fun to do kids long beach california   Travel for Kids
  | California | south coast

Long Beach

long beach skyline
Long Beach sits less than half an hour south of downtown Los Angeles at the southern tip of L.A. County. Famous as home to a spectacular Aquarium, this harbor town is a great place for all kinds of outdoor adventures with kids.
aquarium of the pacific jellies
  Aquarium of the Pacific – Plan plenty of time for any visit here, from moon jellies to sea otters, in exhibits from the Bering Sea to Southern California to tropical reef environments. The huge, three-story-high tanks are the most popular exhibits, but don't miss touching epaulette sharks in Shark Lagoon, water play areas, and feedings.
      If you're visiting in the summer, get in early so you won't have to hold kids up to see exhibits over the crowds.
    Shoreline Village There are lots of little shops, snack places and a nice outdoor area for strolling here.
      Shoreline Bike PathRent bikes and cruise the bike path from Shoreline Village to Alamitos Bay. The path has two lanes for bikes and a lane for pedestrians, perfect for a leisurely ride.
      Aquabus ferry For a small fee, the most fun way to get around is the Aquabus ferry to the Aquarium; you'll also avoid hunting for parking spots over and over.
    Harbor cruises and boating – The choices seem endless in this port town: everything from quickie harbor cruises, to seasonal whale watching.
      Whale watching – From December to early April, take a cruise to spot gray whales on their yearly migration. You may see the whales "spyhopping," poking their heads above the water a bit, or "breaching," a spectacular display as the whales propel themselves out of the water and fall back with a big splash. Bring your binoculars.
      If you want to power your own boat, rent an electric powered boat from Anchors Away Boat Rentals, and explore the canals of Naples Bay and Alamitos Bay.
    Beaches and water sports – Splash around! The city boasts over 5 miles of sandy beaches, and every imaginable water sport.
      Marina Park – If you have toddlers, head for "Mother's Beach" at Marina Park (Appian Way). Lifeguards on duty in summer, sandy beach and gentle waves, barbeques, grassy areas, and a whale to climb on that spouts water.
      Sea kayaking is very popular in southern California and lessons, just a few feet from the sand, can be fun if you don't have a lot of experience. Smaller kids can go tandem with a parent in a kayak.
Go fly a kite – Palm trees swaying outside your hotel window? Take advantage of it! A great way to enjoy the beach on a windy day is to buy a kite. Buy a cheap one and toss it when you're done, or start your own exotic kite collection from different places you visit.
El Dorado East Regional Park – El Dorado Regional Park seems to have something for everybody. Rent a rowboat or pedal boat, or put 'em on board the children's train. You can also follow well laid-out hiking trails, bike on the bike path,or just have a picnic while the kids run wild in the playgrounds.
      Nearby, the El Dorado Nature Center has streams and lakes and hiking trails making it a great place to stretch your legs. The Center is set in a meadow surrounded by trees and is home to everything from turtles to weasels to rabbits. It's free to walk or bicycle in, but there is a small parking fee. At the Center Museum, kids will love the hands-on exhibits and workshops.
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