With over 450 000 residents, Long Beach is easily one of the most beloved cities in California. It’s not as populous as Los Angeles or Sacramento. But, it’s bigger than Anaheim and Santa Ana.
Oh, and it has some of the best beaches in the country.
Long Beach is ideal for family vacations and weekend getaways. Recently, it’s also become a popular destination for young families to move to.
There are so many kid-friendly things to do in Long Beach; your kiddos will never get bored. Here are eight of the coolest activities for children in Long Beach, California.
1. Go Whale Watching
Who doesn’t love learning about the oceans? Kids certainly do! Long Beach is the perfect destination for all your child’s marine biology curiosities.
In the summer, you can observe the blue whales making their way south. The winter is the best time to see gray whales heading up to Alaska.
You can go whale watching on a rented charter. Or, sign up for one of the many whale-watching tours in the harbor.
2. Explore Naples Island
Why fly all the way to Italy when you have a slice of Naples here in Long Beach? Naples Island is on Long Beach’s eastern shoreline, Los Alamitos Bay.
You can take gondola rides around the island, complete with a gondola driver in a striped shirt.
Part of the fun is looking at the beautiful houses, singing, and learning about the history of the area. Eat dinner at one of many Italian restaurants before seeing the sunset from the boat.
3. Bike at El Dorado Regional Park
California is known for its outdoor spaces and active lifestyles. In Long Beach, El Dorado Regional Park is a highlight for outdoor enthusiasts.
Go for bike rides through the miles of trails in the park. There are even rental bikes available. Stop for a picnic or to go fishing.
Kids love the archery park inside El Dorado where they can learn to shoot like Katniss Everdeen. The playgrounds and model aircraft area are also must-sees.
4. Sunbathe at Mother’s Beach
Nestled on Naples Island is a beach built for children. Mother’s Beach is a calm, gentle, and nurturing beachfront.
It’s popular with young families whose kiddos are still learning to swim. The water, while warm and clear, has gentle rolling waves. The white sand is perfect for lounging and building castles.
For a little adventure, consider renting a paddleboard or kayak. Life jackets are also available for rent.
When you’re done with the beach, walk over to the splash pad playground. Let the kids play on the rock climbing structures before falling asleep on the way home.
5. See Sharks at Aquarium of the Pacific
Aquarium of the Pacific is a dream come true for most kids. They get to learn all about the ocean’s creatures and the environment. Not to mention getting up close and personal with many of those creatures.
The aquarium has many exhibits and displays to check out. See jellyfish, starfish, stingrays, and frogs. You can even touch live coral and the friendly sharks swimming by.
One of the coolest parts is the clear tunnel system. As you walk through, get greeted by sea lions and curious seals.
This science and art center is great for entertaining little ones while teaching them about the world around us.
6. Dine at Family-Friendly Joints
Long Beach is full of amazing restaurants, bars, and pubs. Many of them are family-friendly with kids’ menus and high chairs.
Start with dessert at Jongewaard’s Bake N’ Roll. This joint has the best pies and cakes in the state. They also serve homestyle breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
You can’t visit the coast without trying the seafood. Pier 76 Fish Grill is the place to take your family. The kids’ menu fish and chips are extraordinary, as is every seafood dish on the regular menu.
For some American-creole dining, you must check out The Attic. Enjoy classic cheeseburgers and fries or shrimp jambalaya. There’s even a dog menu if you bring your furry pal to sit outside!
7. Board the Queen Mary
The Queen Mary was once an important ship during WWII. These days, she sits in the harbor as a tourist destination and major attraction for locals.
You can take tours of the ship and learn about the history. Or, hit one of the restaurants on-board and see a show in the 4D theater. You must check out the LEGO model with your kids; they can even make their own model on the ship!
For older kids and teenagers, they may be more interested in the darker side of history. Some claim the ship is haunted. Check out one of the ghost tours and wander the preserved historic rooms.
8. Take a Day Trip to Orange County
If you have a passion for surfing or your kids want to learn, take a day trip to Orange County. This neighboring city is just as beautiful as Long Beach, but with better surf.
Relax in Laguna Beach and explore the wilderness at Dana Point. Or, get into the surfing culture and history of Huntington Beach.
Inland, Orange County is home to Disneyland, an instant crowd-pleaser for children. There are also lots of museums, galleries, parks, zoos, and hiking trails.
OC is only a 40-minute car ride away from Long Beach and makes the perfect day trip location. Stay a little longer and you can check out other awesome day trip spots. San Pedro, Catalina Island, and Santa Monica are also nearby.
Interested in More Things to Do in Long Beach?
Long Beach, CA is home to some of the best family-friendly entertainment in the state. Besides stunning beaches, there are attractions like The Queen Mary and Naples Island. Your kids will never run out of things to do in Long Beach.
When people come to Long Beach, they always want to stay longer.
If you’re curious about what it would be like to live here, check out our apartment gallery. Grand Terrace Apartment Homes are ideal for giving you the ultimate Long Beach lifestyle.