What to do in LA with a 10 yo (apart from DL/DCA)

I’m planning an LA/Anaheim trip in August 2019.
I’m traveling from Montreal (Canada) with my 10 yo daughter.
We’ll spend 4 days in Disneyland / DCA.
We’ll also spend 4 days in LA and I would like your opinion on my itinerary for my LA trip.
I will rent a car and I strongly consider an Airbnb appartment near Hollywood with a private parking.

Here is what I have planned so far:

Sunday (08/11) :

  • Runyan Canyon Park (early in the morning, we are early birds and we’ll be on a 3 hours jet lag). It’s a short walk from hollywood right ?
  • Getty Villa
  • Spend the rest of the day in Malibu (maybe Paradise Cove Cafe ?)

Monday (08/12) :

  • Walk of Fame
  • LaBrea Tar Pits
  • Original Farmers Market / Grove
  • Spend late afternoon / early evening in Venice Beach

Tuesday (08/13) :

  • Six Flags Magic Mountain & Hurricane Harbour (we already have our Six Flags pass)

Wednesday (08/14) :

  • Warners Bros Studios
  • Griffith Observatory
  • Travel to Anaheim

Am I missing something ? (surely I am!)

Coming from Montreal, my 10 yo daughter doesn’t speak/understand english, so are there some attractions that I should avoid (or add) ?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts !

Knott’s Berry Farm

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I haven’t done any tourist-y things as an adult in charge of the itinerary in LA but your plans look awesome! We have spent many of our Disneyland trips making a trip to the Disney Studio/Ghiradelli Soda Fountain Store on Hollywood Blvd right next to the El Capitan so I know the immediate area (& its traffic) all too well so I definitely think your idea of an AirBnB near Hollywood is a fantastic idea for the LA/Hollywood part of your trip.

This would be closer to Anaheim & I wouldn’t drive from LA for this. If interested, I would do from Anaheim.
And the problem with that is, while Knotts has lots of fun coasters (and I do enjoy a good coaster) I have a hard time taking away a Disney day so it would depend on how many Disney days you have.

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Salut ami Montréalais ! :wink:

Universal is the first thing that comes to mind but I assume you thought about it already ?

The Queen Mary and the aquarium in Long Beach are nice.

A road trip to the San Diego zoo could be nice too.

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Hi !

We did Universal in Orlando last spring, so that’s why I ruled it out (and thought of Warner Bros Studios instead).

Long Beach seems great indeed, maybe it could replace Malibu.

Merci !

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For some reason, I had the Queen Mary placed at San Francisco. I think it is because we did both on the same trip when I was young! I do recall enjoying seeing that bit of history, though!

Yes, it is really spectacular. My dad brought me there when I was 10 and I’d seen a program on TV about it being haunted a few weeks prior so it was pretty awesome for me !

Malibu is nice, great beach, but it’s a bit far and not really necessary IMO since Venice/Santa Monica is almost as nice and it’s right there in the middle of everything (kind of).

Something we did on our last trip was Vasquez Rocks. We had a great time hiking around the park. It is ~40 min from Hollywood, so a bit of a drive.

I don’t know if your 10 year old is into museums or art - but the Getty museum is really cool.

Very thorough itinerary! My kids (10-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son) have been visiting the Los Angeles area with me for several years now (my boyfriend and one of my best girlfriends live there) and have really enjoyed lots of the things you have planned, including the LaBreaTar Pits, the Grove, Malibu, Griffith Observatory. You’ll have a great time!

I second lolabear_la’s suggestion of the El Capitan and neighboring Disney/Ghirardelli shop as long as you’re on the boulevard. The theater is gorgeous, and the shop is a lot of fun.

While Venice/Santa Monica does have more action and people watching, we love Zuma and El Matador beaches in Malibu, as well as Malibu Seafood (a casual roadside restaurant with outdoor seating).

Be aware that Runyon Canyon can get crowded on a Sunday morning with walkers/joggers/dog folks. While it’s in a natural setting, it’s heavily used and not really any kind of “oasis.” But it does have great views and can be convenient. The Lake Hollywood Reservoir (on the other side of the 101 from Runyon Canyon Park) is also great and just below the Hollywood sign.

I agree the Queen Mary is lovely, and Long Beach is really a nice city if you want to switch that up. You can easily follow a path from the aquarium down to the beach for a nice stroll. Shops and restaurants are plentiful and parking is easier than in Los Angeles.

Depending on your fancy, the original Bob’s Big Boy is conveniently located near Warner Bros. for an iconic meal before you hit the road for Anaheim.

I also agree Knott’s isn’t a must if you’re doing DLR, especially considering you’re doing Six Flags.

Have a great trip!


Thanks a lot for all these details, it definitely helps securing my choices !

Absolutely this ! The small dog park just below the sign is an insanely good photo op spot and if you just walk up the hill from the park you get a great view of the reservoir and LA in the distance. On top of that, it’s just beside a house that was owned by Bugsy Siegel and Madonna (not at the same time LOL).

Actually, our favorite hidden beach is Topanga State Beach. It’s on PCH, just north of the Getty Villa (which is mind blowing and gorgeous!). It’s less crowded than Malibu or Santa Monica. Also, there’s a winery across the highway!

It’s our favorite spot in La to bring visitors when they want to see the beach. Just quiet and not touristy. I find Malibu can be touristy and there’s sometime a papparazzi problem, especially on weekends.

Its worth it to mention, travel time from The Grove/Farmers Market to Venice Beach on a Monday is probably 60-90 minutes. Depending on the time of day, possibly more. Monday in La is THE WORST for traffic.

Your plan looks great, just bear in mind you will be spending lots of time in the car and in traffic, so be prepared!!!


Thanks a lot JuliaMc, many great advice on your post.

Maybe I’ll try to mix things up to reduce my commute time.

Salut! That sounds like an amazing trip!

I have visited WV Studios a few times and loved it. However, if your daughter does not speak some English, it might not be that exciting. A lot of the tours in sitting in a tram and listening to a guide that points out stuff.

Getty Villa in Malibu is great; just make sure to get your tickets in advance.

I also really like La Brea Tar pit. It is right next to LACMA, which has some really cool exhibits. I offen hit both in a row.

Where are you gonna be staying?

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Yeah, that was my concern with Warner Bros. Studios.
I can still translate some stuff to her during the tour, but still, it’s not the same.

Maybe I could swap Warner and add more time in the LaBrea Tar Pit area (and add LACMA), or go through Download LA on my way to Anaheim (10am to 2pm to avoid the heaviest traffic) from a walk (El Pueblo etc.)

I will be staying in the Hollywood boulevard area (AirBNB), at 5 mins from Runyan et 5 mins from Highland street. For my Disneyland trip, I’ll be staying at the Grand Legacy at the Park.

I have had to translate to French for my father when he came to visit me in Los Angeles. It was ok, but sometimes I just wanted to listen (and not translate). I would check with her what are her favorite shows and if any were recorded at the WB studios. If she has a lot, it might be worth it. If none of her favorite shows are shot there, I might skip.

As a note: LA is a car city, but we now have fairly nice Metro (called Metro) that will be super convenient where you are staying. You will be on the red line, so you can go to the Griffith Observatory and downtown LA with no problem. In downtown, you can actually connect to the Expo line, which goes all the way to Santa Monica and through Culver City. On the expo line, we have the Natural History Museum (which owns the Tar Pits) and the Science Museum. The Science museum has my favorite: the Space Shuttle. The rest of the museum is not great, but it is free (and the Space Shuttle is $2 I think). There is also a really nice Rose Garden there.

If you don’t feel like driving, the light rail will drop you three corners away from the Santa Monica Pier. It is pretty cool to see. There is also a nice/fancy outdoor mall. It is also a real beach where you can swim. Not the nicest, but I like it quite a lot when I don’t want to drive.

The metro is not crowded and pretty cheap ($1.75 a way) and is fairly convenient!

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