Family Fun Itinerary

​Top 5 Things to Do in Laguna Beach with Your Kids

If you’re heading to Laguna Beach with your family, know that there are so many things that you can explore together. It’s an awesome place for adventure, great dining, and unique experiences that everyone in the family is sure to enjoy.

I'm Brittany and I was born and raised in Laguna Beach. Growing up here, I've always felt a sense of community, appreciation for the arts, the beach and discovering the small shops! Whenever I look back at my childhood in Laguna, I think back to all the adventures spent with my family and friends. Now, we're raising our own little family here, and it's so exciting to see my daughter enjoying a lot of the same things that I did and falling in love with the town in the same way. I'm always proud to tell people about my hometown, and share my favorite things to do because really, there is so much to do even beyond the beautiful beaches! Here are some of the best ways to create lasting memories with your family in Laguna Beach!

We love to spend time all around town and find new things to do. From our own weekend itinerary and things that we enjoy doing in town as a family, here are some of the best ways to create lasting memories with your family in Laguna Beach.

1. Appreciate the Arts & Culture of Laguna Beach

The Laguna Playhouse, the oldest continuously operating theater on the West Coast, is an intimate theater that is home to a variety of different plays and concerts throughout the year. In addition to some great shows, they also have award-winning youth theater programming. Check their calendar for upcoming shows.

First Thursdays Art Walk is the perfect night on the town for the entire family. Local shops and art galleries invite guests in to experience exclusive deals, fun activities, beverages, small bites and treats. Offered throughout town on the first Thursday of every month.

The Laguna Art Museum hosts exhibits showcasing an artist, an era or a specific theme. They have an array of family-friendly exhibits and some fun events on tap as well. Check out their calendar, here.

The Sawdust Art & Craft Festival is most known for their summer and winter art festivals but did you know they also host art classes year round? With classes ranging from ceramics to jewelry making and photography to oil painting, let your inner artist out. You can view their calendar here.

2. Learn New Things Together

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a great activity to do together because it's educational, inspirational and a way for the whole family to see marine life up close. It's a rehabilitation center for seals and sea lions that covers all 42 miles of Orange County coastline. Guests who visit the center can spend time with the patients, learn more about them and visit the gift shop where proceeds help benefit the many programs held at the center year-round. Admission is free, but donations are always welcomed to assist with rehabilitation efforts.

Take a self-guided Laguna Beach Walking Tour and learn all about the things you see around town; including the history behind some of Laguna's most iconic locations. For example, did you know that Laguna's Lifeguard tower used to actually reside on the other side of PCH and was an office for the gas station?

Did you know that more dolphins are spotted off Laguna Beach's coast than Florida, Hawaii and the Caribbean combined? Take a boat ride in Orange County's only marine reserve with Newport Landing, Davy's Locker or Dana Wharf Whale Watching and sail across the sea to experience dolphins and whales up close and like you've never seen before.

3. Enjoy Some Family-Friendly Eateries

Penguin Cafe is a cute breakfast diner with a fun atmosphere and Orange Inn is a small cafe with breakfast items, pastries, smoothies and more!

Kitchen in the Canyon has delicious breakfast offerings and is tucked back in The Hive located in the Civic Art District.

Laguna Beer Company is one of our favorite places in town for a casual lunch or dinner. They have a variety of beers on tap, and eats, plus plenty of things for kids to do like coloring books, board games, card games and more! Every month they have special events as well as weekly events like live music and Trivia Night, all family friendly!

Rasta Taco is great because it's tucked around a corner and enclosed behind a gate. So, the kids can be as crazy as we know they all WANT to be! Plus, you can never go wrong with tacos.

Reunion Kitchen + Drink has delicious food and is a great atmosphere for a nice lunch or dinner with the family. (Try the parmesan bruschetta can thank me later!)

La Sirena Grill (the South Laguna location) is our go to spot for a casual dinner out. They also offer breakfast and lunch. It has indoor and outdoor seating, TVs, high-top tables, booths and a full service bar. The vibe is very laid back and welcoming.

4. Shop for the Whole Family

The men in the family will enjoy North Menswear, Troy Lee Designs and Thalia Surf Shop.

Tuvalu and Areo are amazing shops for special home goods and unique + quality novelty items. Laguna Candles offers hand poured candles with scents inspired by Laguna Beach!

Little Bohemian, Hobie and Little Freebirds have great selections for kids/toddlers, whether you're looking for gifts, books, clothes or toys.

Fawn Memories is the perfect spot for typical souvenirs like T-shirts, keychains, postcards, seashells and more. We love getting items here for our families that live out of town.

5. Do Something Outside and Active Together

SUP Rentals - Laguna Ethos and La Vida Laguna offers Stand up Paddle Board rentals. This is a fun activity to do together out in the ocean. It's a great way to get active, it's interactive and a lot of fun.

Surf Lessons - Thalia Surf Shop and Laguna Surf & Sport will teach you and your kids how to surf and then let you catch some waves in a fun surf lesson along with board rentals. 

Explore Laguna Beach on a Kayak Tour - Laguna Ethos has an amazing kayak tour in Laguna where you can kayak the open ocean with your kids as early as 3 years old! You also have the option to have them set up a park picnic for you just following your lesson.

Hiking Trails - You can't go wrong with a fun hike exploring more than 20,000 acres of wilderness and the beautiful Laguna Beach sights. We love to trek up to the Top of the World, Crystal Cove and Valido trail.

Bike Rentals - Rent bikes at Laguna Beach Electric Bike and bike around town together. They even provide a map with the safest routes to get around the village and beyond. 

View marine life up close and personal at various tide pools throughout town. Treasure Island is one of the best spots to spot sea life in the tide pools. (Parents: be sure to simply observe the creatures and ensure your children don't touch or remove any of the sea life, so the tide pools can remain abundant for years to come.)

Run wild at some of the most fun park areas for kids including Main Beach Park, Heisler Park, and Bluebird Park. Pack a picnic, plan to BBQ or order some takeout and enjoy the outdoors. Bring some lawn games, kites, bubbles or enjoy the play structures!

Explore the beaches! Our favorites are Table Rock,West Street, Treasure Island, and Oak Street. All of these are perfect with the kids. 

*Note - Table Rock, West Street, and Oak Street, all have quite a few stairs.

By Brittany Charnley, The Cool Hip Mom blog and @thecoolhipmom on Instagram.