Are you in need of some fun indoor activities to enjoy a rainy day with toddlers? Los Angeles may be known better for its outdoor and sun-loving sport but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have plenty of indoor kid-friendly fun. For those few weeks of the year when the rain pours over the desert, Los Angeles has a lot of ways to love the wet and cold. Your kids don’t need to hide indoors driving you crazy; get out and experience all the fun of a rainy day in LA.
Rainy Day with Toddlers? Try out an Indoor Playground
If the weather is too inclement for an outdoor playground, rest assured Los Angeles can still burn the insatiable toddler energy. Recently, indoor playgrounds have proliferated across the city. Plenty of toys, room to run, often they have bikes or indoor playsets to climb. Usually, they have a snack area and free WiFi so you can have some fun, too. If you happen to be on the east side of Los Angeles or the San Gabriel Valley, consider the best 3 indoor playgrounds around Pasadena. We have also spent many a too-hot or rainy day at Giggles n Hugs in the Glendale Galleria. As an extra bonus, they have a restaurant attached and parking at the mall is covered.
Put on a Poncho and Head to Disneyland
Little known fact: lines at Disneyland are a lot shorter when the weather is wet and cold. Angelenos with annual passes just don’t like getting wet. So if you’ve always wanted to go, now might be the time as long as you don’t mind carrying an umbrella or stroller cover. You can also consider a character breakfast. I think the hotel character breakfasts are a GREAT option for families with kids under 3 (#1 Toddler Disneyland Tip) as they save you money, they are indoors, and everyone can enjoy a nice breakfast.
Want some Culture? Visit a Museum
Los Angeles is home to some award-winning museums. While many of them do have an outdoor aspect, most are traditionally indoors. The Skirball Cultural Center is a perennial toddler-friendly destination. Personally, I love The Autry. I’m a sucker for stories of the old West, and besides all the Gene Autry memorabilia, the museum has really gone the extra mile to increase its kid-friendliness. They have an upcoming Lego and Lincoln Log activity day and a screening of Fievel Goes West. I also love the California Science Center for their exhibits on space travel (and I’m very excited for the upcoming King Tut), and the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.
If you or your kids enjoy art (my 3-year-old sadly does not), The Broad and LACMA have a ton of family-friendly activities. The Getty Center is beautiful but does have a lot of outdoor aspects so you would have to walk between the buildings in the rain. If you’ve never been, it’s wonderful on a sunny or overcast day.
It’s Los Angeles, what about the movies?
So a lot of studio tours are outdoors, but you can always go to the movies. Why not check out a historic movie theater. The El Capitan in Hollywood is actually owned by Disney, so they often have special events where you can meet characters from different films. They also screen older Disney movies (like Wall-E and Bug’s Life) and they have a Tiny Tot Tuesday. If you’ve never been to one of these, it’s usually the first movie showing of they day. Theaters keep the lights dim, people bring little kids who run around, and they often have changing tables in the theater. Besides El Capitan, they also have “mommy movies” at Pacific Theaters (in Glendale at the Americana and at the Grove).
Embrace Your Inner Peppa Pig
Jump in muddy puddles. How often do LA kids get to do this? Not terribly often. The real trick here is finding appropriate rain gear.
Bounce, Bounce, Bounce
Did you know the indoor trampoline park Sky Zone has a designated toddler time? Yes, they do. Even little kids love to jump all their sillies out.
Have a Budding Foodie?
Los Angeles, in general, has some terrific foodie and family-friendly spots, but there are a few that take it to the next level. Au Fudge in West Hollywood offers not only delicious food, but also a “creative space” for kids to enjoy while you finish your meal. Kids under 2 need to be accompanied by an adult, but for $40 an hour, they even have au pairs on hand to monitor your kid. What could be more “LA” than that?
Maybe a DIY cake and cupcake decorating space. At Duff’s Cakemix (with three locations in Pasadena, Tarzana, and West Hollywood) you and your kids can unleash your inner Food Network star and decorate desserts with fondant, sprinkles, and more. The only caveat? Your kids may eat all the frosting. It does book up quickly, so try to make reservations in advance on their website.
Final Thoughts on Rainy Days with Toddlers
Los Angeles is actually a great kid-friendly travel destination. Even though many of the activities are outdoor-focused, rainy days with toddlers in LA are times to be loved. Many of these indoor activities are also perfect for when you need to beat the scorching desert summer heat.
This list also is not exhaustive. Obviously, we do a lot of crafts at home and spend time at our local libraries. Most of the LA and Pasadena libraries have more toys and game than we have at home. Many local bookstores (such as Vromans in Pasadena or Children’s Book World in Los Angeles) have story times or music hours. Though they do close the outdoor activities at Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena when it rains, the indoor playroom for kids under the age of 3 remains open. Each hour they have either a story time, music singalong, or craft activity.
How do you shelter from a rainy day with toddlers at home?