Free Things to Do in Los Angeles for Cheap Thrills!


Free Things to Do in Los Angeles | Free Places to Visit in LA

Los Angeles and its downtown suburbs boast of verdant natural beauty, scenic driveways and amazing gardens that are completely free to cruise along. With abundant museums, miles of Pacific coastline, (Read More) hiking grounds, art exhibits and live entertainment around, there are plenty of free things to do in Los Angeles with your family and friends, even on foot!

Here is the list of 22 Free Things to Do in Los Angeles for Cheap Thrills!

1. Visit the Hollywood Bowl

Visit the Hollywood Bowl

Ranked by the Rolling Stones magazine as one of America’s ten best live music arenas, Hollywood Bowl is a historic amphitheater in Los Angeles. It is also the largest concert venue in Southern California. A venue for enjoying thrilling summer evenings, great music, wine and festivities of all genres, Hollywood Bowl is a pioneer of theatrical productions and Easter Sunrise service as well.

Timings: Shows and concerts: 9am - any, Rehearsals: 9am - 12 noon (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)
Location : North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, California

2. Take a Tour of Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Take a Tour of Hollywood Forever Cemetery

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the landmark cemetery at the heart of Hollywood and also hosts cultural events. Interred with honor here are several prominent people who shaped the city of Los Angeles and elite stars from the entertainment industry. Located in a neighborhood full of properties owned by Hollywood stars, the cemetery is a must-visit destination for those interested in the history of Tinseltown.

Timings: Monday - Friday: 8:30am to 5pm, Weekends: 8:30am to 4:30pm
Location : 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California

3. Walk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Walk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Gathering over 10 million visitors from across the world annually, Hollywood’s Walk of Fame is one of America’s most visited destinations. The sidewalk along 18 blocks of the iconic Hollywood Boulevard is embedded with coral pink, five-pointed brass and terrazzo stars bearing names of achievers in the entertainment industry. This includes musicians, directors, actors, producers and even fictional characters associated with Hollywood. With a small fee, even you can get your name on a star temporarily and take a memorable picture with it.

Timings : Open 24 hours
Location : Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

4. Window Shop at Rodeo Drive

Window Shop at Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is an affluent street of Los Angeles that defines why Southern California is one of the most lavishly fashionable places of the US. It is a reputed shopping district with designer labels and world-famous haute couture fashion stores. Alongside boutiques and high-end shops like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada etc., Rodeo Drive has a plethora of polished malls that ooze American commerce and European glamour. It is also home to House of Bijan, the most expensive clothing store in the world.

Major Junctions :

  • Wilshire Boulevard
  • Dayton Way
  • Brighton Way
  • Santa Monica Boulevard
Location : Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

5. Go Hiking on Runyon Canyon Park

Go Hiking on Runyon Canyon Park

Located at the eastern end of the majestic Santa Monica mountains, Runyon Park is one of California’s top hiking destinations with picturesque trails carved out of landscaped mountain valleys. The adventurous dirt roads lined with dense tropical forests offer exhilarating terrain that gradually increases in altitude to an epic point from where you can view almost 2/3rds of Los Angeles city.

Location : North Fuller Avenue, Los Angeles, California

6. An Evening at Santa Monica Pier

An Evening at Santa Monica Pier

One of California’s largest and most celebrated party spots, Santa Monica Pier is a massive, double-jointed pier at the west end of Colorado Avenue. It has a family-friendly, oceanfront amusement park with 12 thrilling rides like a solar-powered Ferris wheel, West coaster, Pacific wheel and 14 midway games. Illuminated by 174,000 neon lights every night, the park offers elusive views of 130 miles of the Los Angeles skyline.

Top attractions :

  • Pacific Park
  • Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
  • Video Arcade
  • Carousel hippodrome
  • Trapeze School
Location : Santa Monica, California

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7. Walk Along Sunset Boulevard

Walk Along Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard is an iconic highway in West Hollywood, known for its pulsating nightlife, chic music clubs, street performers and the antics of dedicated musicians who have performed and stayed at the boulevard for decades. It is one of LA’s busiest districts with a sensational culture scene and extends from Hollywood to Malibu beach while meandering past the world-famous Beverly Hills.

Must-see locations :

  • Guitar Center
  • Comedy Store
  • Skybar
  • The Viper Room
  • Sunset Plaza
  • Hollywood Rock Walk
  • Chateau Marmont
Location : Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

8. Admire The Art at The Getty Center

Admire The Art at The Getty Center

Regarded as one of LA’s top sightseeing locations, The Getty Center incorporates contemporary architecture, verdant gardens and panoramic views of the city. Nestled atop a hill in Santa Monica, the Pacific Ocean and San Gabriel Mountains are also visible from the peak, inspiring architect Richard Meier to construct a campus highlighting both nature and cultural marvels of California.

Timings : 9am - 5:30pm
Top sights :

  • Central Garden
  • Cactus Garden
  • Family Room
  • Public Programs
  • Cardinale Seduto
  • Irises
Location : Brentwood, Los Angeles, California

9. Visit the Bustling The Original Farmers Market

Visit the Bustling The Original Farmers Market

The Original Farmers Market is one of Los Angeles’ most beloved landmarks and offers a memorable shopping and dining experience to visitors. Men from Illinois came here to park their trucks and sell fresh produce to locals when the Great Depression hit America, wherein began the rapidly growing legacy of this area. Today it is a hub of shopping for seasonal fruits, vegetables, fresh meat and seafood.

Timings : 10am - 7pm
Location : Fairfax District, Los Angeles, California

10. Walk Around the Third Street Promenade

Walk Around the Third Street Promenade

Known to be a shopper’s paradise and street performers’ top stage, Third Street Promenade consists of three blocks in downtown Santa Monica, open air and free of cars. Home to over 80 retailers, the promenade has everything from an affordably chic farmers market to designer fashion brand stores like Rolex, Nike and Tiffany & Co.

Timings : Open 24 hours
Top attractions :

  • Cassia
  • Santa Monica Farmers Market
  • Wasteland
  • Arcona Studio
  • Westside Comedy Theater
Location : Santa Monica, California

11. Admire the Architecture of Walt Disney Concert Hall

Admire the Architecture of Walt Disney Concert Hall

The moment Walt Disney Concert Hall opened its doors, it became a sensational platform for classical, jazz and world music. The extraordinary steel architecture and fantastic sound equipment make it one of Los Angeles’s top icons and an acclaimed cultural venue. To explore this hall, you can walk around by yourself or join the 60-minute, free docent-guided tour to learn about the entire campus’s history, concerts held and related information.

Location : South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California

12. Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory
4.2 /5

One of the leading centres of public astronomy, the Griffith Observatory is a fascinating science facility and one of the most famous attractions of LA and indeed southern California.

Timings : Tuesday - Friday: 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM,
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Entry Fee : Planetarium shows:
Adult - USD 7,
Child - USD 3

13. California Science Center

California Science Center
3.5 /5

The Center is an educational science museum located in Exposition Park. It has several interesting exhibits, and IMAX theatre and is a major tourist attraction.

Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fee : IMAX movie:
Adult - USD 8.25,
Child - USD 5

14. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
5.0 /5

About 14 miles from New York City, the family-owned Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park from Coney Island overlooks the Coney Island beach, Riegelmann Boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean. Opened in 1920, the main attraction and a designated landmark is the Wonder Wheel standing 150 feet tall. Go for the stationary white car or the swinging blue and red cars to whirl on the Wonder Wheel and marvel at the Manhattan skyline.

Timings : June to Labor Day (12 noon to 7 PM), Weekends in April, May, September, October (From 12 noon)

Disability Friendly : Yes

Tips/ Things To Know : 1. Adult ride tickets are available near Thunderbolt and Wonder Wheel. Kiddie park tickets are available at the main boardwalk entrance by Familigia Pizza. 2. Group discounts on weekdays for 25 people and more.

15. Playland

5.0 /5

Sprawling over 280 acres onwen by Westchester County Government, Playland Amusement Park, also known as Rye Playland and Playland is situated by the Long Island Sound. A national historic landmark opened in 1928, it features art-deco and turn-of-the-20th century Revival architecture. Around 33.6 miles from New York City, it has a boardwalk stretching upto a quarter mile for strolling or jogging and you can enjoy a boat ride around Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary and Playland Lake.

Timings : Pool and beaches are open from 11 AM to 6:30 PM, no admission after 6 PM

Parking :  USD 5 (seniors, Tuesday to Friday), USD 10 (Weekends and weekdays), USD 15 (special events, holidays upto 3rd September) for cars. USD 25 (weekdays), USD 50 (weekends), USD 100 (special events, holidays upto 3rd September) for buses. 

Disability Friendly : Yes

Tips/ Things To Know :  1. Pools and beaches cost USD 4 for adults, USD 3 for kids between 5 and 11 and free for kids of 5 years and younger. 2. Party, picnics and group outings available

16. Adventureland

5.0 /5

Sprawling over five hectares in East Farmingdale, Adventureland has been Long Island’s amusement park since 1962 and is located at around 37 miles from New York City. Featured in various movies, music videos and television shows, the park has thrill rides like Pirate Ship, Frisbee and Turbulence Coaster for adventure seekers.

Parking : Free

Timings : 12 noon to 8 pm from Wednesday to Sunday. open throughout summer and on weekends of March to May and September, October

Disability Friendly : Yes

Tips/ Things To Know :  1. Admission should be registered online in advance of at least two days. USD 34.99 is admission cost. 2. Gift card, season pass and complimentary card available. 3. Free admission for kids below one year old. With two park admissions, one parent admission is free.

17. Casino Pier

Casino Pier
4.5 /5

Opened in 1932 and rebuilt after the wreckage by Hurricane Sandy, Casino Pier and Breakwater Beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean strives in ‘rebuilding family memories’. About 82 miles from New York City, the Pier has a waterpark named Breakwater Beach that is free of cost for kids below two. The costs are USD 39.95, 34.95 and 29.95 for guests over 48”, USD 33.95, 30.95 and 23.95 for guests below 48”, USD 19.95 for seniors above 65 for all-day, early bird and twilight respectively.

Parking :  First-come-first-serve. Located at the corner of Ocean Terrace. Sherman Avenue offers accessible parking and requires valid disable parking pass. 

Disability Friendly : Yes

Tips/ Things To Know : 1. Accessible entrance to the water park is near the corner of Boulevard and Grant Avenue. Accessible entrance of Casino Pier is near the east end of Grant Avenue and Ocean Terrace. 2. Serviced animals allowed only up to the entrance. 3. Each ride requires age and height verification. Guests with cast or prosthetics are not allowed to ride. 4. Go-karts are USD 10 per person and USD 2.50 per passenger, Wacky Rooftop Golf is is USD 7.50, 18-hole costs USD 13 (adults), USD 11 (kids aged 12 and below and senior), 36-hole costs USD 17 (adults), USD 14 (kids aged 12 and below and senior).

18. Splish Splash

Splish Splash
4.5 /5

Known as the best waterpark in Long Island, Splish Splash sprawls over 96 acres and is located around 75.6 miles from New York City. The thrill rides and water slides include Bombs Away, Riptide Racer, Shotgun Falls, Cliff Diver, Max Trax, Abysss, Mammoth River and Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror. Soak City is there for a laid-back soaking for all age-groups while Surf City lets you enjoy the refreshing waves. Enjoy relaxing on a tube while marvelling at the landscaped river and fountains in the Lazy River or face the 4 feet waves at Kahuna Bay Wavepool.

Parking : Preferred parking throughout the day is USD 25, regular and disabled parking at two designated lots is USD 15 per vehicle, bus parking costs USD 25

Disability Friendly, : Yes. wheelchair accessible trams available. State-issued disabled parking license required. 

Tips/ Things To Know : 1. General admission costs USD 27.49. 2. For pick-up and drop-off, a drop off only ticket” is needed 3. Locker rental and party facility available 4. Platinum and season passes available

19. Sesame Place

Sesame Place
4.5 /5

Opened in 1980 and based on the renowned television show Sesame Street, Sesame Place theme park has something for everyone in the age group of two to sixty-two years. About 73 miles from New York City, it was the first park to have a certified autism center. There are family and kid-friendly rides like Oscar’s Whacky Taxi Roller Coaster, Flying Fish and Elmo’s Cloud Chaser. The waterpark attractions include the Count’s Splash Castle, Big Bird’s Rambling River, Ernie’s Waterworks, Sesame Streak and Bert & Ernie’s Slip & Slide besides the tube and body slides, kid-friendly wave pool, lazy river and splash playgrounds.

Timings : May to December

Parking : General parking costs USD 25 and preferred parking is USD 27

Disability Friendly :  Yes. Accessible parking, wheelchair rentals available. Ride Accessibility program helps guests with respective abilities access any ride.  

Tips/ Things To Know :  1. Vacation packages, group tickets, teacher pass, military discounts available. 2. Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum season pass available along with transferable household pass.

20. Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure
4.5 /5

Opened in 1974, Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park is located about 69 miles from New York City and is juxtaposed between Philadelphia and New York City. Sprawling over 210 hectares it has Hurricane Harbor Water Park within its area and is the 2nd largest theme park across the globe. The family rides include Air Jumbo, Big Wheel, Carousel, Buccaneer and Harley Quinn Crazy Train while kid-friendly rides include Air Safari, Bugs Bunny Camp Carousel, National Park Water Tower, Daffy Hot Air Balloons etc.

Tips/ Things To Know : 1. One-day ticket costs USD 29.99, Gold Plus membership costs USD 6.99 and Season Pass for two visits costs USD 59.99. 2. Group tickets for 15+ cost USD 28.99. Add-ons available 

Timings : Late March till early January

Disability Friendly : Yes. Has Certified Autism Center, wheelchair accessibility and runs Attraction Accessibility Program

21. Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce
4.5 /5

With a rich history of 174 years since 1846, Lake Compounce & Crocodile Cove sprawling over 332 acres is the oldest and first amusement park in the United States. Located about 107 miles from New York City, it has several thrill rides namely The Wave Swinger, Down Time, Sky Coaster, Thunder Rapids, The Wildcat and The Pirate Ship.

Timings : May to December

Parking : All-season parking pass costs USD 35. Limited availability is there for preferred parking, you have to purchase at the park. Bus parking is free if reservation is made for over 25 guests.

Disability Friendly : Yes

Tips/ Things To Know :  1. Single-day admission costs USD 26.99, Gate price for guests with 52” height and taller is USD 51.99-53.99, for juniors below 52” height is USD 41.99-43.99 and seniors above 60 years is USD 29.99-32.99. Free for kids aged three and below. 2. Basic, Standard, Premium and Platinum Passes available. 3. Groups of 20-100 can get discounts. Pre-school play pass, Catered picnic, corporate discount and education days (USD 17.50 per student) are offered. 4. Shoes and shirts are mandatory for everywhere except Crocodile Cove where proper swimming attire is needed.

22. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
4.5 /5

Sprawling over 200 acres, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom was opened in 1884 and it boasts of the Steel Force, 10th longest roller coaster made of steel across the globe and the 2nd longest of the East Coast. Located 92 miles from New York City, its seven Roller Coasters also include Hydra, Possessed, Talon, Woodstock Express, Thunderhawk and Wild Mouse. Adrenaline junkies can check out the thrill rides like Revolution, White Water Landing, Demon Drop and Dominator.

Timings : May to late October or early November

Parking : USD 18 for daily parking for one vehicle throughout the season at the regular parking area. For disabled parking, one needs to keep the hazard lights on, carry state-issued disable permits and park to the right side of the main gate designated for pick-up and drop-off.  

Disability Friendly : Yes. Boarding Pass Program lets visitors with Autism Spectrum Disorder enjoy rides. Guests with braces and casts are not allowed to ride. Sign interpretation, assistive listening device etc offered to those with hearing disabilities. Wheelchair rental available.

Tips/ Things To Know : 1. Do not ride with prosthetics unless you can ensure that those do not come off. 2. Season Pass, Platinum Pass and Pre-K Pass available. All season locker, dining, drinks and fast lane 3. Single day tickets cost USD 35 and Holiday Bundle costs USD 45. Group tickets for up to 15+ members cost USD 33.

This post was published by Koushiki Kundu

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