View Full Version : Any Nearly FREE Fun in SoCal??

10-28-2006, 04:19 PM
Our 5 day PH at DL plus food and souveniers has maxed out our budget. We have 3 days not at the park to find something fun and inexpensive to do.

Is there any fun to be had for nearly free?
(Or say abouts the area of $20 for a family of 5)

We plan on one day at the beach. Anything else?

How's the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium? Worth the drive from Anaheim?

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions! :goodvibes

11-06-2006, 06:31 PM
If you were going to be near San Diego I'd recommend Balboa Park - lots of free stuff to do there. Maybe there are similar activities in Griffith Park? There must be some playgrounds and other city parks around, too.

11-06-2006, 06:48 PM
You need a copy of OC Family (http://www.ocfamily.com/home.html) .

They have a calendar of events each month that lists free activities for families.

11-06-2006, 07:13 PM
How old are the kids? The Museum of Science and Industry (near the L.A. Colliseum) is fun, or if they're into dinosaurs you could check out the La Brea Tar Pits. Admission is charged for the fossil museum next door but not for the Tar Pits. Museum is free the first tues of each month, otherwise $7 adults and $2 kids.

The Getty Museum doesn't charge admission, but there is an 8 or $9 parking fee. You ride a tram up the mountainside to the museum and it's a nice setting overlooking much of Los Angeles. They have kids events on Saturdays, otherwise just artwork to see and a short film about the museum. Nearby is Westwood where they have big old movie theatres with premieres sometime, and lots of cheap fast food places surrounding UCLA. You could take a drive around the homes of Beverly Hills and walk the shops of Rodeo drive...it doesn't cost anything just to window shop!

Note the driving from Anaheim to Hollywood or Beverly Hills or Malibu/Santa Monica is always easier on weekends. Weekday traffic is all messed up from 7:30 to 10am and from 3:30 to 7:30pm

11-06-2006, 08:38 PM
Hi from Cave Creek.

We used to live in LA. I think you can buy a map to the stars home for a few dollars and drive around looking at them. There's also no charge for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The UCLA campus is nice to explore.
I'm not sure which is cheaper, but both the LA Zoo and San Diego zoos are nice and I think pretty reasonable.

11-06-2006, 08:39 PM
If you are going to spend time at the beach in Santa Monica, then it's worth the trip to the aquarium. It's a small one, but we enjoyed it this summer. Lot's of things to touch--skeletons and stuff. Also a small shark aquarium the kids loved because they were swell sharks who kept spitting water. The pier itself has some rides, games and stuff.

11-07-2006, 09:30 AM
You mentioned the beach, but didn't say which one. There are lots of nice beaches plus, Venice Beach is a great people watching beach and definitely entertainment by itself.

11-07-2006, 09:39 AM
We just moved from LA.

Griffith Park is fun. There is a place called Travel Town that my kids loved. Here is more info:


In that same general area you could tour (for free)
Griffith Park Observatory (although they may be charging now)
Travel Town
Hollywood Bowl

Also, most museums and places have a free day.


The above is an excellent guide for you to plan around.

Also, while you are at DL you may want to head up to the Character Warehouse about 2 miles from the park. They have last year's park suvieneers. It is on the corner of Orangethorpe and Harbour Blvd.



11-08-2006, 06:58 PM
The California Science Center has free admission to the permanent galleries. This could take a long day in and of itself. They also have an IMAX there, if you want to splurge.
Do you have any zoo or museum memberships? Often, they "transfer" to other places, and other places give deep discounts. For example, I looked at the Phoenix Zoo and you get reduced admission at the LA Zoo, free admission to the Cabrillo Aquarium, etc.
There's a neat Children's museum, but I don't know about the cost.
I'd spend at least a half day roaming around Hollywood walk of fame/Chinese theatre. Up on the second floor of the Roosevelt Hotel there's a really cool pictoral history of Hollywood that few except for the locals know of. You could go to the Disney soda shoppe for a treat while there.
Not sure when you're planning to go, but if it will be warm, maybe go to more than one beach. Honestly, the kids may have a great time just hanging by the pool for the bulk of a day if it's warm enough.
You could drive out to Palm Springs. There are pretty cool things to do out there, including a fairly inexpensive children's museum and the Living Desert. If you're going to be there between Thanksgiving and x-mas, the living desert does a walk the wild light activity that is fairly inexpensive (I think like $5 per person) and its just beautiful. Also, in the Torrance area, they have a beautiful neighborhood where everyone in the neighborhood puts up white twinkle lights in their trees for blocks on end and all the houses try to outdo each other with x-mas decorations.
Take advantage of kids eat free and or free admission days if you can.
I found a book at barnes and noble called "Free L. A.: The Ultimate Free Fun Guide to the City of Angels" It sounds great!
There are some great libraries around that would be free. A number of the area shopping malls have ice skating. Maybe bowling. These are types of things you can do at home, but if you are looking for fillers, these might be good stand-bys.