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Best Family-Fun Activities At Griffith Park

610 header park Griffith_Observatory_entrance_lawn_with_Hollywood_sign1
(credit: Wikipedia/Serouj)

Aside from the Griffith Observatory that is most associated with Griffith Park, the park offers a myriad of activities throughout its vast expanse. As the closest thing Los Angeles has to a recreational center, this large municipal park lies at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains in the Los Feliz area and covers a whopping 4,310 acres of land, making it one of the largest urban parks anywhere in North America. In fact, its Los Angeles' version of New York City's Central Park. As the second-largest city park in California, the park was given to the city of L.A. as a Christmas present by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith in 1896. Although much of the park is wild and rugged with natural areas for hiking and mountain biking, the park offers family attractions, educational and cultural institutions, and miles horseback riding trails as well. Here is a list of just a few of the great attraction and activities the whole family can enjoy at the park.

What are your favorite activities at Griffith Park? Share in the comments below!
Griffith Park Observatory
(credit: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images)

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

Sitting on the south slope of Mount Hollywood is the iconic Griffith Observatory. Offering stunning views of Los Angeles, the Observatory has played host to movies and today is a major tourist destination for people from all over the world. The Observatory offers exhibits which focus on the observation of the outer galaxies, as well as the most famous attraction, the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. With its incredible Zeiss star projector, a laser digital projection system, a state of the start aluminum dome, theatrical lighting and great sound, the planetarium puts on several different shows that will ask questions about the universe. Shows include "Centered In The Universe," which asks questions about how we as humans came about in relation to the outer galaxies, as well as "Water Is Life," which "takes visitors on a journey through the solar system in search of water," as well as other intriguing shows. Admission to the observatory and the grounds is free of charge, although there is a small fee for the planetarium shows.

(credit: Travel Town)

Travel Town
5200 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 662-9678

Want to take a train ride through Griffith Park? Then Travel Town is right up your alley. Sitting in the northwest corner of Griffith Park is a destination unlike any others that will delight. Whether you're a train enthusiast or just an interested kid, Travel Town offers old and historic locomotives from the late 1800's that you can see in person. Additionally, the Travel Train Railroad lets visitors can ride along a one mile long track which travels over several bridges, tunnels and through many attractions including an old western town.

la zoo
(credit: LA Zoo)

The LA Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-4200

Sitting on 80 acres, the Los Angeles Zoo sits in the heart of Griffith Park and offers visitors a real life look at some of the world's most exotic animals. A great destination for kids and adults of all ages, the zoo offers a look at more than 1,100 mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles including tigers, American black bears, deer, foxes, gorillas, giraffe's, hippo's, lions, monkey's, otters, rhinos, sheep, wolves, frogs, snakes, and much more. There is even a botanical garden where you can walk among the wide selection of plants and feel as if you're in your very own rainforest.

griffith park pony rides
(credit: Nessa E./Yelp)

Pony Rides
4400 Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 664-3266

Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 4pm, Griffith Park offers a chance for your children to ride ponies, horses, or miniature covered wagons around an oval track. Founded in 1948, it has been a popular attraction ever since. For safety, the ponies are all vetted and have to go through an extensive and lengthy process.

griffith park merry go round
(credit: Adrienne D./Yelp)

Merry Go Round
Park Center Griffith
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 665-3051

Open weekends throughout the year and weekdays during the summer months, the Griffith Park Merry Go Round gives riders the chance to ride a historic carousel dating back to 1937. Boasting 68 horses, the old and rustic charm makes this attraction a great destination for families.

Related: Best Carousels and Merry Go Rounds For Kids in LA

autry FB

Autry National Center
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 667-2000

Sitting next to the LA Zoo in Griffith Park is the Autry National Center, which is dedicated to exploring the history of the American West. Established in 1988 by Gene Autry, the museum offers a large selection of exhibits, as well as lectures, festivals, family events, musical events and much more. Learn about the American West, pan for gold with your kids, take part in hands-on-craft activities, and take part in a huge selection of other events. For all events and exhibitions, visit The Autry.

griffith park picnic
Griffith Park (credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Old LA Zoo / Picnic Area
4730 Crystal Springs Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 913-4688

The old LA zoo might be long gone, but you can picnic around the old cages these days. Today, the remnants of the zoo remain along with graffiti and all, but it makes for an interesting place to set up and grab a bite for the day with your kids.

griffith park hiking hike
(credit: Sarah Lei E./Yelp)

4730 Crystal Springs Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 913-4688

Offering more than 53 miles of trails in 4,310 acres of rugged and untouched terrain, Griffith Park is one of the best places to get away from the hustle of the city. Hiking here is hugely popular and the park offers maps with current information detailing the various trail names along with their distance, difficulty and more. The most popular trails include a 3.3 mile trek to the Hollywood Reservoir, a .3 mile trek to the Berlin Forest, as well as a 3.8 mile hike to Mount Hollywood to see the famed Hollywood Sign. For all hiking paths, visit

Griffith Park Pool
(credit: Lord S./Yelp)

The Plunge - Griffith Park Pool
3401 Riverside Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 913-4688

Open during the summer months only, the Griffith Park pool is a great facility for those looking to cool off in the summer heat. Play in the pool with kids, or take part in the sports programs including novice inner tube water polo, or novice synchronized swimming.

Hollywoodland Camp (credit:

Hollywoodland Camp
3200 Canyon Drive
Los Angeles, CA 900068
(323) 467-7193

Located between the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Observatory lies Camp Hollywoodland which is designed to provide girls in the LA area with "camping and recreational programs close to the city in a mountain atmosphere." Sessions include campfires, crafts, horseback riding and swimming. For a full list of events, visit

What are your favorite activities at Griffith Park? Share in the comments below!
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