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Museums, Aquariums, and More for Families during the Holidays

Holiday vacations with your family are an opportunity to build memories that will last. While you want to fill your vacation time with as much fun as possible, it can be tricky to plan a full day on every day of your vacation. Museums, aquariums, and other local attractions all offer excellent opportunities to get out, explore, and make your family holiday vacation one for the books.

Attractions in Anaheim

There is plenty of fun to be found in beautiful Anaheim in Southern California. Most famous for being the home of Disneyland® Park, Anaheim offers many more activities and places to visit.

Anaheim features a number of fantastic museums. The Hollywood Museum lets movie lovers to be transported back to the golden age of film and television. If there is a film buff in your family, this is a must-see attraction. It showcases nearly a hundred years of Hollywood memorabilia and features exhibits on legendary stars like Marilyn Monroe and your favorite actors.

The renowned Bowers Museum showcases art and history and will be an educational experience as well as an entertaining one. The museum possesses in its collection art from Native American culture, the Pacific Islands, and Africa. They also have a great rotation of captivating exhibitions.

A hit with the kids, the Discovery Cube in Orange County is a delightfully fun, interactive museum that blends learning and play. The Dino Quest exhibit allows you to embody the role of a paleontologist and start your own dig for prehistoric bones in this outdoor adventure. At the Boeing Rocket Lab exhibit, your family will become rocket scientists and experience the power of a rocket launch in the Blast-Off Zone.

Craving a puzzling challenge during your holiday trip to Anaheim? Look no further than the Puzzle Workshop Escape Room in nearby Irvine. The location hosts several adult and family-friendly escape rooms, so there is something for everyone. If it’s your family’s first time trying out an escape room, don’t sweat it! Rooms range in difficulty, offering fun for beginners to seasoned escapers.

Southern California

Attractions in Los Angeles

Scoring incredible family photos should be on every vacation to-do list, and L.A. has just the spot. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art boasts fantastic pieces that will wow you and the rest of the crew. It also features one of the city’s best landmarks, the Urban Light piece, which practically begs for a photo-op.

The L.A. Natural History Museum is home to the great exhibits you would expect, like impressive dinosaur fossils and Native American history exhibits. Some surprising highlights include the Gem and Mineral Hall and the 3.5-acre nature gardens. The entrance also welcomes visitors with a monumental 63-foot long fin whale skeleton.

Aquarium of the Pacific in nearby Long Beach puts you front and center with the Sea Life of the Pacific Ocean. The five-acre site holds over 11,000 animals and will keep the aspiring marine biologists and animal lovers in your crew happy for hours.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens offers a great time outside with an assortment of incredible creatures! Amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles: This zoo has it all. A real standout is the Elephants of Asia habitat. Guests can observe the elephants in their spacious enclosure and learn about the importance of the animal in different cultures.

If you and your family are planning a beach day, the Santa Monica Pier is the premiere beach destination in L.A. Along with the beach itself; the pier features games and rides, so the fun will last all day.

Attractions in Los Angeles

Attractions in San Diego

With 100 acres and over 3,500 animals, the San Diego Zoo is among the best in the nation. Some notables animals housed inside are the adorable Giant Pandas and the Rhinos on site, which are high on the endangered species list. Galapagos turtles, meerkats, and the mighty tiger are also waiting for you to visit them.

The San Diego Zoo sits at the top of the 1000 acres of Balboa Park. With 15 museums, various gardens, arts and international culture associations, Balboa Park is a place that offers something historical, horticultural, educational and recreational for everyone. This urban park that is walking distance from downtown San Diego and renowned for its wonderful displays of seasonal flowers, shady groves of trees and meandering paths through rolling lawns. If you are in San Diego over the holidays be sure to check out December Nights at Balboa Park.

Another unique museum in the area is the USS Midway Museum. This historic naval aircraft carrier features 30 restored aircraft and nearly 10 acres of the historical exhibit. Visit the bridge and the main engine room and learn about the historical naval combat in the Pacific Theater.
If hiking and beautiful views are on your family’s agenda, stop at La Jolla Cove for a picturesque walk by the sea. If you and the gang are down for even more adventure, the Cove is also available for scuba diving and snorkeling, so bring your swimsuits!

When the kids are bouncing off the walls, K1 Speed is San Diego’s best go-karting location that will provide a thrilling boost to your holiday vacation. There are challenge courses, junior tracks, and drifting-centered courses. There is a course for every member of the family.

Attractions in Orlando

Orlando is the premier vacation destination in the state of Florida. It is known for its unrivaled selection of theme parks, but there is so much more to do in Orlando.

The Orlando Science Center is an excellent intersection between curiosity, learning, and fun. The museum offers a wide array of exhibits, from interactive displays featuring the latest technology or more classic down-to-earth features. The Kinetic Zone offers exciting simulators that expose you to the forces of science through a virtual experience. The Science Center also features the Kids Town zone for the younger members of your troop.

Madame Tussauds Orlando Wax Museum offers up-close encounters with your favorite (wax) celebrities and heroes. Step into well-known movies, sports arenas, tv shows, music, and historical events. The museum features characters such as the Justice League™ and the actors who have brought to life iconic superspy James Bond.

For a walk on the wild side, take your family to visit Gatorland, the alligator capital of the world! Alligators, crocodiles, and other animals native to the wilds of Florida live in this wildlife preserve that extends for 110 acres. You can also find reptiles like snakes and tortoises, as well as exotic birds and wildcats. Gatorland also features two zip lines that give you a bird’s eye view of the park and the gators.

SEA LIFE® Orlando Aquarium is another great place for animal lovers in the family. The aquarium is family-friendly and offers play areas for the little ones. The aquarium is home to a variety of aquatic creatures like deadly sharks, colorful seahorses, majestic rays, and curious sea turtles. Inside the aquarium is a number of habitats such as Ocean Caves, the Jelly Wall, a 360° Ocean Tunnel, Stingray Cove, and more.


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