We’ve all been there- a whole long day stretched ahead of you, and you’re asking yourself, “what should I do with my kids today?” You’re in luck- we have a whole list of things to do with your kids today in Long Beach.
Summer is here, and we try to keep our kids busy. Summer camps, pool days, beach days- all the good stuff.
We also try to sprinkle in plenty of “do nothing” days, letting them get bored, roaming the neighborhood and riding bikes.
But then there are those OTHER days. Where it’s clear that we’ll all be miserable if we stay home, but I have no idea what to do with my kids today.
And that’s where this list comes in.
If you also find yourself asking, “what should I do with my kids today in Long Beach?” you’re in luck- we have a whole list of super fun ways to entertain your kids (and yourself!) close to home.
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What Should I Do With My Kids Today?
We’re going to separate this list into a few categories: free activities, quick activities, and adventures.
That way, you should be able to find something to do with your kids today that is exactly your speed!
Free Activities to Do with Your Kids Today
Need something fun to do, on a budget? Check out our list of free family activities in Long Beach, or try one of these ideas:
- Visit a duck pond. Pair it with some playground play by visiting the ones at El Dorado or Heritage Park, or visit the Bach library after visiting the duck pond at Heartwell.
- Go to a splash pad. There are tons in adjoining cities that won’t cost you a penny. Don’t forget the wading pools in Lakewood, too!
- Visit the beach. We have lots of beaches nearby, and many (we are partial to the Bay and Colorado Lagoon) have free parking if you get there early enough.
- Try a new park. There are SO many in Long Beach to choose from. We think the best ones are Whaley, Los Cerritos, and Lincoln park.
- Go to the Ranchos. There are two great Ranchos to choose from- Rancho Los Alamitos, which has animals, and Rancho Los Cerritos, which is more historical. Both are donation based, so you’ll just pay what you can.
- Visit the Japanese Gardens at CSULB. Pay for parking only, or ride a bike in. You’ll need to schedule a reservation ahead of time. In the summer, CSULB is also a great place to practice bike riding or scootering.
- Go to a Storytime. Great, free storytimes can be found almost every day of the week in Long Beach (except Mondays. Why is everything closed on Mondays??) Pair it with a park by visiting a story time at El Dorado (just a short walk), Signal Hill, or Billie Jean King Main Library.
- Play Inside– Check out this list of indoor activities for kids on our sister site, TheSaltyMamas.com.
Treat & Activity Pairings
Okay, so you don’t want to do something over the top, but you need to add a little “oomph” to your regular daily routine.
We like to pair a small outing with a small treat. It’s a good way to turn a not-so-special outing into something a little more memorable.
- Wendys Frosty & Whaley Park- Grab a Frosty from Wendy’s (their Jr Size is just $1!) and take it to Whaley park for some climbing fun.
- McDonald’s Freeze & Golden Grove in El Dorado Regional Park- There’s a McDonald’s on the corner of Spring and Palo Verde, located near the entrance to El Dorado Regional Park. Grab some freezes and hit up the park.
- Del Taco Mini Shakes and Rancho Los Alamitos- There’s a Del Taco on the corner of Stearns and Palo Verde, just a half mile away from Rancho Los Alamitos. We like to grab mini shakes on the way home from a warm outing at the Rancho.
- Frosted Cupcakes & Livingston Park- There are actually a ton of yummy treat options along Second Street. Play at Livingston Park, take a bathroom & cupcake break at Frosted, and then get back to playing.
- McDonald’s Ice Cream & Bolivar Park- Grab an ice cream cone from McDonalds (at the corner of Del Amo and Lakewood) and then head to Bolivar Park to enjoy it. You can also do this with Del Amo Park and the McDonalds on the corner of Woodruff and Del Amo.
- More Cheap Treat Ideas– Need another sweet treat? Check out our full list of cheap treats for kids in Long Beach for more ideas.
Small Outings to Do With Your Kids Today
Okay, you’re in the mood for more adventure! We’ve got you covered. These outings are more manageable, so you won’t be out of the house ALL day, but it’ll give you a healthy dose of fun to change things up.
- Visit a Trampoline Park- Here’s a list of trampoline parks near Long Beach. Hit one up to get your kids wiggles out.
- Go to Kidz Town in Lakewood- This outing is two hours, tops, so it’s a good dose of fun that won’t be too taxing or too time consuming.
- Check for a Movie in the Park– With movies happening at least three times a week all summer long, odds are good that you’ll find a movie in the park that will work for you.
- Go to a Concert in the Park- This summer, there are lots of concerts across Long Beach. Find one near you for some low-key, low cost fun.
- Go Watch a Low Cost Movie– There are plenty of summer movies for kids in Long Beach. Or, if it’s off season, you can visit our movies post for lots of other good ways to save money at the movies.
- Visit a Craft Fair or Farmer’s Market– Mant of our craft fairs and farmer’s markets are located near parks, or with scenic locations. You can easily spend a couple hours at either one.
- Go to the Nature Center- There is a gorgeous walking path at the El Dorado Regional Park’s Nature Center. It’s good for a couple of hours entertainment, without a super long drive.
- Visit the El Dorado Frontier– a mini amusement park right here in Long Beach, with a train ride, mining for gold, and several other fun activities.
- Go Out to Lunch or Dinner- Here is a list of places in Long Beach where kids eat free (or cheap!) If money isn’t an issue for you, we’ve also got a list of the most kid-friendly restaurants in Long Beach.
- Go to a Public Pool- You have lots of options for public pools in Long Beach. Check with the pool before heading over, as rec swim times may vary.
What Should I Do With My Kids All Day in Long Beach?
Alright, you’ve got more time to fill– now what?
Check out this list of bigger, longer outings. Many will take you outside of Long Beach, but they will do a wonderful job filling up time (and making happy memories for your kids!)
- Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific– The Aquarium of the Pacific is a gorgeous, super kid-friendly outing. The price is steep, but there is plenty to do to occupy your kids all day long.
- Visiting the California Science Center with Kids– This is a fun, free outing that can take up as long as you’d like it to. The Endeavor, a small aquarium with touch pools, and traveling exhibits make for a super fun, memorable day.
- Go to the Cabrillo Tidepools & Aquarium– You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck with this outing. Visit the Cabrillo Aquarium, and, if you time your visit right, you’ll also be able to head down to the Cabrillo Beach Tidepools to see ocean life in action.
- Go to the Crystal Cove Tidepools- We haven’t been there yet, but we hear the Crystal Cove tidepools are beautiful, and have more viewability throughout the year than the Cabrillo Tidepools do.
- Go to Centennial Farms– Located at the OC Fairgrounds, you can visit Centennial Farms with kids all year long.
- Visit Pretend City– My kids have ALWAYS love Pretend City in Irvine. It makes for a fun filled (but tiring!) day full of imaginative play.
So if you’re wondering, “what should I do with my kids today?” in Long Beach, we hope this list gave you some helpful ideas. It’s a beautiful city with lots to explore- sometimes it’s just a matter of deciding what to pick!
What did we miss? Tell us in the comments what we should add to the list!
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