9 Things to do in Manhattan Beach with Kids

This relatively small coastal city is fairly close to Los Angeles. Yet, spending time here you feel like you’re much farther away from the big city. Walk, bike, play, surf — there’s no shortage of family-friendly things to do in Manhattan Beach.

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9 Things to do in Manhattan Beach with Kids

{Pages}: A Bookstore
904 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

This independent book store offers it all — author events, children’s story times, book clubs, workshops, and more. Knowledgable staff and well-organized book displays are a few of the reasons customers return again and again. In addition, children’s story time is offered Monday mornings at 10:30 am and select Saturday mornings at 11:00 am.

Polliwog Park
1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

At this 18-acre park, you’ll find plenty to keep the kids busy. The large pond (complete with ducks and geese) borders a natural wildlife refuge, home to migratory birds. There’s also an amphitheater which is often used for concerts and special events. The children’s play area includes a play structure resembling a lighthouse. There are separate areas for younger children, as well. You’ll also find picnic areas, restrooms, and an exercise course here.

Roundhouse Aquarium
2 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier)

The Roundhouse Aquarium is located at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier. This facility offers free admission (although donations of $2 each, or $5 per family are suggested) and offers kids the chance to interact with marine life through viewing and touch tanks. There’s also a special kid’s area complete with books and puzzles.

The Beach
(same address as the Aquarium)

No trip to Manhattan Beach would be complete without spending time at the beach. After you’ve explored the Aquarium, step down to the beach. Try a surf lesson, go splashing, or build a sandcastle. Seasonal beach activities include several surfing and volleyball competitions.

Manhattan Beach Bike Path (also referred to as “The Strand”)
starts at 45th Street, south of the Hyperion Treatment Plant and the Chevron Plant

Enjoy the sunshine, and go for a family bike ride. The Manhattan Beach Bike Path is separated from the pedestrians and joggers, who use their own path (parallel to the bike path). There’s plenty of people-watching as well as beautiful ocean views.

Downtown Manhattan Beach
1142 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

This is the place to stroll, shop, and savor. There’s no shortage of opportunities for you to browse, eat, and marvel. Additionally, each Tuesday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, you’ll find the Downtown Manhattan Beach Farmers Market (at 13th Street and Morningside Drive). You’ll find a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables (many certified organic), plants, flowers, prepared foods, and more.

Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden
1236 N. Peck Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA

The rules are simple here.  Free admission, open dawn to dusk, share, and be respectful. The Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden is a “demonstration garden” exhibiting drought-tolerant plants and many plants that are native to California. In addition, the Garden is designated a “Certified Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation. Signs allow for self-guided tours.

Sand Dune Park
33rd and Bell Ave., Manhattan Beach CA

This park is named for the 100-foot high sand dune here. At the top of the dune, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view. (However getting to the top can be quite a workout). Here children will enjoy a play area complete with swings and climbing equipment. There are a few picnic tables as well as restrooms available. In addition, Sand Dune Park has been noted for the number of different bird species that have been seen here. Important note — to exercise on the sand dune, an advance registration is required and can be done online.

Manhattan Village
3200 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

A variety of stores and restaurants await you here, including Apple, Gymboree, Pottery Barn Kids, Macys, Islands, and more. The Village Kids Club welcomes children 12 and under. A variety of events are offered, and free membership can be obtained by enrolling online. (New members receive a membership pin and backpack). Activities are generally held on the second Thursday of each month; check the website for an updated schedule.

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IN LOS ANGELES WITH KIDS.

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Wendy Kennar (410 Posts)

Wendy is a freelance writer who finds inspiration in her nine-year-old son and from her experiences from her twelve-year teaching career. Her writing has appeared in several publications and anthologies, both in print and online. She prefers sunflowers to roses and thinks chocolate is okay at any meal. You can find her at wendykennar.com.


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