Traveling to LA with teens? Yes! There is so much to do in the Los Angeles area. It’s a vast place that includes many cities and neighborhoods that run together in a jumble. But the hardest part? Finding things to do in LA with teens that they won’t think are boring.
You will absolutely need a car, patience, and a good mapping app on your smartphone. The rest will be TONS of fun!
7 Things to do in LA with Teens
Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is literally the most photographed spot in all of LA – even more than the Hollywood sign. In fact, you probably recognize the area from dozens of TV and movie scenes over the years. There is a variety of wacky, amusing activities you can try. How about showing off your amazing sense of balance by bouncing on a springy tightrope? Or would you rather roll across the sand in giant inflatable “hamster balls”? Perhaps swinging on giant monkey bars is more your speed? You can do all three things on the beach next to the pier – and much more.
On the pier itself, enjoy the rides at Pacific Park throughout the day and into the night. Restaurants and shops help entertain those who might be less ride-inclined. You can buy a wristband that entitles you to unlimited rides all day for $32 (ages 8 and older) and $17 for kids 7 and under. Otherwise, pay about $5-10 per ride. Admission to the park itself is free.
Or if all that is just too much, just sit down in the warm sand and take in all the sights of Santa Monica. This is the quintessential Southern California beach postcard come to life. The city of Santa Monica has so much to offer off the sand, it’s worth spending the the entire day here. Or even overnight at one of the many awesome hotels within walking distance!
OUE Skyspace Giant Glass Slide
OUE Skyspace is not for the faint of heart. It perches 70 stories above Downtown LA with some exceptional views you won’t see anywhere else. OUE offers outdoor balconies sporting nearly 360-degree views of the Hollywood sign, Santa Catalina Island, the San Gabriel Mountains and more. The star attraction though is the giant slide that curves around the outside of the building. It is a tunnel completely made of high-strength glass. Sliding down means stomach-dropping views through the floor to the streets more than 1,000 feet below. Do you dare? ($25 for adults and $19 for kids 3–12, plus $8 per person for the slide).
At the famous Griffith Observatory, the solar system and galaxy are on display in various entertaining and scientific ways. Check out exhibits featuring discoveries about the planets, space and our views of them throughout human history. Look for the gigantic telescope to see farther into the stars than you ever thought possible. Along with an excellent planetarium and various shows and events, this is a different kind of “Hollywood star” experience. Cost: $7 for adults, $3 for kids 5–12 and free for those under 5.
Rent a bike
When you’re visiting LA with kids, renting a bike is one of the best way to see the sites. It keeps the kids active and you don’t have to sit in traffic. One of the best places to bike is in Santa Monica along the beachfront path. It’s a spectacular way to see the sites, get some exercise, and enjoy leisure time with the whole family. Take in the wide beaches, waving palms and gorgeous ocean views. For families with younger kids, The Bike Center in Santa Monica offers bikes, tandem bikes and buggies that can seat up to 4 kids!
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Kids and adults alike can have fun experiencing the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is, after all, what LA is known best for. Look for names you know among the over 2,000 stars bearing celebrity names. The stars are on both sides of Hollywood Boulevard starting at La Brea Avenue and continuing 15 blocks down on Vine Street. If you’ve been to Walt Disney World you and your kids may have eaten at the Hollywood & Vine restaurant at Hollywood Studios. Cost: Free!
Universal Studios Hollywood
Get ready for a thrill of a lifetime when you spend the day at Universal Studios Hollywood. It is both a working movie studio and a theme park! They are a ton of attractions based on popular movies and TV shows, and something for all ages. For a fun extra, take the Legendary Studio Tour, a tram ride that visits actual TV and movie sets. Cost: $139, adults (age 10+), $133, kids ages 3-9.
LACMA – LA County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is more commonly referred to as LACMA, and it’s very impressive. The permanent collection here is stunning, and then there are constantly changing exhibitions to draw new interest and attention. Be alert, as there are several outstanding Instagram moments outside the Museum that will please your teens even before entering. Cost: $25 for adults and kids under 17 are free.
From free activities to those that may take some financial pre-planning, there is so much to do in LA with teens. And while you’re visiting LA with kids, always keep your eyes open. You’ll never know who you’ll see. Stars, they’re just like us!
And if you must have celebrity photos, there’s always a visit to the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum on Hollywood Boulevard. Filled with celebrity likenesses, there are plenty of photo opps here for teens and parents alike.