There are so many things to do in southern california with kids, especially in Long Beach! When it comes to looking for fun things to do with kids in Long Beach, the problem isn’t finding things to do, but finding a way to do them all. With several beaches, parks, historical sites, and annual events calling the city home, this list is but a simple peak of all there is to explore in Long Beach, California.
This sandy south-east facing beach is located on the western end of Long Beach City Beach and is within walking distance to many hotels, restaurants, and shops. Alamitos beach also offers fun activities such as volleyball, biking, skating, swimming, and running.
Belmont Shore Beach
Generally speaking, this beach is located between the Belmont Pier area and 55th place. It spans along the waterfront of the Belmont Shore neighborhood in Long Beach, CA. Unfortunately, there are no dogs allowed at this beach.
Peninsula Bayside Beach & Peninsula Beach
Located on the north-facing side of the Long Beach Peninsula, Peninsula Bayside Beach is actually comprised of two segments with one running from 55th to 61st street and the other from 63rdt to 69th Place. They are separated by a small marina. On the other side of the Long Beach Peninsula, you’ll find Peninsula Beach which faces the ocean. Both beaches offer several activities such as sunbathing, swimming, walking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and sailing.
Long Beach City Beach (a.k.a Junipero Beach)
This sprawling south-facing beach is located along Ocean Blvd. from the Belmont Pier, all the way to Alamitos Beach is the main beach of Long Beach, CA. Since this beach is located in an area protected from ocean waves by breakwaters it doesn’t provide optimum conditions for those looking to catch some waves.
While this 4-acre slice of beach isn’t a fenced-in dedicated dog beach, Rosie’s Dog Beach is known for allowing dogs to be off-leash between the hours of 6 am-8 pm every day. If you do choose to visit with your furry friend it is recommended that you bring your own waste bags from home, but if you by chance find yourself lacking a bag some are provided in dispensers.
Historical Sites of Long Beach
Operating as a hotel, event venue, and tourist attraction, there is plenty to do aboard the Queen Mary when you have little ones in tow. On a guided tour you can get an up-close & personal look at the ship’s rich history from its groundbreaking construction to the ship’s role in WW2, to the events that earned the Queen Mary the nickname of “the haunted ship.”
When you visit the Battleship IOWA Museum not only will you learn more about the role our Navy plays around the world but you will also become privy to the important stories of historically significant, yet relatively unknown vessels. The Museum offers several virtual tours and online exhibit options in addition to in-person experiences.
The 7½-acre site includes four acres of nationally significant historic gardens, a ranch house (1790-1933), a restored barnyard of the early 20th-century working ranch, and serves as a microcosm of long beach history. Rancho Los Alamitos showcases a rich history of habitation stretching back more than 1500 years and offers engaging virtual visits as well as in-person tours.
Attractions, Parks, & Museums in Long Beach
Featuring around 12,000 animals and over 100 exhibits including Lorikeet Forest, Shark Lagoon, and Harbor Terrace, the Aquarium of the Pacific in its entirety showcases a wide range of marine ecosystems ranging from the chilly waters of the Northern Pacific, the mild Southern California/Baja region, and the warm coral reefs and lagoons of the Tropical Pacific. And if you’re looking to get your hands wet the Aquarium also has several interactive educational programs for people of all ages.
Housed in the historic 1911 Elizabeth Milbank Anderson House. The Long Beach Museum of Art was founded in 1950 as a municipal art center for the city of Long Beach. In addition to checking out current, upcoming, and permanent exhibitions you can also visit LBMA’s Sculpture Garden designed to allow you to experience and reconnect with art in the current era of physical distancing.
This 105-acre nature center is an oasis of natural habitat, providing sanctuary for animals, plant life, as well as humans looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It contains about two miles of dirt trails and a ¼ mile paved trail wound around two lakes, a stream, and forested areas.
The mission of the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is simple, “to provide a place of refuge, beauty and learning for all who enter its gates.” The garden is located on the campus of California State University, Long Beach, and features playful koi, winding pathways, a Tea House, and a Zen Garden.
Featuring fresh sea breezes and a phenomenal view of the Pacific Ocean, Bluff Park is a popular choice for joggers, dog-walkers, and strollers of all ages. The park is also home to the Lone Sailor Memorial.
If you’re looking for a variety of things to do in one location, Bixby Park is a great option. The park contains a stage, community center, playground, mobile skatepark, picnic area, BBQ pits, restrooms, a volleyball court, sports field; and hosts several programs including youth recreation, adult classes, senior fitness classes, and a farmers market.
Activities & Events
Since its founding in 1982, Gondola Getaway has strived to bring authenticity and a high level of service to its hundreds of thousands of guests. While being rowed by a highly trained Gondolier you and your loved ones can experience the beauty and calmness around Naples, Island.
Now sponsored by Acura, the Grand Prix of Long Beach is much more than a race weekend — it’s a full-fledged festival, lasting three days and two nights. At the Grand Prix of Long Beach, you can find a wide range of family-friendly activities ranging from world-class racing to the popular Lifestyle Expo, to the delicious Food Truck Experience. Currently, the 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach has been postponed to September 24-26.
If you want to experience the flavors of New Orleans without leaving sunny SoCal the Long Beach Crawfish Festival has your name written all over it. For over 26 years this festival has brought plenty of dancing, the Second Line Dancing Parade, Zydeco dance lessons, crawfish, and many other activities for the whole family to enjoy. This year the Long Beach Crawfish Festival will be held May 21-23, 2021 at the picturesque Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach, California.
This two-day annual festival is all about bringing you plenty of fun and plenty of sun. You can spend time with the kids at the Kids Village, listen to some chill tunes at one of the many stages at the festival, shop from creative vendors near and far, explore the art village, or take a moment to relax at the Healing Arts Village. It’s currently unclear if the Love Long Beach Festival will be happening in 2021.
If you or any of your loved ones enjoy marine life then whale watching should definitely be included on your to-do list the next time you visit. Since there are several whale-watching services across the coast we’ve listed a few of them below, just be sure to bring your camera, binoculars, and a jacket!
Shop & Eat
Located downtown and within walking distance to the Convention Center, Shoreline Village, and the Aquarium of the Pacific the Pike Outlets has become a go-to destination for locals and visitors looking for bargains on designer brands, clothing, housewares, and more. The Pike Outlet is also home to a ferris wheel, comedy club, and movie theatre.
Shoreline Village offers a wide selection of waterfront restaurants ranging from simple snacks to upscale waterfront fine dining as well as an array of shops selling home decor to unique hot sauces. In addition to shopping and dining, Shoreline Village offers an array of fun activities including parasailing and Wheel Fun Rentals.
And if by chance you’ve exhausted every location & activity on this list check out our many other guides for fun things to do with kids here.
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