Are you planning a family vacation to Santa Cruz, California? If so, you’ll need to create an itinerary of fun activities for you and your children. Santa Cruz is one of the most popular travel destinations on the West Coast, and to help parents plan for their Santa Cruz trip, we’ve compiled the top six family-friendly activities in the area. 

santa curz california

Mitchell’s Cove Beach

If your family plans to travel with your pets, then you may want to find an activity that is also dog-friendly. While Santa Cruz has a number of amazing beaches, not all of them are dog-friendly. Mitchell’s Cove Beach is a quiet stretch of coastline that allows leashed dogs anytime and unleashed dogs during specified hours.

Natural Bridges State Beach

Another perfect beach for the family is the Natural Bridges State Beach. This California state park offers you more than just sand and waves, the park has nature walks, areas for picnics, exhibits with guided tours, and a Monarch Butterfly preserve that provides thousands of beautiful butterflies with a home during the winter months. 

The Mystery Spot

The Mystery Spot is like something straight out of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It’s a gravitational anomaly in Santa Cruz that creates the illusion that people and things are defying gravity. The guided tour is both fun and educational, as you and your children see a variety of demonstrations that will have you in disbelief.

Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

Vacation is often about relaxing and having fun, but when you travel with children, it can also be a time for education. As such, families traveling to Santa Cruz should make time to see the Museum of Art and History (MAH) at the McPherson Center. From cultural festivals and exhibits to art galleries and sculptures, there is always something going on at the MAH. 

santa cruz sunset

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is certainly one of Santa Cruz’s must-see attractions. It’s a public amusement park that stretches roughly a mile-long on Santa Cruz’s most trafficked beach, Main Beach. The Beach Boardwalk has dozens of thrilling rides, a selection of games and arcades, and more food and snack stands than you can believe. Best of all, the Beach Boardwalk is located near some of the most popular hotels in Santa Cruz, which means you can always explore the Beach Boardwalk when you have downtime. 

Santa Cruz Roller Palladium 

There may be nothing more family-friendly than an afternoon at a roller-skate rink. Take the family to the Roller Palladium for a fun indoor activity. This no-frills skating rink carries a lot of its original charm with wooden floors, exposed structural elements, and vending machines. It’s an affordable and entertaining activity for families on a budget. 

Santa Cruz is an amazing city to visit. With world-class beaches, amazing accommodations, and beautiful views, why would you not want to take the family to this coastal retreat? When planning your family vacation to Santa Cruz, keep the kid-friendly activities above in mind to make sure your kids have just as much fun as you do on your trip. 

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