Rita lives in Venice Beach with her husband and daughter Maybelle (ages 20 months). We asked Rita to share her favorite places to visit with her family on the coast.
Escape the cold and head to the canals in Venice Beach to have fun in sunny California. With high temps and massive crowds, it is best to avoid the city in the summer. Instead find an Airbnb on the canals in the cooler months and stop by the local farmers market on Friday morning.
Check out happy hour at Spitfire Grill, they have plenty of outdoor seating, there’s a playground across the street and the Museum of Flying is down the road. It’s total bar food (hence the bad reviews on Yelp) but you won’t feel bad about having a misbehaving toddler with you. Plus you can’t beat the happy hour priced beers.
Pitfire Pizza is super kid friendly and there are multiple locations. The food is good and they serve beer/wine. Parking can be a little tricky but that’s LA.
Maybelle has a peanut allergy so I like to get frozen yogurt from Treats because I trust that they don’t cross contaminate but of course always double check…
The South Beach Park
Beach! Beach! Beach! Our secret to navigating the crazy westside beach scene is to park at The South Beach Park it’s the best $10 you’ll spend to get a good spot close to the beach/bathrooms/playground. Plus that location has a boardwalk halfway out to the beach so it’s easier to carry everything towards the water. Get there before noon on summer days to avoid too much craziness.
A Magic Forest
On rainy days stop into A Magic Forest to let your littles run around while you enjoy coffee and conversation.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is also really fun for little ones to run around. There are permanent dinosaur exhibits and a Nature Lab that includes memory maps, touchscreens and live animals for kids.
I love Huntington Gardens for walks but make sure it’s not going to be 100 in Pasadena and get there early to beat the crowds. They have a little cafe for lunch but pack something for the little ones.
- The Venice Oceanarium is a “museum without walls” at the Venice Beach Pier most Sundays from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
- The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is indoors and has over 100 local species and hands-on exhibits
- Get creative at ReDiscover an innovative reuse center for kids and adults
- Go high and see the city and the ocean from the Pacific Park iconic ferris wheel
- See airplanes and memorabilia at the Museum of Flying
- Shop the 3rd Street Promenade
- See wonders, oddities and curiosities at the Venice Beach Freak Show
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