100 Things to Do in Southern California Before Your Kids Grow Up

Dawn Jan - Orange County
January 15, 2014

Here in Southern California, we have the undeniably awesome gift of raising children in a beautiful, green space packed with outdoorsy activities, countless cultural happenings, and adventure around every corner. Days with babes in arms, toddlers on the go, and school-aged kids savoring freedom somehow manage to pass in a flash.

Here are 100 ways to celebrate the unique experience of growing up in LA and Orange County with your special small people. Get ready, get set, explore!

1.  Ride the big balloon at the Orange County Great Park

2.  Go to a Star Party at the Griffith Park Observatory

3.  Attend the Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown for Chinese New Year

4.  Volunteer to help decorate floats for the Rose Parade

5.  Ride the Balboa Ferry to the Balboa Fun Zone

6.  Go on a Faery Hunt

7.  Experience the stage at Segerstrom's Center for the Arts

8.  Slide down the sea dragon at Atlantis Play Park

9.  Tour the trains of Travel Town

10.  Go fishing at Irvine Lake

11.  Eat with your hands at Medieval Times

12.  Channel your inner Robin Hood or Merida at the Pasadena Archers Range

13.  Explore at the Kidspace Children's Museum

14.  Visit the animals at Centennial Farm

15.  Listen to the music at a concert in the park

16.  Go on a whale-watching trip of Dana Point

17.  Hike up to Holy Jim Waterfall

18.   Rent a Duffy Boat and cruise the canals

19.  See a movie at the El Capitan Theatre

20.  Indulge your sweet tooth at Powell's Sweet Shoppe

21.  Soak in the sun at Paradise Cove

22.  Have an encounter at the La Brea Tar Pits

23.  Go bird-watching at Shipley Nature Center

24.  Camp at Malibu State Park

25.  Spread a love of reading at the Festival of Books

26.  Step back in time at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire

27.  Get a shake from Ruby's Shake Shack and picnic at Crystal Cove State Park

28.  Pan for gold at Autry National Center

29.  Skate the big ramps at the local skate parks

30.  Throw yourself into tradition at the Festival of Colors

31.  Ride the Ferris Wheel at the Santa Monica Pier

32.  Spend the day at Underwood Family Farms

33.  March in the parade to watch the swallows return in San Juan Capistrano

34.  Visit the wildlife at STAR Eco Station

35.  Listen to a story at LA's Central Library

36.  Blend in with the cowboys at Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo

37.  Watch a movie under the stars at Newport Dunes

38.  Explore the big cube at the Discovery Science Center

39.  Run with the grunion at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

40.  Find your balance on a stand-up paddle board

41.  Listen to all that jazz at the Long Beach Jazz Festival

42.  Get wet at Buccaneer Bay Water Park

43.  Join the fiesta on Olvera Street

44.  Find a treasure at the Rose Bowl Flea Market

45.  Taste the cajun food at the LA's Farmer's Market for Mardi Gras

46.  Spend the day at the OC or LA county fair

47.  Redefine sand castles at the Long Beach Sand Sculpture Contest

48.  Board a vessel at the Tall Ships Festival

49.  Take a tour behind the scenes at Warner Brothers

50.  Dress in red, white and blue for the Huntington Beach July 4th Parade

51.  Watch a show at the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre

52.  Do the Sunset Ranch trail ride through the Hollywood Hills

53.  See nature everywhere at the Environmental Nature Center

54.  Play with the animals at Zoomars

55.  Tour the Watts Towers

56.  Find starfish at the Corona Del Mar tidepools

57.  Honor your ancestors at the Gardena Obon Festival

58.  Spend a weekend on Catalina Island

59.  Go to a kids concert at the Hollywood Bowl

60.  Take a water taxi to the Queen Mary

61.  Visit the Batcave in Griffith Park

62.  Watch the art come alive at Pageant of the Masters

63.  Step into the wild world of the Los Angeles Zoo

64.  Do a behind the scenes tour at the Aquarium of the Pacific

65.  Make a music loving stop at Amoeba Records

66.  Run the bases at Angel or Dodger Stadium

67.  Use your imagination at Pretend City

68.  Go kayaking during a full moon in Newport Bay

69.  Spend a day of play at La Habra Children's Museum

70.  Share the trough at Farrell's

71.  Take a walk through the woodlands at Fullerton Arboretum

72.  Absorb surf culture at the US Open

73.  Step into a different culture at the Bower's Kidseum

74.  Drink at the soda fountain in Old Town Orange

75.  Be a part of a Pirate Dinner Adventure

76.  Check out the Butterfly & Spider Pavilions at the Natural History Museum

77.  See the world at the Children's Film Festival

78.  Sing-along at the Disney Concert Hall's Symphony for Youth

79.  Find fossils in Red Rock Canyon

80.  Explore the deep sea at the Ocean Institute

81.  Spend the day cleaning the beach with the community

82.  Meet your favorite author at the OC Children's Book Festival

83.  End a day at Knott's with a chicken dinner

84.  Pick your pumpkin at Tanaka Farms

85.  Cross the bridge to the Heritage Park Play Island

86.  Take a trolley tour of Beverly Hills

87.  Take a ride down Angel's Flight

88.  Celebrate at a Getty Center Family Festival

89.  Join the Dia de los Muertos Festival at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

90.  Step into a space shuttle at the California Science Center

91.  Enjoy the magic of Downtown Disney District

92.  Climb aboard Noah's Ark at the Skirball Center

93.  Roast marshmallows over a bonfire at the beach

94.  See the beauty of the Huntington Gardens

95.  Celebrate with the stars at the Hollywood Christmas Parade

96.  Go sledding on the sand dunes at Venice Beach

97.  Watch the Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Beach

98.  Take the evening Irvine Railroad train to see Santa

99.  Go ice skating in Pershing Square

100.  Visit Disneyland and California Adventure during the holidays

From the Parents

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