LA Moms’ Favorite Fun and FREE Summer Activities to Do in Los Angeles With Kids

los ángeles lacma museumSummer is here in all its glory and with that comes long days of play and memory-making. Living in a city like Los Angeles and the surrounding areas offers so many opportunities to keep your kids engaged all summer long without having to spend the big bucks since there are so many things to do for free.

I asked 16 Los Angeles and Orange County mom bloggers to share with all of us their top fun and free activities to do with kids during the summer. This true and tested list includes movies, beach, hikes, museums, concerts and more and you will surely want to bookmark it to keep as a reference when planning your summer days.

If you’re curious as to what my family’s top free summer activities are, here’s my short list that weren’t already mentioned and included in the slide show below.

#1. Big! World! Fun! Family Series at the Ford Theatres. Children are free and adults pay only $5 for a free outdoor concert, arts and craft in a classic Hollywood setting. Every other Saturday starting at 10am the Ford offers an hour-long music, dance or theatre performance with sights and sounds from all over the world.

#2. The LACMA (Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Arts) has a youth program called NexGen where all children 0-18 receive a badge to enter the museum for free. The cool thing is that they can bring one adult with them for free! Every Sunday is Andell Family Sundays where the kids can engage in free arts and crafts and then peruse the exhibits with their adult.

#3. Wading pools! We always mark in our calendars the day when our local wading pools open up because it’s such an easy way to get some water play on, hangout at the park and maybe even pack a picnic with friends. More L.A. area wading pools can be found here.

I’m sure all cities in the U.S. offer amazing fun and free activities for families during the summer. The best way to find out and stay up-to-date with the happenings around your city is to do an online search and subscribe to those local blogs that offer activities information. Another tip is to Like on Facebook the museums, local parks, blogs, sites, etc that offer activities information and place them all on a special List so you can go straight there when you’re planning your week.

Some sites covering many cities you can check out are:

Free Fun Guides

Mommy Poppins

Macaroni Kid

Los Angeles and O.C. mom bloggers share their favorite fun and free summer activities to do with kids

  • Tide Pools at Leo Carrillo State Park 1 of 16
    Tide Pools at Leo Carrillo State Park
    "Leo Carrillo State park (north Malibu) beach has the best tide pools from Marina del Rey up to that point. Tide pools are fascinating for kids; little self-contained ecosystems."

    Jen Miner of The Vacation Gals.

    Photo by jvoves on Flickr
  • Perfect Family Beach Day at Salt Creek Beach in Laguna 2 of 16
    Perfect Family Beach Day at Salt Creek Beach in Laguna
    "I love to fly kites, eat a picnic and explore the tide pools at Salt Creek Beach in Laguna. Afterwards we like to go to the Rite Aid Pharmacy and get double scoops of ice cream for about $2.50 each. I love that this is such a classic Cali family day that doesn't require a lot of prep or planning - just fresh air and sunshine, a kite and a sandwich."

    Ciaran Blumenfeld of Momfluential
  • The Getty Museum’s Saturday’s Off the 405 Concert Series 3 of 16
    The Getty Museum's Saturday's Off the 405 Concert Series
    "The Getty Villa is always fun and free and the regular Getty Museum does these events with food and music called Saturdays off the 405 that we love doing."

    Vanessa of The Queen of Swag

    Photo by rtberry13 on Flickr
  • Free Family Concerts at the Levitt Pavillion in Pasadena 4 of 16
    Free Family Concerts at the Levitt Pavillion in Pasadena
    "Pasadena Free Summer Concert Series at the Levitt Pavilion! Nightly entertainment, but every Wednesday night is a kids themed show!! We love taking in the Summer Concert Series at the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena! Every Wednesday night is a kid-themed show and it is a huge community wide event that brings local families together. Everyone brings their own blankets, chairs and dinner for a picnic in the park! It's one of our favorite summer activities and it's FREE!"

    Andrea Fellman of
  • The Natural History Museum 5 of 16
    The Natural History Museum
    "The Natural History Museum. It's dirt cheap AND air conditioned. You can bring a picnic lunch and have it in the rose garden which is adjacent and spectacular. Also members can check out artifacts so if you have a budding scientist it's perfect."

    Jessica Gottlieb of

    Photo by Averain on flickr
  • Free Bowling Days! 6 of 16
    Free Bowling Days!
  • Santa Monic Pier Free Summer Concerts 7 of 16
    Santa Monic Pier Free Summer Concerts
    ‎"The Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series. Beach, music, summer, free = Amazing FUN!"

    Natalie Goldberg of Hollywood Hot Moms

    Photo by justin_vidamo on flickr
  • Free Days at the Huntington Gardens 8 of 16
    Free Days at the Huntington Gardens
    "I love visiting the Huntington Library & Museums. There is a FREE day coming up on August 2. The tickets for the FREE day are available July 1st. For more information go HERE."

    Eva Smith of Tech.Food.Life

    Photo by Julialat34 of Flickr
  • Free Outdoor Movies 9 of 16
    Free Outdoor Movies
    "We love the Free Movies at Century City Mall - it's fun, comfy chairs, and a food court right there. And adults can get drinks…" More info HERE.

    Sarah Aeurswald of MomsLA.
  • Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica 10 of 16
    Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica
    "The Splash Pad at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica. It's clean, easy to park (parking is $8 all day), yummy food next door or you can bring your own. Also clean bathrooms, good beach access and good people watching too."

    Courtney Lewis of Santa Monica Macaroni Kid

    Photo by bunnicula on Flickr.
  • Free Concerts on Canon 11 of 16
    Free Concerts on Canon
    "A hallmark of summer in Beverly Hills: Concerts on Canon - we've attended these concerts since our boy was in a stroller - now he dances along with me!"

    Alexandra of Beverly Hills Mom.
  • Free music events at CityWalk 12 of 16
    Free music events at CityWalk
    "The free, fun entertainment at CityWalk every weekend with Spotlight Fridays, Spin Saturdays, and Retro Cover Bands and Latin Sundays!"

    Yolanda Machado of SassyMamainLA.

    Photo by on Flickr
  • Eaton Canyon Family Hikes 13 of 16
    Eaton Canyon Family Hikes
    "Echo Mountain for the big kids and avid hikers and Eaton Canyon for the little ones."

    Catalina Juarez of Greenery in Mommyhood.

    Photo by The Marmot
  • Public Libraries 14 of 16
    Public Libraries
    "All of the LA Public Libraries have a summer reading program and my kids have been talking about it for weeks. The Downtown public library is one of my favorite places in LA and it's free. (It's also next to Cafe Pinot. yum!)"

    Yvonne Condes of Yvonne in LA

    "The library. Any library, but my favorite is always the closest one to our house, wherever that is."

    Kim Tracy Prince of House of Prince

    Photo by sheilaellen on Flickr
  • A Hike to the Griffith Park Observatory 15 of 16
    A Hike to the Griffith Park Observatory
    "I like to lash my children with whippoorwill branches up the Ferndell hike to the Griffith Park Observatory. It's a 2 mile round trip hike that makes you feel holy and yogi-like. The kids complain until they get to the top and see how far they hiked. Then they brag and exaggerate their heroic feat. I carry lunch in a back pack and we eat on the lawn. Then we go into the observatory WHICH IS FREE and look at the universe."

    Shannon Bradley of The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful
  • Redlands Bowl Free Concerts 16 of 16
    Redlands Bowl Free Concerts
    "Redlands has the oldest, longest free summer music festival in the U.S. I love it because i get to see free ballet, music and musicals under the stars - I've been going since i was a kid!"

Megan Maclain of Sunshine Wonderland

    Photo by caswell_tom

Main image credit: Sarah_Ackerman on flickr


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