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Free Things to Do With Kids in Southern California


With its comfortably mild sunny days, miles of white sand beaches and kid-friendly attractions, Southern California is a must-go destination for families. Legendary Tinsel Town appeals to visitors of all ages who flock to the streets of Hollywood and Beverly Hills to walk in the footsteps of their favorite movie screen idols. While there are many big attractions that will tax your wallet, there are a surprising number of free activities that will entertain kids and adults alike. Here are some suggestions of great free things to do with kids in Southern California:

Griffith Park is a 4,200 acre state park and the largest urban park in the country. Admission and parking is free and the park contains several attractions that kids will enjoy. The Griffith Observatory, open until 10 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays, is a leading astronomy institution in the country where kids will learn about celestial events in the Observatory’s exhibits. Kids will be dazzled by the night sky seen through the free telescopes set up for the public each evening. Other Griffith Park attractions include the Travel Town Museum and Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round. Several hiking trails in the park offer good views of the landmark Hollywood sign.

The Getty Center of Los Angeles is one of the most important art institutions in the country and is open free to the public Tuesdays through Sundays except major holidays. Use the easy public transportation to the Getty to avoid paying for parking. The Getty offers an amazing array of activities just for kids. Give their creative energy an outlet in the Family Room where they can play, draw and go on treasure hunts while learning about art at the same time. Take them on a walk on the zigzag pathway through the Central Garden and bring your own picnic to spread out on the lawn while enjoying the beautiful views of Los Angeles and the Santa Monica Mountains.

The California Science Center has free admission daily except major holidays. It offers an amazing collection of science exhibits that will keep the kids engaged for hours. Exhibits are arranged according to theme such as the new Ecosystem exhibit that will teach kids about rivers, islands and forests and other wonders of the natural world. Other permanent exhibits include the Air and Space Gallery and the World of Life where kids will delight as Tess, a 50 ft. robot, will teach them how their body works.

Kids into dinosaurs will love the exhibits at the La Brea Tar Pits & Page Museum and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Both of these museums offer free admission for everyone on the 1st Tuesday of the month.

No visit to Southern California would be complete without a day at the beach. Start at Santa Monica State Beach and take the kids to the Santa Monica Pier for the carnival atmosphere. The pier and amusement park have free admission. Walk a mile down Ocean Front Walk to Venice Beach where the kids will be awed by an array of street performers who congregate on the boardwalk to entertain beach-goers.

Southern California is a fantastic destination for families and some of the best attractions are free!

Source by Darla Blackmon

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