Looking for a fun and affordable way to keep the kids entertained?
Look no further than California!
With its miles of coastline, amazing theme parks, and diverse landscape, there’s something for everyone in this great state.
In this blog post, we will discuss 25 fun things to do with kids in California.
So pack your bags and get ready for some family fun!
#1. Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in California, and it’s also a great place to take kids. The island is home to a former prison, which operated from 1934 to 1963.
Today, visitors can take a tour of the prison, and learn about its iconic inmates, such as Al Capone and “Birdman” Robert Stroud. Kids will also enjoy exploring the island’s lighthouse and gardens, and getting a close-up look at the abundant wildlife, including sea lions, pelicans, and cormorants.
Ferry rides to and from the island are also a lot of fun and provide some stunning views of San Francisco Bay. With so much to see and do, Alcatraz Island is a great place to spend a day with kids.
#2. Calico Ghost Town
Set in the Calico Mountains of California, Calico Ghost Town is a real life ghost town that has been preserved as a State Historic Park. Visitors can explore the abandoned mines, tour the 1850s hotel, or take a ride on the vintage steam train.
There are also a number of shops and restaurants on-site, making it the perfect place to spend a day with the family. And for those who are feeling adventurous, there are even overnight camping options available.
So whether you’re looking for a bit of history or just a fun day out, Calico Ghost Town is sure to have something for everyone.
#3. Catalina Island
California is a great place to visit with kids, and there are plenty of fun things to do with them. One great option is Catalina Island, which is just a short ferry ride from Los Angeles.
Once there, you can explore the island’s many beaches and hiking trails, go snorkeling or scuba diving, or take an eco-tour to see some of the island’s unique wildlife.
There’s also plenty of history to discover on Catalina Island, from its days as a ranching community to its more recent role as a Hollywood film location.
And of course, no visit to the island would be complete without taking a ride on the Catalina Aerial Tramway, which offers spectacular views of the island and the Pacific Ocean beyond.
So whether you’re looking for adventure or just a chance to relax, Catalina Island is a great destination for families.
#4. Crissy Field
Kids love exploring, and there’s no better place to do that than Crissy Field in San Francisco. This former military base has been transformed into a beautiful park with plenty of open space to run around and explore.
There are also great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city skyline. In addition, there are plenty of activities to keep kids entertained, including a playground, a sandbox, and a creatures comfort station where they can learn about local wildlife.
Best of all, admission to Crissy Field is free, making it a great option for families on a budget.
#5. Crystal Cove State Park
California is a great place to visit with kids. There are so many fun things to do and see, and the weather is almost always perfect. One of our favorite places to visit is Crystal Cove State Park.
The park is home to miles of hiking trails, and the scenery is simply breathtaking. The best part, though, is the beach. Crystal Cove has one of the most beautiful beaches in California, and it’s perfect for swimming, surfing, or just relaxing in the sun.
If you’re ever in California with your kids, definitely make time to visit Crystal Cove State Park. They’ll absolutely love it!
#6. Disney California Adventure
California is a great place to visit with kids, and one of the most popular attractions is Disney California Adventure. This theme park features all of the classic Disney characters, as well as some unique rides and attractions.
Kids will love meeting their favorite characters, riding the thrilling roller coasters, and watching the spectacular shows. There is also a wide variety of dining options available, so everyone in the family can find something to enjoy.
Best of all, Disney California Adventure is located just a short drive from Los Angeles, making it easy to add to a family vacation itinerary.
Disneyland is the quintessential California experience for kids. Located in Anaheim, this Magic Kingdom has been enchanting young visitors since 1955. Today, it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state.
A day at Disneyland is packed with fun activities for the whole family. Kids can explore iconic attractions like “it’s a small world” and meet their favorite Disney characters.
In addition, there are dozens of rides and shows to enjoy, including thrilling roller coasters and Broadway-style musicals. Of course, no trip to Disneyland would be complete without some souvenirs from one of the many shops on Main Street USA.
From Mickey Mouse ears to collector pins, there’s something for everyone at this California landmark.
#8. Golden Gate Bridge
One of the most iconic sights in California is the Golden Gate Bridge. If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with kids, why not take a trip to see this engineering wonder?
The bridge spans almost two miles across the Golden Gate Strait, linking San Francisco to Marin County. You can walk or bike across the bridge, or take a tour on one of the vintage streetcars.
On a clear day, you’ll have stunning views of the bay and cityscape. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins swimming below!
#9. Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory is a great place to take kids in California. First of all, it’s located in a beautiful spot – right next to the Hollywood sign. Plus, it has tons of interactive exhibits that kids will love.
They can learn about the constellations, look through telescopes, and even see live shows in the planetarium. And best of all, admission is free! So if you’re looking for a fun (and educational) activity to do with your kids, be sure to check out Griffith Observatory.
#10. Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is a great place to take kids of all ages. There are plenty of easy hiking trails, as well as opportunities to scramble up boulders and explore caves.
Kids can also learn about the park’s plants and animals, which include some of the strangest-looking trees you’ll ever see. Joshua Tree is a great place to stargaze, and there are often ranger-led programs where kids can learn about constellations.
In the winter, the park sometimes gets snow, which turns Joshua Tree into a whole different playground for sledding and snowball fights. No matter what time of year you visit, Joshua Tree National Park is sure to be a hit with kids.
#11. Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm is a popular amusement park in California that offers a variety of fun things to do for kids of all ages. From thrilling rides and shows to a delicious selection of food, there’s something for everyone at Knott’s Berry Farm.
One of the most popular attractions at the park is Ghost Town, a recreation of an old west town complete with a train robbery and gunfight show.
Kids can also enjoy rides such as the Timber Mountain Log Ride, which takes them through a haunted logging camp, or the Calico Mine Ride, which takes them on a tour of an old gold mine.
And of course, no visit to Knott’s Berry Farm would be complete without enjoying some of the delicious food for which the park is famous, such as boysenberry pie and chicken pot pie.
With so much to see and do, Knott’s Berry Farm is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.
#12. Lake Shasta
There’s no shortage of things to do with kids in California, but one of the best places to visit is Lake Shasta. Located in Northern California, Lake Shasta is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.
The lake itself is perfect for swimming, fishing, and boating, and there are numerous hiking and biking trails in the area. In addition, the lake is surrounded by several scenic camping spots.
Kids will also love visiting the nearby Shasta Dam, which is the largest dam in the United States. With so much to see and do, Lake Shasta is a great place to explore with kids.
#13. Lake Tahoe
Looking for some fun things to do with the kids in California? Why not head to Lake Tahoe? There’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained, from swimming and paddling in the crystal-clear waters to exploring the forests and hiking trails.
And when they’ve worked up an appetite, they can enjoy a picnic lunch by the lake. For even more fun, take a cruise on one of the sightseeing boats or go horseback riding along the shores.
With so much to see and do, Lake Tahoe is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
#14. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a great place to take the kids for a fun-filled day of exploring and learning. Located in Northern California, the park is home to a variety of volcanic features, including glaciers, meadows, forests, and hot springs.
Families can hike through the scenic terrain, take a boat ride on one of the many lakes, or even go for a swim in one of the hot springs. There are also a number of ranger-led programs available, which are perfect for kids of all ages.
Whether your goal is to learn about the park’s history or simply to enjoy the outdoors, Lassen Volcanic National Park is sure to please.
#15. Legoland California
Located in Carlsbad, California, Legoland California is a theme park designed specifically for families with young children. The park features over 60 rides and attractions, including a waterpark, LEGO-themed rides, and hands-on exhibits.
One of the most popular attractions is Miniland USA, which features miniature replicas of iconic American landmarks made out of LEGO bricks.
Other popular attractions include the LEGO Movie World, where kids can meet their favorite characters from the movie, and the knight’s training camp, where they can learn how to joust like a medieval knight.
Whether your kids are fans of LEGO or just looking for a fun day out, Legoland California is sure to please.
#16. Living Desert
If you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids in California, be sure to check out the Living Desert. This unique zoo and botanical garden is home to more than 450 different species of animals, including reptiles, mammals, and birds.
The park also features a variety of cacti and other desert plants, making it a great place to learn about the local ecology. In addition, the Living Desert offers educational programs for kids of all ages, making it a great option for a family outing.
So whether you’re looking to learn about animals or just enjoy a day in the sun, be sure to add the Living Desert to your list of California attractions.
#17. Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a world-renowned facility located on Cannery Row in Monterey, California. The Aquarium is known for its innovative exhibits and commitment to ocean conservation.
Founded in 1984, the Aquarium has welcomed over 50 million visitors and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in California. The Aquarium features dozens of exhibits, including a kelp forest, an open sea aquarium, and a touch pool.
In addition, the Aquarium offers educational programs for all ages, making it a great place to take kids. Visitors can also enjoy stunning views of Monterey Bay from the Aquarium’s Ocean View Café.
Whether you’re looking to learn about ocean life or just have a fun day out with the kids, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is sure to please.
#18. Raging Waters
Raging Waters is one of the most popular water parks in California, and it’s easy to see why. With over two million gallons of water, the park has something for everyone.
Families can relax in the lazy river or take a spin on one of the many rides. Thrill-seekers can drop down the park’s signature waterslide, the Aqua Rocket, at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
And kids will love splashing around in the Captain Kids’ Cove, where they can meet friendly dolphins and sea lions. Located just minutes from downtown San Jose, Raging Waters is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.
#19. San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is a great place to take kids of all ages. With over 3,700 animals, it’s one of the largest zoos in the world. And there’s something for everyone to see, from tigers and gorillas to koalas and kangaroos.
The zoo also has a number of unique exhibits, like the Tiger River habitat where you can watch tigers swim and play, and the Ituri Forest exhibit where you can see chimpanzees and other apes up close.
In addition, the zoo offers a variety of educational programs, like behind-the-scenes tours and animal encounters. Plus, there’s a kids’ zone with rides and interactive games.
So whether your kids are animal lovers or just looking for a fun day out, they’re sure to enjoy a visit to the San Diego Zoo.
#20. Santa Monica Pier
If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with the kids, look no further than Santa Monica Pier! This historic pier, built in 1909, is a California landmark and offers a variety of activities for all ages.
‘For the little ones, there’s a carousel and Ferris wheel, as well as a number of midway games. Older kids will enjoy the roller coaster and arcade, while the whole family can experience a one-of-a-kind view of the Pacific Ocean from the end of the pier.
And when you’re ready for a break, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from. So next time you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids, plan a visit to Santa Monica Pier!
#21. Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Magic Mountain is one of the best places to take kids in California. Not only is it a great place to cool off in the summer, but there are also plenty of rides and attractions to keep kids entertained.
From roller coasters and water slides to shows and character meet-and-greets, there is something for everyone at Six Flags Magic Mountain. And best of all, the park is located just a short drive from Los Angeles.
So if you’re looking for a fun-filled day out with the kids, be sure to check out Six Flags Magic Mountain.
#22. Turtle Bay Exploration Park
Turtle Bay Exploration Park is a great place to take kids in California. Located in Redding, the park has a wide variety of activities to keep kids entertained.
They can explore the museum and learn about the history of the area, visit the animal sanctuary to see all sorts of animals, or take a walk through the botanical gardens.
Turtle Bay is a great place to spend a day with kids in California.
#23. Universal Studios
California is a great state for families who enjoy spending time together while also taking advantage of all the state has to offer in terms of entertainment and education.
For example, one fun place to take kids in California is Universal Studios. Not only will they have a blast riding all the different rides, but they’ll also get to see how movies are made.
They might even get inspired to make their own films one day! There are also tons of different shows and performances to see, so there’s something for everyone at Universal Studios.
And of course, no trip to California would be complete without meeting some of the friendly animals that call the state home. From sea lions to elephants, kids will love getting up close and personal with some of the state’s most iconic creatures.
So if you’re looking for a fun-filled family vacation, be sure to add California to your list!
#24. Winchester Mystery House
The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is a must-see for any family visiting the Bay Area. This historic mansion was once the home of Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune.
After her husband and infant daughter died, Sarah became convinced that she was cursed by the souls of all of the people who had been killed by Winchester rifles.
In an effort to appease the spirits, she began construction on a massive house, which she worked on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 38 years. Today, the house is open to the public, and visitors can explore its 160 rooms, secret passageways, and unorthodox architecture.
Kids will love learning about this strange slice of American history, and they’ll be fascinated by the house itself. Trust us, it’s worth braving the crowds for a visit to this one-of-a-kind attraction.
#25. Yosemite National Park
One of the best things about California is that there is so much to see and do. For families with kids, Yosemite National Park is a great option.
Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the park offers stunning views, hiking trails, and opportunities to see wildlife. Families can also stay in one of the park’s many campgrounds or lodges.
There are also a number of ranger-led programs that are perfect for kids, including junior ranger activities and nature hikes. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular family destinations in California.
Things To Do In California
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- 24 Fun Things To Do In San Diego With Kids
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