There are so many fun things to do with kids in Catalina Island and so easy to get to! You can jump on a high speed ferry boat from The Port of LA, Long Beach, or Dana Point and it will take about one hour! The Catalina Express is one of the most popular ferry’s.
Fun Things to do with Kids in Catalina Island
Note to our readers, we try to keep things as up to date as possible, but things change all the time. Please contact the venue directly before visiting.
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Parks & Trails in Catalina Island
Catalina Island offers some of southern California’s best hiking trails. Dramatic wildlife, awe-inspiring views and a wide array of trails combine to offer both challenge and reward for hikers of all abilities. Eighty-eight percent of the land on Catalina Island is protected and maintained through the Catalina Island Conservancy. Make sure and check in with the Catalina Island Conservancy to secure a Catalina Island hiking permit before setting out if you plan to hike within Catalina Island’s 70-square mile interior.
Attractions & Activities
Avalon has three public beaches and one private beach. South Beach, Middle Beach and Step Beach are public beaches that lie along Crescent Avenue, steps away from hotels, shops, restaurants, restrooms and recreation. During the summer months, each public beach has a lifeguard on duty, as well as a swim line. Feel free to bring your lunch, but please note that alcoholic beverages, animals and smoking are prohibited on public beaches.
Starting 600 feet above Descanso Beach Club, with the beautiful Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, you’ll zigzag across Descanso Canyon and through a grove eucalyptus trees on five separate lines at speeds approaching 35 mph. Along the way, your guides will share interesting facts about the island’s flora and fauna on this top-rated, adrenaline-fueled adventure.
If you’re in Catalina Island, or Avalon, CA, and are looking for an amazing fun time fishing off the beautiful waters of Catalina Island, you couldn’t have come to a better place! Catalina Coastal Tours & Fishing is the premier provider of exceptional fishing charters and Catalina island tours that locals and visiting guests rely on. We have 3 boats with multiple captains ready to serve you any time of the year. Dedicated to providing clients with an amazing and unforgettable experience they won’t soon forget, all our chartered fishing trips and island tours are geared to deliver unmatched fun and excitement you’re sure to love.
Nestled in an idyllic garden setting less than one block from the beach, Avalon’s Golf Gardens is the ideal spot for an afternoon of family fun. This unique 18-hole course has been a much-loved fixture on the island for nearly 50 years.
Known in mini-golf circles as one of the world’s most beautiful and challenging courses, Golf Gardens’s classic styling and award-winning layout make for an unforgettable experience that’s sure to be a highlight of your stay on Catalina Island. Par is 51, and the official course record is 41. Allow approximately one hour for play.
Whether you spend a few hours, or a few days with us – you’ll find your Catalina Island experience more complete. Meet our friendly staff at Descanso Beach, they’ll help you fill your time with entertaining, educational and fun activities centered around our sparkling clear and fish-filled ocean waters.
Daily guided kayak excursions are available for as few as two persons, and most trips also have private rates for solo adventurers. Families will enjoy paddling together – a double kayak can hold two adults and a small child. Kids 11 years and under get a 25% discount on most of our trips. We’re family friendly, there’s no better way to introduce your kids to our unique natural world!
We are conveniently located just 500′ from the boat terminal. Family owned and operated by The Whitaker Family since 1981. Reservations ARE NOT needed just show up and we’ll get you a golf cart. We have toddler and infant seats available (limit 2 per car).
Join the Crew with the Catalina Pirate Challenge. Compete against the clock in this one-hour escape room experience. Enjoy the free charging stations and temperature controlled rooms as you work together to beat the captain and win your freedom. Free prizes and photos with every admission.
Catalina Room Escape is located at 220 Metropole Ave in downtown Avalon. We are across from the Museum, and up the street from The Blue Water Grill Less than a ten minute walk from the Catalina Express and a five minute walk from the Green Pier.
Descanso Beach Club also offers easy access to a number of water activities, as well as Catalina Aerial Adventure, Catalina Climbing Wall, Catalina Falconry Experience and the top-rated Zip Line Eco Tour.
Just a short stroll past historic Catalina Casino, Descanso Beach Club features Avalon’s only beach side restaurant and bar. It’s also one of Southern California’s last beaches open to the public, where you can have a drink in your hand and your feet in the sand. Spectacular views, cabanas and chaise lounges, signature food and drinks and attentive staff.
The best Catalina Island Adventure experience! Catalina Adventure tours have been catering to tourists from around the world for over 20 years. Catalina Adventure Tours features the best Catalina Island packages including the glass bottom boat, nautilus submarine, seal rocks explorer, guided Catalina city/botanical garden tours, and guided wild life tours featuring the exotic wild Buffalo roaming Catalina Island. Our tours will make any Catalina Island vacation a memorable experience for everyone.
Museums & Gardens
The Catalina Island Museum is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to art, culture, the history of Santa Catalina Island and film.
The Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden is a thirty-minute stroll up Avalon Canyon from town center. Or, take a quick ride by golf cart or bike, or by Garibalidi City Bus. The Botanic Garden is the primary gateway to access one of the Island’s most popular hikes, the Garden to Sky Trail (Please note hiking is not permitted after dark).
Family Friendly Hotels & Accommodations
Welcome to the Holiday Inn Resort Catalina Island, where you’ll find resort amenities paired with island hospitality. We are located in the city of Avalon on Catalina Island, 23 miles off the Los Angeles coastline, and are accessible by boat ferry or helicopter. Tucked back in the picturesque hills of Avalon, we offer the perfect vacation destination for your next family gathering, romantic getaway or business retreat. Our peaceful Catalina hotel features spacious, newly-renovated rooms equipped with microwaves, compact refrigerators and complimentary Wi-Fi. It also boasts a range of premium services and conveniences, designed to ensure maximum comfort and convenience for the length of any stay. Our on-site restaurant, The Cove, offers a variety of flavorful dishes. Looking for some relaxation? Our on-site Spa at Catalina offers daily spa services customized to your preferences and lifestyle. King Kid Suites include a plush king bed for parents and spacious bunk beds for kids.
Catalina Courtyard Garden Suites is a boutique-style European luxury hotel with a genuine Catalina Island experience, offering a serene escape just steps from Avalon Bay. Our rooms and suites are finely appointed and newly renovated with all the amenities guests require for a very comfortable getaway.
Relax around the fire pit in our courtyard garden, soak in jetted tubs in our spa-like en suites and enjoy activities, shops, restaurants and beaches just steps from the hotel including the all new full-service Island Spa Catalina, located across the street.
We offer oversized Garden and Family Rooms, Ocean View Suites and a unique one-of-a-kind Ocean View Penthouse Suite making us the perfect choice for a romantic escape, a family vacation, a friend’s getaway or an exclusive private retreat.
With a prime oceanfront location and fantastic resort amenities, you couldn’t dream up a more perfect Catalina Island retreat! Hamilton Cove features a private gym with full ocean views, an 18-hole course, tennis courts, croquet field, basketball court, kid play area, private boat dock, sand volleyball, as well as a private beach with wonderful snorkeling, built-in BBQs, and picnic tables. Cruise 10 minutes along the shore to reach Descanso Beach featuring a rock wall, live bands, and family-friendly entertainment. Play frisbee, enjoy a drink at the bar, or indulge in a gourmet ice cream sundae.
Catalina Island is an outdoor lover’s paradise. And there’s no better way to experience this beautiful island than to be at one with the natural surroundings on a camping getaway.
We offer campgrounds in Avalon and on the west end of the island in Two Harbors. There are also great opportunities to explore more remote parts of Catalina Island at Black Jack Campground, just below 2,097-foot Mt. Orizaba, Catalina Island’s highest peak; Parson’s Landing, a secluded beach campground seven miles west of Two Harbors; and Little Harbor on the backside of Catalina, rated “One of the Best Campgrounds in the West” by Sunset Magazine. Or for a truly unique experience, explore our Boat-in Camping sites.
If you’d like to get back nature, but don’t care to bring your gear, we offer Tent Cabins in both Avalon and Two Harbors (in addition to regular tent sites). Whatever campground or site you choose, we hope you enjoy the island’s never-ending beauty and warm hospitality.
Virtual Adventures on Catalina Island
Families can explore wildlife on the island with live webcam footage of the harbor, A Bald Eagle Cam from a perch in Two Harbors, underwater views of kelp beds and local fish from the USC Wrigley Catalina Marine Reserve and printable coloring pages, science activities and educational resources from the Catalina Island Conservancy. Downloadable backgrounds are also available to bring good island vibes to your next Zoom call. No cost for virtual experiences.