As you know, family time means everything to us.
If you are like Chris and I, we are always on the look out for new, exciting and fun things to do as a family. Although we really enjoy our time together at the Disneyland Parks, we also enjoy checking out the latest galleries at museums all around. We've put together some fun spots we've found to get you and the family out and enjoy some quality time together in and around the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.
Travel Town Transportation Museum // 5200 Zoo Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90027
This is a perfect way to go out for a few hours and enjoy a little bit of fun. Located on the northwest corner of Los Angeles' Griffith Park, come here to check out all the cool trains and old styles of transportation. Travel Town even has a train you can bring the little one's on. We suggest packing some food and some snacks for a fun, family picnic.
Skirball Cultural Center // 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049
Definitely fun for the whole family. Plan accordingly as you would want to carve out a good majority of the day here. Specifically for families, they have non-stop fun. Choose from going to their Family Art Studio, digging for ancient hidden artifacts at their Archaeology Adventures, see all the animals and play, climb, build and explore at Noah's Ark or plan a day to hear some fun music for some hip-shaking entertainment by bands and musicians. Please see programs for dates and times. Don't forget to bring the whole family to the Skirball’s Last Weekends of the Month. These fun-filled Saturdays and Sundays feature special last-weekend-only performances and activities that change every month. FUN, FUN, FUN!
Annenburg Community Beach House // 415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90402
What's summer without a trip to the beach? Drive on down to this beautiful beach house for checking out some work in their gallery, swimming, rent some paddleboards, fun at the splash pad, playground, build a sand castle or grab some food at their cafe on the sand & still be only steps away from the ocean. It can't get any better than that. Top it all off, it's never crowded and everyone is so nice. It's actually one of our favorite locations to shoot, too.
Cabrillo Beach // 3720 Steven M. White Dr. San Pedro, CA 90731
Although any beach is perfect on a hot, summer day - Popular among travelers and locals hitting the beach with kids, they offer everything you need for the perfect family outing. Located on a thin peninsula near Point Fermin Park, the beach actually has two sides — one outside the breakwater that’s open to the surf, and one that’s open to the harbor. Depending on the activity, you can select either side and enjoy some adventure or some well-deserved relaxation. After you’re finished with the beach, head to the nearby Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and enjoy the interactive exhibits, tidepool touch tanks and other unforgettable attractions.
Irvine Regional Park // 1 Irvine Park Road Orange, CA 92869
Nestled within beautiful trees and rolling foothills surrounding the park, definitely a place to go to enjoy some family time. Bring your bicycles and enjoy the wind in your face, or rent an aquacycle and pedal over water beside the historic boathouse. Don't forget a blanket and have an awesome family picnic. There's even a train you can jump on and ride when you are tired from your nature stroll. Did I mention there is a zoo in the midst of all this awesomeness?
Balboa Island: Balboa Fun Zone // 600 East Bay Ave. Balboa, CA 92661
Wether you get here by bus, car, bike or ferry, you'll be in for some fun for the family. Although not the biggest location, you and your family can come for some fun. Arcade games, ferris wheel, boat rides, carousel, and of course the staple of Balboa Island their 2 most famous goodies - the Balboa Bar and the Chocolate dipped frozen banana. Not to mention a boat load of other great treats the family will enjoy. When you are done having some fun, walk on over to the beack, lay out and relax by the beautiful ocean. Win-win for all.
Pretend City Children's Museum // 29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618
Heaven for your toddlers. Talk about a hands on experience for all. They are able to interact in each room, play dress up, Exhibits include post office, gas station, health center, grocery store, farm, construction site, bank and ATM, Cafe and many more. It's a load of fun for families with little ones.
Discovery Science Center // 2500 N. Main Street Santa Ana, Ca. 92705
Another great place for families. Lots of hands on learning go on here. 2 levels of fun and even a fun outdoor dinosaur exhibit. The kids love it here. At the moment they have their LEGO Fan Days going on till September 15th. A day full of building, medieval activities and more centered around LEGOS! Learn about the design and architecture of castles and other medieval structures while participating in special, hands-on medieval activities. Kids can also participate in a friendly and safe jousting event and hang out with real knights!
Other Fun Ideas and Locations
Real Life Night at the Museum // Multiple Locations
DId you know that you can take your family on one of the coolest camping trips or sleepovers? Talk about stories that will last a life time. Although these alternatives may not be as cost friendly, they sure will be the highlight of your kids summer vacation. There are a handful of museums and parks that offer the chance to stay over night, have fun and experience learning on a-whole-nother level! Here's a list of a few places that offer this awesome adventure:
Natural History Museum // 900 Exposition Blvd. Exposition Park
La Brea Tar Pits // 5801 Wilshire Blvd. Miracle Mile
Sea World // 500 Sea World Dr. San Diego, 92027
San Diego Safari Park // 15500 San Pasqual Valley Escondido
Ocean Institute // 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr. Dana Point
Discovery Science Center // 2500 N. Main St. Santa Ana
Noah's Ark, Ark After Dark // 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, 90049
Long Beach Aquarium // 100 Aquarium Way Long Beach