News and information about L.A.’s theme parks, zoos and aquariums.

Theme Parks, Zoos & Aquariums

Summer Fun: New Features at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

By Yasmin Dunn Since its opening in April 2016, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios has delighted Potter fans with its whimsy and attention to detail. From the sweets at Honeydukes to the wands at Ollivander’s, you feel like you are stepping straight into the pages of the books. Fans of the series and the films will appreciate the new additions this year, which add even more...

Read Full Article

pixar pier

Pixar Pier Brings “Incredible” Fun to Life at Disneyland Resort

The arrival of “Incredibles 2” didn’t just kick off the summer movie season. The superhero family has given PixarFest a boost and the opening of Pixar Pier a bang! The Incredibles are the centerpiece to new additions at both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. Now that Pixar Pier is open to the public, here’s our take on how to make the most of a day to see it all, with...

Read Full Article

Discover A New Kung Fu Panda, Lego Jedis & The Incredicoaster

The summer months find folks flocking to Los Angeles theme parks, and this summer you will have several new reasons to join the crowds. The new Pixar Pier opens June 23, taking over a large section of Paradise Pier at Disney’s California Adventure. This permanent attraction includes neighborhoods inspired by “The Incredibles,” “Toy Story,” “Inside Out” and other Pixar creations. Don’t miss the high-speed Incredicoaster, which updates the California Screamin’...

Read Full Article

The Drawbridge is Down at the New Legoland Castle Hotel

Legoland’s new Castle Hotel will immerse you in an enchanting world of royal princesses, magic wizards and dragons. Inspired by the popularity of the kingdom-themed rooms at the original resort next door, the hotel is a few short steps from the park entrance – though you’ll probably be hard-pressed to get your kids to leave the lodgings. In fact, good luck getting past the lobby. While you check in, your...

Read Full Article


Disney Pixar Palooza

Cars Land, Toy Story Mania, Finding Nemo’s Submarine Voyage and A Bug’s Land are all part of Pixar’s footprint at Disneyland and California Adventure. Pixar Fest, opening April 13 and in play through Sept. 3, takes that one step farther. Fest features at Disneyland include “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular,” a fireworks show featuring Pixar characters, animated projections and music. During the “Pixar Play Parade,” populated with your...

Read Full Article

What’s New at Disneyland in 2018 Plus a Ticket Discount for SoCal Families

Disneyland visitors living in Southern California are in for a treat in 2018. Not only is Disney bringing a plethora of new experiences to the iconic theme park, but they’re also offering discounts for local L.A. families. The Southern California resident ticket offer provides flexible options for two or three days of magic and adventure at special prices. For a limited time, guests may select from these purchase options, which...

Read Full Article

Los Angeles lunar new year celebration

Golden Dragons, Lion Dancers and the Year of the Dog

The Lunar New Year officially arrives Feb. 16. Here are a few notable events where families can help welcome the Year of the Dog.    Monterey Park’s Lunar New Year Festival, ( will fill five blocks of the city’s downtown area on Garvey Avenue between Ramona and Alhambra avenues from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Feb. 3 and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Feb. 4. Kicking things off Saturday morning will be traditional New Year...

Read Full Article

NYE Parties for Kids in Los Angeles

A Countdown of New Year’s Countdowns

We will start our New Year’s countdown at five with this list – which is chronological, not a ranking.  5. The Santa Monica Playhouse (1211 4th St., Santa Monica; is presenting its annual (but new each year) New Year’s Eve Musical Revue at 7 p.m. Dec. 30 and 6 p.m. Dec. 31. For $39.50-$59.50 adults, $19.50-$39.50 children, guests can enjoy a buffet dinner, a light-hearted musical production, noisemakers, streamers and...

Read Full Article

los angeles theme parks

The Holidays Take Over Local Theme Parks

Is a theme-park visit on your holiday to-do list? Here is a peek at some of the ways the parks will be celebrating the season.    Disneyland and California Adventure (1313 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim; both have special attractions through Jan. 7. Among Disneyland’s highlights are the colorful “A Christmas Fantasy” parade and the “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks show – with its lovely snowfall finale. “World of Color –...

Read Full Article

Harry Potter World Brings the Christmas Magic

Let’s face it, theme-park tickets don’t come cheap in these parts. Even the most frugal outing can cost several hundred dollars for a family of three or four, so you want to make those visits count. The winter holidays offer the best return on that investment, and the debut of “Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter” makes that especially true at Universal Studios Hollywood this year. It’s a...

Read Full Article

holiday events in LA

Brighten Up Your Holiday Season with Light Shows

Lovers of holiday light shows can find electrifying experiences at the L.A. Zoo and Descanso Gardens this season.   Illuminating L.A. nights from 6-10 p.m. Nov. 17-22 and Nov. 24-Jan. 7 (closed Dec. 24-25) will be L.A. Zoo Lights (5333 Zoo Dr., L.A.; Since its 2014 debut, this light display has earned nationwide attention and is listed as one of the “Best Zoo Lights 2016” in the USA Today's Readers'...

Read Full Article

Your Boo! To-Do List of Halloween Haunts for Families

It seems like all of October is one big Halloween party. Throughout the month, there will be a wide range of events across Southern California where you can get into the Halloween spirit. These are some of our favorites (and you can find more in our Calendar in print and online). Eerie Experiments If your kids look great in a lab coat, head over to Discovery Cube Los Angeles (

Read Full Article

haunted houses in los angeles

Halloween Fun for Tweens: Terror Time

For young kids, Halloween revolves around cute costumes and trick-or-treat candy. Teens’ interests often shift toward more frightful fun. With that in mind, here’s a guide to Southern California Halloween attractions that are a real scream. The Queen Mary ( in Long Beach is said to be haunted, making it spooky enough on an average day. Its Dark Harbor event Sept. 28-Nov. 1 intensifies the fright with menacing mazes and...

Read Full Article

knotts berry farm

Go Wild West in Calico at Knotts Berry Farm as Ghost Town Alive! Returns

Last year the newly renovated wooden rollercoaster, GhostRider, compelled me to drive to Buena Park for Knott’s Berry Farm’s 75th Anniversary celebration and the debut of its Ghost Town Alive! Experience. The interactive Wild West-themed improv show isn’t relegated to one stage. Instead, entering the town of Calico allows you to join a gang you choose and engage with the characters as if you and your kids are in a Back to...

Read Full Article

Universal Amps Up It’s Harry Potter World Magic

Since it opened in 2016, throngs have flocked to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood to walk the streets of Hogsmeade, checking out the wands at Ollivanders, imbibing Butterbeer and taking a spin (or two) on the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride up at Hogwarts Castle. This summer, the park is brightening visitors’ evenings with “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle,” an electrifying light-projection experience....

Read Full Article

la zoo creature camp out

Get Wild with L.A. Zoo’s Creature Camp Out for Families

“Have you ever wondered what happens at the Zoo when the last guest leaves?” As a mom who’s been there literally scores of times with my family, the answer is, "yes."  And you can now be a guest after the L.A. Zoo officially closes. The Zoo offers an overnight opportunity for families and you don't need to bring your own tent or food or electricity to do it. I’d heard of family classes, Zoo...

Read Full Article

3 New Reasons to Visit LEGOLAND this Summer

SoCal isn’t short on summer escapes or family fun, but LEGOLAND has some fun new reasons to consider a quick trip to Carlsbad. Opening June 30, the waterpark’s new Surfers’ Cove expansion will feature a 100-foot waterslide where six adventurous souls can hop on mats and race to the bottom. Riptide Racers juices up the competition with digital stopwatches that keep time over each slide, so there’s an undisputed winner...

Read Full Article

SoCal Theme Parks add to the Family Fun This Summer

With school out, it is a terrific time to find family fun. Do some day-tripping and head south down an Interstate for new attractions. Knott’s Berry Farm has expanded its Soak City Waterpark, which stays open through Labor Day. Orange County’s largest water park is debuting two slide towers – The Shore Break and The Wedge – that add seven new slides for aquatic thrill seekers to try. A trio of...

Read Full Article

Your Family Can Feed a Giraffe a Snack

Put “feed a giraffe” on your bucket list – then check it right off by pitching in at one of the Los Angeles Zoo’s giraffe feedings. Just $5 gets you three acacia stems – one of the giraffe’s favorite foods, plucked fresh from the zoo landscaping – to feed to one of the zoo’s Masai giraffes. You’ll be so busy watching that 18-inch tongue stretch to collect acacia leaves and...

Read Full Article

los angeles attractions

Great Wolf Lodge: A Den Away From Home

Our family got a chance to stay at one of the newest Los Angeles attractions, Great Wolf Lodge Resort and Indoor Water Park in Garden Grove this spring. This is the 13th GWL in the U.S., but the first in California. I had never heard of this family resort, but friends on the East Coast love having the option of an indoor water park in the middle of winter and let...

Read Full Article

Sign up to receive our newsletters!

Sign up today to receive updates and information by email from L.A. Parent!

No Thanks