From quirky Muscle Beach to the diverse entertainers on the vibrant boardwalk, Venice Beach, California boasts a unique ambiance that draws together locals and tourists from all over the world. While this colorful beach city may not seem like a kid-friendly destination at first glance, you can find plenty of fun activities for children of all ages. Book a stay at an incredible Venice Beach vacation rental today. Check out the top family activities to add to your itinerary for the ultimate Venice Beach vacation.

1. Cast a Line Off the Pier

Walk to the end of Venice Pier to rent a few fishing poles at Papa’s Bait Shop and try your luck reeling up fish from the surf below. Kids are sure to have fun spotting seals, sea lions, and dolphins playing in the wake while they fish, and the whole family can enjoy breathtaking sunset views at the end of your fishing excursion.

2. Check Out the Venice Oceanarium

On Sundays during the early afternoon, head to the beach and pier where the Venice Oceanarium creates an open-air sea life museum. Kids of all ages can get an up-close look at spider crabs, starfish, sea urchins, and other treasures from the Pacific while learning about their biology and ecology.

3. Have Some Fun at the Venice Beach Recreation Center

People of all ages love stopping by this fun-filled recreation area right next to Muscle Beach. Older kids can play a game of basketball, tennis, or volleyball, and little ones can have fun on the playground. Remember to bring a volleyball or other sports equipment from your vacation rental, or simply rent some equipment at Perry’s or another Venice Beach rental shop.

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4. Take a Stroll Down the Boardwalk

Older kids are sure to appreciate the wide variety of singers, dancers, and other performers along the famous boardwalk. You might even get the chance to snap a photo with actors dressed as celebrities or movie characters. Consider bringing a few coins and dollar bills so kids can support their favorite performers, and remember to browse the souvenir shops for postcards and Venice Beach T-shirts.

5. Rent a Few Beach Cruisers

Pick up a few cruisers from a bicycle rental shop, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon ride on the Venice Beach Bike Path that runs alongside the boardwalk. Kids can also practice their roller skating and rollerblading skills along this paved path while people-watching and enjoying open views of the sandy shoreline.

6. Test Your Wheels at the Venice Beach Skate Park

Before leaving for the boardwalk area, don’t forget to bring your kids’ skateboards and helmets so they can rip up the 16,000-square foot skate park along the Venice Beach boardwalk. Stop by early in the morning to beat the crowds. If you don’t have any skaters in the family, find a spot along the railing to watch the talented regulars show off their moves.

7. Get Creative at the reDiscover Center

With an emphasis on arts, creativity, and environmental responsibility, this learning center offers a variety of fun activities for children. In the Crafting Corner, kids can use upcycled materials to create a unique project that doubles as a Venice Beach souvenir. In the Tinkering Club, older kids can reuse materials to create any invention they can imagine.

8. See the Venice Canals

The city’s namesake canals are a must-see for all ages, giving you a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk before heading back to your vacation rental fr a relaxing evening. Take a walk through the historic district to see some of the most elaborate homes in the Los Angeles area, many with rowboats and canoes parked along the quiet canals. After enjoying the views, stop by the playground for a bit of fun.

9. Kick Back on Venice’s Sandy Beach

No trip to Venice Beach is complete without enjoying an afternoon on the sand. The popular beach features bathrooms, shower areas, and lifeguards on duty, and the soft sand is perfect for building sandcastles and sculptures. Rent a surf board, skim board, or boogie board to keep older kids and teens entertained while younger kids play in the sand. Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen from your vacation rental, and keep an eye on your snacks to protect them from hungry seagulls.

10. Marvel at the Mosaic Tile House

Stop by the Mosaic Tile House to see an ordinary 1940s home that has been transformed into a spectacle of color and glitzy beauty thanks to mosaic tiles, shards of glass and mirror, and other tidbits plastered all over the interior and exterior. Even the gate, patio, and patio furniture have been transformed to look like something out of a storybook. People of all ages are sure to be mesmerized as they explore this wacky wonder. Enjoy the Mosaic Tile House from the outside, or make an appointment for free to tour the interior.

11. Pick Up Some Toys on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

This shopping district has plenty of options for little ones, including Huzzah! Toys, Burro Kids, and Puzzle Zoo. If your trip allows, try to stop by on Abbot Kinney First Friday, during which every food truck you can imagine parks along the boulevard for your dining pleasure.

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