Family-friendly Activities in Santa Cruz: 11 Fun Things to Do with Kids

When planning the ideal trip for your family, think about going to Santa Cruz, a city on the coast.

You can spend an unforgettable day with your kids in this sun-kissed city, touring a lovely garden, lounging on a fine beach, exploring a museum, going to a breathtaking state park, and much more.

Santa Cruz offers a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions where you can spend quality time with your kids.

To help you plan your fantastic vacation, gather your loved ones and browse this carefully curated list of exciting things to do in Santa Cruz with kids.

  1. Arboretum & Botanic Garden of UC Santa Cruz 

The massive collection of plants and flowers at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden comes from all over the world.

Why We Suggest This Beach

Take your family to the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden to see how beautiful nature is.

This weekend, pay a visit to this lovely garden and take part in entertaining activities and guided tours.

Additionally, it occasionally hosts children’s events.

Activities for Kids

Spend a couple of hours at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden to get to know your family better while you look at the beautiful plants and bright flowers.

You and your kids will have a great time exploring the arboretum, taking part in enjoyable activities, watching the birds and butterflies in flight, and taking facility tours with an engaging guide.

Suitable Ages

The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden welcomes guests of all ages.

  1. Seymour Marine Discovery Center

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is a marine science museum with a lot of hands-on activities, interactive displays, and an aquarium.

Why We Suggest This Beach

Taking kids to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center is one of the best things to do in Santa Cruz.

It is a popular place for tourists to go because you and your kids can enjoy, learn about, and interact with marine life there.

Activities for Kids

Visit the Seymour Marine Discovery Center today with your family, and get ready to have a great time.

You can sign up for a family tour of the facility, participate in arts and crafts projects, explore the aquarium’s beautiful marine life, get up close and personal with aquatic creatures in the touch pool, and participate in a variety of other enjoyable activities with your children.

Suitable Ages

All ages are welcome at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, including infants, kids, teens, and adults.

  1. Santa Cruz Surfing Museum

The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, a history museum with exhibits on the city’s surfing history, first opened its doors in 1869.

Why We Suggest This Beach

If you’re looking for inexpensive, family-friendly activities in Santa Cruz, think about paying for the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum a quick visit.

This museum is the ideal destination if you want to see a well-known attraction without spending a lot of time there.

Activities for Kids

Visit the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum for a short period.

You and your children can explore a variety of books, artifacts, surfboards, and photographs while learning all about the history of surfing in the region.

Suitable Ages

The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum does not impose any age restrictions.

Your older children, though, could find its exhibits more appealing than your smaller youngsters.

  1. Boardwalk’s Santa Cruz Beach

In this seaside city, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a well-known tourist destination.

It is a popular destination for families in Santa Cruz because it appeals to both older children and teenagers.

Why We Suggest This Beach

Make lifelong memories at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with your family.

You and your children can take advantage of a wide range of attractions at this vibrant and busy tourist hotspot, including several rides, oddball stores, and a variety of dining choices.

It is also situated directly on a stunning white-sand beach, where you can easily spend a great day playing in the sand and the water.

Activities for Kids

Enjoy a wonderful day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with your loved ones while you ride the several rides.

You may ride a roller coaster, a carousel, pedal cars, and slides, among other attractions.

Other activities you may do with your friends include playing laser tag or arcade games, going bowling, playing miniature golf, getting your face painted, roasting s’mores over a beach fire pit, and many more.

Suitable Ages

All ages can enjoy the rides and activities on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Height restrictions apply to some attractions, though.

  1. Santa Cruz’s Main Beach

One of the city’s nicest beaches is Santa Cruz Main Beach.

It provides the ideal location for families to enjoy fantastic beach excursions.

Why We Suggest This Beach

Santa Cruz Main Beach is the place to be whether you are traveling with young children or older children.

It boasts a beautiful, sugar-white sand beach, tall palm trees, breathtaking views of the ocean, and a wide range of recreational opportunities.

Activities for Kids

There are countless activities that you and your children can enjoy.

For instance, your older children can go kayaking, fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, beach volleyball, and other activities.

In the meantime, your toddlers can build sand castles or sculptures, kick around a ball, or play with their beach toys.

Suitable Ages

The Santa Cruz Main Beach is a great stretch of sand for young children, teenagers, adults, and aging parents.

  1. The Mystery Spot

The Redwood Forest has The Mystery Spot.

You can experience defying gravity there, which is a local favorite.

Why We Suggest This Beach

Visit the Mystery Spot if you’re looking for something unusual and interesting to do in Santa Cruz with kids.

Spend a special day with your loved ones at the Mystery Spot, where you can test the laws of physics and gravity.

Activities for Kids

Visit the Mystery Spot with your family for some low-cost family entertainment as you explore its displays that defy gravity.

You can go outside after touring the building and take a beautiful trek through the thick forest.

Suitable Ages

The Mystery Spot opens its doors to visitors of all ages.

However, it might be more appropriate for your school-aged children.

  1. Natural Bridges State Beach

People can relax on the beach at Natural Bridges State Beach, which is a quiet place.

Why We Suggest This Beach

Are you looking for family activities in Santa Cruz that are both enjoyable and relaxing?

If so, a trip to Natural Bridges State Beach is a fantastic choice.

You can enjoy a beautiful time together as a family at this unspoiled beach while getting some much-needed alone time away from high rises and congested areas.

Activities for Kids

This beautiful beachfront, which is guarded by lifeguards, is a great area to spend the day having fun with your kids.

You can assist them in building sandcastles, take a ton of pictures with them, explore the natural rock arches, have a picnic by the ocean, and do other activities.

Suitable Ages

Whether you are taking a baby, toddler, or teen on vacation, Natural Bridges State Beach is the ideal destination.

  1. Santa Cruz Wharf

A well-known tourist destination worldwide is the Santa Cruz Wharf.

Its location on the North Pacific Ocean’s coastline offers breathtaking vistas.

Why We Suggest This Beach

Consider taking a day trip to the Santa Cruz Wharf while searching for fun family activities in Santa Cruz.

This well-liked destination offers a wide variety of fun activities, delectable food options, lodging options, interesting tour packages, and various stores.

Activities for Kids

The Santa Cruz Wharf offers countless opportunities.

Playing bocce ball, teaching your children to fish, seeing dolphins or whales swim by, taking boat trips, visiting the beach, dining at kid-friendly restaurants, and other activities are examples of things you can do with your children.

Suitable Ages

The Santa Cruz Wharf welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy themselves.

  1. Wilder Ranch State Park

One of Santa Cruz’s most well-liked state parks is Wilder Ranch State Park.

For its guests, it offers a wide range of leisure opportunities.

Why We Suggest This Beach

When looking for family-friendly activities to take a break from your daily routine, go to Wilder Ranch State Park.

With your kids, you can have a memorable experience here amid the natural splendor of the outdoors.

The Wilder Ranch State Park is a fantastic option whether you want to spend time with animals, visit a beach, or enjoy the peace of nature.

Activities for Kids

By participating in a ton of activities at Wilder Ranch State Park, you may create lifelong memories with your tribe.

Biking, easy hiking routes, horseback riding, taking a guided tour of the ranch on-site, picnicking, camping, and many other activities are available.

Suitable Ages

The Wilder Ranch State Park offers enjoyable activities for people of all ages.

  1. Santa Cruz Natural History Museum

Locals refer to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History as the “Whale Museum.”

It is highly renowned for being one of the state’s first museums.

Why We Suggest This Beach

Do you and your loved ones find history fascinating?

Visit the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History if you decide to.

With your children, you may explore the many exhibits and take part in engaging, hands-on activities while going back in time.

Activities for Kids

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History features numerous galleries.

Explore the local marine life at a touch pool, explore fossils, walk through a gorgeous garden, or learn about the early artifacts left by the earliest California settlers.

Suitable Ages

Although everyone is welcome at the Santa Cruz Museum, older children and their parents might benefit more.

  1. San Lorenzo Park

An urban park with easy access in San Lorenzo Park.

It is a favorite among both locals and visitors because of its kid-friendly amenities.

Why We Suggest This Beach

Visit San Lorenzo Park for entertaining family activities in Santa Cruz.

At San Lorenzo Park, you can relax and spend some quality time with your kids while they make the most of the park’s features, such as the playground and the duck pond.

Activities for Kids

Taking young children to San Lorenzo Park is one of the nicest things to do in Santa Cruz.

You can play with them on the playground, kick a ball around, feed the ducks at the pond, and engage in enjoyable activities on the grassy lawn here.

On the other hand, your older children can also have a great time as they engage in exciting activities like disc golf or soccer, ride bicycles through the beautiful park, and more.

Suitable Ages

Visit San Lorenzo Park with other people and your children, regardless of age.

Choose your Reaction!