April 3, 2017

Got kids? Need some ideas for how to keep them entertained on vacation? You’ve come to the right place. Santa Cruz and Capitola are full of places your kids will love; as an added bonus, they’re also totally fun for adults, too! Check out these family friendly activities throughout Santa Cruz County.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: If you’re coming to the Santa Cruz area, you probably already know about the boardwalk. Odds are, your kids do too, and if they’re not already begging you to go, the boardwalk will make a great surprise. The boardwalk has a fun, old-fashioned feel, featuring the the historic Big Dipper roller coaster, as well as a beautiful hand-carved carousel from 1911. The boardwalk is appropriate for little kids and older ones alike, with a variety of age-appropriate rides and activities.
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History: Affectionately called “the whale museum” by locals, the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History features an impressive concrete whale sculpture in its courtyard. This whale is a kid magnet. It’s almost uncanny how universally beloved the whale is; it seems to be impossible to resist the urge to climb up its back.
The Museum highlights the region’s diverse plant, animal, and human communities of the Monterey Bay area and is filled with tons of fun exhibits that kids will love! There is a tide pool exhibit where you can touch hermit crabs, sea stars, and anemones (make sure to remind kids to be gentle). There’s also an exhibit about the lives of the Ohlone people, who lived in Santa Cruz before the arrival of European colonists. The Ohlone exhibit offers an opportunity to grind up acorns in a stone mortar and pestle. Like the whale, the acorns are often a huge hit with kids.


Seymour Discovery Center: The Seymour Discovery Center is a small aquarium. It displays sea life curated from the Monterey Bay, from right outside the windows. A new exhibit offers the opportunity to pet a swell shark; it’s completely safe and completely cool.
Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery: The MOD is located in the Capitola Mall, features tons of interactive exhibits geared towards kids ages 0-12. There is a new tinker lab where science , art and technology intersect, allowing kids to “tinker” around with tools to create their own creative contraptions.

Hop aboard the Roaring Camp Railroads’ 1880 Steam Train and enjoy scenic views of the Santa Cruz Redwoods and Mountains. This Spring, the Easter Bunny will be along for the ride and and there will be a candy egg hunt and a chance to win prizes!
Another fun activity for kids is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. With tons of beautiful exhibits, touch pools and opportunities to learn about the marine life in the Monterey Bay, this is a can’t miss excursion.

If you’re looking to visit for a couple of days or even a couple weeks, there are plenty of beach house rentals in Santa Cruz and Capitola to choose from. If you’ve got a smaller family, a quaint Capitola rental on the beach might be best for you. And if you’ve got a larger crew, there are also larger beach houses with ocean views for the whole gang!

Find the perfect beach house rental for you and your group HERE!