Exploring Manhattan Beach

Find seaside relaxation, upscale shopping, and plenty of family fun in this South Bay town.

by Erin Mahoney Harris

Exploring Manhattan BeachThe well-heeled South Bay community of Manhattan Beach combines the laid-back vibe of a seaside town with the upscale dining and shopping of Beverly Hills. Every summer, its beautiful sandy beaches host the Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament and the International Surf Festival. In addition to surfers and pro athletes, the city is home to lots of families, which means there’s plenty of stuff to do with the kids on a warm summer day.

There’s no question about the most popular meal of the day at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House (1305 Highland Ave.; 310-545-5177; www.unclebills.net), a neighborhood favorite that has a line out the door on weekends and serves decadent breakfast dishes like thick-sliced cinnamon raisin French toast and waffles stuffed with crumbled bacon.

Exploring Manhattan BeachHidden just outside Manhattan Beach city limits, on an industrial street in El Segundo, is Scooter’s Jungle (606 Hawaii St.; 888-516-1983; www.scootersjungle.com), an incredible find for any parent looking for a place to play. Enormous inflatable slides, elaborate climbing structures and bounce houses galore make this a popular birthday party spot. Open play days fill up quickly, especially during school vacation, so it’s best to arrive early.

Exploring Manhattan BeachWith its quaint roundhouse structure and pretty turquoise accents, the Manhattan Beach pier (2 Manhattan Beach Blvd.) is a charming landmark and popular fishing destination, while down below is prime seashell-hunting territory. The Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium (310-379-8117; www.roundhouseaquarium.org) at the end of the pier is free to the public and open weekdays after 3 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to sunset on weekends.

Neighborhood ice cream parlor and candy shop Manhattan Beach Creamery (1120 Manhattan Ave.; 310-372-1155; www.mbcreamery.com) serves handmade scoops in intriguing flavors like Strawberry Goat Cheese and Maple Bacon Crunch, as well as plenty traditional options that appeal to a kid’s palate. The selection changes daily and seasonally, with 28 choices at any given time.

Exploring Manhattan BeachOne of the South Bay’s largest and most popular outdoor play areas, Polliwog Park (corner of Redondo Ave. and Manhattan Beach Blvd.; 310-802-5410; www.ci.manhattan-beach.ca.us) encompasses 18 acres and is home to a picturesque pond, rose garden, amphitheater, and multiple playgrounds with structures appropriate for all ages. Sloping green lawns and shade trees make it a great picnicking destination, and gazebos can be reserved for birthday parties and special events.

love this? share!


  1. Hello,
    I am special education teacher of 15 years and have taught in Manhattan Beach and other South Bay Cities. I am also the owner of Beach Cities Tutoring for the last 6 years. I was wondering if there is a place where you feature local businesses, especially those that serve families. We have many summer programs along with our normal school programs. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you,

    Ivie Sherman, MA in Special ED
    Founder and Director of Beach Cities Tutoring

    • Hello Ivie,
      Please send us an email with more information about your business and we’ll see what we can do!

leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ 15 = 19

New in town
Distroller Wərld: A Shopping and Entertainment Experience Opens in L.A.
A New Career as a Volunteer
archer film festival
JJ Abrams Speaks at Archer Film Festival
Family Road Tripping Goes Global
Saugus Schools Implement Mindful Leading at Recess
marathon kids
Marathon Kids Celebrate Year With a Mile in LA
Sign up to receive our newsletters!

Sign up today to receive updates and information by email from L.A. Parent!

No Thanks