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7 Wallet-Friendly Things to Do With the Kiddos This Weekend

May 4, 2021

It’s probably safe to say the kids have been a bit bored this past year. Canceled playdates and online school are enough to make anyone stir crazy! With that said, it’s time to pump up the fun factor with some outdoor activities—and we know just the places. The sunny city of Newport Beach is home to a slew of kid-friendly things to do. From ocean activities to lunch spots (even the pickiest of eaters will love), these must-dos are sure to put some pep back in their step this weekend!

Grab a Milkshake at Crystal Cove Shake Shack

Adult or child—nothing beats a creamy milkshake from the iconic Crystal Cove Shake Shack. This tiny counter-serve spot sits perched above the Crystal Cove State Park Historic District and serves up delicious burgers, crispy fries, creamy milkshakes and more. You and the fam can watch the waves and enjoy a hearty breakfast with offerings like cinnamon roll French toast, fried egg sandwiches and pancake combos.

Ride the Ferris Wheel at the Balboa Fun Zone

Spend a day by the bay and head to Newport Beach’s time-honored Balboa Fun Zone. This family-friendly amusement park offers all sorts of things to do with a Ferris wheel, arcade, bike rentals and plenty of places to snack. Let the kids play and then head over to Pizza Pete’s for a slice or Cowafornia for an ice cream cone or frozen banana.

Play at Marina Park

Often referred to as the “Window to the Bay,” Marina Park is a 10.5-acre park situated on the edge of Newport Bay. Let the kids romp around on the nautical-themed playground and explore the red and white miniature lighthouse. This is a great outdoor destination that is open to the public, proving you don’t need to rack up the bill to have some springtime fun. Pro tip: pack some sandwiches and enjoy an alfresco picnic in the park’s picnic area!

Rent Paddleboards or Kayaks

Renting an electric boat can be pricey, so if you’re looking to explore the bay in a more frugal way, head to Pirate Coast Paddle Company! This local rental business leases kayaks and paddleboards for reasonable hourly rates. And if you and the kiddos are up for a real adventure, Pirate Coast offers a nighttime SUP Glow tour, where each board is equipped with waterproof LED lights that illuminate the calm waters. These tours sell out fast, so be sure to plan in advance and book your tour early.

Embark on a Whale-Watching Trip

Looking to add a little excitement to your spring schedule? Set out on an adventurous whale-watching excursion in Newport Beach! Both Newport Coastal Adventure and Newport Landing offer year-round cruises that will give your kids the opportunity to see these unique ocean creatures up close. Each ship is also equipped with an indoor snack bar, bathrooms, indoor and outdoor seating and an observation deck. For more information and to book your trip, visit and

Spend a Day at Fashion Island

This expansive outdoor lifestyle center is the perfect place to spend a Saturday. With fun for the whole family, Fashion Island is sure to keep everyone, from the little ones to the teenagers, entertained. Pop into a variety of name-brand stores like Urban Outfitters, Lululemon, Nordstrom, Faherty and more. And when your crew gets hungry, head to the food court and let the kids choose from a variety of fast-casual restaurants. Once you’re done eating, spend some time by the koi pond—a serene spot with tons of colorful fish!

Plan a Beach Bonfire

The weather is heating up, which means it’s time to load the Boogie Boards in the car and slather the kids in SPF. A day at the beach is in your future, and there is nothing sweeter than seeing your kids build sandcastles, scour the shore for seashells and play the day away. But when the sun starts to dip, you’ll want to have the bonfire essentials prepped and ready to go! Reserve a pit and bring a cooler with hot dogs to grill and marshmallows to roast. Your little ones will love this festive pre-summer activity!

Written By: Kaylin Waizinger

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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