|| California | los angeles | Santa Monica & Beach Towns|
|Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica Pier has year-round entertainment for kids. Built in 1908, it's the oldest "pleasure park" on the west coast. There's lots of choices from eating cotton candy to taking a whirl on the carousel to henna handpainting to just watching the locals fishing.|
|Pacific Park amusement park Soar five stories above the waves on the rollercoaster. For little ones, the 9-story tall ferris wheel or the mini-submarine may be a better bet. The Playland Arcade has video games, and there's lots of snack stands for hot dogs, pizza and cotton candy.|
|Tip: Get an unlimited rides with the Go Los Angeles Card.|
|Old-time carousel Kids can ride a carousel that's been here since 1916, with 44 beautiful hand-carved animals.|
|Carousel Park Next to the carousel is a playground with a sea dragon, your own wooden ship to climb on, sand to play in, swings to swing on, all with a view of the Pacific Ocean.|
|Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, underneath the carousel, is an aquarium and learning center oriented completely towards kids. It's well worth the time you'll spend exploring interactive displays (such as touch-tanks) about Santa Monica Bay.|
|Santa Monica Pier has free concerts on the Pier, Sundays and evening concerts in the summer.|
Palisades Park You might want to make this your first stop, since this is where the Visitor Center is located (ask for free maps in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese, and a copy of Kidscape, the calendar of family events). It's a great place for a picnic or taking a stroll with the kids. From the park, there are pedestrian walkways to the beach below.
|Santa Monica State Beach Santa Monica has miles of sandy beach that's good for swimming little kids can jump in the waves here. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer. Pick up towels and beach toys on the pier, and rent boogie boards. Fly kites on the beach too stop into the toy stores at Santa Monica Place to buy an inexpensive kite.|
Learn to surf Santa Monica has great beaches to ride the waves, and if kids are going to learn to surf, this is the place. Lessons include surf boards and wetsuits.
|South Bay Bicycle Trail This wide concrete bike trail goes for miles, all the way from Will Rogers State Beach (just north of Santa Monica) down to Torrance. Rent bikes at Santa Monica Pier and at stands all along the beach front walk.|
|Beach Parks Along the Ocean Ave. are several beach parks with picnic tables, swings and slides, grassy areas, and some have barbeques. Bay Park (at Bay St.) is a small but nice area with swings, including baby swings, and gymnastic bars. Ocean Park (Barnard Way) has a large playground with swings.|
International Chess Park at Ocean Front Walk is where everyone from beginners to masters meets for a pick-up game. There are lots of players on any given day, and everyone's welcome to play.
|Third Street Promenade This pedestrian-only shopping street is the place to wander, shop, and eat. There are dozens of street performers here, many of them aiming to please kids. You'll hear a different style of music on every block, as well as jugglers, dancers|
|Museum of Flying Zoom over to the Museum of Flying at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport. It has vintage Douglas and World War II era aircraft, (including the Douglas World Cruiseter: first plane to fly around the world) as well as tons of aviation artifacts and photography. In the AirVenture part of the Museum you'll find interactive exhibits and a flight simulator. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.|
Clover Park At Clover Park, near the Museum of Flying, the children's playground has an aviation theme, with an Observation Tower, Flight Seat, Telephone Tubes, and flight graphics.
for Kids has lots offun things to do with kids in Santa Monica, but you'll
need a fun place to stay.
Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels in Santa Monica, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods that are comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:
|Santa Monica and Marina del Rey family hotels|