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Your Guide to a Family-Friendly Weekend of Winter Fun

December 21, 2023

With more than 10 miles of stunning coastline, it’s no wonder Newport Beach is a cherished destination for families looking for some “winter” fun in the sun. In our city by the sea, there are countless ways to keep everyone, at every age, entertained! From boating and Jet Skiing to building sandcastles by the bay, your little ones are guaranteed to love a winter weekend in Newport Beach. So pack your bags and gear up for some excitement—you’ll never hear a “Mommy, I’m bored” here!

Stay at Balboa Bay Resort

Check-in to the newly refreshed Balboa Bay Resort! This stunning retreat sits on 15 acres of oceanfront property, boasting 180-degree bay views that just won’t quit. Make yourself at home in one of the resort’s 159 renovated guest rooms, which offer various floor plans, views and amenities. If you have quite a few members in your crew, we recommend booking one of Balboa Bay Resort’s four spacious suites. Many of these feature separate bedrooms, private balconies, comfortable living areas and even kitchenettes. But before you get too comfortable, you and your family will want to take advantage of the resort’s many amenities, such as the on-site A+O Restaurant | Bar, private poolside cabanas and boat and kayak rentals.

Grab Breakfast at Cappy’s Cafe

After a peaceful night’s sleep in your luxury suite, round up the kiddos and head to Cappy’s Cafe for a tasty breakfast by the beach. This time-honored restaurant is committed to serving the community and keeping folks well-fed. Here, parents can sip on eye-openers like Bloody Marys and mimosas while the kiddos stay warm with a mug of hot chocolate! Then, dig into morning favorites like Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, Corned Beef Hash and Eggs, Huevos Rancheros and more. If you’ve got really little ones along for the ride, be sure to check out Cappy’s kid’s menu!

Explore the Balboa Fun Zone

After you’ve had your fill of French Toast and flapjacks, make your way over to the Balboa Fun Zone for some fun and games! This historic amusement area sits on the water’s edge and is just a quick five-minute drive down the Peninsula. Let the kids play in the old-school arcade, take a ride on the Ferris wheel, then snag a slice from Pizza Pete’s. And if you’re looking to extend your seaside fun, skip on over to Newport Landing for a whale-watching adventure at sea!

Go Whale Watching

Ready for a seafaring expedition? Catch gray whales during their winter migration with a whale watching tour! Gray whales migrate annually along the Newport Beach and Laguna Beach shorelines and make the longest journey of any marine mammal. They travel in pods during the months of December through April, and during their migration, it’s not unusual to see five or more at a time. You can book a whale watching tour through Newport Coastal Adventure, Newport Landing or Davey’s Locker.

Hit the Beach in Crystal Cove

Situated just south of Corona del Mar sits the gorgeous Crystal Cove State Park. This section of natural seashore encompasses 3.2 miles of beach and 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness, offering ample opportunities for open-air recreation. Let the kids play in the rolling waves, build sandcastles on the beach and explore the park’s tidepools where they can spot sea urchins, starfish and other marine life.

Sunset Dinner at The Beachcomber Cafe

When the mood for food strikes (or you start to hear “I’m hungry”), snag a seat at Crystal Cove’s most popular dining spot, The Beachcomber Cafe! This casual restaurant sits just steps from the sand and features a menu full of California-inspired dishes and tropical drinks and an outdoor deck with ocean views. Sit down to a sunset dinner and indulge in tasty bites like Crispy Calamari, Clam Chowder, Pan-Seared Diver Scallops and more.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Sugar ‘n Spice

As you make your way back up the coast from Crystal Cove, make a pit stop at Balboa Island for one of Newport Beach’s most iconic desserts: the Balboa Bar! Since 1945, Sugar ‘n Spice has served up these frozen treats to locals and visitors looking to cure their cravings. Visit their location on Marine Ave., and customize your Balboa Bar just the way you like it! With dips like chocolate and peanut butter and toppings like Oreo crumbles, rainbow sprinkles and toasted coconut, your kids are sure to savor every bite.

Written by: Kaylin Waizinger

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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