5 Experiences for Kids in Long Beach, California

Long Beach loves kids, and kids find a lot to love about Long Beach. Here are five of the favorite things for families to do there.

Go Backstage in an Airport

Long Beach Airport is a welcoming place to arrive, with its palm trees, open-air breezeway, mosaic artwork and only local cafés, but kids aged 5 and older can get a look behind the scenes, too.  The free Airport Tour is family-friendly and takes guests beyond the public areas to see how it all works. The tour includes aviation operations, fire and rescue, the mosaics and aviation history exhibits on Long Beach’s aviation legends.

Pet a Shark

The fourth-most attended aquarium in the nation, Aquarium of the Pacific displays more than 11,000 animals in upwards of 50 exhibit areas. These are designed to engage all ages in the tremendous variety of sea life and diverse environments in the Pacific Ocean. Along with learning about preserving our oceans and their valuable resources, kids can pat sharks and rays, and see sea lions play Frisbee. Frequent special shows, animal encounters and festivals keep the aquarium a lively experience.

Display of ocean life at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California © David A Dodson | Dreamstime.com

Display of ocean life at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California © David A Dodson | Dreamstime.com

Bike Through an Art Gallery

There’s nothing stuffy or off-putting about Long Beach’s art collection — it’s outdoors and all over town. Download a map from the POW! WOW! Long Beach website and rent bikes or walk to find painting by more than two dozen artists. You won’t have trouble spotting them, as they cover entire walls. There a style for everyone, as the murals rage from pop art and cartoons to realistic, abstract and surreal to three dimensional and trompe l’oeil.

Bike on the Water

Glide past the moonlit beaches on a glowing boat that pedals like a bicycle with Long Beach Waterbikes. These silent boats glow in fluorescent shades of brilliant red, blue and green, riding in groups that create a moving luminous mosaic as they reflect on the rippling water. Glow rides through Alamitos Bay are suitable for kids over 10 years old, and on daytime rides you can tour the bay on a tandem with young children as passengers.

Choose Your Beach

With nearly six miles of sand-fringed shoreline to choose from, Long Beach has the right beach for everyone. Mothers Beach is a favorite for families for its shallow water and gentle waves. Its location on Alamitos Bay protects it from the open ocean, assuring calm waters. Lifeguards supervise the beach, and there’s a playground with plenty of modern equipment, as well as a grassy picnic area shaded by trees. If you are traveling with the family pooch, Rosie’s Dog Beach is the only beach where dogs can swim and play off leash.