In California/ USA

10 Things to do in Santa Monica with Kids

Santa Monica Pier

Beautiful Santa Monica is famous for its relaxed atmosphere, its canyons unfurling down to the ocean, and of course, the incredible Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica is just a 30-minute walk from Venice Beach, and home to some of the Los Angeles’ most fun activities to do with kids.

We spent my son’s fourth birthday in Santa Monica, and loved it, though in August, obviously, it was crammed. would recommend you do too. If your kids are into thrilling rides, they’ll go crazy here. Stick around to find out our top 10 things to do in Santa Monica with kids.

PACK YOUR SWIMMING GEAR AND HIT THE BEACH

Our first must-do in Santa Monica is pretty straightforward. The beach is gorgeous, and you’ll be glad you packed your bikini when LA’s burning sunshine really starts in earnest. The beach is large, and easy to get to. If you have little ones, though, remember the sand stretches for miles and will be difficult with a stroller.

Santa Monica Pier

GET READY FOR THRILLS & SPILLS WHEN YOU HIT THE PIER

Take the kids for some old school fun on Santa Monica’s legendary pier, a US institution, and the oldest pier on the West Coast. It’s a great spot to go on some rides (you can get an unlimited ride bracelet), take in the stunning views over the beach, or stay later to catch an amazing sunset.

Santa Monica Pier

MEET A HERO

As with the rest of LA, Santa Monica is a hot spot for superheros. You may even be as lucky as my little one who met his absolute favourite on his birthday and even got his photo taken with him. Best day EVER.

Santa Monica Pier

GO ON A SCAVENGER HUNT AT SANTA MONICA’S PIER

Santa Monica’s Pier has developed an educational scavenger hunt, which you can download for free on their website.

Santa Monica Pier

TAKE A RIDE ON THE BIG WHEEL AND DROOL OVER THE VIEWS

Santa Monica’s wheel has some of the best views in the city. Make sure you reserve your seat and take it all in, and if you’re like me, get the camera ready for what you’re about to experience.

Santa Monica Pier

INDULGE IN SOME RETAIL THERAPY ON MONTANA AVENUE

Santa Monica’s main retail destination might have you giving your credit card a good spanking, but even if you’re just window shopping it’s still a lot of fun.

GET SNAP-HAPPY WITH THE AREA’S BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURE

Santa Monica is home to some of LA’s most beautiful buildings, including the home of the creator of Barbie dolls, which alone deserves a mention. Make sure you pack an extra memory card and battery, just in case!

Santa Monica Barbie

ARLINGTON WEST MEMORIAL 

Every Sunday, the Arlington West Memorial is set up by Veterans in Peace to honour those fallen in war and promote peace. We were lucky enough to be there on a Sunday and got to see it a truly moving and impressive sight. I would think it could be difficult to explain to younger children though, and there are some pretty graphic images on display.

Santa Monica Pier

TAKE A PHOTO AT THE END OF ROUTE 66 AT SANTA MONICA’S PIER

The most iconic road in the U.S. comes to an end in LA, and even if you haven’t driven any of this epic stretch of tarmac yourselves (we only did about 25km of it) it still makes for a good photo opp.

Santa Monica Pier

TAKE A STROLL TO VENICE BEACH

We all loved visiting to Venice Beach, so much so we ended up going twice. It’s the epitome of fun and weird LA, rollerskaters zipping by, street performers, good street food and so many stalls selling everything from art to t-shirts. Our son felt right at home in LA, with his cap on backwards, and racing his scooter with the local skaters. No matter how touristy it is, you’ve got to do it.

Venice Beach


Have you ever been to Santa Monica? Are you a local and have some tips? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the article 🙂

 

Happy Travels,
Maria & co

 


Linking with City Tripping


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  • Clare Thomson

    I loved Venice Beach when I visited years ago, but never made it to Santa Monica. It’s one of those iconic LA places so I really feel I missed out. Those houses look like they’re made out of Playmobil! The pink one has to belong to the Barbie creator, right? I really love the photo of your son with Batman. So cute! Thanks so much for linking up with #citytripping.

  • A great bucket list Maria! The beach looks amazing and what beautiful views. Perfect for showing off your brilliant photography! #citytripping

  • Gorgeous photos as ever – I can’t believe how busy the beach is though! It’s a shame I don’t have longer for my mini California coast road trip but we’ll have to turn around before we get to Santa Monica. My daughter would have been over the moon to meet Batman too. #citytripping