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Santa Monica Pier: Fun for the Whole Family

Santa Monica Pier
Camille Reddick
Camille Reddick
June 7, 2024

You'll definitely want to share the magic of the Santa Monica Pier with your family if you're planning a Southern California vacation. This all-ages attraction has the rides, food, and views it takes to make unforgettable memories. You'll also find tons of great attractions surrounding the pier that can fill up a whole day! Follow these tips for visiting the Santa Monica Pier with kids.

Santa Monica State Beach

Santa Monica Pier

Enjoy 3.5 miles of iconic West Coast shoreline at Santa Monica Beach! Located on the north side of the pier, Santa Monica Beach is separated from the city by a beautiful ocean bluff. Visitors can enjoy an expanse of soft, white sand that is bordered by bike trails. You can also get off the sand to walk to nearby shops and restaurants.

Museum of Flying

The Museum of Flying

The Museum of Flying has been an enduring SoCal attraction since opening as the Douglas Museum and Library on Airport Avenue in 1974. You won't find a better collection of aircraft and artifacts celebrating the nation's aviation history! The flight simulator is a big attraction at Santa Monica's Museum of Flying. Offering a full-motion simulation that rolls riders 360 degrees, this attraction gives you full control as you take the reins. If you're looking for something to do near the Santa Monica Pier with kids, anyone over 4 feet tall is allowed on the simulator!

Pacific Park

Come on down to Pacific Park to experience a quintessential SoCal seaside amusement park! Pacific Park is home to 12 fun rides located on the Santa Monica Pier. The most famous of all is a solar-powered Ferris wheel called the Pacific Wheel. The Pacific views from atop the wheel are simply priceless! Visitors can also enjoy games, shopping, rides, and specialty foods.

Heal the Bay Aquarium

Heal the Bay Aquarium Building

Heal the Bay is a world-class aquarium with a cause! Located on Ocean Front Walk in Santa Monica, the aquarium is home to more than 100 local species that call the Santa Monica Bay home. Visitors can enjoy touch tanks, kelp forests, rocky reefs, a shark nursery, and more as they learn about marine science at an award-winning institution that exists to protect the beautiful creatures of the Pacific! The gift shop offers a collection of zero-waste plushies, goodies, and gear.

Third Street Promenade

If you're wondering where to dine when visiting Santa Monica Pier with kids, look no further than the famous Third Street Promenade. Considered a foodie hub of Los Angeles, the Third Street Promenade offers everything from elegant sit-down restaurants to quick-grab options. If you want a taste of cinematic history, consider grabbing a booth at the famous Mel's Drive-In to chomp on burgers, fries, and banana splits that have been pleasing patrons since 1947! The pet-friendly Third Street Promenade is easy to navigate with kids because it's closed to traffic. After grabbing a bite to eat, consider shopping at the open-air mall, watching some street performers, or playing a game of pickleball.

Make Family Memories in Santa Monica

Your family is going to be talking about sunny memories of Santa Monica for years! This is one of the best spots in SoCal for families because it has many kid-friendly and educational attractions that parents can love. Whether you dream of lazy, carefree days strolling around the Santa Monica beach, fun rides that make you feel like you're flying over the Pacific, or world-class museums and aquariums, Santa Monica is where families find fun again!

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