With the hot temperatures so far this summer and long breaks from school, I wanted to share some FREE ways you can have fun with the kids but also keep cool if you live in L.A or even if you’re here for vacation this summer!  From splash pads, museums to beaches you don’t have to spend money to have fun.

Splash Pads

Tongva Park

Located in the heart of Santa Monica, this park features a really nice park, shaded picnic area, and children’s splash pad. The splash pad has a padded ground, plenty of shade and tables for a picnic.   There’s a nice little path for bike riding and scooter rides as well.  It’s never too crowded, a perfect place to spend a nice relaxing afternoon as a family.

Grand Park

There’s a brand new park here that is super whimsical, like a page out of a Dr. Seuss book that your kids are sure to enjoy.  Not only that, there’s also an awesome splash bad at the historic fountain.  First grab yourself a Starbucks located right beside the fountain, and try to relax as your kid’s splash around and cool off from this summer heat.

Coldwater Canyon

So this isn’t exactly a splash pad, but I highly recommend this park for younger kids. I used to take my son here all the time from about the age of 1-3.  There’s a very shallow stream of water that flows through the park that small kids can splash in.  There are tons of trees so you can bring food and have a picnic and there’s also a gated park area and restrooms.  It’s in a beautiful, safe neighborhood and is never overly crowded.

The Village at Westfield Topanga 

This is the perfect place to cool off if you need to do some shopping as well.  There are tons of great restaurants and shops and also a Costco!  What I do is let my son play in this large climbing leaf structure, eat lunch, play in the splash pad (there are 2 located here) and then go to Costco once he’s exhausted.


California Science Center  

For super hot days, you’ll want to maybe visit some of the museums and keep cool in these air-conditioned spaces!  I don’t understand how the California Science Center is FREE, but it is, and it’s wonderful.  It’s a must visit if you’re visiting Los Angeles.  There are so many amazing exhibits ranging from ecosystems which features an aquarium area that kids love, to seeing the space Endeavour space shuttle which is super impressive especially for kids that are really into space.


This is free on the evening of the first Tuesday of each month!  This is great if you want an indoor/outdoor museum to visit.  There’s a water park area where kids can cool off and splash around.  As well as a tricycle race track, as well as an indoor area with exhibits.


Annenberg Beach House

Located at Santa Monica Beach, the Annenberg Beach House is perfect for cooling off. There’s a park, splash pad, swimming pool, restaurant, boardwalk, everything you need is conveniently located all in one area.  You can purchase day passes to take a dip in the pool, but we never have, our son has always been perfectly content in the free splash pad while we sit down at the tables and chairs and relax and watch him play!

Santa Monica Beach

If it’s really hot and you want to cool off, just head to the Pacific Ocean and jump right in. It’s always cold, even on the hottest days.  Santa Monica beach can get really crowded, but I always take people that are visiting Los Angeles to this destination so that they can see the Pier and hang out at this famous beach.  If you drive along the PCH you can go further down all the way through Malibu and find some quieter spots if you’re not into being with the crowds.  I recommend packing all your food and drinks and bringing it to the beach with you, no matter what beach you end up at!

For more free things to do in LA head to my original here which features LACMA.