30 Awesome Things To Do in Santa Monica with Kids

Santa Monica Pier, photo by Roberta Brown
Santa Monica Pier, photo by Roberta Brown
6/7/18 - By Roberta B

Whether you're a lucky family living in one of America's most popular tourist destinations, or a lucky tourist who's just arrived in Santa Monica, finding the fun in this gem of a SoCal seaside town isn't hard. When tourists from other countries imagine Los Angeles, what they're really picturing is Santa Monica. When Santa Monicans imagine Los Angeles, they just stay in Santa Monica. Between the miles of beaches, the wonderful and numerous city parks, and the inviting pedestrian zones, you might not need help finding a day's activities in Santa Monica; but if you do, we've got 30 great ideas for you.


  1. Enjoy the beach, pool, playground, splashpad, and historic guest house at the Annenberg Beach House.
  2. Do the Family Scavenger Hunt on Santa Monica Pier.
  3. Play, learn, and frolic at the Clayton Children's Museum.
  4. Try the traveling rings and more at the Original Muscle Beach.
  5. Have dinner and drinks community style at the Tuesday Night Food Trucks.
  6. Feed (but don't overfeed!) the ducks at Douglas Park.
  7. Check out a free toddler yoga class at Santa Monica Place.
  8. Ride the Pacific Park Ferris Wheel at sunset.
  9. Catch a show or concert at the Broad Stage.
  10. Ride the bike path at the beach (even better if you take one of the new green bike routes to get there!).
  11. Play among the sycamores at Santa Monica's hidden Rustic Canyon park.
  12. Wake up to one of McCabe's Sunday morning family concerts.
  13. Help at a Heal the Bay beach clean-up.
  14. See a classic film at The Aero Theatre.
  15. Check out the planes (and touch everything in the cockpit) at the Museum of Flying.

    Get in the cockpit at the Museum of Flying. Photo courtesy of Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
  16. Experience the Night Sky Show at the Santa Monica College Planetarium.
  17. Cool off at the splash pad (and take in the view) at Tongva Park.
  18. Paint a masterpiece at Paint Lab family art studio.
  19. Hit one of the four farmers' markets - especially Sunday morning on Main Street for the pony rides.
  20. Step inside the body of a camera and spy on passers-by at the historic (and free) Camera Obscura.
  21. Enjoy a winter skating session on the best-ever outdoor ice rink.
  22. Get a sense of how it all began at the Santa Monica History Museum.
  23. Get splashed by sharks at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

    Find out how high you can jump at the Cayton Children's Museum. Photo by Matthew Tucciarone
  24. Visit the art galleries at Bergamot.
  25. Take a Segway tour along the beach as far as Venice.
  26. Take Fido to one of the city's four off-leash dog parks
  27. Learn to fly through the air with the greatest of ease at Trapeze School.
  28. Bring your own chess pieces to play alongside the pros on the boards at the Santa Monica Beach Chess Park.
  29. Have a paddle in the stream and an ice cream at the cafe of the main branch of the Santa Monica Library.
  30. Ride the Metro from Downtown to the sea and back again.

Looking to entertain kids and family in a different LA neighborhood? We also have lists of 25 things to do in BurbankPasadenaHollywood, Downtown LARedondo Beach, Laguna BeachMarina del Rey, Westchester, Thousand Oaks, or Culver City!