California with Kids

Updated October 15, 2016

Essentials

The 17 Best Things to do with Kids in California

1. Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge is great for walking and biking with children.
Open 7 days a week for pedestrians and cyclists. Opening hours. Reviews.

2. Cable Car Museum – San Francisco

Cable Car Museum in downtown San Francisco.
April 1 to September 30: 10am-6pm. October 1 to March 31: 10am-5pm. Reviews.

3. California Academy of Sciences – San Francisco

Albino alligator at California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.
Daily 9:30am–5:00pm. Sunday 11:00am–5:00pm. Reviews.

4. Exploratorium Museum of Science – San Francisco

Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco.
Tuesday–Sunday 10–5pm. Thursday evening (18+ only) 6–10pm. Closed Monday (except some holidays). Reviews.

5. Muir Woods – Marin County

Muir Woods in Marin County north of San Francisco.
Park open every day at 8am. Closes at different hours depending on time of year. Reviews.

6. California State Railroad Museum – Sacramento

Train Museum for Kids in Sacramento, California.
Open daily, 10am to 5pm. Reviews.

7. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Santa Cruz boardwalk amusement park.
Open 11am to 11pm in summer. Open weekends for most other months. Full schedule here.Reviews.

8. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Jellyfish tank at Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Summer/holidays: 9:30am-6pm. Summer weekends: 9:30am-8pm. Winter: 10am-5pm. Reviews.

9. Natural History Museum – Los Angeles

Dinosaur fossils at LA Natural History Museum.
Open daily, 9:30am-5:00pm. Reviews.

10. Disneyland – Anaheim (near L.A.)

Disneyland fireworks.
Open daily, hours vary by month. Reviews.

11. Knotts Berry Farm – Buena Park (near L.A.)

Knotts Berry Farm water ride.
Open daily, hours vary by day and month. Reviews.

12. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits – Los Angeles

Wooly Mammoth at Page Museum in LA.
Open daily, 9:30-5pm. Reviews.

13. Petersen Automotive Museum – Los Angeles

Car Museum in Los Angeles.
Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm. Closed Monday. Reviews.

14. California Science Center – Los Angeles

Endeavour space shuttle exhibit in California Science Museum.
Open daily, 10am-5pm. Reviews.

15. Legoland California – Carlsbad (near San Diego)

Legoland amusement park and rides.
Open daily spring break, summer, and some holiday periods. Hours and schedule here. Reviews.

16. San Diego Zoo

Monkeys at San Diego Zoo.
Open 365 days a year, hours vary by season. Reviews.

17. San Diego Beaches

San Diego beaches are very kid-friendly.
Beach swimming is possible from June to October. The warmest and best beach weather is in August and September.

Photo credits.

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