Summer is here and you’re ready for your next big adventure.
Maybe you have a big vacation planned. Maybe a trip to Disneyland or the beach. Or maybe you just want to enjoy the warm weather.
Either way, there’s still a lot of weekdays and weekends to fill.
We’ve come up with our top list of favorite places to take the whole family.
All these places make for perfect local day trips and they’re either free or very inexpensive, often with child or student discounts. And on top of all that, they’re educational.
1. California Science Center
The California Science Center is top on our list because it has pretty much everything.
There are multiple interactive stations that teach everything from physics to biology to geography. There’s a giant 2-story aquarium that can be viewed from the top and underwater. There are incredible nature IMAX movies to watch. And the main attraction is the Endeavor Space Shuttle.
The main center itself is free, and you only need to buy tickets to see an IMAX movie or the Space Shuttle Exhibit
2. Natural History Museum
Cost: $12/Adult, $9/Student, $5/Child
Right next to the California Science Center is the Natural History Museum which has… dinosaurs!
It’s full of lifelike models of animals both ancient and modern, along with realistic environments and backdrops. And of course, there are tons of full dinosaur skeletons, including a T-Rex and Raptors.
In addition to the museum, there is a live butterfly sanctuary outside and a free rose garden lawn to stroll through.
3. Griffith Observatory
The Griffith Observatory is one of the great icons of Los Angeles and great for space lovers.
The observatory is up on a hill with great views of downtown Los Angeles. Inside the observatory are incredibly beautiful exhibits on astronomy and space travel. There are also short space documentaries that are projected up on a giant dome ceiling as you sit back and watch.
The observatory is free to visit, and tickets are only required to watch the films. There are also hiking trails in the hills all around the observatory.
4. Getty Center
The Getty Center is a masterpiece of architecture and history with great views of LA.
You take a short tram ride up into the hills of West LA where you enter the most beautiful buildings you’ll ever see. Inside each of the buildings are paintings, sculptures and relics from all time periods. You could spend hours wandering through and looking at everything.
The Getty is free, but you do have to pay for parking in order to take the tram ride up the hill, which is the only entrance into the center.
5. Los Angeles Zoo
Cost: $20/Adult, $15/Child
The LA Zoo is a great place to spend an entire day at.
The zoo is full of exotic animals from all over the world. You’ll see flamingos, gorillas, giraffes, zebras, hippos, rhinos, and alligators. And everyone loves the seeing the lions.
The zoo itself has beautiful landscaping and a full botanical garden with plants and flowers from all over the world.