Observatory and Griffith Park (2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Angeles): Located within Griffith Park, the observatory has an astronomy museum, a telescope and activities for the entire family. It is surrounded by the park’s many walking trails (with panoramic views of the city), tennis courts and more. To learn more, call 213-473-0800 or go to griffithobservatory.org.
Placita Olvera (845 N. Alameda St., L.A.): Marking the spot where the city of Los Angeles was founded in 1781, Placita Olvera (also known as Olvera Street) is a picturesque marketplace offering mariachi music, folkloric dancing, Mexican food and more. Free guided tours are available Tuesdays through Saturdays at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon. To learn more, call 213-628-1274 or 213-680-2525, or visit lasangelitas.org/take-a-tour or elpueblo.lacity.org.
Paul Getty Museum (1200 Getty Center Dr., L.A.): This museum features art galleries, workshops/activities and concerts for kids during the summer. Parking is free after 5 p.m. To learn more, call 310-440-7300 or go to getty.edu/visit/groups/families.html.
Villa Getty (17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades): With art galleries and beautiful gardens and architecture. Closed on Tuesdays. To learn more, call 310-440-7300.
California Science Center at the Exposition Park (700 Exposition Park Dr., L.A.): Featuring science and technology exhibitions; $2 fee to ride the Endeavour spatial ferry. To learn more, call 323-724-3623.
Tuesday Club for Children at The Americana (889 Americana Way, Suite 330, Glendale): Enjoy music, arts and crafts, and on Tuesdays children can eat for free at selected restaurants. To learn more, call 818-637-8982 or go to americanaatbrand.com/kids_club.php.
Free admission on some days/hours:
Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (900 Exposition Blvd., L.A.): With exhibits of dinosaur skeletons and much more. On weekends, little ones can learn about science and art during activities with specialized educators. Always free admission for children under 4. To learn more, call 213-763-3466 or go to nhm.org.
Los Angeles County Art Museum (5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.): Houses more than 100,000 works of art, and has concerts, classes and other activities for children. Admission is free from Monday through Friday after 3 p.m. for L.A. County residents, and after 11 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. Closed on Wednesdays. To learn more, call 323-857-6000 or go to lacma.org.
Craft and Folk Art Museum (5814 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.): An opportunity to discover and learn about the world through art and culture. Free admission for children 10 and under and free general admission on the first Wednesday of each month. To learn more, call 323-937-4230 or go to cafam.org.
Huntington Library (1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino): Featuring art collections and botanical gardens. Free admission on the first Thursday of the month. To learn more, call 626-405-2100.
Museum of Contemporary Art (250 S. Grand Ave., L.A.): Considered by some to be the second most important museum in the country, with almost 7,000 works of modern works of art and photography. Free admission every Thursday from 5 - 8 p.m. To learn more, call 213-626-6222.
Other summer outing options:
Santa Monica Pier & Aquarium (1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica): The famous pier is home to a Ferris wheel, mini roller coaster, carnival games, numerous eateries and an aquarium (complete with “touch tanks” and more), which is located directly underneath the entrance to the pier. To learn more about the pier, call 310-458-8900. For information about the aquarium, go to healthebay.org/aquarium.
Los Angeles Main Library (630 W. 5th St., Downtown L.A.): The third largest public library in the United States, it has multiple levels, more than 6 million volumes and features ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean Revival architecture. Free guided tours are available Tuesday through Friday at 12:30 p.m., and on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.). To learn more, call 213-228-7000 or go to lapl.org.
Walt Disney Concert Hall (111 S. Grand Ave., Downtown L.A.): The home of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra presents the best of classical, contemporary music and jazz. Free tours offered on some days. To learn more, call 323-850-2000.
Venice Beach & Canals (Venice): With street artists, jugglers, dancers, the infamous Muscle beach and more, the beach has drum music and exhibits of world flags on Sundays. The Venice Canals are located only a few blocks away, surrounded by Italian-styled gardens.
Marina del Rey Beach (Marina del Rey): The largest place in the world for small boats, with more than 6,000 private yachts, it offers panoramic views and outdoor activities. To learn more, go to visitmarinadelrey.com.
Cabrillo Beach & Sea Aquarium (3720 Stephen White Dr., San Pedro): With attractions similar to the Marine Museum, fishing and water sports. To learn more, call 310-548-7562 or go to cabrillomarineaquarium.org.
Pershing Square (532 S. Olive St., Downtown L.A.): Presents outdoor summer concerts at noon, movies and activities for the whole family. Movies and salsa dancing on Friday nights. To learn more, call 213-847 4970 or go to laparks.org/pershingsquare.
Santa Monica Summer Concerts (1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica): Every Thursday at 7 p.m. starting in July, the Twilight Concert series is presented at the pier. To learn more, go to smgov.net/portals/culture.
Concerts at the Getty Center (1200 Getty Center Dr., L.A.): Extensive musical repertoire with beautiful evening city views on Saturdays after 7 p.m. To learn more, call 310-440-7300 or go to getty.edu/museum/programs/performances.
Jazz Concerts at LACMA Museum (5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.): Jazz concerts presented on Fridays after 6 p.m. On Sundays, varied music presented at 6 p.m. To learn more, call 323-857-6010.
Jazz Concerts on the Grass (Stewart Street Park, 1836 Stewart St., Santa Monica): Concerts and entertainment for the entire family on Sundays in August from 5 - 7 p.m. To learn more, call 310-458-8350.