Free and Low-Cost Things to Do in Long Beach

There are dozens of ways to have fun and find adventure on a budget in Long Beach, CA.


First Fridays in Bixby Knolls is an art walk that takes on a different theme each month, with breweries, restaurants, and galleries taking part and a double-decker red bus offering free rides.

If you love a block party, check out Fourth Fridays on 4th Street’s Retro Row, where buskers and vendors line the sidewalks each month.

The Belmont Shore area shopping center 2ND & PCH (6400 Pacific Coast Hwy) regularly hosts vendor fairs and special events for kids and families. For the schedule, visit

The Pike Outlets also showcases a free vendor market on select Fridays each month. Visit for details.


During the summer, Long Beach Transit offers two water taxis: the AquaLink and the AquaBus. You can ride the AquaLink water taxi from Alamitos Bay Landing to the Aquarium and the Queen Mary for $5 each way. The AquaLink is outfitted with a snack and beverage bar serving beer, wine, and cocktails, and offers room for bikes, strollers, and wheelchairs. The AquaBus carries passengers to stops around Rainbow Harbor, including the Aquarium, Shoreline Village, and the Queen Mary. Tickets are $1 each way and one full round trip lasts about 20 minutes.


The El Dorado Nature Center (7550 E Spring St) is a 105-acre oasis featuring 2 miles of walking trails through forested areas, two lakes, and a visitor center. There is a parking fee, but entrance to the nature center is free. With a free reservation to the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden on the campus of Cal State Long Beach (1250 Bellflower Blvd), you can feed the koi fish in the pond and admire bonsai trees and the zen rock garden. The city’s two ranchos, Rancho Los Alamitos (6400 E Bixby Hill Rd) and Rancho Los Cerritos (4600 Virginia Rd), offer free parking and entry to visit the historic adobe homes and gardens.


Join the community for free daily yoga classes with Yogalution on the Bluff at Bixby Park Annex (E Ocean Blvd at Junipero Ave). Bring your own yoga mat and enjoy a view of the ocean from the grass lawn. Classes are offered daily at 11AM and on weekdays at 6PM. For a solo fitness option, take advantage of the Fitness Zones available at several parks throughout the city, including Lincoln Park (101 Pacific Ave), Bixby Park (130 Cherry Ave), Orizaba Park (1435 Orizaba Ave), and Houghton Park (6301 Myrtle Ave).


Several museums in Long Beach offer free admission. The Long Beach Museum of Art’s satellite location, LBMA Downtown (356 E 3rd St), is free to visit Thursdays through Sundays from 11AM to 4PM, and the Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum (1250 Bellflower Blvd) on the campus of Cal State Long Beach is also free to visit, but parking on campus is paid. The Museum of Latin American Art (628 Alamitos Ave) offers free admission every Sunday. You can also visit art galleries in neighborhoods like the East Village Arts District. The nonprofit Loiter Galleries (425 The Promenade N) showcases artwork by local artists.

About the Author
Claire Atkinson
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