Newport Beach activities for the whole family

Published Date: January 5, 2023

Views of Newport Beach
Looking for a sunny beach-town escape? Look no further than Newport Beach. This coastal city attracts visitors with its natural beauty, yacht community and casual yet sophisticated vibe.Like other Southern California cities, Newport Beach is great to visit almost any time of the year. Ten distinct neighborhoods comprise the city, each offering a vibrant lifestyle and array of attractions. As a center of upscale shopping and fine dining, Newport Beach may not be the most obvious destination for a family-friendly California getaway. But this seaside spot has quite a few hidden gems geared for family fun. We’ve picked some of the best Newport Beach activities to entertain your whole crew. 

Explore the hottest family-friendly spots

Before you plan your family adventure, jot down some of these top destinations within Newport Beach that anyone in your family can enjoy.
  • Newport Pier hosts the Dory Fleet Fish Market and serves as an ideal spot for cyclists and skaters.
  • Corona del Mar State Beach is one of the most popular shorelines in the city and a haven for surfers, sunbathers and swimmers.
  • Balboa Island is home to charming cottages, chic coastal shops and eclectic restaurants.
Balboa Fun Zone

Picnic at a playground

Sometimes all you need for a great family outing is a cooler of food, a shady spot and some fun playground equipment. 
  • Marina Park and its adjacent beach playground and picnic area on Balboa Island are a perfect place to relax and play. 
  • TeWinkle Park is in nearby Costa Mesa and offers a playground and green space for little ones, plus a skate park for older kids. 
  • Bonita Canyon Sports Park has a soccer field, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, a playground and shaded picnic areas. 

Get out on the water

The Pacific is calling! Enjoy a day out on the water with one of these family adventures. 
Duffy boat near Balboa Island

Burn off some energy

If you’re looking for something that will get everyone totally tuckered out by the end of the day, try some of these energetic Newport Beach activities. 
  • Balboa Fun Zone on Balboa Island is one of Newport Beach’s most popular spots, offering carnival rides, delicious goodies and arcade games. 
  • Newport Dunes is technically a camping destination, but its inflatable water park is open to non-campers, and you can also rent kayaks and paddleboards for a full day of fun in and on the water.
  • Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt is a four-hour tour with a twist. Cover three miles of Newport Beach on foot while trying to be the first team to find the clues and solve the mystery. (Note: Hunts are open to all ages, but are likely too challenging for children under 12. All players under 18 must have a release signed by a parent or guardian.) 
Newport Dunes aerial view

Get back to nature

Expand your family’s horizons by exploring botany and biology together at these beautiful and enriching Newport Beach destinations. 
Centennial Farm

Hit the beach

Whether you want to ride the waves or bask in the sun, a list of Newport Beach activities for the whole family wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the best local beaches. 
  • Crystal Cove State Park is just south of Newport Beach and includes four different beaches. Check out this map for the best spots to swim, surf, bodysurf and view tidepools. 
  • Little Corona del Mar Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Newport Beach for families, thanks to its calm waters, tidepools and no-stairs access. 
  • The Wedge at the southernmost tip of Balboa Island is a great spot to hang out and watch skilled bodysurfers catching waves up to 30 feet high. 
Crystal Cove State Park

Broaden your horizons

If your crew needs a little more culture in their lives, here are a few opportunities for cultural and educational enlightenment. 
Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Eat, shop and be merry

Not all Newport Beach shops and eateries are ideal for families, but these are well suited for kids and teens. 
  • Fashion Island is a spacious outdoor mall for families needing retail therapy and a bite to eat. The fountains and high-end boutiques give it an upscale ambiance, but the fast food and mainstream retail shops keep it affordable. 
  • Ruby’s Diner got its start at Balboa Pier in Newport Beach and has grown into a small chain serving American classics. It even offers a kids menu, with favorites like pancakes, french toast and mac & cheese. 
  • Anthill shopNplay is a toys, clothing and accessories store in Westcliff Plaza. You shop while your kids romp in the play area.
Ruby's diner

Need more time to see it all?

With so many fun family activities to choose from, consider a second home in Newport Beach. Make memories in the sunshine when you co-own a beautiful second home in greater Orange County. Whether you're out on the town or lounging at home, Pacaso's Family-Friendly Second Homes™ make it easy to just show up and relax — from cribs and high chairs, to games, pool floaties, streaming services and more, we have you (and your kids) covered.

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Kasey Tross

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