Our Los Angeles kids museum guide collects all of the best family museums around LA and Orange County, along with parent reviews.

Discover the children's museums Los Angeles families love, plus all-ages picks with interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences that make them especially kid-friendly.

Visit our list of Los Angeles museum free days to see when you can visit some of these favorites for nothing!

    Pretend City Children's Museum

     (2810.8 mi)

    Pretend City Children's Museum is an enclosed indoor facility that has 17 interactive exhibits (bank, beach, cafe, dentist office, gas station, & more) tailor-made for little ones where they can pretend to be just about anything and stretch their imagination! The Trader Joe's market is a popular exhibit; kiddos love pushing around grocery carts and going shopping. Parents can bring their own snack and lunches or dine at the "Real Cafe." Pretend City also offers various birthday party packages.
    Discovery Cube

     (2818.5 mi)

    Discovery Cube was created with children in mind and is full of fun ongoing exhibits for younger and older children exploring a variety of science concepts for different age levels, including space exploration, physics, engineering and more.

    Bowers Kidseum

     (2818.5 mi)

    Bowers Kidseum is a charming interactive art and archaeology museum for kids. Little ones can create their own art and crafts, explore the Glow Cave, play with different instruments, listen to stories in the storytelling room, learn about Egyptian and Chumash-themed archaeology and more. What makes Kidseum special is its focus to offer little ones various visual stimulation and engaging play; it also offers customized fun birthday packages.

    The Children's Museum at La Habra

     (2822.5 mi)

    The Children's Museum at La Habra offers seven educational and entertaining, permanent hands-on exhibits such as the nature walk exhibit, science station, family art center, and an exhibit which changes twice a year. What makes this museum special is its hand-carved carousel, 1942 railroad caboose, and toddler play area which features a fun treehouse.

    The Bunny Museum

     (2833.0 mi)

    Erynn:  This quirky museum began with one couple's love of bunnies, and turned into a veritable shrine to the fuzzy creatures complete with figurines, plush animals, and even live bunnies. The self-proclaimed "Hoppiest Place On Earth" has won some interesting awards for its cultural, historical, and artistic displays. Older kids can even volunteer to help care for the Museum's resident bunnies.

    Kidspace Children's Museum

     (2835.7 mi)

    Closed Mondays

    Admission $14.95/person

    Age 10 & under

    Kidspace Children's Museum offers an array of indoor and outdoor exhibits. Get creative in the Imagination Workshop, play in the Splash Dance Fountains, navigate the Rope Bridge, get messy in Arroyo Adventures, and more! The staff is friendly, attentive, and upbeat.

    Autry Museum of the American West

     (2843.6 mi)

    Erynn:  There's plenty to see and do at The Autry, plus the surrounding Griffith Park gives families outdoor recreation and educational opportunities. Inside the museum, learn about art and artifacts all through American history. They even provides print-ahead scavenger hunts for kids to enjoy while they check out the exhibits. Guided tours each weekend are also family-friendly.

    California Science Center

     (2845.0 mi)

    Always free admission

    Erynn:  Admission to the permanent galleries at the California Science Center, including Space Shuttle Endeavour, is always free and do not require a reservation. Learn about air & space with a collection of real space crafts, ecosystems by exploring underwater tunnels, and transportation by racing your own solar powered toy cars. Timed tickets are required for the IMAX Theater.

    Griffith Observatory

     (2845.1 mi)

    Erynn:  Griffith Observatory and its surrounding grounds are open to the public for free, so kids and their grownups can enjoy the museum exhibits and spy the sky through a telescope. Special programs, including public talks and demonstrations, happen often. Break for lunch at the cafe or out on the grounds, then stick around for a planetarium show in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium!

    Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

     (2845.3 mi)

    Erynn:  The whole family can learn about birds, dinosaurs, insects, mammals, and more at the Natural History Museum. Beyond their regular family-friendly exhibits, the museum caters to kids with touchable minerals, furs and fossils, authentic scientific exploration tools, and an insect zoo. Interactive shows (some feature actors dressed as dinosaurs!) round out the educational entertainment.

    Los Angeles Maritime Museum

     (2847.0 mi)

    Los Angeles Maritime Museum is a two-story museum that showcases the history of LA harbor. With its model ships, boats, and submarines, play area for kiddos including sailor costumes, and interactive armed forces display, it offers education, fun and a front-row seat to ships coming and going.

    USS Iowa Museum

     (2847.0 mi)

    Erynn:  The USS Battleship Iowa is the only battleship on the West Coast that the public (kids included) can climb aboard and explore. Kids can learn what life was really like for the sailors who worked and lived on this ship, and the Museum's interactive app helps modernize the historical experience. A scavenger hunt will help keep kids engaged and make the trip even more fun.

    La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

     (2849.4 mi)

    Erynn:  If your kids have seen any of the Ice Age movies, they'll love a visit to this active paleontology location. Plenty of amazing finds have surfaced at La Brea, and your admission includes an Excavator Tour and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the professionals process specimens. Changing programs can include 3D movies and new fossils as they're found!

    Automobile Driving Museum

     (2853.1 mi)

    Erynn:  If your child is an automobile enthusiast, this museum will be right up his or her alley! But it's more than drooling over cars from historical to modern- there are plenty of Fun for Kids activities like a museum-wide scavenger hunt, dress-up areas, and photo op scenes. There's also an ice cream parlor with table space for crafts and treats.

    Cost: $10/adults, $5/kids 11+, kids 10 and under are free!

    Museum of Flying

     (2856.2 mi)

    Erynn:  A collection of full-size aircraft, replicas, and artifacts will thrill young (and old!) fans of flight. The display and exhibit area spans 22,000 square feet and includes interpretive exhibits and displays that teach families about the history of flight and the growth of aviation and aerospace in SoCal. Start with the replica of the Wright Flyer and end with a visit to the interactive education center and cockpit trainer!

    Skirball Cultural Center

     (2857.4 mi)

    Closed Mondays

    Admission $12/adult, $7/child

    Erynn:  The name is a bit misleading, but in addition to its rotating cultural displays, the Skirball Cultural Center doubles as a Museum with galleries and an interactive Noah's Ark exhibit. Art, music, and play all come together here, and targeted family programs help get kids involved.


     (2857.5 mi)

    Always free admission

    Erynn:  You might not think of an art center as an ideal location for kids to explore, but this free museum with two locations is dedicated to making your family's visit enjoyable and educational. Family restrooms, onsite cafe, plus tempting outdoor gardens and maze area will help you and the kids get out and explore. A special Family Room has activity coves with treasure hunts, art and craft materials, and more. Free family tours are also available!

    Cayton Children's Museum

     (2859.3 mi)

    Come play at the Cayton Children's Museum, with plenty of interactive exhibits to encourage discovery and exploration in your youngest thinkers.

Primary photo:   Courtesy of Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County

Upparent collects community-submitted recommendations and reviews, and any ideas that are shared reflect the opinions of individual contributors.

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