Spring Break Family Fun in Long Beach

Whether you love sailing and stand-up paddleboarding, or prefer life on land with an ocean view, your family can have a splashing good time spending Spring Break in Long Beach!


For a quarter of a century, the Aquarium of the Pacific (100 Aquarium Way) has been one of the city’s most popular destinations for families. Home to thousands of sea animals–sea otters to sharks–in 2024 it opened its reimagined Southern California Gallery featuring local sea life and habitats. Get there when they open at 9 a.m. to experience the exhibits up close before the crowds arrive. (Be sure to reserve tickets online in advance.) Then, grab lunch at one of the many nearby restaurants.


Harbor Breeze Cruises (100 Aquarium Way, Dock #2) operates state-of-the-art boats that depart twice daily from the dock just outside the Aquarium of the Pacific, exploring the waters off Long Beach, which are rich with whales, orcas and dolphins. During the spring, gray whale season tapers off as blue whale season picks up. You’ll learn all about it since every cruise has an Aquarium educator on board to give context and take questions. For the best value, purchase an Aquarium/whale watch combo ticket.


There is nothing quite like a peaceful paddle around the calm waters of Long Beach, especially at sunset. Rent a kayak or Duffy boat, or get in your cardio while sightseeing with Long Beach Waterbikes (164 N. Marina Dr.). But for an experience the kids will be talking about for the rest of the year, book a pizza and pasta cruise with The Gondola Getaway (5437 E. Ocean Blvd.). Tour Naples Island’s canals while your family digs into a hearty Italian meal provided by Domenico’s, a Belmont Shore fixture.


Absorb some art and culture at the Long Beach Museum of Art (2300 E Ocean Blvd), the Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA, 628 Alamitos Ave.), and the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM, 695 Alamitos Ave). Each museum is renowned for the quality of their permanent collections and changing exhibits, while being just the right size for kids to visit without getting overwhelmed. MoLAA and PIEAM are located across the street from one another if you’d like to visit both on the same day.


Looking for something that will burn off some of that youthful energy? Head outdoors and say hi to the turtles living in the two lakes surrounded by multiple trails at the El Dorado Nature Center (7550 E Spring St). Or, you can do some bird watching at the DeForest Wetlands (6255 De Forest Ave). For a side of local history with your outdoor adventure, stop by Rancho Los Alamitos (6400 E Bixby Hill Rd) or Rancho Los Cerritos (4600 Virginia Rd), where you can tour the historic buildings and gardens.

About the Author
Claire Atkinson
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