Summer Family Fun: A Day Along Hollywood Boulevard

Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, photo by Ashley Erikson (2022)

Tinseltown, a.k.a Hollywood, is just over the hill from Burbank, and while it is known for its exclusive night life, bars, clubs, and concerts, there is also a lot of fun things for families to see and do.  Hollywood is over 30 square miles, but there is just one street that has everything you need to squeeze in a full day of family fun while being just minutes from home. Here are 8 places to make the perfect summer family fun day along Hollywood Blvd.

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum-  Named the world’s greatest wax museum, Madame Tussaud’s allows you to come face-to-face with wax figures replicated after your favorite celebrities. Take pictures with lost icons like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, and James Dean.  The museum has three floors and every corner is a photo op with props to take pictures with your favorite TV and movie stars.  It takes over 800 hours of moulding, making, designing and painting a wax figure and the effort and time does not go unnoticed. The figures are so lifelike and are exact replicas of the star’s body frame, clothing, and even the smallest minute details that make them who they are. We had a lot of fun comparing our heights next to the world’s top celebrities, including their newest wax figure, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, whose height is every bit what it appears on screen.  Every room of the museum has a different theme where you can immerse yourself in 90s pop culture, be a part of the wild west, survive the classic horror films, and save the world in the Marvel Universe. 

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Photo by Ashley Erikson (2022)

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre– Right outside the doors of Madame Tussaud’s is TCL Chinese Theater, better known as Grauman’s Chinese Theater up until 2013.  The front of the palace looking theater are the handprints of some of the most prolific names in Hollywood.  You can place your hands and feet right into the prints of Marilyn Monroe after her recognition for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  My kids especially loved seeing and taking pictures with the handprints of their favorite Harry Potter stars, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, who even have their wands imprinted into the concrete. Their other favorites were The Hunger Games cast, Robert Downey Jr., Stan Lee, and Johnny Depp.

TCL Chinese Theatre, Photo by Ashley Erikson (2019)

Ripley’s Believe it or Not- One of our favorite museums is one that displays the odd and obscure.  Ripley’s Believe It or Not has 13 galleries of oddities from around the world to absolutely blow your mind.  From two-headed cows, to shrunken heads, to a vampire bat with a painting on its wings, there is surely something to stun and surprise you. Ripley’s offers combo tickets to both their museum and Madame Tussaud’s so if you decide to do both make sure to get the discounted combo ticket.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, photo by Ashley Erikson (2019)

Dave & Buster’s- At the corner of Hollywood and Highland is the Ovation Hollywood center filled with five floors of amazing shops and eateries.  Our favorite stop for lunch and games is Dave & Buster’s. It’s a fun place to take a break from the boulevard and reenergize for the rest of the day while keeping the kids busy and entertained.  The arcade has so many fun games including some newly released ones the kids loved like “Wicked Tuna” where they used a fishing pole to reel in a virtual fish, dodgeball, axe throwing, and the “Top Gun: Maverick” virtual reality game.  The restaurant offers cocktails, burgers, appetizers, wings, and a great kids menu too.

Dave & Buster’s, photo by Ashley Erikson (2022)

World of Illusions– Located along Hollywood Blvd, World of Illusions offers four great experiences where you can immerse yourself in an interactive photo museum that the kids will absolutely love. Their “3D Illusions” rooms allow you to take pictures with walls painted with 3D images so it looks like you are right there in the painting walking on a ledge, fighting off a giant T-rex fossil, or being scooped up by the trunk of an elephant. In the “Upside Down House,” seven rooms decorated from a house are completely flipped upside down, while in the “Giant’s House,” you can see the world from a microscopic size as every item is enlarged to make you feel like you’ve just walked into the home of a 50 foot giant.

Museum of Illusions. Photo by Ashley Erikson (2019)

Funko Hollywood– Take a short drive down Hollywood Blvd. or a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame until you get to the Funko Hollywood brick-and-mortar store. This 40,000 sq. foot building is part Funko shopping heaven and part photo op museum. Different areas of the building are themed to match the Funko POPS! for sale.  Sit in a life-size Jurassic Park jeep next to a giant Funko figure of Dr. Ian Malcom while being chased by a Funko T-Rex, or step into the locker room of Hawkins Middle School and battle a demogorgan next to a Funko figure of Eleven. Step into the world of Harry Potter, Marvel, DC, Disney, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and so much more.  The best part is that its free to enter and take pictures. While no purchase is necessary, it’s nearly impossible to leave without wanting a Funko POP! of your favorite character. 

Funko Hollywood, photo by Ashley Erikson (2021)

The El Captian Theatre-  This theater is the ideal spot to watch all Disney movie premieres and screenings. Most films have something unique for guests like movie prop displays, pre-movie shows, or extravagant lights and sounds.  Right now you can get tickets to see Thor: Love and Thunder or Lightyear, both playing until July 31st.

Ghiradelli- Right next door to the El Capitan Theatre is the Ghiradelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop.  This Disney themed location sports murals of Goofy and pals across the walls, and carries merchandise from Disney’s favorite cartoon characters. It’s the perfect spot to end the day and get the kids a sweet treat like their “World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae” with vanilla ice cream, handmade hot fudge, whipped cream, almonds and a cherry.  Make sure to get it in their handmade chocolate dipped waffle bowl for the true Ghiradelli experience. 

Ghiradelli Hollywood, photo by Ashley Erikson (2019)