Ventura Offers Places to Go in California for Families

Ventura is notorious for being a family friendly city. There’s a ton to do, whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart. Between the Ventura Harbor Village, the beach, activities like bowling, and a handful of playgrounds, your stay as a family will be one to remember.

At the Ventura Harbor, the Village Carousel & Arcade is a hit with the kids. With more than 30 animals, it’s the only operating full sized carousel in Ventura County. The arcade is sure to please with a variety of games that reward players with tickets for great prizes. Have a friendly family ski ball competition or sit down for a round of Deal or No Deal–the arcade has it all! When you’ve mastered the games, head to Coastal Cone, a delicious local ice cream shop with a friendly owner and an abundance of fun flavors. If you’re looking for something tropical and refreshing, try the pineapple dole whips!


The whole family will enjoy a cruise around the harbor. If you’d like to lead your own exploration, rent kayaks or pedal boats and enjoy some time on the water. Venture to the Ventura keys and the shoreline to discover the coastal area further.

Everyone will find the Channel Islands Visitors Center fascinating. The center presents films and intriguing exhibits, including a tank full of real and marvelous creatures. An excursion to the Channel Islands is a must when visiting Ventura. Island Packers leads trip out there, so be sure to check them out. Go whale watching. See dolphins. Hike the islands. You won’t regret it.

For the classic Ventura experience, hit the beach. The promenade is a wonderful walk next to the ocean. Take the kids to the seaside playground, located next to the pier. When walking down the pier, grab something to eat at Beach House Fish or Beach House Tacos. Make sure to rent a bike at Wheel Fun Rentals. The surreys are always a blast! Marina Park is another terrific beach location. Kids will love not only the playground, but the giant pirate ship complete with its very own zip-line. This park is also the perfect place to picnic, barbecue, and bask in the sun.

Arroyo Verde, Camino Real, and Thille are all parks worth checking out. Arroyo Verde Park offers playgrounds, barbecues, and loads of open space for games. Use the hills for an afternoon of ice blocking or hike the trails for a workout. Camino Real Park also provides playgrounds, as well as a sand volleyball court and tennis courts. Thille Park is an open area with a playground and basketball courts.


In addition to the parks, family fun awaits at the Ventura Aquatic Center. Cool off at the pool during open swim or take a ride down the water slides. If you’d rather stay dry, swing over to Golf N’ Stuff and try your hand at mini golf. Choose between two courses, then hit the Lit’l Indy Raceway or the Bumper Boats.

Buena Lanes is your stop for bowling. Play games, rent shoes, and enjoy a snack. Skating Plus, their next-door neighbor, is an indoor roller skating rink that blasts family-friendly music and offers skate rentals and lockers.

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