Legoland Water Park

The Best SoCal Theme Parks for Kids

Living in Southern California, we are lucky to have limitless options for outdoor fun all year long. One of the most popular options for locals and tourists alike is to visit one of the numerous theme parks in the area. Our family is lucky to regularly receive media tickets to many of these theme parks, so we have visited them all many times and narrowed down our top 5. Keep in mind, our kids are 4 and 9 currently, older kids may enjoy other theme parks more that we didn’t list like Six Flags Magic Mountain!

The Best SoCal Theme Parks for Kids #themeparks #socal #family

1. Knott’s Berry Farm

I have to list Knott’s Berry Farm first for about a million reasons. The nostalgia, the customer service, the affordable cost, the relative lack of crowds, I could go on and on. When our family visits Knott’s it’s 100% fun, all day long. On a recent Sunday in June when we went to go check out the new Ghost Town Alive experience, we expected long wait times but we were pleasantly surprised that once again, waits were doable. Our favorite thrill ride, the Silver Bullet coaster, was only 15-20 minutes!

The Best SoCal Theme Parks for Kids #themeparks #socal #family

2. Knott’s Soak City

We just visited Soak City for the first time and we sure have been missing out! We lucked out on a weekday in mid-June when we expected a decent crowd and it was pretty much a ghost town. There are several different types of water slides for all ages, a fun wave pool, a couple of play areas for younger kids and a giant lazy river. There appeared to be many different food selections, and although pricey, the food was pretty good. If you stay at the very affordable Knott’s Hotel, both Knott’s and Soak City are an easy walk, even for my 4-year-old.

The Best SoCal Theme Parks for Kids #themeparks #socal #family

3. Disneyland

Like many Southern California natives, I grew up going to Disneyland all the time. Granted, it was quite a bit cheaper in the 1980s and crowds weren’t as insane as they are today. It’s still a must-visit place for me and a place I want my kids to experience regularly. We went on a pretty busy day but we have mastered the Fast Pass system and had an amazing lunch at River Belle Terrace. Head to your fave ride as soon as you get there, grab Fast Passes and as soon as you can get another, be in front of your next favorite ride ready to go, repeat all day and you should be good!

The Best SoCal Theme Parks for Kids #themeparks #socal #family

4. Legoland

If your kids are on the younger side (or even young at heart), Legoland is a blast. This entire theme park is equipped with rides that kids as young as 4 can go on. Younger kids still have a ton of options too, but I found that at 4 my daughter can now ride every single ride there based on her height. My son is 9 and still loving the place thoroughly, but he’s starting to enjoy thrill rides more and may grow out of Legoland over the next couple of years. For overnight visits, I would opt for the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort across the street versus paying the high prices at the Legoland Hotel.

The Best SoCal Theme Parks for Kids #themeparks #socal #family

5. Legoland Water Park

If you’re headed to Legoland in the warmer months, you might as well check out the Legoland Water Park for only $30 more! With recent additions like Surfers’ Cove to thrill the older kids and plenty of fun play areas for younger kids, there really is something for everyone here. You can float around the lazy river, play in the wave pool or get drenched on the Pirate Reef ride. When it’s time for lunch, try the delectable carnitas tacos at the newly opened Beach Street Tacos in the new Surfer’s Cove area, they have craft beer too for mom and dad!

The Best SoCal Theme Parks for Kids #themeparks #socal #family

Does your family have a favorite theme park? Please feel free to share in the comments if so!

We have received complimentary media tickets on at least one occasion to all of the above listed theme parks in the past year, but all opinions are those of our family. 

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