's just not summer without ice cream. Here the scoop on where to find the best ice cream in LA, with pickup and curbside service.

29. Homemade ice cream? Yep, it's possible—and not as hard as it sounds. Recipe and instructions, right this way. 

30. Need a little dose of magic in your day? Create a whimsical DIY fairy garden in your own backyard. 

31. Looking for more outdoor fun? Here are 20 sidewalk science projects to try this summer.

32. With playgrounds still closed, these create-your-own obstacle courses are a must. 

–Shannan Rouss


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