10 Great Places for Kids in Downtown Los Angeles

King tut

Travel back in time, glide across the park on ice, discover DTLA all over again through the eyes of a child…Here’s 10 Great Places for Kids in Downtown LA…

1. Travel Back in Time at Beyond King Tut: Immersive Experience

Travel back in time one hundred years in time to rediscover the wonders of ancient Egypt at Beyond King Tut: Immersive Experience now on exhibit at Magic Box in Downtown LA. Families uncover what life was like for the boy king over 3000 years ago within nine separate galleries filled with immersive artistry, artifacts and interactive games once played by the young Pharaoh himself. Go VIP for the life-changing VR experience that gives visitors the feeling of being inside the King’s massive tomb filled with his treasures, and bear witness as they reopen his golden Sarcophagus. 

2. Ages of Discovery at Exposition Park

Expo park
Photo Courtesy: Natural History Museum

It’s official, Exposition Park has got to be one of the coolest destinations for young people in existence. Dinosaur bones and spider pavilions welcome kids to explore nature at the National History Museum. Families voyage to the Amazon Jungle, outer space and under-the-sea adventures at the IMAX theater. With the African History Museum and the space shuttle Endeavour, it just doesn’t get any more exciting for children with acquisitive minds. At Exposition Park, families can experience the past, present and future all in one visit. 

3. The Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square Returns

Holiday ice
Photo Courtesy: Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square

Downtown’s Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square is back after two-year hiatus. From November 23rd through January 1, 2023, families can gather at one of downtown’s most historic parks for hours of ice skating fun and adventure at the city’s largest outdoor rink. The Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square annual Icebreaker Opening Celebration on Wednesday, November 23 at 11:00 am features a live performance, special guests and an “icebreaking” ceremony, where a large ice sculpture is shattered. The Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square’s first skaters will be youth from South Los Angeles and will keep up the libations with special guests, skate exhibitions, private parties and welcoming community activities until the new year.

4. Walking in a Grand Central Market Holiday Wonderland

Grand central
Photo Courtesy: Grand Central Market

Soon all of DTLA will be Walking in a Holiday Wonderland at Grand Central Market. From December 3-31, Grand Central Market will come alive with holiday cheer, offering activities for the whole family including Santa meet & greet, family photo sessions, holiday shopping and workshops, live music and more –a wonderland of one-stop-shop for all your holiday needs, and of course, delicious food and drink. When the doors first opened in October 1917, GCM is the pride of Downtown, with over 40 vendors, there are plenty of options and kid favorites to choose from like pizza, Spaghetti, ice cream, peanut & jelly and even bins full of candy! 

5. Vintage Fun on Angels Flight Railway

Angels flight
Photo Courtesy: Angel’s Flight

Directly across from GCM is one of Downtown LA’s oldest landmarks and tourist attractions. Built in 1901, Angels Flight Railway has given more than 100 million passengers lovely hints of the older days of Los Angeles. With two brightly colored orange vintage trolleys offering a rickety slow ride up and down the tracks, Angels Flight stays true to its creator, Old Colonel J.W. Eddy and his amazing vision. Eddy named the two cars, Sinai and Olivet and polished their iron handrails and cedar seating to match the decor of the day. Gingerly passing each other on separate tracks the two cars have shared a relationship escorting passengers, both young and old from Hill Street to Bunker Hill for over 100 years. 

6. Sticking to Tradition at Olvera Street

Olvera street
Photo Courtesy: Olvera Street Official

For as far back as memory will allow, Olvera Street has been a staple of Downtown LA. On its site sits the oldest Pueblo, the oldest church and the oldest restaurants of our great city. From Cinco De Mayo, Mexican Independence Day, and Blessing of the Animals to the reenactment of the journey of baby Jesus, families and school buses filled with innocence have been flocking to the birthplace of Los Angeles since the 1930s. Operating seven days a week its cobbled calle and Mexican Marketplace surrounded by historic buildings, the famed Olive Tree, performance stage, and plaza monuments has brought people families together for food, music, Souvenirs and of course, a chance for the little ones to bring home to a photo sitting on the stuffed burro. 

7. Step Right Up at Two Bit Circus

Step right Up to Downtown’s tech-infused Big Top and enter a whole new world of interactive entertainment for all ages. Kid particularly enjoy the neon glow of attractions and arcade games, and fill up quickly on the wide variety of food and beverage. Two Bits offers a maze of immersive stories, Escape Rooms that will have kids piloting spaceships, looting dungeons, and even performing surgeries. Two Bit Circle is all about fun and games. 

8. Dinner & a Movie —- a Kids Movie Of Course

Photo Courtesy: Alamo Drafthouse

Can’t go wrong with a great kid-friendly cinema. That’s at least four hours of food and entertainment at both of Downtown’s movie houses. Alamo Drafthouse at the Bloc just put their joyful Candy Cane Shake is back on the menu along with Decadent Hot Coco with marshmallows paired with warm sugar cookies. Regal Cinema at LA Live is good for kids, offering a state-of-the-art immersive multiplex movie theater playing kid-friendly favorites and an entire entertainment hub complete with restaurants, and a sports arena to back it up.

9. Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

Photo Courtesy: Dodgers Foundation

Speaking of sports, the Downtown skyline can be viewed at all three major sports arenas. From Crypto Arena, Banc of California & Dodger Stadiums, “root, root, root for the home team” always gives the little ones plenty of reasons to cheer. 

10. Ride Like the Wind at CicLAvia

Photo Courtesy: Danny Liao of Gene Malcolm at CicLAvia.org

Inspired by Columbia’s Bogotá weekly ciclovía, CicLAvia temporarily closes streets to car traffic and opens children of all ages for hours of biking, walking, roller skating, and rolling blading fun. Join thousands of riders who take to the streets 6 times a year with one of the events creating a massive bike path through the streets of Downtown Los Angeles.

Author: Keri Freeman

Military mom and proud parent, artist, writer, musician and film maker. Cocktail connoisseur. Publisher of DTLA Weekly.

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