My husband grew up in Monterey Bay and just from living there, knows more about marine biology than I do, and I studied Ichthyology in college! I grew up in a beach town also in Seal Beach, Southern California, but there wasn’t an aquarium nearby back then. But now there is!
The Aquarium of the Pacific is next door to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, one town over from Seal Beach. While the Aquarium of the Pacific can never match up to Monterey Bay Aquarium from location alone (it’s on the ocean’s edge where it dips into a deep cavern), it’s still a pretty nice aquarium to visit.
Our trip to California was mainly centered on my mother in law’s 80th birthday …
and visiting my mother, about to turn 93, in her new independent living facility.
Related to that, we spent two days cleaning out my mother’s house, the house that I grew up in, which is a big job as she’s a hoarder.
My kids called our California trip a “work” trip because it was not a family vacation centered around fun. Still, we managed to visit the places that they wanted to go: Muji (a Japanese design store with pens, household goods and clothes), Daiso (a Japanese $2 discount store), Jamba Juice, In-and-Out Burger, Krispy Kreme donuts, and surf stores for back to school shopping.
In addition, we did Stand Up Paddleboard in Redondo Beach, visited the artist Victor Hugo Zayas in his studio, and saw the Aquarium of the Pacific.
The visit to the aquarium came about because we had a red eye flight and time to kill. This aquarium is near the Long Beach Airport and turned out to be the perfect diversion.
Things to do in Long Beach with Kids
- Check out the Museum of Latin American Art
- See a vast assortment of fish and creatures at the Aquarium of the Pacific
- Explore the Queen Mary
- Hike El Dorado Nature Center
- Visit Long Beach Museum of Art
- Explore the ocean on a Stand Up Paddleboard (We did Stand Up Paddleboard in Redondo Beach at Rocky Point)
- Take a boat to Catalina Island
- Catch a show at the Long Beach Playhouse
p.s. My posts on Monterey Bay Aquarium are on Jellyfish, Sea Horses, and Upcycled Art.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
6 thoughts on “Things to Do with Kids in Long Beach California”
That’s really cool! I would like to get over to that side of the country. The closest I’ve been is New Mexico (Well, I was in the Phoenix, Arizona airport for about 30 minutes… but I don’t know if that counts). 🙂
I have no doubt that you will make it to California before long! Maybe for college visits in a few years?
You’re so close! I’ll have to make a list of all those neat places. Did you make it to Los Angeles? I understand the problems with your mom — I also can’t get rid of stuff. It’s bizarre but I’m working on it. I am not buried in stuff but I could be.
Happiest of Holidays to you all!!
We did make it to Redondo Beach and Downtown Los Angeles but not UCLA. Glad that you are able to purge! It’s a great feeling!
Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the best place for kids to visit in California. Kids will defiantly going to love it. I also have been there with my kids and we had a lot of fun. There are other places as well in Monterey to visit which can help you to kill time.
That my favorite aquarium in the whole world! My husband grew up in Monterey and went there often for school field trips. He knows a lot about marine biology as a result even though he as a political science major in college. I actually took a class in Ichthyology and he knows more than I do about fish!