There are so many options for the perfect summer day with your kids. This community guide is geared towards younger (5 and under) children but also includes some options for school age kids as well. The goal here was to keep things simple, follow your little one's lead (as Maria shared here as well) and to enjoy the time spent with each other.
For Moms that stay in the home for work, it is always a fun challenge to find new activities that don't cost an arm + a leg. Even for those Mamas that work outside the home, the weekend schedule fills up fast so accessibility is key. Many of the below activities are either free or very budget friendly!
MORNING: We think getting out as early as possible is hard but rewarding. Prepping the car with as much gear needed the night before is always key for us. Play time at any of Long Beach's amazing parks is THE best. Our top picks include Livingson Park, "Airplane" Park, Mother's Beach, and the winner is always El Dorado Nature Center & Park.
LUNCH: Pack it up + bring it with you! Less stops along the way makes for uninterrupted play time at the parks. We find the best produce at Sprouts Grocer or Farmer's Market and get most of our bulk/non-pershiable items from Thrive Market. We are spoiled in California to have such amazing produce, especially in the summer. The more the variety you offer, the better. Bite sizes are always fun with the littles.
AFTERNOON + DINNER: For those with little ones that still nap, the extended sunlight makes afternoon adventuring still so much fun.
If we are near Bixby Knolls, a good romp around Rancho Los Alamitos or a class at Averyboo Arts (offerings for kids 2-12 yrs old). Dinner lately is best at Steelcraft so no overthinking needs to happen to find food everyone likes. Typically there are live musicians or fun music playing for added dancing on the mini stage - kids love it!
An afternoon trip to the Belmont Heights / Bluff Heights area usually includes a stop at the Farmer's Market on Tuesdays (Bixby Park) or Wednesdays (Marine Stadium). We are absolutely in love with the summer menu at Veggie Grill (yes, we go there A LOT) and usually call in a dinner order to then take to the beach or eat at their outside patio at Marina Marketplace.
There is an amazing poem we recently came across that speaks to the beauty of summer nights with little ones. It is by Robert L. Stevenson, below.
BED IN SUMMER
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
Beautiful, right?! Happy Summer, Mamas!