10 Great Places for Kids in Downtown Los Angeles

Thinking of exciting places where kids can get entertained for the entire day (or weekend) in Downtown Los Angeles, from exciting activities to unexpected hidden gemos? Here are 10 Great Places to take the kids in DTLA…

Showtime Inspiration for Kids at Bob Baker Marionette Theater

Entering the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre is like entering a wonderful and enchanting world. Established in 1963, this Los Angeles-based children’s theatrical company has been entertaining young audiences for over 60 years.

Originating in DTLA, only to recently move to Highland Park, Bob Baker, skilled puppeteers bring wonderfully handcrafted marionettes to life while reciting stories that capture children’s imaginations. Following the performance, children may get up close and personal with these incredible puppets.

It’s a great spot known for family fun, with shows offered Tuesday through Friday mornings and afternoons, as well as Saturdays and Sundays.

A Tasty Extravaganza for Kids at Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market is a vast indoor market full of food that will transport the family’s taste buds to exotic locations around the world.

This historic Los Angeles landmark is a great place for kids to take charge of their meal choices. From healthy snacks and refreshing drinks to pizzas, pupusas, pastas, bentos, BBQ, and even bulk candy, it’s always okay to let the kiddies get their way at Grand Central Market.

Up, Up, and Away on Angel’s Flight Railway

Located just across the street from Grand Central Market is Angels Flight, built in 1901.

Known as one of downtown’s most popular landmarks for over a century, Angel’s Flight is a short railway ride toting passengers up and down Bunker Hill.

Sinai and Olivet are the names of each funicular duo that excites children the most as they pass each other on the narrow slope of tracks. Although the trip is brief, for children, it’s a wonderful journey back in time and a spectacular view of the city up at the top!

Pershing Square: City-Escape Fun for Little Explorers

Pershing Square is a hidden weapon for a budget-friendly adventure. This historic park is more than just a location to view statues; and nighttime concerts; it hosts community events like the Holiday Ice Rink, food courts, and pet adoptions year round. There is also a hidden playground paradise for children worth discovering.

With two separate play areas, one for toddlers and one for older children, Pershing Square Kiddie Playground is equipped with climbing structures and safety mats. While families relax nearby, keeping a watchful eye, kids can race around the park or feed the pigeons to watch them show off. 

Gloria Molina Grand Park: A Relaxing Urban Paradise

Gloria Molina Grand Park is a nice place to relax and let the kids run around in downtown Los Angeles. This alcohol-free, family-oriented twelve-acre park is located in the center of the city, providing plenty of space for youngsters to play and explore.

There are grassy areas perfect for picnics, frisbee games, or simply relaxing in the sun, as well as a splash pad at the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain, which serves as a cooling arena for small children as they splash around for as long as they can.

Grand Park offers year-round stages for events and festivals, so there’s always a chance to see something entertaining going on.

Unleash Your Kid’s Inner Artist at The Broad

Ever wonder why there are so many school buses parked around the Broad Museum? Well, forget about stuffy, boring museums; kids are transported daily from their classroom to the Broad for full days of artistic exploration. 

The Broads massive, blue dog, fanciful sculptures, and eye-catching installations such as Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room” are just some of the discoveries located inside the huge multi-floor cyclonic dwelling designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Gensler. 

Purposefully curating family-oriented programming, children aged 3 to 8 can express their creativity in “Family Weekend Workshops,” inspired by the museum’s collection. During these participation lessons, children can express themselves through hands-on, creative projects.

Although admission is free, reservations are recommended.

Inner-City Arts: Where Kids Paint Their Dreams

Imagine a world where all youngsters are rock stars and crayons can provide superpowers. That is Downtown Los Angeles’ Inner City Arts. This is not your average art class; rather, it is a platform for creative expression.

For over 30 years, they have been changing lives and empowering children from all walks of life to succeed. Inner-City Arts allows children to explore many aspects of the arts, including dance, jamming, painting, and filmmaking. Under the mentorship of great artists, children discover latent talents and develop a strong passion for the arts.

But it’s not just about mastering a skill. Inner-City Arts is a family. They offer summer camps and after-school programs and even help youngsters prepare for college and future careers in the arts. It’s a platform to share your thoughts with the world, meet new people, and gain confidence! Thus, Inner-city Arts is the catalyst for children’s creative flame.

L.A. Youth Expo 2024: Where Kids Unleash Their Creativity

LA Trade Tech is preparing to host this year’s LA Youth Expo. This epic yearly festival transforms Downtown LA into a massive playground for art for a day.

With drum circles and face painting, kids may explore a wide range of artistic mediums coached by professional artists while they make new friends and let their imaginations run wild.

Presented by the LA Youth Development Department, kids at the expo can show off their creations, listen to live music, and see incredible displays with the goal of instilling in each kid a lifelong love of the arts.

Take ‘em out to the Ball Game at Dodger’s Stadium

Taking kids to a Dodgers game builds lifelong memories. More than just a game, it’s a voyage that includes tasty things like Dodger Dogs, exclusive first-game pins, and the chance to appear on the Jumbotron. Kids root for the Dodgers while releasing every bit of energy by singing, clapping, and screaming their little hearts out.

On and off the field, the Dodger’s Foundation hosts a variety of charitable events and giveaways for inner city youth all year round.

Celebrating Mexico on Olvera Street

Olvera Street is like a mini-Mexico, right in the middle of downtown Los Angeles! It’s called the “birthplace of Los Angeles” because that’s where the city all started way back when.

The Calle is filled with colorful shops selling toys, sombreros, Mexican crafts, ponchos, leather goods, chonclas, and yummy treats. Plus, there’s often music and dancing, making Olvera Street one of DTLA’s biggest parties.

For decades, small children have posed atop the dusty donkey for photos. By the time they become adults, those photos become cherished keepsakes. Recently, the family who operated the photo exhibit called on the community to help save the testament of the city’s youth. Whether or not the mule goes on to tote tiny tots is yet to be determined; until then, staples that aren’t endanger, such as the Blessing of the Animals, Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, and Dia de los Muertos, will always remain.

Author: Marvin Uzor

I craft user-friendly words for tech & SaaS companies (UX copywriting!), but my heart belongs to storytelling. Ex-Yahoo Sports writer, I weave narratives with SEO magic. When I'm not typing, you'll find me knee-deep in a good book or nurturing my garden.