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June 9, 2006 2:47 PM   Subscribe

LongBeachFilter: With so much drama in the LBC, I'm looking for travel plans for my son and me But i, somehow, some way Gotta find something to do with him next Wednesday

Next week my son (the six year-old who swallowed his tooth the other day) and I are heading out to Long Beach, California for a visit with my sister. We're staying through the weekend and there will be two days which I need to entertain my son by myself.

My son is interested in all the typical things that a boy his age would like; movies, music, dinosaurs, toys and doing things in the water. My interests are generally overlapping as long as there's some intellictual interests involved too. I'm looking for things to do using Long Beach public transport on Wednesday. What good beaches are nearby and what sorts of kid friendly activities will I find. If you have a suggestions please let me know what public transport I need to take to arrive at my destination.
posted by DragonBoy to Travel & Transportation around Long Beach, CA (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Aquarium of the Pacific
It's very much geared towards kids.

btw...ever find the tooth?
posted by clh at 3:26 PM on June 9, 2006

(nevermind...read your follow-up on the other thread)
posted by clh at 3:29 PM on June 9, 2006

It's been awhile since I used the bus here in Long Beach, so I won't be much help there (except to say that the red "Passport" buses seem to do a pretty good job ferrying folks around downtown).

The Aquarium clh mentioned is located right downtown, across Shoreline Drive from the Pike, which is just an outdoor shopping mall filled with all the usual chains and not at all what the Pike used to be when it was an amusement park. The Passport should get you across the bay to the Queen Mary and the old Russian sub tied up beside it.

Back on the downtown side of the bay you could rent a couple of Segways for an hour or so. By then you will have run through most of the day, and probably most of your cash.

Beachwise Long Beach doesn't have much to offer. The combination of a very busy port, some oil islands, and beyond both, the breakwater that breaks up wave action and protects the harbor but also traps all the garbage and gunk flowing to the ocean via the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers, making our local beaches ... nasty.

If you had a car, however, you could tour the aforementioned port. Big ships. Big bridges. Big trucks. Lots of activity. Best of all, it's free.
posted by notyou at 3:49 PM on June 9, 2006

The Belmont Shore area of LB is delightful, and has an interesting main street to stroll down (2nd Street), as well as access to the beach. There is a fun toy shop there as well as all the usual food and snack type places. You should be able to rent a kayak this time of year at Alamitos Bay, and paddle into the canals around Naples/The Toledo. You could also take a gondola ride there in the evening. There is also the Queen Mary.
posted by jvilter at 4:04 PM on June 9, 2006

The Catalina Express has a port in Long Beach. That would be a bit more expensive (about $100 for the both of you round trip), but Catalina has some nice beaches and it includes a long boat ride that could be interesting for a kid. You can easily kill a day that way.
posted by willnot at 5:31 PM on June 9, 2006

Or, you could take the Metro Blue Line up to Union Station, and then take the red line over to Exposition Park where you'll find the Natural History Museum (Dinosaurs and a bunch of other cool stuff) and the California Science Center where he could do all kinds of cool experiments and whatnot.
posted by willnot at 5:48 PM on June 9, 2006

I never done it but I've wanted to take the Aquabus ever since I found out about it. You can find more information on it here. It's cheap and it stops at the Aquarium.
posted by rdr at 6:24 PM on June 9, 2006

The Aquarium, Queen Mary, Belmont Shore, and Catalina are all great ideas.

I recommend The Nature Center at El Dorado Park. It's on the east side of Long Beach and very kid-friendly. Long Beach Transit can help you plot your course.

Also good are Rancho Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos. These are excellent living history museums that delve into Long Beach's fascinating past.

I agree with willnot about The Natural History Museum in Exposition Park. It's awesome. However, you can't get to it via the Red Line. You can take the Blue Line from Long Beach to the 7th Street/Metro station, then catch a Dash bus to the museum. Check out the MTA website.
posted by socrateaser at 7:18 PM on June 9, 2006

Oh, the El Dorado Nature Center. I second that.
posted by notyou at 9:04 AM on June 10, 2006

Go rollerblading along the strand -- a bike path on the beach that stretches from the Shoreline Marine (by the Aquarium) to past the Belmont Pool. You can also rent go-carts or skates at Shoreline Village.

In the Pike, near the Segway store, is a Ferris Wheel that costs $2 per ride. Also in the Pike is a gigantic arcade.

If you sail, you can rent Sabots (or bigger boats) from Leeway sailing center for $9/hour.

And seconding the kayaks -- it is a lot of fun to rent a double and kayak to the Jamba Juice (or Starbucks) at the Marina Pacifica mall, get a smoothie, and kayak back. The kayak place is right next to Leeway.

Also the paddle boats in Rainbow Lagoon (across from the Pike) or El Dorado East. There's a skate park and a Frisbee golf course at El Dorado West.

My kids and I used to play pool all the time at Rock Bottom, at Ocean and Pine. Yes, it's a brew pub, but a low-key family friendly one, and for some unknown reason nobody else used the (free) pool tables.
posted by Methylviolet at 3:44 PM on June 10, 2006

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