Visiting California with children – 6 fun things to do as a family!

We visited America not so much because it was a destination on our list, but to visit family. It was simply awesome to catch up with my dad, Mike, and his wonderful wife, daughters and a little grand-daughter too! Boy, did they treat us to the full American experience. Mike, Cheryl, Maxi, Lexi, Roxanne and mini Rebel – you guys are amazing. Thank you for spoiling all of us.

Now, if you are visiting California, I can certainly share the ultimate places to go as a family. Your kiddies won’t want to leave!

1. LEGOLAND

Legoland! Wow! At six and eight, the boys were the perfect age for the experience. For one, they are super Lego fans. What’s more, the rides are well adapted to their ages. We even had the chance to build a Lego robot which opened a whole new world of programming for the boys. Have a look at Lego Mindstorms if your children are ready for the next level of Lego!

2. DISNEYLAND

You can’t go to California and not go to Disneyland. It was simply awesome. We visited during the Halloween festivities and the place was decorated with very cool and very large, orange pumpkins.

Our eldest is not a fan of crazy rides and I think we might have pushed the limits of his crazy-ride capacities with Splash Mountain. Approximately a month later, we were whizzing through the tree tops of Costa Rica on an absurdly high zip line. This too did not fit with his idea of fun, but wow what a way to overcome a fear of heights and speed. I think he’s glad he’s done these things, but he might defer doing them again for some time yet…

His little brother, however, was keen to go on the craziest rides again and again. Eventually Gavin took him off to the Matterhorn ride as just the two of them. R came back laughing and grinning from ear to ear. Gavin arrived back a little green about the gills!

That day the boys munched oversized (as in massive!) turkey drumsticks for lunch and ate swirly-coloured candy lollipops and R lost his first tooth. R was grinning, toothless with a smear of blood, adrenalin rushing and on the ultimate high! When in America, go big or go home! The same goes for Disney Land!

One of the most wonderful things about travelling with the boys and exposing them to such different experiences was having the time to discover their personalities and preferences further. Pretty awesome! 

3. THEME PARKS

There are a good number of theme parks in California. If you’re an adrenalin junkie, visit them! We visited Castle Park and the boys played their first game of mini golf there. They so enjoyed it and again, it was just right. Any younger and I don’t think they would have been able to navigate the course without holding up other players. G went on the bumper cars with his grandad which looked great fun and R went on the very high-flying swings with his aunty Lexi who just happens to be the coolest aunty ever. She knows about Minecraft, X-box and rugby! The boys are infatuated!

4. VENICE BEACH

Venice Beach is another super fun and quintessential LA destination which we so enjoyed. We walked along the waterfront, watched the skate-boarders and enjoyed the various entertainers along the way. There was a guy who walked on glass and a group of incredible acrobats and dancers. Mike even became part of the fun when they called him into the line of people they aimed to jump over. This only made it even more funny for the rest of us.

5. CORONA DEL MAR BEACH

Another day, we visited the Corona del Mar beach to catch up with some friends. It was awesome to see them and meet their little ones. The atmosphere of the beach was festive and down-to earth. It’s a great destination if you need a little nature after all the excitement!

6. AND THEN, THE RESTAURANTS!

Oh, my goodness! Yet again, everything seemed bigger and bolder and simply super-sized! Our lovely, healthy Bali intentions were long forgotten and we tried everything. “In and Out” burgers were on the menu. With things like a “Double Double” on offer, you know you’re in for a lot! Then, we tried some “all you can eat” buffets which are just crazy, people!

I think the boy’s favourite restaurant was “The Boiling Crab”. You can look at their site here: theboilingcrab. Essentially, you order your seafood and it arrives in a bag which you place on your table to share or simply tuck into. It’s messy and fun and you can eat with your fingers. It’s our children’s dream!

I also liked the poke bowls which I hadn’t heard of before. Poke bowls originate from Hawaii and could be described as deconstructed sushi. They have now become popular elsewhere too. I think it’s a fun way for everyone to choose what they like and create their own favourite combination.

Et voila! That was our crazy, fun and full-to-the-brim trip to California. I would recommend it! I would love to explore more of the US with Gavin and the boys. It’s so very vast and there’s so much more to explore. I’d especially like to hike in the Grand Canyon. It looks like there are more trips to plan!

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