We’ve covered extensively about how the San Fernando Valley is fantastic for families. Here’s just one more reason - ten of our favorite places to take kids! If you’re wondering where to go on a weekend, birthday, or any day - GRV has you covered.
1) Universal Studios
This is the biggest amusement park in the Valley. Although it may be expensive, any kid would love to have their birthday here. It’s a little bit older than the Disneyland crowd, and a great starting point for pre-teens onward.
Definitely stop by next door City Walk for a more metropolitan experience. They have drinks, shows, shopping, and a variety of restaurants. Consider it an outdoor mall.
Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
Verdict: The best of the best for all-around entertainment.
2) Wildlife Learning Center
Wildlife Learning Center (WLC) is a zoological park nestled in an old olive grove in San Fernando Valley, California, where visitors can learn and appreciate animals from around the world. WLC was founded to provide public education in the life sciences, conservation, and our environment. WLC is dedicated to providing lifelong care to more than 100 displaced, rescued, and zoo-born wild animals from about 50 different species who call this shady, natural environment home.
This will not only be fun for the whole family, but educational. Living in the deep city of the Valley, kids don’t get extended experiences with nature. This is a concentrated area with a variety of natural experiences, and wild animals that they wouldn’t see anywhere else. Many local schools take their students on trips here as a way to educate them about animals and the environment.
Address: 16027 Yarnell St, Sylmar, CA 91342
The Verdict: Fun and educational exposure to local wildlife.
3) Kidz Korner
This is an indoor playground that is designed to engage kids in physical activities that are fun as well as conducive to their development.
They have different options for how to participate. You can show up as an individual or with a group - even private parties are allowed! They can get crowded, so it’s best to call ahead, regardless of how many people you are going with.
The Playroom in Sherman Oaks is a similar indoor playground and with many unique activities of their own.
Kidz Korner is a family owned and operated indoor playground and space rental venue located in Encino, CA. Kidz Korner is geared for children and toddlers who desire an imaginative, challenging and fun environment to exercise, play and explore both physically and mentally.
This is a place where you bring your own group and book in advance. They are open to all kinds of children's celebrations from birthdays to adoptions.
Address: 17200 Ventura Blvd #120, Encino, CA 91316
The Verdict: Great place to grow your mind and muscles. Good for groups or individuals. Toddlers accepted.
4) Sherman Oaks Castle Park
If you’ve driven on the 101 Freeway, you’ve probably seen parts of the miniature golf course. Need to burn through 2-3 hours? Play a few rounds of golf! They also have batting cages, pizza, and an arcade. They are great for small families or whole birthday parties.
They are great for all ages, perfect for the whole family. You can arrange to have a large party ahead of time and they will curate a special experience for you.
You can also come just with a friend or on a date. They have entertainment as well as plenty of food, so you don’t need to make another stop on your way.
Address: 17200 Ventura Blvd #120, Encino, CA 91316
The Verdict: Great place to grow your mind and muscles. Good for groups or individuals. Will take toddlers.
5) Costanso Fire Station 84
This park is known as being one of the best for kids. It has a massive play-structure with a jungle gym. It also has has an extensive sand and grass area for the kids to play on.
Its name comes from the signature look of the jungle gym, decorated as as firetruck. It’s also conveniently right by a fire station! If you’ve taken your kids to a jungle gym one too many times, you can mix it up over here - and it’s free!
The facility is used by groups who do lots of different physical activities. One of the most popular is the martial arts classes for kids. They teach self-defense as well as self discipline.
Address: 21396 Costanso St, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
The Verdict: Beautiful historic playground. Good for babies on up.
6) The Tree House
This is an indoor playground with plenty of community activities. They have regular classes for individuals, open playtime to use the facility, and planned celebrations.
The facility consists of a ball pit, climbing gyms, a slide, a treehouse and much more. It is a great place to get some exercise and wear out the kids for a day. You will come away with them happy and you can stay and watch or go run errands.
Address: 18600 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356
Price: $10 per visit
The Verdict: Creative setup for acrobatics and games. Fun for an afternoon, a party, or regular attendance.
7) Gates Park
This is a reliable park for the entire family, even the dog. This is one of the few dog-friendly parks in the Valley. There is a large paved picnic area as well as an area for kids.
They have a large grass and sand area for the kids. There are two large jungle gyms with all kinds of climbing and things to do. They are located on opposite sides of the park.
Many locals call this a hidden gem. It stays relatively clean, and people there are quiet and respectful.
They have several outdoor sports. They have soccer fields that are used by the local leagues. The also have tennis courts and basketball courts that are open to the public.
Address: 25801 Thousand Oaks Blvd. Calabasas CA 91302
The Verdict: Humongous, one of the few like this in the area. Great area for kids and families.
8) Skateland Northridge
This is an old school skating rink in an old school part of town. It is high quality with great staff and a nostalgic feel.
They are open to ages five and up, yet available for any age. Skating is a timeless experience, as evidenced by the retro feel of the venue. Families of all sizes are welcome here. Be careful though! If your child doesn’t know how to skate, then they’re in for a ride.
They have lessons for much younger kids with training stands to help them balance. It is a great place to start a new hobby or just have fun with friends.
You can rent a pair of skates on top of the normal fee or save a little money if you already have your own. If you get good, they have nights targeted for more experienced skaters.
Address: 18140 Parthenia St, Northridge, CA 91325
Price: About $10 per person plus skate rental.
The Verdict: Activities are always fantastic. Instead of another jungle gym, have your kids focused on a single task! Great for beginners or disco legends. Time to get your groove on.
9) Valley Village Park
This is a huge park with a host of picnic areas for birthdays or any kind of celebration. There is a designated kids section, which is always great for safety reasons.
They have plenty of jungle gyms, slides, and climbing apparatus to keep the kids entertained. There’s almost endless shade and a picnic area with benches and barbecue systems. It has one of the biggest jungle gym and play areas in the Valley.
If you come on a weekend, especially in the summer it will be packed with gatherings from family barbecues to quinceañeras. You may need a permit if you want to reserve a spot. It may also be required if you plan to bring musics or a bounce house.
Address: 5000 Westpark Dr, North Hollywood, CA 91601
The Verdict: Perfect for the kids and a family gathering. It can get crowded so think about reserving your spot ahead of time.
10) Gymboree Play & Music
Originally founded in Mill Valley, CA it is a chain that has expanded throughout the state. It is a jungle gym and tumbling based exercise place for kids. It is great for getting regular exercise as well as parties and events.
From babies up to 5 year olds, they have many different acrobatic activities to enrich your child's mental development and physical abilities. They have classes that teach and even combine activities from music to art to tumbling and climbing.
This is more than just a daycare center or a preschool. This is all-around developmental enrichment.
They are somewhat untraditional, but they do have programs that focus on school readiness. They still use they’re other variety of activities to augment the traditional subjects of math, language, science and social studies.