The 10 Best Things to do Good for Kids in Long Beach, California (CA)

January 25, 2022 Diedre Savory

For some, a tour of the Queen Mary, docked here since its retirement in 1967, evokes waves of nostalgia for the days of the huge ocean liner with its opulent rooms, 1930s deco décor and teakwood decks. Others, particularly the younger set, are entranced by the spine-tingling haunted ship stories on the nighttime ghost tour. But for everyone, a visit to this floating hotel and museum is a must on any trip to Long Beach. At one time a less-than-appealing place to visit, Long Beach has transformed itself into an upscale tourist resort, with many waterfront attractions, including a new, state-of-the-art aquarium with a fabulous shark exhibit, two excellent art museums, charming shops, public golf courses, the annual April Grand Prix international auto race and lots of recreational activities along its eight-mile stretch of beach. Take the kids to the waterfront entertainment complex with rides and live performances or to the farming demonstrations at Rancho Los Alamitos. Feeling romantic? Cruise the canals of Naples (that's right, Naples Island in Long Beach) in a genuine Venetian gondola. One thing is for sure: tensions and stresses dissolve in this laid-back, friendly city.
Restaurants in Long Beach

1. Rancho Los Alamitos

6400 E Bixby Hill Rd, Long Beach, CA 90815-4706 +1 562-431-3541 [email protected] http://www.rancholosalamitos.org/
Excellent
77%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 94 reviews

Rancho Los Alamitos

Rancho Los Alamitos, the “Ranch of the Little Cottonwoods,” is a Long Beach City Landmark and is twice listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rancho has a continuous history of habitation that stretches back for more than 1500 years and reflects the many people who have called it home – from the first people, the Tongva, to the Spanish and Mexican colonists, right up to the Yankee farmers of the mid-twentieth century. The 7½-acre site includes four acres of nationally significant historic gardens, a ranch house (1790-1933), and a restored barnyard of the early 20th-century working ranch. There are farm animals including horses, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, and rabbits in the barns area.

Reviewed By labonvoyer

My traveling partner was attending a conference so I decided to catch the city bus from the Westin and visit this beautiful property. I mainly went for the gardens but was delighted with the whole experience! First of all, the docent Camille was incredible. You may wander around the property unescorted, but in order to visit the adobe home you must tour with a docent. Perhaps because it was a weekday in February, but there was only one other person on the adobe tour with me, so it felt like a private tour. Camille gave us the history from the Native Americans through the last owners-the Bixby Family. She was very interesting and informative. After, the adobe house tour, I began wandering the gardens and met Janet who I believe is in charge of the gardens. I say gardens because there are different garden sections. Although she was working, she took the time to answer some of my questions and gave me a mini tour. Even though it was February and there wasn't much in bloom, the gardens were still incredible. They have a very nice succulent/cactus garden. Would love to return to see the roses and Jacaranda trees in bloom! They have a gift shop. There is a large green lawn. I'm not sure if you are allowed to bring food in, but this would be a great family outing. In addition to the adobe house and gardens, they have a big red barn that houses a big draft horse, a couple of ponies and goats with hens free ranging. They also have a blacksmith that apparently comes and does demonstrations. The day I visited, all the docents were very welcoming. The rancho is located in a gated subdivision and only allows you in when it opens at 1pm. As an aside to home gardeners, there are 2 giant ficus trees with 2 giant palm trees growing through the canopy of the ficus trees. I was told when Mrs Bixby planted them around 100 years ago, the trees seem spaced adequately. Who hasn't planted trees in their sapling states in distances that seemed far enough but then in their maturity were much too close. Check it out when you go! So, if you love: gardens, history, farm animals, great docents and a fabulous bargain price, this is one of the big item tickets in Long Beach to visit!

2. Johnny’s Shuttle Service

4100 E Donald Douglas Dr, Long Beach, CA 90808-1754 +1 323-830-7685 [email protected] http://californiashuttles.com/
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 66 reviews

Johnny’s Shuttle Service

Reviewed By nikster528 - Rehoboth Beach, United States

When planning for our cruise from Long Beach, CA, I looked at transportation options from LA (we flew in from PHL) to Long Beach. We arrived a day ahead, but planned on returning the same day the ship returned. I initially booked only the return trip for 5 of us with luggage and thought this would work better than Uber of Lyft. I emailed Johnny's shuttles for pricing and questions. The owner, Johnny, was very responsive. I had an answer within 20 minutes and booked the shuttle for the trip back. This is a cash business, so I did not have to give a credit card for booking. I received a confirmation text giving me details and contact info. A couple days before departure, I decided I should book the same shuttle for the trip from the airport to our hotel. This time, there was 4 of us as one traveler in our group was flying in from another destination. Unfortunately, there were no drivers available at first, but Johnny called me to say he would try to make things work and would confirm within a few hours, which he did. As soon as our plane landed, I had a text message on my phone to say the driver was there and waiting for us. There were many airport issues on that day and it took over an hour for the luggage to start coming through the turnstile. Our driver was keeping in touch with us the entire time. Unfortunately, one of our suitcases did not make the flight and was put on the next flight, which we decided to wait for. The shuttle driver had to pick up another customer, but the owner, Johnny, called me to see what the situation was with luggage. He told me the driver would pick up the other customer and would call me to see if my luggage had arrived. To make a long story short, my luggage did not arrive by the time the driver was getting ready to leave. Johnny was very apologetic that this was not working out, but I was the one who felt badly about wasting their time. I must say that Johnny's Shuttle did everything in their power to make this work. On the other hand, the shuttle arrived 1h30 ahead of schedule on our return trip and everything worked out perfectly. I would highly recommend this shuttle service if you are in the LA/Long Beach area. They went beyond what was expected and we were very grateful.

3. Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802-8126 +1 562-590-3100 [email protected] http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/
Excellent
54%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3,171 reviews

Aquarium of the Pacific

Take a journey of discovery through the world’s largest ocean at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

Reviewed By Banana427 - Clearwater, United States

We went when the outside was open only and weren't disappointed! The jelly fish touch tank was our favorite part! They had a shark aquarium, ray touch tank and birds too!! Worth the visit! Lots of workers Wondering around to answer questions too!

4. Long Beach Waterfront

54th Place and Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA +1 562-570-1360 http://gotosocal.com/long-beach-waterfront/
Excellent
52%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1,093 reviews

Long Beach Waterfront

Reviewed By 191erlindac - Long Beach, United States

The Long Beach Waterfront has many activities to enjoy. Shoreline Village, The Aquarium, Whale Watching & Sailing excursions, restaurants, colorful shopping, and other entertainment activities. The Long Beach Waterfront can be viewed from many observation points. Walking distance to see the skyline is from the working Lighthouse near the Aquarium. Further out, the stunning Long Beach Waterfront Skyline can be seen from the Queen Mary, Reef Restaurants, and other Hotels across the water.

5. The Walter Pyramid

1250 N Bellflower Blvd California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA 90840-0004 +1 562-985-4949 http://www.longbeachstate.com/facilities/pyramid.html
Excellent
59%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 44 reviews

The Walter Pyramid

This imposing edifice on the campus of California State University Long Beach, is one of only three pyramid-shaped buildings in the U.S. and is used for various functions including sporting events, gymnasium, conferences, weddings and filming for movies and commercials.

Reviewed By billcE3222IR - Long Beach, United States

I have see basketball and volleyball games in the pyramid, and have been to seminars in the other rooms. A Great Place.

6. IEX Helicopters

Excellent
83%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 44 reviews

IEX Helicopters

Family owned and operated since 1982. We offer aerial tours, private charters, custom experiences, and daily flights to Catalina Island.

7. Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

1250 N Bellflower Blvd California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840-0004 +1 562-985-8885 http://www.csulb.edu/~jgarden/
Excellent
65%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 149 reviews

Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

Reviewed By cosmosm109 - Kenai, United States

What a pleasant small setting. A great blue heron landed and fished in the pond and humming birds abounded. Lovely blossoms were drifting like a gentle snow beautifully landing on some of the greenery. Plenty of places to be present, contemplate, and be. Tip: Have low expectations as it is a small space, well worth the visit. Tip: Great place for a book to bring.

8. Rancho Los Cerritos

4600 N Virginia Rd, Long Beach, CA 90807-1916 +1 562-206-2040 [email protected] http://www.rancholoscerritos.org
Excellent
68%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 69 reviews

Rancho Los Cerritos

Rancho Los Cerritos is the only Local, State, and National Historic Landmark in Long Beach, California. The site echoes with the rich history of indigenous, Spanish, Mexican, and American California. We provide our award-winning education programs to 30,000 students and visitors every year. The City of Long Beach designated the Rancho as an essential business and requested we re-open for the health and well-being of our community. We are proud to welcome you back to the 5-acre site's beautifully preserved historic gardens. You can stroll the gardens Wednesday through Sunday or participate in our virtual family activities at any time. We have put new safety measures in place due to Covid-19. You must wear a mask while visiting and provide us with your contact info for contact tracing. To review our full list of safety measures please visit our website.

Reviewed By 427rosemaryp - Long Beach, United States

Admission and parking are totally FREE! We had a most interesting tour with a docent who was very knowledgeable about the history of the area as well as the specific items in the rooms. The oldest room dating from 1840 was an office/bedroom for the ranch foreman. Other rooms included a blacksmith shop, the laundry room and living quarters for the wealthy owners. Each room was filled with items of the time many of which were original to the Rancho. Lots of great information put into context for the times and people like the Chinese laundry and cooks, the Basque sheepherders, the vaqueros etc and how things changed with the Industrial revolution. Really the most interesting place to visit. The house tour is about 1 hour and there is a garden tour of similar length as well. Definitely worth a visit for locals as well as visitors.

9. Naple Canals

Long Beach, CA 90803 http://www.naplesislandbusiness.com
Excellent
67%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 366 reviews

Naple Canals

Reviewed By robertomS1384NF - Long Beach, United States

Naples island is just a small island with amazing houses you can see quire close. there are walkways by the blue canals were you can bike, walk around or even kayak. During the summer is a beautiful setting worth your while to look at and during the winter the xmas boat lights festival is really something.

10. Catalina Express

320 Golden Shr, Long Beach, CA 90802-4243 +1 800-481-3470 [email protected] http://www.catalinaexpress.com/
Excellent
61%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1,122 reviews

Catalina Express

Catalina Island is just an hour away aboard our fast and sleek boats out of Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. We are committed to offering the most advanced, state-of-the-art watercraft available while maintaining a high level of dedication to safety, customer satisfaction, and quality of service. Today, the fleet consists of 8 high-speed vessels. More than one million passengers set sail to Catalina Island each year on board Catalina Express, and with year round service and up to 30 departures daily, you can easily join them.

Reviewed By gkakkar17 - Cancun, Mexico

The staff was very courteous and helpful. The ferry ride to and back from Catalina Island was also smooth and comfortable with nice views.

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