I used to love to go to the Santa Monica Pier as a child & now my chlid loves it as well!
You can ride the roller coaster, play carnival type games, eat their yummy food, or just stand at the pier & watch the waves.
It really is a beautiful scene with a lot of family fun. It is also not too far from the Promenade where there are a lot of shops and other restaurants.
I would definitely recommend stopping here!
Hang onto your little ones!!! Lot's of fun, but a long drop to the water below.
Jetting out into the water, Santa Monica Pier is fun for all ages as the waves crash beneath and the coastline runs for miles in ether direction. As a child it was a treat to go to on the vintage merry-go-round right at the front of the pier and it was such fun to bring my kids back to this renovated amusement park.
There is parking on the pier, but it is often full and you will need to park in the lots below or up near the mall. There are public bathrooms that are surprisingly clean, but I still suggest wet wipes.
There are rides ranging from tender toddler to thrill seeking pre-teen. All with a cost. My 6 year old and her grandpa fell in love with the roller coaster, while my 4 year old set sail on the giant pirate swing.
The ferris wheel was a family favorite, but not for the faint of heart. It is really high!
Don't miss a photo op with the sign that marks this as the landmark end of Route 66.
It was fun to visit, but with a cost for all of the rides and carnival games it will be a while before we venture back.
I have a 7 and 3 year old girls. We spent a Sunday afternoon there before flying back to Seattle. They really enjoyed it. There are rides for toddlers/preschool kids, but still fun rides for the 7 year old. Lunch was Bubba Gump Shrimp, which is lively and loud.
It was a once in a lifetime experience for me since I was overwhelmed with the parking situation, the walk over the freeway, the rickety slats on the pier and the beating sun. For whatever crazy mom moment I was having but this place was a little too much for me and my 3 year old. There wasn't much for her age group and I felt like we were getting hit up for character pictures around every turn. I am glad however to say I have been here and get it off the "list" but I doubt I will return here soon. The one really cool thing they had was speed sculptures of your child and it was a really fun memento :)
Pacific Park, located right on the Santa Monica pier set above the beautiful Pacific Ocean, is a nostalgic and fun amusement park worth your family’s investment. Reminiscent of whimsical carnivals, this amusement park took me back in time to childhood and memories made while screaming and giggling on rides both thrilling and silly.
As the West Coast's only pier based amusement park, Pacific Park has been a part of Santa Monica history for over 100 years. After my visit, I learned that my parents once went to the park and rode the old-fashioned roller coaster on one of their early dates! The park offers 12 rides, many for kids of all ages that even pleased my two-year-old, but with enough thrills on the roller coaster and sea dragon to keep older ones entertained.
My older girls loved the "West Coaster" roller coaster and rode it on numerous times. The Scrambler was just as fun and fast as I remember in my head, and brought back fond memories of my own spinning and dizzy recollections of childhood. The Sea Dragon proved to be a bit too much for my five and seven year old not so dare-devils, but they did attempt it, making a thrill ride seeker mom pleased. The Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel was one of the highlights of my visit; it is a beautiful way to see the shoreline and expansive views from its 130 feet above the pier. The ride is the only solar-powered wheel in the world, and at night is lit up in a beautiful array of colors. Watching the sun set slowing into the Pacific while atop the Pacific Wheel is a must see. Don't forget your sweaters!
Our littlest one, at only age two, fell in love with some more milder rides in the park including the Sea Planes and Inky's Air Lift. They provided just enough thrill to keep her interested, but not too much to scare her.
The per ride price ($5 or $3 depending on the ride) could definitely add up quickly, but the all-day passes and year-long VIP pass are a great value for an afternoon or evening of entertainment. The one day, unlimited wristband is $21.95 for 8 and up, and $15.95 for 7 and under. Most of the rides can be ridden without a paid adult if your kids are about 6 and up (based on height, not age).
The facilities are well kept, including offering clean bathrooms with a nursing mom’s area, plenty of dining options, carnival style games and entertainment. On less crowded days, a few of the attractions/restaurants might be closed, you can typically call in advance to get a schedule.
Parking is provided by the city of Santa Monica and rates change frequently dependent on volume. Rates typically range from $6-$12. Be sure to follow the road signs carefully to the Pier parking or you will end up on a long stretch of highway not allowing you to turn around.
Disclosure: I received complimentary unlimited wristbands to evaluate Pacific Park. I was not required to state any particular view, and all opinions are my own.
I've been to California twice with my family and each time we visit the Santa Monica Pier. Though some may see it as too touristy, there's nothing better than walking along the pier on a beautiful summer night. Not only are there vendors and games, but there are restaurants and it's really beautiful in the day and the night. If you're looking for an activity to do after dinner one night or before the night activities, the pier was also great and lively in the late afternoon. My family would definitely recommend going to the Santa Monica Pier!
My sister lives in Sherman Oaks and the first time I visited her a few years ago, this was a must on her list of places to take me. We went during the week so it wasn't too crowded which was nice. I'm not a fan of crowded beaches =). I absolutely love the weather there, its such a refreshing change from the humid weather we get in my state. They had small little amusement park and a few shops but we just walked again when we weren't swimming. I can't wait to go back again.
The ocean scene is absolutely gorgeous and the pier has a very unique look to it. There's a small amusement park on the pier to entertain kids, delicious food, and lots of souvenirs. What I personally love is when you are sitting in the sand enjoying the view, people will come to you selling fresh mangoes or watermelon which are the most sweet and juiciest that you will have ever tasted. It's one of the best family spots to travel to.
This is a great place to come to! It's beautiful! they have a lot of little retail shops and of course the small amusement park right on the pier.
But if you come during a weekend be prepared to walk quite a bit. Parking Spaces are limited and the parking booth people only take cash! The ATM of course charges an arm and a leg to get cash out so come prepared with some cash.
Overall a good attraction...
On our trip to California we stayed in Santa Monica and the pier was right across from our hotel so we decided to stop by. It's a beautiful place at sunset and is extremely romantic during that time. The oldest was too small for some of the rides but the nephews loved it, like someone said before it can be pricey though. The arcade kept me and the oldest busy for quite some time while the Mrs. got some snacks. Overall it's a great attraction to pay a visit to but I don't know how often I'd go on future trips.
My only tip is that I'd eat dinner somewhere on the Promenade which is across the street a few blocks. They have some great places to eat there and actually have some cool street performers. You'll get more bang for your buck there opposed to the food prices on the pier.
The Santa Monica Pier always sounds like a good idea until you enter the crowded over-priced parking lot foreshadowing a crowded pier. The rides are fun but they're expensive. I recommend buying the wrist band and staying a while to get the most for your money. You can go shopping on 3rd street for a while and then walk back to the pier to the mexican place at the end, which is quite good.
Not only should you go when the sun is just going under the horizon, but you should take a light jacket. The view is gorgeous, even if it's not dusk. You may get chilly, though. Kids are sure to love the rides and fun carnival feel of it. Parents, just take lots of pictures.
My little ones love it, but to be honest carnival rides kind of make me nervous so I don't go there too often. They love the arcade games, but they can get expensive really quick. More than anything the Pier just has history and a cool vibe too it and its worth checking out if you are visiting the area, but I would say for locals its something to check out once or twice and then avoid :) 3rd street promenade nearby has some great outdoor shopping and the kids like watching the street performers.
My 4 year old really likes going to the Pier. There are alot of rides he's able to go on. The arcade has alot of games but we try to avoid it. :-) The beach is packed in the summer but in the fall it's not as busy and still enjoyable. Our 2 year old went on a few rides and enjoyed it.
The Santa Monica Pier is a great place to take the family. You have the beach to enjoy on a warm sunny day. You also have rides and games for the kids to play with. They also have good food and snacks. I like their funnel cake. We usually walk along the pier and enjoy the day watching people and other families there. The kids will love this place. They have vendors that draw you or sculpt your head out of clay. We saw this guy doing it and he was very good. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes. We wanted to get one but we didn't want to wait. We will try to do it the next time we go there. They have plenty of room for strollers.
We love coming down to the beach. We live in Santa Clarita and it gets HOT! The pier is nice because you can spend sometime on the rides; carousel, a small roller coaster, or the big ferris wheel. Or try to win a stuffed toy at one of the many game tables. The arcade is packed with video games and skee ball machines. After we've had our fill of the games we will head down to the aquarium. It's free for kids 12 & under and a donation of at least $2, but they like $5 for over 12 years old. At last there is a ton of beach that my little girl loves to explore. Like most children she could build sand castles for hours. There is a lot to do here.
I personally loved it here. But your children will see things they might not see at home. I recommend a stroller or wearing your baby-I had a baby bjorn that was a hand me down. Lots of cool shopping. Was approached by a homeless man carrying his prosthetic leg. Did see homeless people diging through the garbage at mcdonalds.
This is one of my favorite places in the west Los Angeles area. The Santa Monica area is beautiful. The pier is a really fun place to hang out with the family. They've got great rides and food. The pier is right next to a park that overlooks the ocean. The park has a long trail where you can go walking, biking or jogging. The best part, in my opinion, is that the pier is also right next to Third Street Promenade. This is a street where there are a lot of stores (a mall included), restaurants, and activities going on. I really enjoy going here with my family. There are stores and restaurants of all kind. Kids and adults will enjoy all the performers that perform on the streets.
It's just a fantastic place to go with the family, especially when the weather is beautiful.
The Santa Monica Pier is a must visit in LA. It's a landmark seen in movies and on TV all the time.
When visiting, it's best to park around the Promenade, off of 2nd or 4th street between Santa Monica Blvd and Broadway, and walk down. You can bring a stroller. On the weekends this place is packed! Just beware of that.
They have cute rides for kids. My son really enjoyed the train/car ride and rode it a few times. They also have a junior drop type of ride, a boat, and a bus, as well as the famous ferris wheel and roller coaster.
The bathroom lines are really long on the weekend too, just a warning!
During the summer months, the city of santa monica has concerts here for free. One time I saw Dick Dale, which was pretty cool. You can chillout in the sand and hear the music up on the pier, while you have a nice picnic dinner.
This is a fun beach if you get bored with just the sand/ocean. On the pier there is a carnival like amusement park. It's not too big, but not too small. There are at least 15 rides to go on, but I suggest getting a wristband, because it does get expensive if you pay for each ride seperately. They also have food places by the rides, Taco Bell, Ice cream, etc. and the walk up to the end of the pier has people selling your name of a grain of rice, airbrush pictures of your name, photos of you with movie stars (fake), etc. I've heard this isn't the cleanest beach though (lot of homeless live here, compared to other beaches), so I have yet to put more than my knee in the water, and that was only because it was my daughter's first time at a beach this year, and last year she was too young to enjoy it. There is also a downtown area that comes to life at night, singing music (for donations) and little vendors selling their unique items.