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10 Engaging Water Activities in Los Angeles for Families

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There’s nothing quite like a day out with the family, especially with many fun activities. Are you and your loved ones in the mood to get wet? For families living or visiting the City of Angels, here are some fun, engaging, and fantastic water activities in Los Angeles for a day of fun during the summer months.

Grab your sunscreen and follow along.

1. Enjoy water slides at Raging Waters

Raging Waters - one of the best water parks in Los Angeles California
(Photo by Raging Waters)

Kick off your day in the sun the right way. Parks like Raging Waters elevate the experience of wading with a long list of rides and attractions.

The best part is there’s something for everyone in the family. If some of your family members want more thrill, then rides like Bombs Away and Speed Slides are perfect. Some of you might prefer to relax and enjoy fantastic views: what better way to do this than a scenic river tour like the one in Amazon Adventure?

One significant advantage of choosing to spend your day at water parks in Los Angeles like Raging Waters is the planning. You can visit their website the day before and decide what rides you’d like to try when you’re there. You can also filter the rides based on age, height, and intensity so everyone is covered.

2. Swan boat riding

Take an even more scenic route and tour LA in a cute swan boat. Swan boating lets you carve your path through the water and see the sights you want. You can also engage with others on the water, riding in a group, and having a great laugh.

You can further enhance this experience by taking a swan boat night ride. Establishments like Echo Park offer unique night time experiences. The lights are incredibly captivating, and you can see a different coast view than what you would regularly see on foot. Going for a swan boat ride can be a memorable experience and an excellent choice for a family that loves to be on the water. 

3. Pool day

Temecula in California

When people think of activities by or in the water, a pool day is often the first thing that comes to mind, and for a good reason. It’s not just about being able to swim freely in temperate waters, but the environment as well. A good pool will have a little something for everyone. It would likely have a bar for the adults, lounge chairs to chill by, and a great view. Overall, a pool day can be a calm day of spending time with loved ones while enjoying the water.

Water sports like water polo or pool volleyball are also ideal on days like this. The excitement of choosing a pool day lies in the vast possibilities. So, consider a good quality pool near you and let the fun begin. Don’t forget to double-check if your pool allows outside food so you can take your pool day to the next level with a great spread of snacks and small foods.

4. Group kayaking

Kayaking is an excellent choice for a group activity if your family loves the great outdoors. It’s an opportunity to see all that nature offers, especially if you explore the Los Angeles River in San Fernando Valley, within the Sepulveda Basin. Another option is Marina del Rey, a picturesque marina offering calm waters and stunning views of the skyline.

The one intimidating thing about kayaking is that it can be rough for beginners. However, you can use it as a learning process by taking a guided tour. 

Do not underestimate the importance of general safety when preparing to kayak as a group. It would be helpful if all members of your party could swim. If you book a guided tour, stick close to your guide even as you gradually follow the river current and explore nature. 

5. Stand-up paddleboarding

Another one of the most popular water sports in Los Angeles is stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). This trendy sport has gained popularity in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. Gliding on the water while standing up gives you a unique perspective of your surroundings.

You can try SUP at various locations. The calm and serene waters of Marina Del Rey, Redondo Beach, or the tranquil Mother’s Beach in Long Beach are ideal for beginners trying to find their balance. For the more experienced SUP’ers, nothing beats the thrill of paddling out past the surf at spots like Santa Monica Beach or Venice Beach.

Not only is it a great full-body workout, but it’s also a unique way to enjoy the city’s stunning coastline and maybe even catch sight of some marine wildlife. With plenty of rental shops along the beach, getting started with stand-up paddleboarding in Los Angeles couldn’t be easier.

6. Whale watching

Whale watching

Whale watching is one of the most enjoyable water activities in Los Angeles in the summer. The city is one of the few places in the world where you can witness these gentle giants in their natural habitat.

Whale watching tours usually set sail from Long Beach or San Pedro, with most trips running from late spring through early fall. As you head out to the open ocean, you’ll also get the chance to spot dolphins, sea lions, and even migratory whales. But the real highlight is, of course, coming face to face with the majestic whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea.

To see these incredible creatures gliding serenely through the water beneath you is an unforgettable experience — you’ll be left with a renewed appreciation for the beauty and diversity of ocean life.

No diving or swimming experience is required for these tours, so it is a perfect activity for families. All you need is a keen eye and a sense of adventure.

7. Snorkeling

Snorkeling in Catalina Island - one of the best water sports in Los Angeles
Catalina Island.

For those who want to get up close and personal with marine life, snorkeling in Catalina Island is a must-do. This island, just an hour boat ride from Los Angeles, offers crystal clear waters and diverse marine life, including Garibaldi fish, sea stars, and occasional seals.

For something closer to the mainland, consider the Leo Carrillo State Park with its tide pools and small caves, perfect for beginner snorkelers. But if you’re hoping to get up close and personal with some fascinating ocean dwellers, head over to the Lover’s Cove Marine Reserve, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by schools of fish. Most of these locations offer equipment rental services, making it super easy for you to dive right in.

Snorkeling in Los Angeles is truly a magical experience that offers a glimpse into a whole new world, right beneath the waves!

8. Try a surfing lesson

Surfing - one of the water activities in Los Angeles

One of the most popular water activities in Los Angeles is surfing. With over 75 miles of coastline, there are plenty of spots for surfers to catch some waves.

Venice Beach and Zuma Beach are popular spots offering rentals and lessons for beginners. For experienced surfers, the breaks at Malibu’s Surfrider Beach provide the ultimate adrenaline rush. And let’s not forget the iconic Huntington Beach, a renowned surf destination that lives up to its nickname, “Surf City USA.”

This activity is ideal if you’re feeling adventurous. This activity requires a lot of balance and can be challenging. However, it can be a fun thing to do as a group. One way to spice this up is to try and see who can progress faster in the lesson, a motivation egged on by a great teacher.

Whether you’re carving your first wave or hanging ten like a pro, surfing in Los Angeles is an experience you won’t want to miss.

9. Ocean swimming

Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Beach.

This boils down to you and your dear family out by a boat, treading deep waters. It can be a bit intimidating but super fun for seasoned swimmers. Do not attempt to do this without taking the proper safety precautions. It might be best to take advantage of a service providing a boat and a safe environment to thread.

Services like this also sometimes offer inflatable lounges for you and the family to stay in if you have younger kids. Go with your food and drinks, and have a great time under the sun and at the mercy of the waves. 

10. Biking

Venice Beach, California
Biking in Venice Beach.

If you prefer to stay on land but still want to enjoy the water, check out the numerous beachfront bike paths in Los Angeles. You can rent a bike and ride along the coast, stopping at various beaches for a quick dip in the ocean.

Los Angeles is a city loved by the sea. There is a wide variety of water sports in Los Angeles for water-loving enthusiasts. Hopefully, the activities listed above will put you on the right track. Just remember water safety while you have fun, especially when you have young children.

What other water activities in Los Angeles do you recommend? Let us know in the comment section below!

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