Not sure how to spend your spring break in Los Angeles? The city has plenty of kid-friendly destinations, but in such a busy city, finding one that suits your child’s particular needs can be more of a challenge. These five activities offer a wide range of memorable and exciting experiences, suitable for kids, but just as fun for any adults you have in tow.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is a top Los Angeles attraction, with over 11,000 different animal exhibits for families to peruse. They also periodically host an Autism Night, in which the entire aquarium is closed to the public between the hours of 6:00 and 9:00 pm to cater exclusively to families with adults or children with autism. For just $7 per person, your family can sidestep the overwhelming crowds and enjoy a leisurely aquarium experience. Check the website’s listed schedules for details.
The California Science Center offers a wealth of hands-on and interactive programming that is sure to engage your child’s curiosity. Kids can explore topics like air and space travel, the human body, and ecosystems through various Discovery Centers and exhibits.
The bustle of Los Angeles can become overwhelming at times, especially during spring break, when tourists flock to the city in droves. Descanso Gardens offers a chance to step away from that whirlwind city pace and enjoy the tranquility of a rich botanical landscape ‒ all within city limits. Your child might particularly enjoy riding on the Enchanted Railroad, a 1/8th-scale replica of a diesel train that tours portions of the garden. Or, for a more relaxed and therapeutic approach, consider bringing a sketch pad and pastels so your child can capture those cherry blossom hues on paper.
Nestled within a beautiful two-acre park, Shane’s Inspiration is a universally accessible playground, designed to be inclusive of all children regardless of ability. Unlike many playgrounds, this offers a safe and sensory-rich range of choices and challenges for your child to enjoy.
The Children’s Ranch is a therapeutic equestrian ranch in the heart of the city that caters to children with a range of needs and abilities. The founder created the ranch for her own special needs daughter, and that sense of inclusiveness and individualized attention have been its guiding principle since. Assisted private ranch lessons are available, which last 45 minutes and include extra staffing to help guide children toward safe and meaningful interactions with the animals. Kids can enjoy riding horses, and feeding the farm’s other animals including chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs.
If after all of that action you find that yourself in need of somewhere to decompress, don’t forget that the city offers many outdoor escapes without venturing far. Treat your family to a picnic with ocean views or take a walk under a shady tree canopy ‒ it’s a great way to reset an otherwise hectic or challenging day, and to take advantage of all that Los Angeles has to offer.