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18 kid-friendly activities in LA

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Summertime is a great time to connect with your kids. But if you don’t want them bugging you about being "bored,” here are 18 fun things to do with kids in and around the Los Angeles area.

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1. QUEEN MARY: Take the kids to the legendary 1930’s ocean liner ship that resides permanently in Long Beach for The Queen Mary's "Diana: Legacy of a Princess" Exhibition showcasing Princess Diana and Kate Middleton memorabilia for $14 (reg. $28.95).

2. MEDIEVAL TIMES: Travel back in time to when jousts, canon blasts, horse dances and dinner sans forks were the norm at Medieval Times in Buena Park for $29 per child and $39 per adult ticket; add $10 each for Royalty tickets, with VIP seating and other extras.

3. WHALE WATCHING: LA Times said a record number of whales have been spotted migrating south this season. Hop aboard a cruise where kids can spot blue whales, dolphins and other sea creatures off the coasts in Long Beach ($23, reg. $50), Marina del Rey ($15, reg. $30), and Newport Beach ($26 for two, reg. $72).

4. NEWPORT BEACH: Kids can enjoy the boardwalk, cruise Newport Harbor, ride the Ferris wheel and eat cheese pizza at Balboa Fun Zone; it costs $22 for two people (reg. $44.66) and is recommended by 98% of Travelzoo visitors.

5. PADDLEBOARDING: Designed for all skill levels, paddleboarding is a great activity to get kids, teens and adults out on the open water. Lessons and guided tours are available from Malibu ($45, reg. $89.99) and Marina del Rey ($20, reg. $40).

6. TUBING: Spend a family day tubing down the Kern River with So Cal Rafting for $35 per person (reg. $68). On Saturdays and Sundays only, your family can even choose to ride the Zorb ball down the rapids.

7. SAILING: On Sunday, August 3, sail across Long Beach Harbor at full speed on a three-hour holiday regatta for $99 per person (reg. $199). No prior sailing experience is needed. Children under 18 must be accommodated by an adult; children under 12 are required to wear a life vest.

8. HIKING: In the summer, Mt. Baldy ski resort opens its chairlift and mountain trails for hiking for the whole family. Go there on Saturdays or Sundays to enjoy an unlimited breakfast buffet for $19 each (reg. $40) before your hikes.

9. HORSEBACK RIDING: Ride along the trails and valleys of Temecula on a private horseback tour -- ideal for all ideal skill levels -- for $89 for two (reg. $180) or $175 for four (reg. $360). Or choose a small group riding lesson and tour for $59 per person (reg. $109).

10. GO-KARTS: Parents of teenagers can check out Fast Lap Ontario for indoor go-kart racing. Anyone under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult; it costs $25 each (reg. $41) for two go-kart races and a one-year membership.

11. NASCAR: Watch high-speed NASCAR races with your whole family at the Irwindale Speedway on select Saturdays. For $25 (reg. $68), get two race tickets, meal tickets and go-karting passes; get the same deal for four for $49 (reg. $136).

12. INTERACTIVE TOUR: Team up as a family by answering trivia questions together and learn interesting facts about Hollywood, Venice Beach or Beverly Hills on a Los Angeles interactive tour for $12 (reg. $24) for two passes. The scavenger hunt-type challenges last two to three hours; clues are given via cell phone.

13. WAX MUSEUM: Kids will make wax casts of their own hands to take home as souvenirs on a visit to Madame Tussauds Hollywood. For $37 (reg. $84.85), two can check out 125 wax figures of famous celebrities, such as Justin Bieber, Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez.

14. CHINESE THEATRE: On Hollywood Boulevard, take the kids to the famous TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX for a VIP walking tour with popcorn. Learn about movie premieres and see famous celebrity hand and footprints for $27 for two (reg. $39).

15. LEGOLAND: Visit LEGOLAND California, where kids can enjoy rides, building and racing with LEGOs, and meet LEGO characters. A five-day resort hopper pass is $99 for adults and $89 for kids, so it’s cost effective to go a few days in a row and also visit LEGOLAND Water Park and SEA LIFE Aquarium.

16. SIX FLAGS: Roller coaster rides galore and more amusement park activities await kids at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia; single-day tickets are $42.99 (reg. $69.99 at the gate).

17. KNOTT’S: Wee ones can visit the remodeled Camp Snoopy at Knott’s Berry Farm while older kids can enjoy the thrilling park and water rides. An adult admission is $39 (reg. $65) and child/senior passes are $29 (reg. $35). The "Ride & Slide Combo" pass -- which includes one-day park admission and a return visit to Knott's Soak City water park -- is $59 for adults (reg. $101) and $41 for children/seniors (reg. $61).

18. BIG BEAR: Drive to the mountains and rent a cabin with your whole family for a getaway in Big Bear Lake. A two-night stay costs $199 for a two-bedroom cabin for Sunday-Wednesday arrivals, or $258 for Thursday-Saturday arrivals.