Sunny Los Angeles, which occupies over four thousand square miles, is known as the center of US film and television industry. It is a very popular destination for tourists and only in 2018 it hosted around 49 million visitors, and this number is growing year-on-year.
There are numerous places to visit in LA and the list is truly very long. Below we have formed a simple 5-item-list, which consists of educational, entertaining, historical and in the meantime family-friendly sites we highly recommend you go on your first visit.
California Science Center
You should definitely go here! If you want an unforgettable educational experience for your family this is THE place to go. A big Science Center/Museum, with a lot of exhibits to explore and learn. It covers a pretty wide range of topics, from Earth’s lithosphere to Space. Old-timer space capsules, earthquake simulators, and IMAX educational movies.
BONUS! Are you ready? There is a REAL veteran SPACE SHUTTLE inside! Yes, you got it right: you should meet this giant, named “ENDEAVOR”, a retired orbiter from NASA’s Space Shuttle program. Displayed at Samuel Oschin Pavilion, this is the final operational shuttle built.
Powerful refractor, solar and smaller public telescopes will ensure unforgettable memories and you will face spectacular views of Moon, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and it’s ringing; and not only.
The Observatory has amazing exhibits. Samuel Oschin Planetarium is a very interesting and fun place to explore, where, besides comparing different planets’ sizes to each other, you can stand on a scale and compare your own weight if you were on different planets.
Griffith Observatory landscape itself has a fascinating view. Sitting on the top the hill, right above the Los Angeles Basin, it provides fantastic scenery of LA downtown, especially at night, with all the glowing city lights.
Universal Studios Hollywood
This is where the super fun begins. It is home to the Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM and the World-Famous Studio Tour. Arriving, first, you will enter the CityWalk, which is a cozy pedestrian zone with beautiful dining and shopping spots. For entering this zone you will need to pay just for the parking ticket.
You can have some fun here, but rush to enter the theme park. You better plan your day in advance to be able to enjoy the mind-blowing rides, attractions and of course the Studio Tour, wherein real-time you will experience jaw-dropping special effects and recover familiar scenes from famous movies and will feel like a part of the film crew.
Battleship USS Iowa BB-61
In San Pedro, CA, there is the historic Battleship USS Iowa, which served the US for more than 50 years is now a kid-friendly museum. Face the 887 feet-long giant that protected United States starting from World War II until the Cold War.
At this award-winning museum, you will get a first-hand view of the battleship’s huge guns, Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles and will explore the navy life with professional tour guides. Launched in 1942 and decommissioned in 1990 this 45,000 tons steel behemoth has a lot of stories to tell you. You can closely scrutinize both the exterior and the interior: your kids will enjoy Captain’s Cabin.
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
This aquarium has a good balance of education and entertainment. Visit the Aquarium to witness the amazing and colorful fauna of the ocean and not only. Sharks, penguins, seals, manta rays, jellies, lorikeets – you name them. You’ll meet them all here and also will have a rare chance to get in contact with some rare species. Your kids can touch Manta Rays, vividly colored Starfishes, and Moon Jellies. Isn’t that amazing?
It is a pretty big facility with a lot of exhibits, which is very clean and well maintained. Outside the main building, there is a Lorikeet Forest and this will be a lot of fun for your kids. Brightly colored lorikeets will rest on your shoulders and arms and you can feed them the special nectar.
By the way, Los Angeles International Airport(LAX) is the second-busiest airport in the US. On average yearly, it boards around 40 million passengers. Given the airport and the city overall are quite busy getting around the LA area itself can be a real pain. You might want to consider a car service from LAX to reach your hotel comfortably and safe. A luxury Sedan or an SUV will kick-off the right start of your LA adventures, or maybe might want to take a limo service to Disneyland to the neighboring Orange County.