Updated for 2023
Don’t think that Malibu is only for the rich and famous. You’ll find plenty of family-friendly, affordable things to do in this scenic city that was once home to Chumash Indians.
With many miles of coastline, and cliffs offering beautiful scenic vistas, you won’t run out of ideas or places to play. Head up PCH to the ‘Bu and you’ll have found this fantastic spot — and our list of ideas will help jumpstart your fun.
Ideas for Family Fun in Malibu
When it comes to Malibu beaches, there is no shortage when it comes to choice. Whether you choose to explore Zuma Beach, Malibu Surfrider Beach, or Point Dume State Beach, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful coastline and fun family times.
23519 W. Civic Center Way, Malibu, CA 90265
As part of the Los Angeles County Library system, Malibu Library is currently open Monday through Friday. They have a reading garden, a teen space, and a special children’s area. The Malibu Library generally also offers a variety of special events including story times, a speaker series, parent-child workshops, and more. Check online or call the library for more details.
The Getty Villa
17985 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90272
Bring the family to The Getty Villa, and you may feel as if you’ve stepped back in time and onto another continent. As you wander, you’ll observe 7,000 years of ancient art — dating from the Stone Age to the fall of the Roman Empire.
The Villa itself is designed as a recreation of an ancient Roman country house. Explore the wonders of ancient Greece and Rome in 23 galleries, each arranged by theme. In addition, the Family Forum provides hands-on opportunities for kids and parents to explore and play. The Getty Villa is closed Tuesdays. Admission is free, although an advance, timed-entry ticket is required and is available online. Parking is $20.
Looking for places to stay in Malibu?
Try one of these VRBO rentals or Hotels via our Stay22 Map and Affiliate links.
Malibu Sport Fishing Pier
23000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265
A visit to the Malibu Pier is a visit to an area that was once called the “Riviera of America.” From the Pier, you can watch the surfers at Surfrider Beach. There are also restaurants on either end of the Pier. It’s a calmer, less crowded alternative than the famous Santa Monica Pier.
Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts
24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90263
The Center for the Arts hosts a variety of family-friendly performances throughout the year. Entertainers may include dancers, singers, and circus artists. Certain performances also include “Family Art” — hands-on activities designed for children after the show. In addition, the Center for the Arts offers backstage tours, meet-and-greets with the performers, food trucks, and more.
Note: Certain activities may or may not be available for all performances. Check with the box office for detailed information for the day you plan to visit. Check the website for hours of operation, information on events, and updates.
Related: Guide to the Santa Monica Pier
Malibu Bluffs Park
24250 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265
This six-acre park offers picnic tables, a jogging path, a baseball diamond, a playground (designed for children 2-12), a multipurpose field, picnic areas, and a whale-watching station. Panoramic views make this park an ideal location for a family picnic.
Malibu Country Mart
3835 Cross Creek Rd., Malibu, CA 90265
You’ll find shopping and dining options aplenty here at the 90,000-square-foot Malibu Country Mart. In addition, children will enjoy the playground complete with swings, slides, and sand. While you shop, you’ll be surrounded by gardens, sculptures, and a variety of architectural styles.
Historic Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum
23200 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265
You’ll get a sense of the history of Malibu when you stop for a visit at the Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum. The Museum’s site was once the home of Chumash Indians. Later, it became a private residence. Now, it is a National Historic Site, a California Historical Landmark, and a California State Park. The Adamson House features original furnishings, and the Malibu Lagoon Museum features artifacts, photos, and documents depicting Malibu’s history. Please check the website for the latest information on hours, prices, and where to park.
Related: Guide to the Adamson House
Paradise Cove Beach Cafe
28128 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265
The only restaurant in Malibu where it’s possible to put your feet in the sand as you dine. This famous, family-friendly eatery offers tables inside as well as some directly on the beach. It’s also a fun place to go for a special occasion or to bring out-of-town family members.
23500 Civic Center Way, Malibu, CA 90265
Legacy Park isn’t like other parks (meaning you won’t find a large playground here). Instead, families will find a learning center, informational kiosks, and a cultural interpretive center. Legacy Park is also continuously working to improve the surrounding environment. Here, water quality is being improved, open space is being preserved, and native habitats are being restored.
Related: Go Horseback Riding in Los Angeles
Trancas Country Market
30745 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265
Trancas Country Market is another shopping and dining destination for your family to explore. It is set on a “17-acre natural sanctuary” and features a rustic, barn-style design. While you stroll and shop, you’ll be treated to scenic views of the mountains and the beach.
Be sure to stop into SweetBu Candy Co, a locally run and family-owned old-fashioned candy shop. You’ll find a large assortment of sweet treats including vegan and organic, nostalgic treats, specialty candy, international favorites, and more.
Las Flores Creek Park
3805 Las Flores Canyon Rd., Malibu, CA 90265
Las Flores Creek Park is a “neighborhood pocket park.” You’ll find picnic tables, a small playground, all-important restrooms, and over one-third of a mile of walking trails. As you wander, be sure to notice the more than 45 varieties of native plant species.
Malibu Coastal Adventures
Malibu Coastal Adventures provides families with memorable experiences. They offer lessons in different water sports including paddle boarding, surfing, and kitesurfing. They can also take you out on boat adventures including fishing, whale watching, and more. They specialize in “unique, custom, and interactive ocean adventures.”
Point Dume Natural Preserve
Cliffside Dr. & Birdview Ave., Malibu, CA 90265
Point Dume Natural Preserve provides numerous headlands, cliffs, rocky coves, and vast beach accesses with a great place to spot whales traveling along the coast — and the ocean views are enjoyable year-round. Make lifelong memories with the picturesque white sand beaches and sparking blue water at Point Dume.
21231 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265
Even if you’re a beginner, you and your kids can scuba dive and have a great time enjoying an underwater adventure with Malibu Divers. They’ve been in business since 1969 and have the training, equipment, and services to make your dive the safest and most enjoyable it can be.
Corral Canyon Rd. & Solstice Canyon Rd., Malibu, CA 90265
You and your family can go on a hike and a picnic through Solstice Canyon and enjoy the trail along the way. There are easy, medium, or difficult hiking options, depending on everyone’s abilities. You’ll see a waterfall and the remains of a more than 100-year-old stone hunting cabin.
Hotels Near Malibu, California
- Malibu Country Inn, 6506 Westward Beach Rd., Malibu, CA 90265 — newly renovated!
- Hotel June Malibu, 28920 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265 — has a heated swimming pool and is dog friendly!
- The Surfrider Hotel, 23033 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265 — right across from the beach!
Grab a copy of our Book: Los Angeles with Kids!
Looking for Fun Things to do with Kids in LA? You’ll love this book! This handy-dandy, portable paperback book is packed full of ideas for FUN all over SoCal! Keep it in the car, your purse, your diaper bag – and be ready for fun anytime, anywhere!
Wendy Kennar is a mother, writer, and former teacher who has lived her entire life in the same Los Angeles zip code. You can read more from Wendy at her website WendyKennar.com where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).
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