Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Top Things to Do in Santa Monica with Kids

Whether you’re a local family living here or you are simply on vacation in one of the most popular destinations in the United States, you will find that Santa Monica is the perfect place to be. There’s a reason why this coastal city in Southern California is a favorite among those traveling with kids; the city boasts a laidback atmosphere and offers a range of opportunities for fun and activity for the whole family. 

With its beautiful beaches, lovely public parks, unique museums, rides, and attractions, you can easily spend a couple of days of fun in Santa Monica. To help you plan your next trip to the city, we’ve put together this list of the top family-friendly things to do in Santa Monica. (Pro tip: For a hassle-free trip, look for a luggage storage locker and deposit your bags, backpacks, and other luggage items before you explore the city.)

  • Check out the attractions at the Santa Monica Pier. 

When people think of Santa Monica, the first image that comes to mind is its iconic pier overlooking the beach. It’s easy to see why this is the case. The Santa Monica Pier is the heart of the city with its vibrant atmosphere and an array of activities that regularly take place here. Moreover, the pier is home to several other attractions that your family will love. 

One of the spots you shouldn’t miss when in Santa Monica Pier is Pacific Park, an amusement with rides and games for you and your children to enjoy, such as roller coasters and giant swings. The highlight here is, of course, the Ferris wheel (which is the only solar-powered Ferris wheel in the world), where you can get uninterrupted views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. Another attraction worth checking out is the Heal the Bay Aquarium (formerly known as Santa Monica Pier Aquarium), which is home to several marine species such as sharks and stingrays.

  • Visit the Annenberg Community Beach House.

Situated in Santa Monica State Beach, the Annenberg Community Beach House is an excellent family-friendly attraction that offers something for both children and adults. Spanning 5 acres, the beach house has a range of amenities for your kids, including a play area, splash pad, an outdoor swimming pool, and sports facilities. While the children are playing, parents can choose to sunbathe by the deck or take up any of the classes and community activities held regularly here.

  • Stroll along the Third Street Promenade.

Head over to downtown Santa Monica and make your way to Third Street Promenade, which is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. This outdoor, pedestrian-only shopping street is home to a number of boutiques (both designer brands and independently-owned shops), restaurants and movie theaters. 

You and your family can go shopping, dine or even watch the different street acts performing in the area. If you happen to be at Third Street on a Wednesday or Saturday, don’t forget to check out the Santa Monica Farmers Market for some fresh produce, snacks, and delicacies.

If your child is interested in aviation or you simply want to pique their curiosity, you should definitely visit the Museum of Flying. Located near the Santa Monica Airport, this small but interesting museum tells the history of the airport and has on display aviation-related artifacts, such as a flight simulator, a Wright Flyer replica, and plenty of other objects. The museum also features an interactive center where kids can experience the thrill of flying an airplane.

  • Spend some time with the family at Tongva Park.

Tongva Park is perhaps the loveliest park in Santa Monica and is one of the best places to go if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Named after the indigenous Tongva people, who once lived in the area for thousands of years, the 6.2-acre park was a former asphalt parking lot that was converted into a public space. 

Tongva Park has four primary sections, namely Garden Hill, Discovery Hill, Gathering Hill, and Observation Hill. Discovery Hill is a good spot for families since it features shaded picnic spots and a play area for children.

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