Newport Beach activities for the whole family

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Kasey Tross

Views of Newport Beach
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Known for its 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. 

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. 

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.) 

Get back to nature

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

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. 

Broaden your horizons

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

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.

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