10 Budget-Friendly Things to Do With Kids in LA

We've rounded up our favorite kid-friendly activities in the City of Angels, and best of all, none of them will break the bank.

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Hike to the Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign is one of the most iconic symbols in Los Angeles, and believe it or not, the hike to see it up close isn't that difficult. The easiest way to make it up to the sign is by using the Mount Hollywood route at the Charlie Turner Trailhead. Don't forget to bring water, hats and plenty of sunblock, as there isn't a lot of shade along the way. But when you get to the top, you'll be rewarded with a show-stopping view of the entire city (you might even be able to see all the way to the ocean on a clear day).

Swim at the Annenberg Community Beach House

If you're in LA during the warmer months, why not plan a whole day by the pool? The Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica is an incredible spot to plant your whole family for the day. Formerly a sprawling estate developed by William Randolph Hearst, the home used to be a hotspot for celebrities and glitterati during the '20s. Now, it's a public space open to all with a gorgeous pool, spectacular views of the ocean, a playground and even free Wi-Fi. Arrive early in the morning, stake out a spot around the pool and spend the day in the sun.

Wander the Santa Monica Pier

If you're not quite up for the stress (or price) of a full day at one of the local amusement parks, the Santa Monica Pier is the perfect compromise. While there aren't a ton of rides, there's a fun roller coaster and Ferris wheel, as well as lots of fun arcade games. There's also an old-school carousel, yummy food options and an aquarium.

Watch the Skateboard Stars on Venice Beach

If your kids are skateboarding fans, you'll definitely want to swing by the public skatepark in Venice Beach. Located right on the beach with views of the ocean, this is *the* spot to watch some of the best skate stars in southern California. After you spend some time watching the action at the skate park, walk around Venice and do some window shopping on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

Explore Griffith Park

There is so many fun, budget-friendly things to do in Griffith Park, you and your family could spend all day there and still not run out of things to do. Start off at the top of Griffith Park at the Observatory. This free museum and planetarium is a fun way to spend an hour while offering some spectacular views of the city. Griffith Park has pony rides for kids, three different train rides you can take, miles of hiking trails and lots of picnic spots. For some yummy food, check out The Trails Cafe right in the park.

Go to a Live TV Show Taping

Another fun thing to do with the kids is to see a live TV show taping. Tickets are free, and most take place near the studios in Burbank. Keep in mind, however, that these usually require a commitment of several hours, and there can be a lot of waiting around. So, it might be a better choice for kids who are a bit older.

Hop on Angels Flight

Downtown LA is another fun spot to visit with the family. While it's only a quick ride, Angels Flight funicular is an interesting look back at railway history. The short ride costs $1 each way and takes you between Hill Street and Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill. For lunch, head over to Grand Central Market. It's one of the nicest food halls you will ever visit with delicious options for everyone.

Catch a Free Rehearsal at the Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is an incredible outdoor venue to see concerts and shows. However, tickets can definitely be on the pricey side. An insider way around this is to catch a free rehearsal session for one of the upcoming performances. Rehearsals typically run from 9 a.m. to noon. While kids are welcome, the performers ask that kids use only their "inside voices" during the practice sessions.

Peep Some Animals at the Wildlife Learning Center

The Wildlife Learning Center is a unique animal sanctuary located in Sylmar, a quick drive from LA. Your kids will get to see a variety of animals, including monkeys, foxes, porcupines, a Siberian Lynx, a sloth and much more. One of the favorites at the zoological park is Zeus; he's a blind owl who you can visit in the gift shop.

Visit the Bob Baker Marionette Theater

For a special treat, take the kids to a show at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. While kids these days are used to CGI and special effects in movies, a traditional puppet show is still a neat experience to introduce to them. Depending on when you visit, a variety of shows cycle through the calendar.