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Five Family Friendly Things to Do in Santa Cruz

When visiting Santa Cruz, the possibilities of fun family friendly activities are truly limitless. However, there are certain “can’t miss” attractions you will definitely want to enjoy during your visit, and the following list includes something to entertain your children and bring out the kid in everyone.

Here are some great ideas of things to do in Santa Cruz.

The Beach

With miles and miles of well-kept, beautiful coastline to explore, the beaches in Santa Cruz are quite beautiful. Frolic on the shore, splash in the waves, and explore the tide pools. If the weather is right, you can be occupied for hours on end at any one of the many beaches. Try Capitola beach if you want to have access to great food and quaint shops over the course of your stay, or seek out Sunny Cove is something intimate and off the beaten path is more your style.


Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

If you’ve tired of the sun, sand, and waves, but still want the amazing ocean view and the crisp coastal air, combined with the thrill of a beachside roller coaster and the excitement of carnival-style games, then make a trip to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The littlest ones in your family will enjoy the great variety of “kiddie rides” while the older ones will have a blast pushing themselves to the limits on the Giant Dipper, one of the longest running coastal wooden rollercoasters still in operation. For a fun family activity that everyone can enjoy, stroll down to Neptune’s Kingdom for some arcade games and a competitive round of mini-golf.

The Mystery Spot

If you want something that really boggles your mind, and also delivers some laughs, head over the Mystery Spot. This gravitational anomaly will have your head spinning while you take a leisurely stroll through some of the most beautiful redwood forests that you can imagine. Don’t forget to purchase the tickets for your tour in advance, because they do sell out and you will not want to miss this unparalleled wonder of the west coast.


Get Wet

Depending on the ages of your children, you may consider surf lessons or possibly renting a couple kayaks or paddleboards. There is truly no better way to fully enjoy Santa Cruz than getting in the water and connecting with the ocean. If you don’t feel comfortable swimming, consider a whale watching tour instead, so you can still witness the exceptional view of the beautiful coastline from out in the water.

Take a Train Ride

Do you have a train lover in your family? Or would you prefer a slightly more spectator style experience? Roaring Camp Railroad is a ride unlike any other. Whether you choose to take the beach route, or would rather explore nature through the Redwoods, you will never forget this train ride. Special events are also offered periodically year-round, but the view from one of these historical trains cannot be matched no matter when you ride.