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Fun Things To Do In San Pedro With Kids

Updated for 2021

San Pedro describes itself as a “Whale of a Town.” Part of the reason may be its proximity to the ocean where you may be able to view these magnificent creatures. Whether you explore in the water or just nearby the water, you’ll find plenty of fun (and inexpensive) things to do in San Pedro with kids.

Once upon a time, San Pedro was its own City, but it merged with Los Angeles over 100 years ago. San Pedro is home to the Port of Los Angeles, one of the busiest ports in the world, with many, many ships bringing in goods from around the world docking and loading/unloading all the time.

The area was once a fishing village, and there are still places to enjoy fresh catch today. Many cruise lines also dock here, so if you’re heading out on a Pacific Cruise, you’ll surely head to San Pedro.

Korean Friendship Bell pavilion in San Pedro
Korean Friendship Bell Pavilion in San Pedro

Fun Things To Do in San Pedro with Kids

Fanfare Fountains at Gateway Plaza
Harbor Blvd. and Swinford St., San Pedro, CA 90731

Children and adults will be captivated by the Fanfare Fountains. Watch as 400,000 gallons of recycled water are used to create these captivating fountains, with some water streams shooting 100 feet in the air. The two main fountains (each 250 feet long and 100 feet wide) are synchronized to music and lights. A short distance away (on 2nd St. and Harbor Blvd.) is an interactive fountain; it’s an ideal way for children (and their parents) to cool off on a warm day. “The Fanfare Fountain at Gateway Plaza is currently undergoing maintenance. Water shows have been discontinued until further notice.”

Point Fermin Lighthouse Historic Site and Museum
807 W. Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731

The Point Fermin Lighthouse was constructed in 1874 in the “Stick Style” — an early Victorian architectural style. Families are encouraged to visit the site to learn about the history of the Point Fermin Lighthouse, as well as the history of California, and specifically its influence on San Pedro. The Lighthouse is open Tuesday through Sunday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and while admission is free, donations are requested. Guided tours are offered every hour at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. (Keep in mind, that children under 40 inches in height are not admitted into the tower). 

San Pedro Farmers Market at Little Italy
638 S. Beacon St., San Pedro, CA 90731

Each Friday, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, families are invited to browse and shop at the San Pedro Farmers Market at Little Italy. You’ll find many vendors offering a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Cabrillo Aquarium grunion photo opp
Cabrillo Aquarium grunion photo opp

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Dr., San Pedro, CA 90731

Kids will certainly enjoy a visit to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. The Aquarium contains “the largest collection of Southern California marine life in the world.” Inside the 21,000 square-foot Frank Gehry-designed facility, you’ll find an auditorium, an Aquatic Nursery, an outdoor tidepool touch tank, a teaching laboratory, an Exploration Center, and more.  The Aquarium also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year; check their website for an upcoming list. The Aquarium asks for a suggested donation of $7 for adults and $3 for seniors and children. Currently, indoor spaces at the Aquarium remain closed. All programs are taking place outdoors near the adjacent coastal park. The Gift Shop remains open (Thursday-Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm). 

Cabrillo Beach
3720 Stephen M. White Dr., San Pedro, CA 90731

Adjacent to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is the mile-long Cabrillo Beach, a popular spot for San Pedro visitors as well as locals. There are actually two beaches here; one outside the breakwater and the other, within the harbor which is calmer and gentler (ideal for families). You can do it all here — swim, surf, play volleyball, enjoy the views, fish along the pier, and enjoy a picnic. 

Deane Dana Friendship Park and Nature Center
1805 W. 9th St., San Pedro, CA 90732

The 123 acres here provide families with incredible views of San Pedro, the Los Angeles/Long Beach harbor, and Catalina Island. There are hiking trails, a children’s play area, and a picnic area. “It is also home to the beautiful, captive-bred and federally endangered Palos Verdes Blue butterfly.” The 4,000-square-foot Nature Center includes a living history museum, exhibits, and more. Currently, the Nature Center remains closed.

Los Angeles Maritime Museum
Berth 84 (Foot of 6th St.), San Pedro, CA 90731
(for GPS purposes use the address 600 Sampson Way, San Pedro, CA 90731)

Families can learn about the history of Los Angeles Harbor by visiting the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. You’ll find the Museum within the 1941 Municipal Ferry Terminal, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the Museum’s exhibits, “What’s Going on in the Harbor Today,” is an interactive exhibit designed especially for children. You’ll also find model ships as well as exhibits about harbor fishing and the canning industry. The Museum is temporarily closed for renovations.

Battleship USS Iowa Museum
250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA

A visit to San Pedro wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Battleship IOWA. This battleship is in fact an interactive naval museum. Families can take a self-guided tour and get a sense of what life was like for our country’s sailors. Known as the “Battleship of Presidents,” the IOWA served our country for over 50 years. In addition, special attention has been made to make sure that the youngest visitors are engaged in their visit. There’s a special “Victory the Dog Adventure” scavenger hunt for kids. Advance tickets are available online. 

front angle of the guns USS Battleship Iowa Museum in San Pedro
Battleship Iowa Museum

Los Angeles Fire Department Museum
639 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731

In one of the oldest buildings in San Pedro (Old Fire Station 36), you’ll find the Harbor location of the L.A. Fire Department Museum. Inside, families will see “some remarkable LAFD apparatus, artifacts from the San Pedro area and some of the most famous fires in this part of the city, and much more.” A small gift shop is also on the premises. The Museum is generally open on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and offers free admission. Currently the Museum remains closed. 

White Point Nature Preserve and Education Center
1600 W. Paseo del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731

The White Point Nature Preserve “features 102 acres of restored coastal sage scrub habitat, hiking and handicap accessible trails overlooking the ocean and Catalina Island.” You’ll also find the Nature Education Center on-site which provides information on the trails and area as well as interactive exhibits.The Preserve is open daily, and the Education Center is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Across the street from the Nature Center, you’ll find the White Point Park, offering views of Catalina Island, sailing ships, and the Port of Los Angeles. You’ll find several plaques that provide information about the history and geography of the area. Kids will enjoy the children’s play area, and just below the park are the beach and tide pools (another children’s favorite)!

Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur
3601 S. Gaffey St. #8, San Pedro, CA 90731

The Marine Mammal Care Center (MMCC) is a hospital for injured and ill sea animals found along Los Angeles County’s coast. Their goal is to treat and release sea animals including sea lions, harbor seals, and elephant seals. Additionally, the center seeks to inform the public about conservation and environmental issues. Visitors are welcome on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm when a docent will lead you on a 15-minute tour of the center. A donation of $5 per person is suggested. Tickets may be reserved online. 

Korean Bell of Friendship and Bell Pavilion
Angels Gate Park
3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro, CA 90731

The Korean Bell of Friendship was donated by the Republic of Korea in 1976, in honor of our country’s bicentennial. It honors Korean War veterans as well as serving as a symbol of friendship between our two countries. The Korean Bell weighs 17 tons and stands 12 feet tall. The bell is inside a pagoda-like structure which was constructed in San Pedro by 30 craftsmen who were flown in from Korea. Four times a year (on the 4th of July; National Liberation Day of Korea, August 15th; New Year’s Eve; and on September 17th to celebrate Constitution Week) the bell is struck with a wooden log. The Bell is also rung 13 times on the first Saturday of each month at 11:30 am. In addition, the Korean Bell of Friendship is located in a picturesque setting — perfect for a picnic. There are basketball courts nearby, and bring a sweater and a kite because it gets breezy!

S.S. Lane Victory
Berth 49 (2500 Miner St.), San Pedro, CA 90731

San Pedro has another ship for families to explore, the S.S. Lane Victory. The Ship was built in San Pedro in 1945 and “served in World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam and as a national merchant carrier during the interwar periods.” It serves as a “living museum and memorial to the service and sacrifices of all Merchant Marine sailors and Navy Armed Guardsmen.” Families can tour the engine room, look at exhibits, and more. Currently the ship is closed but they hope to re-open soon. 

LA Waterfront Red Trolley

Families can hop-on and hop-off the free LA Waterfront Red Trolley. The trolley runs on a continuous loop every 30 minutes. Check the website for the route and details. The Trolley runs on the first Thursday of each month 6 pm to 10 pm, Saturdays 12 pm to 6 pm, and Sundays 12 pm to 6 pm. 

San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant
1190 Nagoya Way, San Pedro, CA 90731

Make plans to enjoy a meal at San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant. This popular family business was started in 1956 and is now recognized with 4 Guinness World Records and is recognized as being a “Top Ten Most Instagrammed Restaurant” in the United States. A trip to San Pedro wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a meal here. 

Fort MacArthur Museum
3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro, CA 90731

“The Fort MacArthur Museum is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the history of Fort MacArthur, a U.S. Army post which guarded the Los Angeles harbor from 1914 to 1974.” Within the Museum’s rooms and galleries you’ll find a variety of exhibits and displays including “the history of Los Angeles harbor defenses, American Pacific Theater military campaigns,” and more. The Museum is open 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 

Point Fermin Park
807 W. Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731

You’ll find “37 landscaped acres of tree-shaded lawns, sheltered pergolas, colorful gardens and a promenade” at Point Fermin Park. Families will enjoy incredible views of the coast, toward Santa Catalina Island. Pack a picnic and spend some time enjoying the sites and sounds. 

Averill Park
1300 Dodson Avenue, San Pedro 90732

Averill Park is great for kids, with a huge pond with ducks, turtles, and fish, filled by a stream and small waterfall. There are rolling green hills to run around and play on. Plenty of trees mean there’s good shade, and there are BBQ pits for having a picnic or party.

Angels Gate Hi-Railers Model Railroading Club
3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro, CA 

If you have a family member who loves trains, be sure to visit the Angels Gate Hi-Railers Model Railroading Club. You’ll see model trains “covering a range of eras from early steam to modern electric.” The club is open to visitors on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free. 

Muller House Museum
1542 S. Beacon Street, San Pedro 90731

This museum, located in a historic house, is operated by the San Pedro Historical Society, and showcases the history of the area via the artifacts and archives of the family that owned the home. Muller House is open a couple of Saturdays per month, with tours offered. Donations are accepted.

CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles
112 East 22nd Street, San Pedro 90731

Housed in a restored 1940s era warehouse, CRAFTED is home to hundreds of local artisans and craftspeople, showcasing their wares. You’ll find unique gifts and handmade goods. There’s a craft brewery here in case you get thirsty, and they often hold classes and workshops.

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).

MomsLA is your source for Things to do with Kids in Los Angeles.

Things to Do in Los Angeles with Kids palm tree image

Disclaimer: MomsLA has made every effort to confirm the information in this article; however, things can often change. Therefore, MomsLA makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy of the information published here. MomsLA strongly urges you to confirm any event details, like date, time, location, and admission, with the third party hosting the event. You assume the sole risk of relying on any of the information in our list. MomsLA is in no way responsible for any injuries or damages you sustain while attending any third party event posted on our website. Please read our Terms of Use which you have agreed to based on your continued use of this website. Some events have paid to be listed on MomsLA.

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