Long Beach is the fifth-largest city in California.

Things to Do in Long Beach, California, with a Baby

by Susan Sherwood

Located about 20 miles south of Los Angeles, Long Beach has a large port and a thriving tourist trade. Whether you live in Long Beach or are visiting the area, finding things to do with a baby can be challenging, especially in an urban setting. Fortunately, Long Beach offers several fun activities to help your baby learn, explore and experience the world.

1. Classes

Both cultural and physical activities are available in Long Beach for you and your baby. Kindermusik classes expose babies and young children to a variety of music and movement, and parent and child can experience the class together. Music Together at the Beach offers various musical styles and instruments to engage babies and youngsters. One class, "The Family Together," is for infants through kindergarteners. Baby Boot Camp allows moms to get some exercise, such as walking and yoga, while interacting with their babies simultaneously. Fitness sessions are held in a supportive community environment.

2. Outdoor Experiences

Long Beach has three certified Farmers Markets: uptown, downtown and southeast. All the food and crops sold there originate in California, and the markets are open year-round in any weather. Visiting a farmers market is a fun way for your baby to be exposed to an interesting variety of sights and smells. Long Beach also has dozens of city parks. Many have play areas that are appropriate for babies and toddlers. For example, Livingston Drive Playground has separate playgrounds for school-age kids and children 4 and under. El Dorado Park West has fields for organized sports, but you can also find grassy areas, playground equipment, picnic tables and a duck pond.

3. Indoor Sessions

My Gym offers movement experiences for infants 6 weeks to 6 months, as well as for older babies 7 to 13 months and 14 to 22 months. All ages explore the environment and play on age-appropriate apparatus, while the older ones are also introduced to balance activities and introductory tumbling. The Long Beach Public Library has activities for babies and toddlers weekly. Programs vary at different branches, but several story time and playgroup options are available, as well as a family story time for mixed age groups.

4. Nature

Two branches of the city park system offer special places to go where babies can experience nature. Marine Park is a beach area that is also called Mother's Beach because of the relatively calm water and shallow swimming area. Kids can frolic in the sand or grass. The El Dorado Nature Center has a 105-acre animal and plant sanctuary. You can walk on either dirt or paved trails while introducing your little one to a stream, lake or wooded area. The Aquarium of the Pacific invites you to safely bring your baby close to marine life. Exhibits include a shark lagoon, a penguin habitat, an aviary and sea life from all over the Pacific.

About the Author

Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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