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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
Maria & co
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