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If you’re willing to make a short drive, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is a fun activity for kids of all ages. The interactive shark tanks (yes, you can actually touch live sharks) and Loirkeet Forest (feed birds with a cup of nectar) are unique in their hands-on approach, and a new exhibit, Ocean Exploration is set to debut on May 24th.
The California Science Center is also a great option, especially for those with a penchant for space exploration. In 2012, the center received the famed Space Shuttle Endeavour after its two-day journey through the city. The trip attracted throngs of people who witnessed the massive shuttle making its way through the LA streets. Now you can see the shuttle in person, learn about its missions as well as other cool facts about space. The center’s location in Exposition Park (and right next to the University of Southern California campus) means you’re also within walking distance to the Natural History Museum and African American Museum, among others.
With its long stretches of beach, ample parking lots and endless options for activities, Los Angeles is not only a playground for adults, but also for their children as well.
No matter the weather, kids always love tearing into any wave that is on its way to hit the shore. The beach in Santa Monica is the perfect place for children to play in the Pacific Ocean. Near by the beach is Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier where they can catch rides on kid-size roller coasters and a Ferris wheel. The historic-turned-modern Annenberg Community Beach House is just a mile-and-a-half north of the pier and offers beachside swimming and a children's play area in the home that William Randolph Hearst developed for actress Marion Davies in the 1920s.
If you opt to stay indoors, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County will entertain your kids for hours. The museum recently opened a new dinosaur hall with 300 real fossils, and 20 complete dinosaurs and ancient sea creatures, including the T. rex growth series—the only trio of different aged T. rex specimens in the world. Nearby the NHM, you can tour the retired Space Shuttle Endeavour inside the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion at California Science Center.