It is an undeniable fact that kids love the water, and more specifically, the ocean. But, the big waves, large crowds, and cleanliness can all factor into whether you actually want to take your family to the beach or not. So, let us take a few of the not so fun factors off of your list. Choose from our five favorite beaches below that are incredibly family friendly. Whether a playground, clean bathrooms, or shallow water is the highest on your list, we’ll make sure you know what you’re getting into before hitting the sand.
Santa Monica State Beach
First off, we love for kids to experience all a city has to offer, and the Santa Monica Pier is well known for being a wonderful attraction. So, head to Ocean Park Beach tower 26 for the most kid friendly spot around. There is a solid playground, an abundance of bathrooms and changing facilities, as well as a grassy area for when the sand just gets too hot. The ease of having a myriad of eating options at the Pier lets you know that the kids won’t go hungry if you didn’t have the time or desire to bring snacks along.
If you’re hoping for a little more kid-only space, check out the neighboring Annenberg Community Beach House. They also have a playground, pool, and planned activities to keep the kiddos entertained, allowing you to take a few minutes to breathe. There is also a restaurant on site, Back to the Beach Cafe, for when the kids get hungry. One of the marvelous parts about this, as well, is that you can reserve a parking spot online, allowing the stress of parking and paying melt away. Lastly, their bathrooms might be the cleanest on the California coast, so enjoy!
If the name Mother’s Beach doesn’t sound like a good place for the family, I’m not sure what you’re hoping for. Mother’s Beach is a spectacular sheltered spot in Marina Del Rey. The water is shallow, and the kids have a roped off area specifically for them. During the busy summer months, there is a lifeguard on duty to give you an extra set of eyes for safety as well. There is a playground nearby, as well as kayak and paddle board rentals for those with kids needing a little more adventure in their lives. So, if you have a wider range of ages needing something to do, Mother’s Beach is a great choice for you.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
For the most variety of beach experience, head on over to Malibu Lagoon State Beach. This lagoon is a bird sanctuary, as well as a great spot for surfing. If your kids are mesmerized by watching these things, it’s a perfect spot. There’s plenty of sand here as well, making it easy to spread out and stake out a place just for you and yours. There are rocks along the beach for the little ones to play on as well. This beach is right next to the Malibu pier, allowing you to have great food, drinks, and dessert whenever you need a snack. Between the shallow water and variety of people and animals to watch here, the family can enjoy a full but relaxing day at Malibu Lagoon State Beach.
The name says alludes to it, but Manhattan Beach gives you the best of both worlds. With the accessibility of the city and all it has to offer plus miles of stunning beach, this is a perfect California beach. It is great for families because of the clean restrooms and proximity of snacks and parking. You won’t have to tote the kids towels and trowels far to get to the sandy shore here. In addition, when the kids need some AC, head over to the free Roundhouse Aquarium at the end of the pier. This will be a nice diversion to the afternoon, letting the kids explore the local ecosystem and learn about the ocean. The beach volleyball scene is also impressive here, so whether you have an aspiring star or a little one who just loves to bounce the ball, there will always be some action to be found here. So, for ease of access and activities for all ages, check out Manhattan Beach next time the family needs a day away.
Advertisement: Looking for a great Summer Camp? Camp Wildfolk is a project-based, child-centered, and growth-focused Day Camp for PreK-7th graders. It's "old school" camp spirit, meets a modern, progressive approach to youth development. They are on a mission to help kids develop and nurture a growth mindset. Click here to learn more!
Leo Carillo State Park
For those families that want to escape to nature on the weekends, put Leo Carillo State Park on the top of your list. You can explore the local trails leading to and from the beach, which will lead you to plenty of tidepools that kids can play in. Let your little ones see how many types of wildlife they can find here, while you enjoy a few minutes to yourself. If you even need more adventure, check out the sea caves that are tucked in the rocks. This park is a little more off the beaten path, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding plenty of space for yourself. There are great restaurants nearby to keep you satiated as well. Lastly, if you have a four legged member of your family, you can let them run free just a little north at North Beach. So, with the full extent of options here, Leo Carillo State Park easily made our top five family friendly beaches in Los Angeles list.
Whether you need everlasting activities and food options, or want to get away from the LA crowds, there is a beach for you. Rank what you think is most important to your family and go from there as you pick what family friendly beach to tackle next. We wish you safe and happy beach days, and don’t forget the sunscreen!