When summer rolls around and school is out, parents from across the city plan their itineraries to keep their kiddos entertained. Luckily, Venice Beach offers an array of activities suitable for children of all ages and interests.
The plethora of kid-friendly landmarks and events also attracts families from across Los Angeles county and the nation.
Venice Skate Park
First opened in 2009, the Venice Skate park remained closed for most of 2020. In fact, to keep skaters away from the iconic park, the city filled the ramps with sand. The park has since reopened to the public and welcomes skaters of all ability levels.
Kids can learn to drop in from one of the park’s thoughtfully-designed ramps, or watch advanced skaters perform grinds and tricks from the viewing area. Before heading to the park, parents should make sure their child has all the required safety gear, including a fitted helmet, elbow and knee pads, and wrist guards.
The Skate Park is a stone’s throw away from Venice Beach and Boardwalk, so shopping, restaurants, and restrooms are easily accessible.
Abbot Kinney Library
The Abbot Kinney Memorial Library on South Venice Boulevard offers free enrichment activities for children and teenagers. The library is open from Monday to Saturday from noon until 5:30 PM.
Every Thursday, the library hosts a free movie night. Parents can view the upcoming feature on the library’s website. Older children can participate in the library’s teen events or take a local course. The branch also offers weekly storytimes, craft projects, and musical performances for younger children. While library cards are only available to California residents, visitors can participate in any of the events and activities.
Bookworms will love participating in the library’s summer reading club. Children under 11 can request a Badge Book to track their reading goals with nifty stickers. Parents can also download recommended reading lists and activity guides from the main Los Angeles Public Library website.
Venice Art Walls
One of the city’s most inspiring attractions, the Venice Art Walls allow visitors to contribute to the local art scene. Since they were constructed as part of the Venice Pavillion in the 60s, locals always decorated the concrete slabs with stylized street art and graffiti. However, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that drawing on the wall became legal. Today, the wall is open for public modification every weekend.
Any artist can contribute to the wall, and youth under 18 can try their hand at graffiti art if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Visitors of all ages can use paint, chalk or any other medium to leave their mark.
As the wall is also a popular stop amongst top-level street artists, throwing the kids into a baby carrier to view the murals themselves is a great way to immerse youth in Venice’s cultural arts. The pieces change on a weekly basis, so parents can easily make visiting the Venice Art Walls a part of their summer routine.
Arts and Theater Classes
The Electric Lodge is a cultural venue that showcases up and coming artists from diverse mediums. The lodge also offers arts and music classes, including a special series for children and youth. The Electric Theater Camp accepts students between 6 and 16 years old for two weeks of arts exploration.
The weekly High Voltage performance show features exceptional artists and programs at an affordable price point. Families can also participate in public classes or workshops.
The School of Rock Camp, which shares its name with the popular 2003 film, culminates its youth programs with live musical performances.
Of course, if everything else fails, parents can always take advantage of Venice Beach’s miles of coastline to plan an exciting all-day outing. Lifeguards are always on duty during opening hours. Parents can stop by on-site rental shops to rent surfboards, skateboards, and other beach accessories for the day.
Lining the beach is the famous Boardwalk, which features a diverse array of entertainers, including jugglers, magicians, and face paint artists. At Venice Beach, there is always something delightful just waiting around the corner.
Venice is also home to several organized kids sports leagues that help kids build athletic skills through fun and teamwork. Whether a child is interested in rowing, basketball, or soccer, there is a team happy to take them on as a member.
Children who prefer less structured experiences can play at any of the numerous sporting fields and courts. The Venice Beach Recreation Center offers multiple basketball, tennis, handball, and volleyball courts with sea views. While these sites are often crowded on weekends, families who head to the courts on weekdays will likely be able to play a few rounds.