I have a 5 1/2 year old daughter and a 2 1/2 year old son. These are some of our favorite weekend activities.
  1. LA Zoo
    The key with zoo is to become members so you don't feel pressure to spend too much time there when you go. It's a lot of walking for little legs. We sometimes go, see a flamingo or two, get some kettle corn and call it a successful day.
  2. Kidspace
    This is out in Pasadena, so a little far for us, but a great science oriented museum that has both indoor and outdoor attractions. Also has water play.
  3. The Water Playground at Grand Park
    A ton of dancing fountains and tables, chairs and a STARBUCKS for the grown ups. Perfect place to let the kids run free while you have a grown up play date.
  4. The Science Museum
    My daughter LOVES this place. I do not like crowds so I do not.
  5. Underwood Farms
    Pick fruit. Ride a tractor. Feel like you don't live in a city. Great for when the grandparents visit.
  6. Aquarium of the Pacific
    We went today and touched jelly fish and star fish and learned about all sorts of sea creatures. Across the street from the Restoration Hardware outlet which is also kinda fun in its own way. (Clearly I don't get out enough.)
  7. Annenberg Community Beach House
    Love this place. Makes going to the beach with little ones easy. A small play area in the shade. Dancing fountains. A pool (which I've never used.) Clean bathrooms. A cafe.
  8. Discovery Cube
    Another science themed museum. Great for a rainy or hot day.
  9. Griffith Park
    A gazillion things to do. Have a picnic. Ride the carousel. Ride the train or a pony. Go to the railroad museum. Play at Shane's Inspiration which is a great playground. Go to the observatory.
  10. Zimmer Museum
    A Jewish children's museum that's best for the littlest ones. My kids like it but it's not my favorite because most of the stuff is in the basement level so feels a little dark and dingy.
  11. Barnes and Noble at the Grove
    Many hours have been killed here. There are Legos and unlimited books and a train set. Another great bad weather place.
  12. Roll down the hills at the Tar Pits
  13. Runyon Canyon
    My daughter loves it. Haven't yet taken my son because I don't trust him not to jump off the edge.
  14. Noah's ark at the skirball museum in Santa monica
    The art room alone is almost worth the drive to the hills above Santa Monica
    Suggested by @gilbaron
  15. Huntington Library
    The Children's Garden is lots of fun with a section for water play, rock music (actual rocks), mini houses and lookouts. The maze and duck ponds are also great for kiddos with a big field for running.
    Suggested by @jcrusius
  16. Tongva Park on Ocean Blvd in Santa Monica
    It's so perfect for your kids ages. My boys are 11 & 13 and love it, too.
    Suggested by @T
  17. Central Park Bandshell in Playa Vista.
    It has beautiful landscaping to enjoy and run around, a lil lake with baby ducklings and a cool green foam play area that reminds me of Seuss-land. The brand new WholeFoods and Nice Cream is nearby.
    Suggested by @T