Best Things to Do in Malibu With Kids: 12 Fun Activities & Attractions

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Malibu with Kids
This post may have affiliate links, where I receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Considering a sun-soaked escape to Malibu with your children? From sandy adventures to scenic wonders, explore the best things to do in Malibu with kids. Dive in, and gear up for a vacation brimming with unforgettable moments and delightful discoveries!

Nestled between the rolling hills and the shimmering Pacific Ocean, Malibu is a slice of Californian paradise that beckons families from all over the world. Often dubbed as the “Beachfront Playground of the Stars,” this coastal haven is more than just celebrity homes and sun-kissed beaches. It’s a treasure trove of family-friendly activities, from exploring hidden sea caves to diving into the rich tapestry of its cultural heritage.

If you’re wondering where to visit in Malibu with your little ones, you’re in for a treat. Dive into our curated list of the best places and activities that promise unforgettable memories and countless Instagram-worthy moments.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or someone just looking to soak up the sun, Malibu has something special in store for you. So, grab your sunscreen, pack those snacks, and let’s embark on a journey to discover the coolest things to do in Malibu with kids!

The top places to visit in Malibu with kids right now
This article on the Best Things To Do in Malibu with kids contains affiliate links where I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Best Things to Do in Malibu With Kids

Ready to dive into all the coolest things to do in Malibu with kids? There’s truly something for everyone at this sun-kissed vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Malibu places to visit.

Are you looking for beaches or museums? Or would you prefer a peaceful getaway in nature? Whatever you’re planning, these must sees in Malibu for kids can accommodate your needs. Here are all the best attractions in Malibu for kids that you should know about.

1. Capture Breathtaking Sunsets at El Matador Beach

Imagine stumbling upon a secluded paradise, where rugged cliffs meet the endless expanse of the Pacific. Welcome to El Matador Beach, Malibu’s best-kept secret. As you make your way down the winding staircase, a breathtaking view unfolds: azure waters, majestic sea stacks, and enigmatic caves beckoning exploration.

Diving into the list of the best things to do in Malibu with kids, El Matador stands out as an adventurer’s dream. Kids can unleash their inner explorers, darting between caves carved by nature’s hand over eons. Those tide pools? They’re a vibrant world of marine wonders. Get up close with starfish, sea anemones, and playful crabs, turning a day at the beach into an impromptu marine biology lesson.

Capture the moment, as the beach’s dramatic rock formations offer a backdrop like no other. Golden hour here feels like a scene straight out of a movie, with the sky transforming into a canvas of pinks, oranges, and purples.

Got a picnic basket? El Matador’s nooks and crannies provide the perfect setting for a family meal. Relish the sound of waves and the salty breeze as you share stories and sandwiches. And as the day winds down, settle in for a sunset show that rivals any big-screen spectacle.

El Matador Beach, where rugged cliffs meet the Pacific's expanse, revealing azure waters, sea stacks, and mysterious caves.
El Matador Beach, where rugged cliffs meet the Pacific’s expanse, revealing azure waters, sea stacks, and mysterious caves.

2. Hop on a Surfboard or Start a Sand Fight at Zuma Beach

If you’ve ever daydreamed about the perfect Californian beach day, chances are, you’ve pictured something quite like this. Stretching over a mile of coastline, Zuma is the epitome of sun, surf, and sheer joy.

Now, when you’re pondering where to go in Malibu with kids for a day of classic beach fun, Zuma should be at the top of your list. The waves here are a surfer’s delight, offering the right balance for both novices and seasoned pros. And if surfing isn’t your thing, no worries! The gentle waves are also perfect for bodyboarding and windsurfing.

Kids will have a blast here. The wide sandy expanse is tailor-made for sandcastle-building competitions, beach soccer, or a game of frisbee. And with lifeguards on duty, you can have peace of mind as the little ones splash around in the shallows.

Hungry after all that activity? The beachside food stands serve a wide range of tasty treats, from fresh seafood to classic American fare. As the day draws to a close, join the families and couples gathered to watch the sun dip into the ocean. It’s a Malibu attraction for kids in its own right!

Zuma Beach is one of the best things to do in Malibu with kids.
Live your Californian beach dream at Zuma: over a mile of sun, surf, and sheer joy along the coastline.

3. Dive into History at the Getty Villa

Ever wished for a time machine? Well, the Getty Villa might just be the next best thing. Transporting you straight into the heart of ancient Rome, this architectural marvel is a deep dive into art, history, and culture.

If you’re wondering what to do in Malibu with kids that are a bit off the beaten path, the Getty Villa offers an experience like no other. Wander through its lush gardens, inspired by ancient Roman models, where fountains, arbors, and reflecting ponds play host to a symphony of sights and sounds.

Inside, the villa is a treasure trove of over 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. From sculptures to frescoes, every artifact tells a story, painting a vivid picture of life thousands of years ago. And the best part? Interactive family tours make it engaging for kids, turning history lessons into exciting adventures.

Don’t forget to check out the amphitheater. Throughout the year, it comes alive with performances that transport audiences back to the days of gladiators and ancient theater. The fun things to do in Malibu with children often blend education with entertainment, and the Getty Villa is a shining example.

Embark on a journey to ancient Rome at the Getty Villa—an architectural marvel offering an immersive experience in art, history, and culture.
Embark on a journey to ancient Rome at the Getty Villa—an architectural marvel offering an immersive experience in art, history, and culture.

4. Unleash Your Inner Explorer at Point Dume State Beach and Preserve

Ahoy, adventurers! Point Dume State Beach and Preserve beckons with its rugged beauty and diverse range of activities. If you’re compiling a list of Malibu places to visit with children, this gem deserves a top spot.

Start your day with a hike up to Point Dume’s summit. The trail, though short, offers panoramic views of the Pacific, the Santa Monica Mountains, and on clear days, even the distant Channel Islands. And if you time it right, you might spot migrating gray whales between December and April. Talk about a nature show!

The beach is one of the best places in Malibu to visit with children, especially for water-loving families! Surf’s up? Grab your board and ride the waves. If you’re more into underwater adventures, the clear waters are perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling. Dive deep and you’ll be greeted by a vibrant marine world, from colorful corals to playful sea lions.

Kids will love the tide pools, teeming with starfish, sea urchins, and other marine critters. It’s a hands-on biology lesson they won’t forget in a hurry. And for those who prefer staying dry, the sandy shores are perfect for picnics, sunbathing, or a game of beach volleyball.

Point Dume State Beach and Preserve is one of the best things to do in Malibu with kids.
Point Dume State Beach and Preserve offers rugged beauty and a variety of activities. A must-visit spot in Malibu, especially for families with children.

5. Wander and Wonder at Leo Carrillo State Park

Ready for a day of discovery? Leo Carrillo State Park is your ticket to a world where nature’s wonders never cease. For families pondering where to go in Malibu with kids for a mix of beach fun and nature trails, this park is a dream come true.

Kick off your adventure with a trek through the park’s backcountry trails. As you meander through sycamore-shaded canyons and fragrant coastal sage, keep an eye out for the local residents. From curious rabbits to graceful deer, the park is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise.

The park also boasts 1.5 miles of beach, dotted with sea caves and tide pools. Kids can channel their inner pirates, exploring these natural hideouts and discovering treasures of the marine kind. Starfish, mussels, and anemones are just a few of the critters that call these tide pools home.

Fancy a spot of fishing? The rocky reefs are perfect for casting a line and waiting for a bite. And if you’re up for some water sports, the waves here are just right for windsurfing and surfing. Camping under the stars is another highlight. As night falls, gather around a campfire, roast marshmallows, and share tales of the day’s adventures.

Leo Carrillo State Park in California
Leo Carrillo State Park, where endless natural wonders await. Ideal for families seeking beach fun and nature trails in Malibu.

6. Experience Family Fun at Paradise Cove Beach

Imagine a beach where every corner is filled with the best things to do in Malibu with kids! Welcome to Paradise Cove Beach. As you step onto the sun-kissed sands, you’ll notice the private cabanas lining the shoreline. They’re not just for relaxation; they’re your family’s base for a day of adventure and laughter. While you lounge with a tropical cocktail in hand, the kids can embark on their own adventures, building epic sandcastles or chasing the gentle waves.

The waves here are a playground for young surfers, offering a dance of crests and troughs that’s perfect for beginners. And if your little ones are curious about the world beneath the waves, snorkeling here is like opening a vibrant picture book. Colorful fish, playful marine life, and intricate corals await their discovery.

Hungry tummies are in for a treat at the beachfront restaurant. From fresh seafood to kid-friendly delights, every dish promises a burst of flavors. And with the rhythmic sound of waves in the background, it’s a dining experience like no other.

For those looking for the coolest activities in Malibu for kids, Paradise Cove delivers in spades. Kayaking, paddleboarding, jet-skiing – the adventures are endless.

Paradise Cove Beach: Malibu's family haven for endless kids' adventures with cabanas, sand, and waves.
Paradise Cove Beach: Malibu’s family haven for endless kids’ adventures with cabanas, sand, and waves.

7. Embark on a Marine Adventure at Malibu Lagoon State Beach

Nestled where the Malibu Creek meets the Pacific Ocean, the Malibu Lagoon State Beach is a delightful blend of sandy shores and rich ecosystems. Travelers searching for places in Malibu for kids that offer both relaxation and education will find this lagoon to be the perfect spot.

The lagoon is a haven for birdwatchers and budding naturalists. With over 200 species of birds making their appearance throughout the year, it’s like a live-action nature documentary. Equip your kids with binoculars and let them spot elegant herons, playful pelicans, and vibrant kingfishers. It’s a lesson in ornithology that no classroom can match!

Fortunately, the fun doesn’t stop at birdwatching. The wetlands are teeming with life. From darting fish to curious crabs, every tide pool tells a story. Of course, it’s not all about nature. The beach is perfect for classic seaside activities like sandcastle competitions, beach volleyball, or simply lounging under the sun with a good book. And if you’re keen on surfing, the waves here are welcoming for both beginners and seasoned pros.

Wrapping up a day at Malibu Lagoon State Beach, you’ll realize it’s more than just a beach. It’s one of the coolest Malibu things to do with kids, offering a mix of fun, relaxation, and a dash of education.

A State Beach where creek meets ocean, perfect for family relaxation and education.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach: Nature’s haven where creek meets ocean, perfect for family relaxation and education.

8. Revel in Nature’s Beauty at Malibu Creek State Park

Spanning over 8,000 acres, Malibu State Park is a must-add to your list of unique things to do in Malibu with kids. From serene lakes to rugged canyons, every trail here promises a new discovery.

Begin your journey with a hike through the park’s diverse landscapes. As you traverse oak woodlands, sycamore-lined canyons, and tall grass fields, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas at every turn. And for the young ones? It’s an open-air classroom, where they can learn about local flora and fauna, and maybe even spot a deer or two!

The centerpiece of the park is Malibu Creek, a 14-mile waterway that has carved its path over millennia. Its banks are perfect for picnics, and its waters invite you to take a refreshing dip. If you’ve got little anglers in the family, they’ll be thrilled to cast a line and wait for a bite.

Recognize the landscapes? They’ve been the backdrop for many Hollywood classics, including the beloved TV show, MAS*H. Wrapping up your day at Malibu Creek State Park, you’ll be left with a heart full of memories and a camera roll full of picturesque moments!

Malibu State Park: 8,000 acres of trails, lakes, and canyons—a unique adventure for families with kids.
Malibu State Park: 8,000 acres of trails, lakes, and canyons—a unique adventure for families with kids.

9. Discover Ocean Wonders at Malibu Pier Aquarium

Dive into a world of marine magic at the Malibu Pier Aquarium. Located beneath the historic Malibu Pier, this aquarium is a window into the vibrant life of the Santa Monica Bay.

From the moment you step in, you’re greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors. Vibrant fish, swaying anemones, and curious octopuses are just a few of the residents here. Interactive touch tanks are a highlight. Let your little ones gently feel the texture of a starfish or the smooth surface of a sea cucumber.

The aquarium also offers workshops, guided tours, and interactive sessions where you can dive into topics like marine conservation, the impact of pollution, and the role each one of us can play in preserving our oceans. If you’re on the hunt for Malibu attractions for kids that combine fun with learning, this place is a splash hit.

After exploring the underwater world, step out onto the pier. The views of the Pacific are mesmerizing, and there’s no better place to savor a sunset. As the day comes to a close, you’ll leave with a deeper appreciation for the ocean and its incredible inhabitants. The Malibu Pier Aquarium stands out as a must see in Malibu for kids who love marveling over marine life!

Discover marine magic at Malibu Pier Aquarium—below the historic pier, it unveils the vibrant life of Santa Monica Bay.
Discover marine magic at Malibu Pier Aquarium—below the historic pier, it unveils the vibrant life of Santa Monica Bay.

10. Drift Amidst the Skies on a Paragliding Adventure

Ever wondered how birds feel, soaring high above, with the world sprawled beneath them? With paragliding, you get a taste of that very freedom! For families scouting high-octane experiences, this airborne adventure is one of the best things to do in Malibu with kids.

Picture this: You’re strapped in, the parachute billows above, and with a gentle push, you’re off the ground, drifting with the wind. The Pacific glistens below, Malibu’s iconic coastline stretches on one side, and the rugged Santa Monica Mountains rise on the other. It’s a view that postcards can’t do justice to.

For young adventurers, tandem flights with experienced pilots ensure safety while delivering thrills. Feel the gentle tug as thermals lift you higher, glide over Malibu’s landmarks, and maybe, just maybe, spot a dolphin or two playing in the waves below.

After your flight, lounge on the beach, letting the kids play in the sands, as you reminisce about the bird’s-eye view of Malibu!

Paragliding is one of the best things to do in Malibu with kids.
Experience the thrill of paragliding for a taste of soaring freedom—ideal for families seeking high-octane adventures in Malibu with kids.

11. Step into Hollywood’s Past at the Adamson House Museum

If you’re visiting Malibu with kids, don’t miss the Adamson House Museum. Thestar-studded museum is a slice of Hollywood’s golden era, right in the heart of Malibu. If you’re curating a list of Malibu places to visit with kids that offer a blend of glamour and education, this historic mansion is a must-visit.

Built in the 1930s, this Spanish Colonial Revival home is a testament to the opulence of the time. As you walk through its ornate rooms, you’re transported to an era of glitz and grandeur. Intricate tilework, hand-carved doors, and period furniture – every corner tells a story.

But what truly sets the Adamson House apart is its connection to Hollywood’s heyday. The original owners, Rhoda Rindge Adamson and her husband, were part of the film industry’s inner circle. As you explore the mansion, you’ll hear tales of legendary parties, star-studded gatherings, and behind-the-scenes anecdotes that’ll make you feel like a Hollywood insider.

For the kids, the museum offers interactive tours. Let them play detective, hunting for clues that reveal the secrets of the mansion. After your tour, take a leisurely stroll in the gardens. Overlooking the Pacific, they offer a serene retreat, where the past meets the present. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a movie being filmed – a nod to the mansion’s cinematic legacy.

Visit Adamson House Museum in Malibu with kids—a star-studded slice of Hollywood's past, combining glamour and education for a must-see historic experience.
Visit Adamson House Museum in Malibu with kids—a star-studded slice of Hollywood’s past, combining glamour and education for a must-see historic experience.

12. Wander Through the Whimsical Charm of Legacy Park

Nature, art, and a dash of whimsy come together at Legacy Park in Malibu. Spread across 15 acres, it’s a green oasis amidst the coastal charm of the city.

As you meander through its well-maintained paths, you’ll encounter a delightful mix of natural habitats. Wetlands, meadows, and woodlands coexist, each offering a unique slice of Malibu’s biodiversity. Spot colorful butterflies, listen to the chirping of birds, and watch as rabbits hop about. It’s nature’s playground, and every visit feels like a new adventure.

For the young and curious, the park’s interactive stations are a hit. Learn about the local flora and fauna, understand the importance of conservation, and even get hands-on with some gardening activities. It’s a blend of fun and education that keeps kids engaged and entertained.

Legacy Park’s art installations are an attraction on their own. Scattered across the park are whimsical sculptures, murals, and interactive art pieces. Let the kids interpret the art, create their own stories, and maybe even get inspired to craft something of their own. If you’re compiling a list of places in Malibu to visit with children, this park is an enchanting addition.

Legacy Park: 15 acres of nature, art, and whimsy—a green oasis amid coastal charm.
Legacy Park in Malibu: 15 acres of nature, art, and whimsy—a green oasis amid coastal charm.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Things to Do in Malibu With Kids

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Malibu with kids? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Malibu:

What’s the best time of year to visit Malibu with kids?

Malibu boasts pleasant weather year-round, but for beach activities, the summer months (June to August) are ideal. Spring (March to May) offers mild temperatures and fewer crowds, making it perfect for outdoor explorations.

What is the best beach in Malibu for kids?

Zuma Beach in Malibu is definitely one of the best beaches for families and kids. Its wide sandy shore, gentle waves, and lifeguard presence make it a safe and enjoyable place for children to play. The beach also offers ample parking, restrooms, food stands, and picnic areas, adding to the convenience for families.

Zuma Beach’s relatively calmer waters are great for wading and splashing around, and the area is also known for dolphin and sea lion sightings, which can be exciting for kids.

Are there any kid-friendly dining spots in Malibu?

Absolutely! Malibu offers a range of family-friendly restaurants, from beachfront cafes serving fresh seafood to cozy spots with kid-approved menus. Don’t miss the local ice cream parlors for a sweet treat!

How safe are the beaches for children?

Most of Malibu’s beaches are family-friendly with lifeguards on duty during peak hours. However, always supervise your kids, especially when they’re in the water, and be aware of any posted warnings about tides or marine life.

Family of three enjoying a sunny day at the beach.
Family of three enjoying a sunny day at the beach.

Are there activities for kids during the rainy season?

Yes! While Malibu shines brightest in the sun, there are indoor attractions like museums, art workshops, and indoor play areas that are perfect for those occasional rainy days.

Can we rent equipment for water sports in Malibu?

Definitely. Many beaches in Malibu have rental shops where you can get gear for surfing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. Some even offer beginner lessons for kids and adults.

Are pets allowed on Malibu’s beaches and parks?

While some beaches and parks in Malibu welcome pets, there are restrictions. Always check the specific rules of the area you’re visiting and ensure your pet is on a leash where required.

Final Thoughts on the Best Things to Do in Malibu With Kids

As the sun sets on the horizon, casting a golden hue over Malibu’s pristine beaches, it’s clear why this coastal gem is a favorite for families. With its diverse range of activities, from the thrill of the waves to the serenity of nature trails, Malibu offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. It’s a place where memories are made, where every moment is a photo opportunity, and where the laughter of children mingles with the soothing sounds of the ocean.

For parents, Malibu promises peace of mind. It’s a destination that’s as safe as it is exciting, with friendly locals and well-maintained attractions. And for the kids? It’s a playground as vast as their imagination, where every day brings a new discovery.

So, pack those bags, grab the sunscreen, and set your sights on Malibu. Because in this sun-kissed paradise, the best things to do in Malibu with kids are waiting just around the corner!

The top things to do in Malibu with kids for all types of travelers
Enjoyed reading about the top things to do in Malibu with kids? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment