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!


See some sea creatures at the Aquarium of the Pacific (100 Aquarium Way), one of the largest aquariums in the country. The facility is home to thousands of ocean animals, from sea otters to sharks and everything fishy in between. Get there when they open at 9 a.m. to experience the exhibits up close with fewer crowds. (Be sure to reserve tickets online in advance.) Then, grab lunch at one of the many restaurants along the nearby boardwalk.


The channel between Long Beach and Catalina Island is a cetacean superhighway. In spring, gray whale season is tapering off as blue whale season is gearing up. You can also spot massive pods of dolphins, sea lions, and harbor seals just off our local shores, plus get up-close views of the port and Queen Mary. For the best value, purchase an Aquarium/whale watch combo ticket. 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.


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.


If your kids are the type that need to burn off 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 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