Updated for 2022
El Segundo has a small-town feel within the big city. Translating the Spanish to English, “El Segundo” means “the second,” but we think you’ll find it’s first-rate! There are many family-friendly things to do in this small seaside city adjacent to Los Angeles International Airport.
It’s known for being home to the Chevron Oil Refinery, but also for its charming downtown, beautiful beach, and great shops and restaurants. Once home to many aerospace companies, El Segundo is the place some tech start-ups and new-economy companies call home now, along with the 16,000+ residents. If you haven’t been lately, it’s time!
14 Things to Do in El Segundo
208 Main St., El Segundo, CA 90245
ESMoA (which stands for El Segundo Museum of Art) describes itself as “not a museum, but an art laboratory.” Their hours vary, and free admission is offered to visitors. ESMoA offers several family-friendly activities including “Family Day,” “Play,” “Read,” and the “Kids Drawing Club.” Check the website for their current hours and a list of upcoming activities.
2. Hilltop Park and Pool
Corner of Maryland St. and Grand Ave., El Segundo, CA
Hilltop Park invites families to enjoy its picnic area and playground. During the summer months, the park also has a swimming pool. Kids will also enjoy the view of the nearby Los Angeles International Airport.
3. Plaza El Segundo
760 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo, CA 90245
With the holidays quickly approaching, head to Plaza El Segundo for your shopping needs. You’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants at this outdoor shopping center, which offers a variety of classes and programs for children.
Related: Read about Over 35 Malls and Shopping Areas in Los Angeles
4. Recreation Park
401 Sheldon St., El Segundo, CA 90245
If you’re looking for an El Segundo park that offers a lot of choices, head to Recreation Park. There your family can enjoy racquetball, lawn bowling, tennis, basketball, and roller hockey. And there are lots of open, green areas that are perfect for games of tag and picnics.
Related: Read About the Best Parks in the South Bay
5. Scooter’s Jungle
606 Hawaii St., El Segundo, CA 90245
Scooter’s Jungle is a tropical-themed indoor play space. Kids will have fun with giant super slides, large inflatables, games, and more. As a bonus, many of the attractions are suitable for adult use as well. Choose from two play areas — the Ultimate Arena for ages 6 and up, and the Village Arena for ages 1-8. They offer open play times (check the online calendar for availability) with special activities such as “Toddler Time”, designed for children 6 and under, as well as “Family Fun Events” and private parties.
Related: Read about more Indoor Play Places in Los Angeles
6. The Lakes at El Segundo
400 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo, CA 90245
The Lakes, a popular 9-hole golf course at El Segundo, have recently been redesigned and are now open. It’s a great spot for families who are looking to get in some practice time or who are just starting out in the sport of golf. Practice on the driving range, do some putting, and when you’ve worked up an appetite head inside to the Fairway Cafe. They also offer lessons and clinics as well as a junior golf program.
Related: Read about Golf Courses in Los Angeles
7. El Segundo Beach
Vista Del Mar and W. Grand Ave., El Segundo, CA 90293
El Segundo Beach is generally less crowded than some of its more popular neighboring beaches (there is a large oil refinery nearby), such as Manhattan Beach and Playa Del Rey. At the beach, you’ll find a paved bike path as well as volleyball courts. Pack a picnic, a kite, and some balls, and enjoy a rarity — an uncrowded beach in Southern California.
The Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum
610 Lairport St., El Segundo, CA 90245
Families who are interested in cars should definitely make a point to visit the Automobile Driving Museum. You’ll find over 100 vintage and antique automobiles out on display. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. The Museum’s purpose is to “preserve automotive history, interpret the historical significance, and educate our guests.” In addition, kids will have fun with a scavenger hunt, playing in a special area with cars and Legos, as well as climbing into two cars on display. On certain Sundays, they offer rides in some of the Museum’s cars. Check the website for all details.
9. Clutter’s Park
423 E. Imperial Ave. at Sheldon Street, El Segundo, CA 90245
At this popular spot, kids will be treated to views of airplanes as they prepare to take off and land at Los Angeles International Airport. Clutter Park isn’t a park in the usual sense, meaning you won’t find playground equipment there. But you can stroll along and sit on benches and marvel at the planes. Pack some snacks and stay awhile.
10. Old Town Music Hall
140 Richmond St., El Segundo, CA 90245
Old Town Music Hall is a popular venue in El Segundo. It shows vintage movies (both silent films and those with sound) as well as serves as a venue for live concerts. Additionally, a 1925 Mighty Wurlitzer wind-powered pipe organ accompanies all silent films. Upcoming films include a “Laurel and Hardy Festival” as well as the classic holiday film Miracle on 34th Street. Check the website for a complete schedule.
11. El Segundo Public Library
111 W. Mariposa Ave., El Segundo, CA 90245
The El Segundo Public Library is open six days a week and closed on Sundays. The Library hosts a variety of special events including: “Concerts in the Library,” a free program on the third Saturday of each month; “Drop-In Lobby Events,” a weekday arts and craft activity; as well as special programs for kids including story times, Library Club, and a Teen Program. The Library is adjacent to Library Park, a small, pleasant park featuring a rose garden and gazebo. It’s an ideal spot to set out a blanket and read through some of those recently checked-out library books!
12. Toyota Sports Performance Center
555 N. Nash St., El Segundo, CA 90245
The Toyota Sports Center is the official training center for our L.A. Sparks, Lakers, and Kings. It is open to the public seven days a week and offers several activities. Families can take advantage of public skate time, and they also offer different camps and clinics here. There is also an onsite pro shop and a full-service restaurant on-site.
13. The Mattel Toy Store
333 Continental Blvd., El Segundo, CA 90245
You might want to visit The Mattel Toy Store without the kids so you can get some holiday shopping done. Shopping at The Mattel Toy Store allows you to buy some of your kids’ favorites “straight from the source,” since it’s located at the company headquarters. Yes, this is where Barbie was born. Check the website for current hours.
14. Hang Gliding Lessons
Dockweiler Beach, 12501 Vista del Mar, Los Angeles, CA 90293
Looking for adventure? Take a lesson with Wind Sports Hang Gliding School at Dockweiler Beach Hang Gliding Park overlooking the ocean. You can take a mini 2-hour lesson or a full day, 4-hour lesson where you hang glide 7 times! Pack a picnic and hang out at Dockweiler State Beach for the day.
Where to Stay in El Segundo
If you’re visiting the area and need accommodations, there are plenty of places to stay in El Segundo. Here are a few ideas:
- Hampton Inn & Suites LAX El Segundo, 888 N. Pacific Coast Hwy., El Segundo CA 90245
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Los Angeles International Airport South, 1440 E. Imperial Ave., El Segundo, CA 90245
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Los Angeles LAX/El Segundo, 525 N. Pacific Coast Hwy., El Segundo, CA 90245
- 2BR Furn Home – Safe/Quiet/Clean So Bay Nr Bch/LAX — close to the beach.
- Luxurious Private Beach Condo Near it all w/VIEWS! — steps from the beach, sleeps 6.
- Beach Cottage by the Sea — cute cottage, close to the beach, shopping, and more.
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).