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9 Things To Do In Manhattan Beach With Kids

Updated for 2022

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.

9 Things to do in Manhattan Beach with Kids
The Roundhouse Aquarium at the end of Manhattan Beach Pier is a fun place to take the kids

Fun 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.

Related: All the Best Parks in the South Bay

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.

Related: Things to do in Redondo Beach with Kids

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.

Related: All the Botanical Gardens in Southern California

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, 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.

One Wave Surf
45th St & Highland Avenue Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

One Wave Surf offers training that will help you build experience and respect for the ocean and the surfboard. You can get the all-inclusive 1.5-hour lesson that will help teach you water safety, science behind surfing, as well at techniques that will help you successfully and safely ride the waves.

Live Oak Park
1901 N Valley Dr, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Live Oak Park offers one of the most cherished “tot lots” in the City. There are also older childrens play areas along with 6 tennis courts. You will also find a basketball court, multipurpose feilds, and several picinic areas that include barbecues, restrooms, and drinking fountains.

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 where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).

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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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