There are so many kid friendly things to do near Newport Beach that it’s hard to pick for a list! From playgrounds to nature centers to beaches, Newport Beach is the epitome of California tourism. It’s the perfect place to be outdoors with your family.
Newport Beach feels like multiple cities because it is spread over a large section of the coast. In fact, Corona del Mar is a neighborhood of the city, even though it sounds like its own city, as are Balboa Island, Balboa Peninsula, and Newport Coast.
Let me run down a few of my favorite spots to take the kids. I’ve grouped these places to go in Newport Beach by proximity to each other and, in some cases, with a short description of how to visit.
Kid-Friendly Things to Do Near Newport Beach
Let's start with an exploration of Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve because it is one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet and we'll finish with Coastal Peak Park which is high above the ocean giving a view of it all.
Muth Interpretive Center can even be visited on a layover at Orange County Airport! It's a beautiful spot with a view of the nature preserve and nature exhibits to discover how these wetlands benefit us and what lives here. Everything is hands on and there's even room to stretch out and play. (Closed Mondays).
This has become a popular beach playground for Orange County families with its nautical theme and also sand right up to the harborside beach. Climb up to the lighthouse to take the slide. If you want to grab a bite, visit the Lighthouse Cafe next door.
If you happen to visit on a Saturday or Sunday during the summer, you might be lucky enough to take the free summer trolley! This post lays out where you can stop on your way down and then back up the peninsula.
The Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach is a hidden oasis of nature that you don't even know exists from the street. Park in the small parking lot, enjoy the nature center, and then take a walk of the grounds.
Sunset Ridge is one of my favorite parks and you will probably have to wait to visit because there is a pedestrian bridge going in at the moment. I will come back and make note of it when it's complete and easy to visit again.
Ahhhh! One of my favorite beaches on the planet! Many sunsets have been enjoyed here along with beach days. Read my Beach Eats post to see photos of food and learn more about The Jetty restaurant here.
It's been called Bunnyhenge and all sorts of other nicknames, but it's truly an awesome park with life-sized art exhibits scattered along the trails. Visit the main branch of the Newport Public Library here.
Don't let the name fool you! This playground is just down the road from the Civic Center and it's a favorite with kids. There are peek-a-boo views of the harbor from here. You always have Fashion Island nearby for grabbing a bite or visiting Barnes & Noble.