L.A. may have a bit of a reputation that is equal parts glamorous and gritty. But the reality is that Los Angeles is also the birthplace of Mickey Mouse, the home of Hollywood magic, and filled with family-friendly sites and activities for kids of all ages. Here are five of our favorite things to see in do from DK Eyewitness Travel’s Top 10 LA.

Universal Studios Hollywood

LA's biggest tourist attraction is attached to the world's largest movie studio. A ticket buys a day of thrill rides and live action shows, and includes encounters with Spiderman, the Terminator, Shrek, and other famous film characters. Take the narrated tram tour to the backlot and experience all of Universal’s most famous outdoor sets.

Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City Phone: 1.800.UNIVERSAL Admission: Discounted tickets and packages available online www.universalstudioshollywood.com


Half a century after it first opened, the "Magic Kingdom" continues to be right on top of children’s must-see lists. A one-, two-, or three-day visit is guaranteed to delight, amaze and exhaust the kids, especially since recent expansions have added a second theme park, Disney’s California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney entertainment district to Disneyland.

Address: 1313 Harbor Blvd. Anaheim
Phone: 714.781.4565
Hours: Varies by park, check online Admission: Ages 3-9 $59; Ages 10+ $69.00; additional packages and pricing online
Natural History Museum

This engaging museum pays homage to the entire animal kingdom, including extinct species such as the perennially popular dinosaurs. Special child-oriented facilities include the Discovery Center stocked with puppets, storybooks, and a fossil rubbing station; and the Insect Zoo, home to a host of creepy crawlies, creatures as diverse as tarantulas, centipedes, and ants.

Address: 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park
Phone: 213.763.3466
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30am-5pm and Sat-Sun 10am-5pm Admission: Adults $9.00; Children 13 -17 $6.50; 5 -12 $2.00; Children under 5 Free
Bob Baker Marionette Theater

A show at this landmark theater, founded in 1963, is truly a treat. Seated on a fluffy carpet, children watch in wonder as the cast of marionettes and puppets sing and dance before their eyes, sometimes even interacting with them. All characters are made in the onsite workshop and many are for sale, so you can take the show home with you.

Address: 1345 W 1st Street
Phone: 213-250-9995 Shows: Tue-Fri 10:30am; Sat & Sun 2:30pm *Reservations required
Admission: $20
Santa Monica Pier

Pet a sea cucumber, take to the skies in a Ferris wheel, or watch local fisherfolk reel in their latest catch at this pier. These are just some of the activities on California’s oldest amusement pier whose attractions draw over three million people a year. During the summer, be sure to make it to the popular free concert series that takes place every Thursday night.

Located at the end of Colorado Avenue www.santamonicapier.org