California is one of the most popular destinations for family vacations, and it should be. The state is home to so many amazing things: from incredible beaches and hiking trails to museums, amusement parks, and more. If you’re looking for something fun to do in California with kids, look no further than this list.
California is a great place to take the kids and make memories. There are so many fun things to do in California with kids and family, that it can sometimes be hard to decide what to do.
Here are some of our favorite activities for families in California.
Golden Gate Bridge
What’s a trip to California without a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge? The famous suspension bridge spans more than 1.7 miles across the bay, and it’s one of the most photographed sites in the world.
If you’re visiting San Francisco with children, this is an absolute must-see attraction.
The Golden Gate Bridge is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are no tolls on crossing it, but there are visitor parking lots on both sides of the bridge (visitor parking is free). You can also take public transportation over the bridge (link to public transportation information below).
Here are some fun things to do in California with kids:
Take a self-guided tour of the bridge’s observation areas and learn about its history from interpretive panels along the way. The best place to start is at Vista Point, located just south of Fort Point on the east side of the bridge.
The views from Vista Point are fabulous – it’s where you’ll find this amazing photo opportunity:
If you want to see it from above, you can take a tour of Alcatraz Island (a former federal prison) or hop on a ferry that takes visitors out into the bay for incredible views of both bridges and San Francisco’s skyline (link below).
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a great place to visit with kids. If you’re looking for something different than the traditional zoo, then this is it. The Safari Park is located in Carlsbad, CA and it’s open 365 days a year. There are over 1,500 animals that call this place home and they are divided into three sections: Africa, Asia & Australia, and North America.
If you have time, I would highly recommend taking a tram tour through all three sections of the park. This will give you an opportunity to see the animals up close without having to walk all day long!
Be sure and stop by the Kids’ Corner where there are plenty of activities and games for children of all ages! You can even take part in creating your own animal puppet!
Disneyland is the ultimate destination for family fun. From Mickey Mouse and friends to the thrill rides of Tomorrowland, there’s something for everyone at the happiest place on Earth!
It’s no surprise that Disneyland is one of the most popular destinations for families traveling to California. The park has more than 50 rides and attractions, including several thrilling roller coasters.
The Disney theme parks are divided into two main parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park each with its own attractions. Disneyland Park is home to all of your favorite classics, including Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Disney California Adventure Park features newer attractions like Soarin’ Over California and Grizzly River Run.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park are surrounded by Downtown Disney District, a pedestrian-friendly area filled with shops, restaurants and entertainment options.
Both parks offer fun for kids of all ages. There are plenty of rides suitable for toddlers and preschoolers as well as thrill rides that will keep teens happy too!
Griffith Observatory Los Angeles
Griffith Observatory is one of the most famous observatories in the world. It’s also a great place to take your kids on a weekend adventure.
The Griffith Observatory is a great place to visit with your kids. It’s located in the heart of Los Angeles, so you can get there easily via car or public transportation.
There are different areas to explore, including the planetarium, which shows films about space and the universe. There is also a giant Zeiss telescope that visitors can look through, as well as a small planetarium theater.
There are free public telescopes for stargazing (if you can see the sky through all that smog). You can also rent a telescope to use in their outdoor viewing area or inside their planetarium.
Have fun at Lake Tahoe
When it comes to family fun in California, the best thing to do in California is that there are so many great places to go! From amusement parks and water parks to museums and zoos, there’s something for every kid and every budget.
Lake Tahoe is one of our favorite places for summer family vacations. There are plenty of things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids that are both fun and educational. And if you’re looking for a place where you can spend the day together with your kids while getting some exercise, Lake Tahoe is perfect!
As soon as we arrive at our hotel in Lake Tahoe, we head out on a hike with our hiking boots and backpacks full of snacks and drinks. There are several hikes near Lake Tahoe that are easy enough for toddlers and preschoolers, but still offer great views of the lake itself or surrounding mountains. My kids love being outdoors so much that they hardly notice they’re working out!
If your kids like boats or waterparks (or both), there are plenty of those too! There are several boat tours available around Lake Tahoe that take you out onto the lake itself so you can see all the beautiful scenery from afar plus get wet if desired!
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is a landmark that everyone should visit at least once. The beach is beautiful, the weather is usually great, and it’s a perfect place to spend a day with the whole family.
You’ll find all sorts of attractions along the pier, including carnival-style games and rides, restaurants, and shops. You can also find an aquarium, aquariums, and a beach. If you want to get some exercise while enjoying the great ocean air, you can rent rollerblades or bikes on the pier.
There are plenty of other things to do near Santa Monica Pier too:
Venice Beach Boardwalk (1 mile east) – Full of street performers and vendors selling everything from arts and crafts to food, there’s no shortage of things to do in Venice Beach. It’s also home to Muscle Beach where you can watch people work out while taking in the ocean views.
Hollywood Walk Of Fame (2 miles south) – Walk down Hollywood Boulevard to see all of your favorite stars immortalized with their name etched into the sidewalk!
Santa Monica Pier Parking
Parking at the Santa Monica Pier can be challenging because there are limited spaces available on the street or at meters near the entrance of the pier. However, there are plenty of free parking lots in close proximity to the pier which makes visiting this popular destination easy and convenient!
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is one of the world’s most spectacular natural attractions. The park is home to Yosemite Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in North America. It also has some of the biggest trees in the world, including the Giant Sequoias and General Sherman Tree.
The park offers a wide range of activities for families. You can hike through giant sequoia groves and see waterfalls, go horseback riding along trails or take a rafting trip down the Merced River. You can also visit Glacier Point and Inspiration Point for amazing views of Half Dome and other landmarks.
The park’s visitor center has exhibits that explain the geology and biology of Yosemite Valley and other parts of the park. You can also learn about conservation efforts at the visitor center’s bookstore or from rangers who are available to answer questions throughout the day.
Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove is a California State Park that features the Pacific Coast’s best beach for surfing. The park also has tide pools, hiking trails, and a campground.
The park has an old school house that kids can tour through, tide pools to explore, and many other amazing sights. Crystal Cove is located just outside of Laguna Beach which is another great place for families to visit.
Today Crystal Cove is a popular place to go camping with your family or friends! The campsites are very close to each other so you don’t have much privacy but this is what makes it such an affordable option compared to other state parks in California (which tend to be more expensive).
You can also bring your pets along if they’re friendly enough with other people’s dogs! The only downside is that there aren’t many trees (just some shrubbery) so if you’re looking for shade this may not be the best option for you unless you pack an umbrella or two!
If you’re looking for fun things to do in the San Francisco area with kids, there are plenty of options. From amusement parks to beaches, museums, and more, there’s something for everyone.
The kids will love the Raging Waters water park. It has a wave pool, lazy river, and tons of slides that you can choose from. There are also areas where you can relax or sunbathe while your children play.
It’s located in Concord and is open year-round. The park offers one-day passes or season passes that allow visitors unlimited access to all of its attractions. There are also daily specials such as family days and military discounts available.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree is a great place to take children, and there’s more to do here than just hiking. The park has lots of activities that will keep everyone entertained.
The Visitor Center has an interactive area where kids can learn about the park’s geology, wildlife, and plant life. There are also educational exhibits about desert ecosystems and how the park was formed. It’s a great place for younger kids to learn about science and nature before heading out on your next adventure at Joshua Tree.
There are plenty of hikes around the park that are perfect for families with young children. The short Ryan Mountain Trail is a good choice for younger kids. The trail is only about half a mile long and it’s easy enough for kids as young as five years old. It starts at the west end of the campground and leads up to a lookout point with views over the desert landscape below. If you’re lucky you’ll spot some bighorn sheep along the way!
Universal Studios Hollywood is a fun and exciting place for families to visit. It’s the perfect place to spend a day or two with your family, and it’s so close to Los Angeles that you can visit again and again.
There are so many things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood that it can be overwhelming. From rides to shows and restaurants, there is something for everyone.
Here are the top five things you should check out when visiting Universal Studios Hollywood:
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – You have probably heard all about this magical world, but it’s hard to believe until you see it in person!
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is home to Hogsmeade Village and Hogwarts Castle, where you’ll find shops like Honeydukes Sweetshop and Zonko’s Joke Shop. There are also some pretty cool rides!
The Simpsons Ride – This ride takes you through Springfield where you’ll meet all your favorite characters from The Simpsons TV show. It’s known as one of the best rides at Universal Studios Hollywood!
Jurassic Park: The Ride – This outdoor roller coaster takes guests through Jurassic Park on a dangerous adventure full of dinosaurs! It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world. It’s home to over five thousand animals, including sea otters, octopi and jellyfish. If you’re looking for something fun to do with your kids in California, this is a great place to start!
The aquarium also has exhibits on topics like birds, sharks and the deep sea. There are interactive areas where kids can touch anemones or starfish or get their hands wet in an ocean tide pool. There are also special programs for kids like “Scuba Kids” where they get certified as scuba divers and can explore underwater with an instructor.
Calico Ghost Town
This historic mining town is a great place to spend the day with your kids. With its well-preserved buildings, narrow roads, and old-fashioned saloons, it’s like stepping back in time.
Kids can pan for gold and pan for gems at the gift shop, take a guided tour, or ride a horse-drawn wagon through the town.
The Calico Ghost Town is an open-air museum and former mining town, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The site was settled by silver miners in 1881 and quickly became a booming mining town.
In the early 1900s, as the mines began to dry up, many of the residents left for more promising opportunities elsewhere.
Today, Calico is a tiny town that still has many of its original buildings and homes intact.
Visitors can tour the town and learn about its history, or take part in a variety of activities including wagon rides and panning for gold!
For more information on Ticket, Pricing and location Visit Calico Attraction – Online (calicoattractions.com).
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Magic Mountain is one of the most popular spots for a thrilling day out with the kids. This theme park has over 50 rides, including roller coasters, water rides, and kiddie rides.
The park has two roller coasters that are popular with children. The Viper is a wooden coaster that reaches speeds of up to 60 mph, while the Colossus was voted as one of the top ten wooden coasters in the world by Amusement Today magazine.
If you prefer water rides, then check out Typhoon Lagoon, which features five different slides that can reach speeds of up to 45 mph!
Six Flags Magic Mountain also features many other fun rides such as Batman: The Ride and Riddler’s Revenge. For those who want a gentler experience there are plenty of kiddie rides too including Tatsu: Drop of Doom and Yo-Yo Mondo.
Address: 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355, United States
For more information on Ticket, Pricing, and location Visit: Six Flags Magic Mountain in California – The Thrill Capital of the World
Winchester Mystery House
If you’re looking for a fun and unusual thing to do in California with your kids, check out the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose.
The house was built by Sarah Winchester, the widow of William Wirt Winchester, who started making guns with his father when he was a teenager and made his fortune selling them.
The mansion has 161 rooms, 2,000 doors, and 10,000 windows and no two are alike! And that’s not even the most bizarre part.
Winchester wanted to keep away from evil spirits who were haunting her (she believed they killed her husband), so she had workers build secret passages and rooms in case she needed to escape them at any time.
Address: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128, United States
Living Desert Zoo and Garden
The Living Desert is a great place to visit with kids and family. It’s located in Palm Springs and has a lot of different activities for people of all ages.
It’s a huge zoo that has lots of animals, including camels, giraffes, lions, tigers and more! It’s also a botanical garden that has plants from all over the world. There are rides and shows at night. It’s fun for the whole family!
Here are some of our favorite things to do:
-Take a camel ride through the desert
-See the animals in their natural habitat
-Watch them feed The giraffe
-See the birds fly overhead
-Enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade
For more information on Ticket, Pricing and location Visit: Wonderfully Wild | The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Crissy Field is a great place to go in California with kids and family. It has a lot of activities and things to do there.
It is nearby to golden gate Bridge and includes a restored tidal marsh and beaches for lots of fun activities all day long.
There’s a beach, which is perfect for playing in the water and collecting seashells. There’s also a path that goes along the coast, where you can walk or bike ride. You can even bring your dog!
There are lots of restaurants nearby if you want to grab a bite to eat. You can also visit the Golden Gate Bridge or take some time at one of the many museums nearby.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a great place for the whole family. It’s a beautiful, natural setting with plenty of activities for kids and adults alike.
If you’re looking for something fun to do with kids, try hiking the Lassen Peak Trail. This trail is 5 miles (round Trip) long and only moderately difficult. You’ll get a great view of the park from the top of the peak, but it’s not so steep that kids won’t be able to make it up and down safely.
Another cool thing to do in Lassen is visit Manzanita Lake. This lake has a beach area where you can swim or picnic on hot summer days, as well as some great fishing spots if you’re looking for something more active.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park
Turtle Bay Exploration Park is a fun place to visit with your family and friends. The park is located in Redding California and features many exhibits, shows, and activities for you to enjoy.
It is a great place to spend a day with the family. There are over 5 miles of trails that you can explore by foot, bike, or stroller, and there are plenty of places to stop for a snack along the way.
Kids will love exploring the park’s nature center and learning about turtles and other reptiles and amphibians.
It’s an intimate experience that will make you feel like you’re part of something special – something that visitors from all over the world come here to experience every day!
Location: 844 Sundial Bridge Drive, Redding, CA 96003, United States
Legoland California is a great place to go with kids and family. It’s fun, exciting, and educational. You can spend the day riding rides, playing games, and eating food at one of their restaurants.
You can spend your time at Legoland California on rides like Ninjago, Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter, Star Wars Miniland Model Display, and more.
They have over 50 rides for you to try out. If you don’t want to ride rides then there are plenty of things for you to do inside the park as well!
There are many interactive activities like building with Lego blocks or trying out some Virtual Reality experiences.
Legoland California is open year-round so there is always something going on at this amusement park! So if you’re looking for something fun to do with your family then check out Legoland California!
Your California vacation is a once in a lifetime trip. Just like the many beautiful destinations in California, each vacation destination has plenty of ideas that are applicable to the destination itself.
We hope that you now have a good idea of the fun things to do in California with kids. Do you have your own recommendations? Please don’t forget to share them with us. We’d love to learn more!
Overall, we think you will have a great time seeing some of the wonderful things to do in California with kids and family, we hope you enjoy your trip!