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Best Kid-Friendly Parks in Los Angeles
July 12, 2022

Let your kids burn off energy and play in the great outdoors with our list of the best kid-friendly recreational parks in Los Angeles!

Taking your kids to the community parks is a great way to sit back, relax, and let your little ones get all their wiggles out. Sometimes you just want lush greenery where kids can run freely, walk through the scenic trails, roll down a hill, or have a playspace to learn how to hit or kick a ball. Get your kids ready to explore the outdoors and head to the best kid-friendly recreational parks in Los Angeles to reset, recharge, and play!

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Los Angeles isn’t only about celebrity sightings and Hollywood glamour, it is also a place for fun and adventure with hundreds of things to do with kids. The City of Angels is a fantastic destination for kids with perfect weather and vast urban green spaces. From hidden gems to well-known spots, recreational parks across the city invite kids to engage with nature, create life-long healthy habits, and learn to socialize with other kids on the playground.

There are so many options from Downtown L.A. to the coast, and it can be challenging to choose where to go. To help you decide which one to visit on your next outdoor adventure with your kids, we’ve narrowed down our list of the best kid-friendly recreational parks in Los Angeles. Break up your routine and visit one park at a time starting today — it’s free!

Recreational Parks in Los Angeles

Best kid-friendly recreational parks in Los Angeles - Barnsdall Art Park
Photo by: Joshua White / JWPictures.com

Barnsdall Art Park

4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone Number: (323) 660-4254

Located near Hollywood Boulevard and Vermont Avenue intersection, Barnsdall Art Park sits on 11 acres atop Olive Hill, offering breathtaking views of the city and the Hollywood Sign. It is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Barnsdall Art Center, the Junior Arts Center, and the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre. Throughout the complex, landscape elements – including constructed water courses – are integrated with the architecture.

Barnsdall Art Park is a true gem in the middle of the city. Not only can you attend the theatre and art classes there, but you can also relax in the beautiful park. The famous Hollyhock House is the centerpiece of the park, approximately 36 acres known as Olive Hill, and it is one of L.A.’s best-kept secrets. For more information, please visit their website.

Echo Park Lake
Photo by: L.A. Parks

Echo Park Lake

751 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026
Phone Number: (213) 847-0929

Echo Park Lake has been around since 1860, making it one of the older kid-friendly recreational parks in Los Angeles. With the Downtown L.A. skyline as the backdrop, the parklands, charming footbridge, boathouse, and the “Lady of the Lake” statue have attracted visitors for generations. There are also many alfresco cafés, where you can enjoy excellent coffee and desserts with incredible lake views.

A great way to explore Echo Park is by rowboat (or swan boat), which you can rent from the onsite Wheel Fun Rentals. You’ll cruise past many resident swans and beautiful lotus beds. Exhaust your day perched on their picnic tables or stroll on walking paths around the lake. For more information, please visit their website.

Best kid-friendly recreational parks in Los Angeles - Elysian Park
Photo by: Becca D.

Elysian Park

929 Academy Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone Number: (213) 485-5054

Known for being L.A.’s oldest public park, the 575-acre Elysian Park offers a surprising getaway in the heart of the city, with stunning views from Dodger Stadium and Downtown L.A. to the Hollywood Hills and the Valley. Lined with eucalyptus trees and a surrounding forest, the park is a quick, magical escape from the congested city. You’ll meet many endearing pups along the trail and take in long views of the Golden State Freeway, LA River, and San Gabriel Mountains.

It is home to numerous historic sites, including the Los Angeles Police Academy and Barlow Hospital, linked by miles of walking trails. You’ll find palm groves, baseball fields, picnic areas, and playgrounds within the park. There’s also a hidden gem called Secret Swing Angels Point, at the intersection of Angels Point Drive and Park Row Drive. For more information, please visit their website.

Exposition Park
Photo by: California Science Center

Exposition Park

900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007
Phone Number: (213) 763-3466

Much of the majesty of past Olympics has faded, as has much of the polish on the Memorial Coliseum, Exposition Park stands as one of L.A.’s most significant institutions. You’ll find green spaces scattered around the USC-adjacent property. But the most charming section resides in the fragrant Rose Garden. Rest in one of the gazebos or take a stroll around the central fountain while admiring its beautiful brick neighbors.

Exposition Park is the home of several top L.A. cultural attractions and venues, including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the California Science Center, and the California African American Museum. For more information, please visit their website.

Best kid-friendly recreational parks in Los Angeles - Grand Park
Photo by: Grand Park LA

Grand Park

200 N Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone Number: (213) 972-8080

Grand Park offers excellent views of Los Angeles, stretching from the Music Center to City Hall. It has four distinct sections that work together to provide a wide range of recreational activities. Some of its highlights include a community terrace with a diverse array of drought-tolerant plants and a small lawn hosting cultural events and weekly farmers’ markets.

Grand Park includes tree-shaded sidewalks, drought-tolerant plants, an interactive fountain plaza, performance lawns and courtyards, a children’s playground, splash fountains, movable park furniture, and kiosks to encourage the walking and exploration of the area. For more information, please visit their website.

Griffith Park
Photo by: Griffith Observatory

Griffith Park

4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone Number: (323) 913-4688

Griffith Park is one of the best and most famous kid-friendly recreational parks in Los Angeles and one of the largest municipal parks in North America. Within its 4,310 acres, you’ll find over 50 miles of trails leading to many waterfalls and lagoons. The park offers a variety of things to do for all ages, including hiking and equestrian trails, city views, the Greek theatre, L.A. Zoo, and the Griffith Observatory.

Moreover, Griffith Park caters to many recreational activities such as soccer, swimming, tennis, golf, and cycling. Also, bike rentals, designated picnic areas, and playgrounds are widely spread along the park. For more information, please visit their website.

Best kid-friendly recreational parks in Los Angeles - Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Photo by: County of Los Angeles Department of Parks & Recreation

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

4100 S La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90056
Phone Number: (323) 298-3660

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, also called Kenneth Hahn Park, is located in the Baldwin Hills Mountains of Los Angeles. This 308-acre state park is a little hidden gem in L.A. It has excellent walking/hiking trails and plenty of playgrounds for kids. The significant part about it is the hikes are kid-friendly. Choose among their various programs, including fitness, aquatics, outdoors, and golf.

This urban oasis is one of the largest inner-city recreational parks in Los Angeles, making it a great spot to let your kids run free for an afternoon. 

With its expansive area, it is dog-friendly and provides lots of recreation and activities to participate in. Friends and family can gather to enjoy picnic tables and barbecue pits located throughout the park. For more information, please visit their website.

Lake Hollywood Park
Photo by: L.A. Parks

Lake Hollywood Park

3160 Canyon Lake Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90068
Phone Number: (818) 243-1145

Lake Hollywood Park provides an idyllic escape from Los Angeles, with fantastic views of the Hollywood Sign and Hollywood Reservoir. Hiking, jogging, and cycling are popular activities here, thanks to a flat, 3.3-mile paved loop bordering the reservoir. You can also visit nearby attractions like the Garden of Oz and The Last House on Mulholland.

Lake Hollywood Park has picnic tables, barbecue pits, and a small playground, making it very popular with families on weekends. There’s a grass field for dogs to roam around, but keep their leash on to avoid a hefty fine. For more information, please visit their website.

Los Angeles State Historic Park
Photo by: Los Angeles State Historic Park

Los Angeles State Historic Park

1245 N Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone Number: (323) 441-8819

Los Angeles State Historic Park provides an extraordinary opportunity for recreation and education in the heart of Los Angeles. Within its 32 acres of open space directly adjacent to Chinatown, park visitors can wander pathways, enjoy a view of downtown, and discover and celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Los Angeles.

Park-goers can enjoy the beautiful scenery and relaxing atmosphere without going too far from the city. Moreover, this park has no elevation gain, which is perfect for picnics and outdoor workouts. Similarly, lounge at your own leisure and enjoy watching kids fly kites and others ride bikes. For more information, please visit their website.

Best kid-friendly recreational parks in Los Angeles - Pan Pacific Park
Photo by: Pan Pacific Park

Pan Pacific Park

7600 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone Number: (323) 939-8874

Centrally located across the street from The Grove, Pan Pacific Park was once home to the famous Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Today it’s one of the city’s most popular and family-friendly parks, with features that include barbecue pits, a baseball diamond, basketball courts, a children’s play area, an indoor gym, and picnic tables. Pan Pacific Park is also the site of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the oldest Holocaust museum in the United States.

Pan Pacific Park got a facelift in 2019, and it now features interactive play and learning activities for kids of all abilities. The Park features a couple of playgrounds and has new swings and new slides. With ice cream at Milk and loads of food options at The Grove within easy walking distance, this is a park that families can park themselves at for the whole day. For more information, please visit their website.

Best Kid-Friendly Parks in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a sprawling city with an immense number of parks. These local parks provide opportunities for exploration and give kids and parents social connections as they interact with others through conversation and play. Whether you’re looking for something recreational or just want to hang out, these kid-friendly parks in Los Angeles is the best place to bring your kids for a fun-filled day outing all year round!

Los Angeles offers so many opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all year round! Check out our list of resources, or browse through our things to do in Los Angeles with kids. Still looking for more activities for kids in Los Angeles? No problem! Check out our comprehensive listing of places to go in the region and our highly recommended outdoor blog posts.

20 Fun Things To Do in Los Angeles with Kids
Our 13 Best Kid-Friendly Parks in San Francisco
Best Kid-Friendly Parks in San Jose
Best Parks for Kids in Sacramento

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