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Family-friendly Getaways in Newport Beach

February 11, 2020
  • Lighthouse Bayview Cafe
  • Family-friendly Getaways in Newport Beach
  • Marina Park
  • Family-friendly Getaways in Newport Beach

Realizing that a long weekend is upon you is one of life’s small victories—like, finding cash in the pocket of a long-unworn pair of pants. Yes! Now you can finally take that mini vacation with your family. So, plan your getaway digs, throw a few things in a suitcase and round up your tots for a drive (or flight) to our neck of the woods. No need to worry about what you’ll do when you get here. We’ve got that part down. From kayaking the aquatic trails to strolling through a sculpture park, here’s how to make the most of your long weekend with your tribe. Now, away you go!

  1. Take a guided Kayak tour through the Back Bay

You’ve got three full days off, so dedicate one of your mornings to getting to know Newport Beach’s natural wonders. Schlepp over to the Newport Aquatic Center, where you can rent your own kayaks and canoes or opt for one of the facility’s kayak tours led by a naturalist. Suitable for beginners and mini-me paddlers (aged seven and up) alike, this calm flatwater stretch lazily winds past beautiful white cliffs and ample wildlife, which your guide will tell you everything about. If you’re more of a family of hikers, then lace up your boots and hit one of the many trails that skirt close to the water (read: prime waterfowl-peeping opp) and bluff-top paths that offer stunning views of the bay. And yes, you can bring your leashed furry friends along for the trip, too!

 

  1. Stop by for lunch or dinner at Wilma’s Patio or Lighthouse Cafe

What do you do when your tots start banging their metaphorical silverware on the table? Take them to Wilma’s Patio—a Balboa Island gem that holds sway with its laid-back, homey vibe and its pet-friendly patio. From pancakes and French toast to burgers and tacos, there’s something for everyone to happily dig into. (Yes, even those in the picky eaters’ club. And if all else fails, there’s a kids’ menu for simpler and smaller appetites). Another great option? The waterfront Lighthouse Cafe, which also stands out with an extensive menu of crowd-pleasers for both adults and children. It sits just a stone’s throw away from Marina Park playground, which boasts a giant lighthouse with a sweeping slide, climbing obstacle courses, a sand pit, a mini wooden dock and more.

 

  1. Entertain your kiddos at the Newport Beach Library

If you’ve been looking for ways to keep the little ones busy and mentally stimulated this weekend, look no further than the Newport Beach Library, which hosts weekly events on Saturdays. During Sensory Play Saturdays, let your kids explore sensory bins set up with an assortment of items they can observe, smell and touch with their teeny fingers. (Sensory bins are known to boost creative thinking and fine-motor development). The theme for this Saturday? A Valentine’s Day treasure hunt. Alternatively, opt for a family storytime, which promises a morning packed with stories, songs and a crafts sesh for kids aged three to seven. And if that doesn’t strike your (or your tot’s) fancy, then join in for Lego time—perfect for elementary-aged children—in the afternoon.

 

  1. Explore the Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park

A stroll through an outdoor sculpture exhibition might just be the best way to ease your kiddos into liking and appreciating art. To wit: the sculpture exhibition at Civic Center Park—a 14-acre area studded with whimsical, larger-than-life sculptures and trails perfect for a leisurely stroll with the fam and the pup. Not to mention, there are plenty of observation points if you live for the views. As for the displays, they’re about as fun and whimsical as they’re educational. Think: giant interwoven slices of oranges, eight-foot rabbits and a 40-foot stained-glass matchstick that lights up at night. To extend the fun, pack some snacks and drinks. There are bench picnic areas around the park for you to set up a quick lunch.

Written by Mariam Makatsaria

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