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CaliforniaFamily-friendly activities

Our most recommended California Family-friendly activities

Universal Studios Hollywood: Ticket with Easy Cancellation

1. Universal Studios Hollywood: Ticket with Easy Cancellation

Enjoy world-class entertainment all in one place at Universal Studios Hollywood™. Book a regular general admission ticket that will allow you will receive full access to the park to enjoy a day on all of the rides, shows, and attractions. For those wishing to spend less time in lines, the Universal Express Ticket is also available to book. This ticket includes the 1-day general admission ticket, one-time skip-the-line park entry, one-time express access to each ride and attraction plus priority seating at select shows.* This ticket is very popular with guests, so purchase this ticket in advance here to guarantee Universal Express™ privileges! Some of the popular rides, shows and attractions you will enjoy at Universal Studios Hollywood include: The World Famous Studio Tour Go behind the scenes on the world-famous Studio Tour to explore Hollywood's most famous backlot in the world's largest working movie studio. • Tour the world-famous Backlot with comedian/video host Jimmy Fallon and learn the secrets of Hollywood moviemaking.  • Visitors can experience the largest street movie set in Hollywood history built with creative consultation from Steven Spielberg himself.  • Guests can see the sets from the hit series and witness special effects used in blockbusters like The War of the Worlds. • Plus, you'll ride through the world's largest 3-D experience on King Kong 360 3-D created by Peter Jackson. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ™ From magical spells to magical creatures, from dark villains to daring heroes, it's all here at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts™ castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade™ and sample fare from the wizarding world's best-known establishments. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem  Join Gru, his daughters, and the rebellious Minions on a heartwarming and thrilling 3-D ride. The journey starts in Gru’s home, where guests are recruited for his latest scheme – one where they’ll become actual Minions. *Does not apply to food and retail locations or non-seated shows. HARRY POTTER characters, names, and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s18). Jurassic Park TM & © 2018 Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment, Inc. *Park, rides/shows/attractions, entertainment, experience details, and/or access to events may be restricted or unavailable due to capacity/closures/other factors, and benefits/restrictions are subject to change without notice. *Ticket is not valid at Universal Orlando Resort. The ticket is valid at Universal Studios Hollywood, located in Los Angeles, California.

San Francisco: Skip-the-Line 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

2. San Francisco: Skip-the-Line 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

Enjoy a 1-hour journey along San Francisco's historic waterfront and experience the thrilling history of the San Francisco Bay, with all the sound and glory it deserves. The 1-hour non-stop Bay Cruise takes you past the famous PIER 39 sea lions and along San Francisco’s historic waterfront, revealing the city’s fascinating skyline. Relax in comfort, with both indoor and outdoor seating, and enjoy a full narration describing major landmarks as you sail by. See sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the iconic San Francisco skyline as you go. Whether it’s your first time to San Francisco, or your 10th visit, the Bay Cruise is something you should experience at least once in your life. You will get a complimentary souvenir map, which is available in nine languages, and if you get hungry, there’s a full-service snack bar on board with food and drink available to purchase.

Los Angeles: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

3. Los Angeles: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Get ready to touch, tour, and explore the 110-acre backlot that brought the films Argo and Batman to the big screen with this guided tour of Warner Bros. Studio. From the film Gravity to the TV show Friends, go behind the camera for a revealing look at your favorite cinematic creations. Explore Stage 48: Script to Screen, an interactive soundstage that explores phases of the film and television production process. Re-enact a scene from Friends on the iconic Central Perk set, or climb aboard Harry Potter’s broomstick for a photo opportunity. Explore the Studio Store with exclusive merch from your favorite films and TV shows. Dine at the Central Perk Cafe and enjoy your meal amongst recreated sets like Monica's apartment, and Joey and Chandler's pad. Recreate scenes from the DC Universe where you can explore superheroes and supervillains.  Swish and flick your way through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and even have your own Hogwarts house sorting ceremony. Between December 22 - January 1, 2023, you’ll also be able to explore a special stop at the Midwest Street Backlot, known by Gilmore Girls fans as the set location for Stars Hollow. 

Universal Studios Hollywood: Ticket with Easy Cancellation

4. Universal Studios Hollywood: Ticket with Easy Cancellation

Enjoy world-class entertainment with this Universal Studios Hollywood™ entrance ticket. Receive full access to the park to enjoy either one or two days of rides, shows, and attractions, depending on the option you prefer. To spend less time in lines, choose the Universal Express Ticket option and maximize your time in the park. Explore this fascinating park and, with your Universal Express Ticket, enjoy one-time skip-the-line park entry, one-time express access to each ride and attraction, plus priority seating at select shows. Some of the popular rides, shows and attractions you will access include: The World Famous Studio Tour Go behind the scenes on the world-famous Studio Tour to explore Hollywood's most famous backlot in the world's largest working movie studio. Tour the site with comedian and video host Jimmy Fallon, and learn the secrets of Hollywood moviemaking.  Experience the largest street movie set in Hollywood history, built with creative consultation from Steven Spielberg. See the sets from hit TV series and witness special effects used in blockbusters like The War of the Worlds. Ride through the world's largest 3D experience on King Kong 360 3D. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ™ From magical spells to magical creatures, from dark villains to daring heroes, it's all here at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade, and sample fare from the wizarding world's best-known establishments. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem  Join Gru, his daughters, and the rebellious Minions on a heartwarming and thrilling 3D ride. Start your journey in Gru’s home, where you'll be recruited for his latest scheme, where you'll become an actual Minion.

San Diego: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket

5. San Diego: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket

Take a self-guided audio tour onboard the world’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, the historic USS Midway. See the carrier’s 25 restored aircraft from the days of WWII to Operation Desert Storm. Visit areas throughout the Midway, from the crew's sleeping quarters to the pilots' ready rooms. Docents are available throughout the carrier and are eager to share their stories, anecdotes, and statistics, creating a picture of just how important the USS Midway was to the U.S. Navy. Most guests spend 3 to 4 hours exploring this historic aircraft carrier and learning its history. The included audio guide, available in 6 languages, will help you explore the dozens of highlighted areas across the massive ship.  There are family-oriented activities throughout the Museum. Included are 3 types of flight simulators, music videos, short films, climb-aboard aircraft and cockpits, and more. The Museum is located at the Navy Pier in downtown San Diego.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

6. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Cruise around the Golden Gate Bay on a boat tour. Enjoy informative commentary, see sights like Alcatraz Island, and purchase food and drink from the onboard bar. Launched in 1939 as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition, this 1-hour cruise has been a highlight of any visit to San Francisco for over 75 years. With 8-14 departures daily from Fisherman's Wharf, you will sail along San Francisco's breathtaking waterfront, under the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, and close to the notorious Alcatraz Island. Discover San Francisco's fascinating history, brought to life through audio commentary broadcast in 16 languages via personal headphones. Look out for wildlife along the way, including pelicans, sea lions, and even dolphins and whales. Sail past the lively neighborhood of North Beach, the famous swimming clubs of Aquatic Park, the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier, and San Francisco Maritime National Park, before heading west towards Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy views of Crissy Field and the lush hillsides of the Presidio, before cruising under Golden Gate Bridge. Steam back into the Bay, traveling past the wildlife reserves of the Marin Headlands, and the legendary town of Sausalito, once home to the 1960s’ flower generation. With Angel Island State Park to your left, cruise around the infamous Alcatraz. After a full hour of exciting sights, the barking sea lions at Pier 39 welcome you back to Pier 43 1/2. A full bar with drinks, snacks, and merchandise, including logo wear, is available at reasonable prices on board the iconic red and blue sea vessels.

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

7. Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Discover a variety of whale species in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on this cruise from Monterey. Uncover one of the world’s best locations for whale watching due to its deep submarine canyon close to shore. With whales spotted almost every day, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Set sail from the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Catch a glimpse of the hundreds of Californian Sea Lions inside the harbor as the boat leaves the dock. Take advantage of the view and snap a photo to capture the memory. Pass the historic Cannery Row as you leave the harbor and enter the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Search for feeding humpback whales, a variety of dolphin species, porpoises, blue whales, and fin whales. Listen as the onboard biologist provides fascinating insights into the creatures of the bay and what is being done to protect them. During the summer/ fall season, the tour will focus on feeding whales that come to the bay to feast on small fish and krill. Spot humpback whales daily but keep an eye out for blue whales, fin whales, gray whales (finishing migration), orcas and a variety of other dolphin species. During the winter season, the tour will focus on migrating whales at the south end of Monterey Bay where gray whales pass by. Return to your starting point at the end of your tour.

San Francisco: California Sunset/Twilight Boat Cruise

8. San Francisco: California Sunset/Twilight Boat Cruise

Enjoy sunset views as you sail on beautiful San Francisco Bay. See important landmarks, including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. In the winter months, take in the serene twilight views instead. Along the way, view numerous National Historic landmarks and San Francisco sights, including Coit Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, St. Peter, Paul's Church, and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. As the sun begins to set over the Marin Headlands, cruise past Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the shorelines of Tiburon, Belvedere, and Sausalito. Watch the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, as you sail west towards the Golden Gate. On your way back to Fisherman’s Wharf, see many more famous sights, including the Presidio, the Marina District, and Fort Mason.

San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

9. San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Experience the best that the City by the Bay has to offer with the Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off tour! This fully narrated tour takes you to all of the city's must-see landmarks and iconic attractions, providing a comprehensive and immersive experience of San Francisco. Hop aboard the bus and prepare to be captivated by the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, a true San Francisco icon. As you cross the bridge, take in the breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island, and the surrounding hills. This is a photo-opportunity not to be missed! As the tour continues, venture into the heart of the city and visit Union Square, the bustling shopping district. Here, you'll find an array of designer boutiques, high-end department stores, and trendy restaurants. Union Square is also home to the famous cable car turnaround, where you'll see the iconic cable cars in action. The tour also takes you through the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, the birthplace of the hippie movement. As you walk through the streets, you'll be transported back to the 1960s, with colorful Victorian houses, vintage clothing stores, and murals celebrating the Summer of Love. No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf. Take in the sights and sounds of this famous waterfront district, where you can sample fresh seafood, browse local shops, and watch the sea lions basking in the sun. From here, you can also catch a ferry to Alcatraz Island or take a cruise around the bay. With the Big Bus tour, you have the flexibility to hop on and off at any of the 20 stops along the route, allowing you to explore the city at your own pace. And with buses running every 10-15 minutes, you won’t have to wait long to continue your adventure. So whether you want to spend more time shopping in Union Square or exploring the Golden Gate Park, the Big Bus tour has got you covered. Take a break from the city with a half-day guided bus tour to Muir Woods. See the redwoods up close and personal, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore the seaside town of Sausalito on the way back.

Los Angeles: Hollywood & Celebrity Homes Open-Air Bus Tour

10. Los Angeles: Hollywood & Celebrity Homes Open-Air Bus Tour

See Hollywood’s highlights for yourself on a guided sightseeing tour from the comfort of an open-top bus. Marvel at iconic locations such as the Hollywood Sign, where you can stop for a photo and admire the views of downtown LA. Make your way to the local partner’s office to begin your activity. Board the sightseeing bus, and away you’ll go on your tour of Hollywood.  Pass the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre, the Art Deco entertainment complex of the Dolby Theater, and the circular Capitol Records Building and other historic sights you’ve seen 1000 times on TV.  Next, head to the Hollywood and Vine district at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.  Cruise down Sunset Boulevard, passing famous bars and nightclubs like Whiskey A-Go-Go and the Viper Room. Admire the Chateau Marmont Hotel, where Tim Burton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and other legends have stayed. Then, drive past the upscale stores on Rodeo Drive as you head towards Beverly Hills. Take a photo of the Beverly Hills Sign and the Beverly Hills Hotel, plus see the homes of Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Elvis Presley, and many more. Be dropped off at your Hollywood, West Hollywood, or Beverly Hills hotel at the end of your activity. If you’re staying outside of these areas, you’ll be dropped back at the local partner’s office. 

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What people are saying about California

This cruise was fantastic. Being able to see Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, the Bay Bridge, and the San Francisco waterfront so close was an awesome experience. The commentary throughout the cruise provided interesting facts about the locations and their history which added to the experience.

Really picturesque cruise, sunset views of the GGB were perfect, my son always gets seasick on the way to Catalina but not on this trip, despite swells under the bridge. Came real close to Alcatraz which was sobering. Clean and comfy on board

Fantastic trip out to sea! Saw hundreds of dolphins and a handful of grey whales! Including a 2 day old baby!

Very cool experience, with lots to see. I would do it again - to see what I missed!!

It’s amazing and the docents are informative, terrific people.