With its temperate weather, safe environment and convenient location, Catalina Island– aka Kidalina – is the perfect destination for families with kids of all ages. We've put together a list of fun things to do with kids and listed ages for participation.
1. Catch a Glimpse of Bison
Did you know that Catalina Island is home to bison? These amazing animals were brought to the island during the 1920s for filming and they never left! They still roam free on lands owned and maintained by the Catalina Island Conservancy. Take an eco-tour to view them and more of the wildlife on the island. (Children must be at least 5 years old to ride in a hummer or open air jeep tour. All ages are welcome on interior tours where the tour vehicle is a bus.)
2. Relax with a Day at the Beach
Catalina Island has three beaches to choose from in Avalon. South Beach, Middle Beach and Step Beach are public beaches along Crescent Avenue. These beaches are only steps away from Avalon’s many hotels, shops, restaurants, restrooms and recreation. One of the last private beaches in California, Descanso Beach is located just beyond the Catalina Casino and offers a restaurant, cabanas and lounge chairs for rent. (All ages)
3. Take a Zipline Tour
Catalina Island has a spectacular zipline tour with soaring views of the island. It’s the only zipline in Los Angeles and Orange County and begins 500 feet above Descanso Canyon. The five ziplines travel over three quarters of a mile and up to 35 mph. (Children ages 5-9 can zip in tandem with an adult. Children under 5 are too young to participate.)
4. Catalina Aerial Adventure
Swing through the trees on this challenging ropes course, located at Descanso Canyon, adjacent to the Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour. Five self-guided, self-paced courses—each made up of rope ladders, log bridges, balance beams, zip lines, and other elements—are arranged in beginner, intermediate and advanced configurations, offering aerial excitement for everyone, regardless of skill or athletic ability. (Participants must be at least 7 years of age and at least 55 inches tall.)
5. Catalina Climbing Wall
Located at Descanso Canyon, adjacent to the Zip Line and Aerial Adventure, this 32 foot adventure offers eight different routes to the top for beginners through advanced climbers. (All ages, must weigh at least 40lbs.)
6. Glass-Bottom Boat Tours
Kids will be thrilled by native ocean life on a glass-bottom boat tour. On Catalina Island boat tours, your family will experience the many species of fish and marine life that dwell in the kelp forests along the island. (All ages)
7. Ride in a Submarine
Let’s face it, submarines are cool and two of the coolest semi-submersible submarines, the Nautilus and the Seawolf, are found on Catalina Island! Expert guides will educate your family on the ecology and history of the island – make this a part of your itinerary for your island vacation with your kids. (All ages)
8. Get in Some Snorkeling
Who knew you could snorkel on an island in California? Catalina Island specializes in some of the best snorkeling this side of the border. Rent some gear or bring your own and head to the Casino Point Dive Park or Lovers Cove.
What island adventure would be complete without parasailing or tubing? Whether rising high above the water for amazing views of the coastline or speeding along in a tube, kids 5 and older will have a blast on these water adventures. (Children must be 5 and older to participate.)
10. Go Fishing
Catalina Island fishing is some of the best in southern California! Fishing from a pier does not require a permit in California. Grab a drop line from Joe's Rent a Boat and cast away. Or learn to fish with Bob. Learn to Fish Hook Line & Sinker is the perfect dock fishing adventure with fun and educational elements for all ages. (All ages)
11. Flying Fish Tour
Kids will love the evening “Flying Fish Tour” from Afishinados Charters or the Catalina Island Company. This tour is offered during late May to early September when the fish are most active. (All ages)
12. Coastal Wildlife Tour
On this 2 hour adventure with Catalina Divers Supply you'll experience miles of Catalina's rich shoreline, sapphire waters, and majestic kelp forest on this expedition. In addition to whales and dolphins, you'll also look for our other wildlife in their natural habitat, such as seals, bald eagles and various seabirds. (Ages 5 and up)
13. Play a Game of Miniature Golf
Did you know that Catalina Island Miniature Golf Course is an award winning mini golf course? And it’s open every day of the year, weather permitting. Perfect for golfers of all ages. (All ages)
14. Rent a Kayak, Paddleboard, Pedal Boat or Motorboat
A kayak, paddleboard or pedal boat rental offers a unique way to enjoy the pristine waters of the Avalon Harbor. For a more personal and self-guided way to enjoy the island, your family might enjoy the view from a motorboat. See kayak and paddleboard rentals and pedal boat and motorboat rentals.
15. Rent a Bike or Golf Cart
See more of Avalon at your own pace by renting a bike or golf cart. For those too young to pedal, child-seat attachments can be added to a rental at Brown's Bikes for children under 40 pounds and 12 months or older. A tag-a-long attachment that turns a Beach Cruiser into a tandem for a parent and child is another fun way to ride with kids aged four to six. Smaller children’s 20- and 24-inch rental bikes are also available for kids old enough to ride on their own. Bikes are rented by the hour or for the day.
Golf cart rental companies provide car seats for young children. Golf carts are rented by the hour with a maximum rental of 2 or 3 hours. (All ages)
16. Take a Hike
Catalina Island hiking offers some of the most scenic hikes in southern California. For family-friendly hike, try a walk up through the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden. (All ages)
17. Challenge your Family in an Escape Room
Do you have what it takes to beat the clock? Find out in our escape room attraction – one of the hottest new activities around has arrived in Avalon, and it’s fun for all ages! (All ages)
18. Explore Catalina Island's History
Step back in time and see what it was like to live and visit Catalina Island back in the day. Fun interactive exhibits for all ages. Kids under 15 are free at the Catalina Island Museum for Art & History with a paid adult, every day. (All ages) The Catalina Museum also offers Art To Go Catalina every Thursday. Stop by a pick up a craft kit at the front of the Museum by 5 pm on Thursdays.
19. Stop by the Arcade
Three Palms Arcade, located in the Metropole Marketplace is home to the Fun Zone. Enjoy island style mini bowling, arcade games, skee-ball, air hockey and more. (All ages)
For our youngest visitors, stopping by the playground is an essential part of the trip. There are three playgrounds in Avalon and one in Two Harbors. Knabe Park is a pirate ship themed playground along Pebbly Beach Rd, on the way to town from the ferry dock. Machine Gun Park/City Park is just past the Catalina Conservancy Trailhead tucked up in the corner near the site of the old amphitheater. There is a webbed climbing structure, interactive musical toys and picnic tables. Avalon's Kid Park/Peoples Park is on Avalon Canyon Rd across from the Fire Station and offers climbing structures, slides, picnic tables and work out equipment. (All ages)
21. Avalon Library
The Avalon Public Library is part of the LA County Library System. Stop by and browse their selection of children's titles. Kids can read quietly while adults charge phones or get online. Don't miss the giant chess set by the Library entrance.
22. Visit Two Harbors via the Cyclone boat
Two Harbors is considered Catalina Island's west end. The village of Two Harbors offers scenic beaches, cabana rentals, restaurants, general store, small playground and lots of opportunity for exploring. During summer months, take the Cyclone boat to Two Harbors from Avalon, departing several times a day from the Green Pleasure Pier and spend the day exploring. The boat ride is 40 minutes long, along Catalina's scenic coastline. (All ages)
23. Catalina Falconry Experience
Learn to be a falconer. You'll learn the history and basic techniques of falconry. Get to know falcons, hawks and owls. Hold raptors, cast them from your glove and call them back again. Located at Descanso Canyon. (Minimum age is 7. Children must be accompanied by a paid adult.)
24. Toys and More
Want to pick out that special gift to remember your trip to Catalina? You'll also find unique toys, plushies and clothing at the Catalina Conservancy's Trailhead store, The Steamer Trunk, Catalina Island Museum for Art & History and Airport in the Sky. Forget your sand toys? Pick up a new set at Vons or Leo's Catalina Drugstore.
25. Sweet Treats
No vacation is complete with a few sweet treats. Find confections, caramel apples, salt water taffy and ice cream at Lloyd's of Avalon. Stop by Scoops for gelato, homemade ice cream and chocolate covered bananas. Sailor's Delight Ice Cream Shop serves Super Premium ice cream, Italian Ice, sugar fee options, as well as sherbert. Catalina's newest shop, Catalina Cones, is open on Pebbly Beach Rd. In addition to delicious burgers and hot dogs, Coney Island West serves up milk shakes, floats and soft serve ice cream. Eric's on the Pier serves ice cream on the go, funnel cakes and frozen bananas.
26. Mermaid Class
Catalina Island Mermaids offerings a Discover Mermaid Class. After a safety briefing, students 6 years and older will join an instructor in shallow water to learn how to dolphin-kick, turn, and float in a mermaid tail as well as a few fun bubble tricks. Participants wear a mask, snorkel, and mermaid tail (monofin) and groups are small at four people per instructor. The class requires no prior experience and takes about an hour to 90 minutes to complete. (Minimum age is 6.)
27. SCUBA Diving
Get under water and explore another world. SCUBA is offered at Casino Point Dive Park. Whether you're trying SCUBA for the first time or getting certified, there's an adventure waiting for you. Scuba by Design welcomes uncertified SCUBA children as young as 12, and SCUBA certified as young as 10.
28. Virtual Scuba Diving
Experience the oceans like never before! Akuario presents Immersed, Ocean Wonders is a truly unique immersive experience that takes you on a thirty minute virtual "scuba dive" through the world's oceans. Explore Catalina’s lush kelp forests, get up close and personal with majestic whale sharks, soaring oceanic manta rays, inquisitive bull sharks, mesmerizing bait balls, playful dolphins and sea-lions, and even a rare dugong. The footage is projected onto the inside of a dome screen that surrounds the audience, all set to music with guiding narration. (All ages)
Family Friendly Dining
View our listings of Kid Friendly Restaurants on Catalina with menus.
Family Friendly Events
The Catalina Museum for Art & History is bringing Bavarian culture to Avalon during First Fridays at the Museum: Oktoberfest on Friday, October 6 from 6–9 p.m. The family-friendly event features live music, traditional singing, brats with all of the fixings, giveaways…
The Catalina Island Chili Cook-Off will take place from 1PM - 4PM at South Beach, presented by Rotary Club of Avalon. Come sample some of the best world class chili the Island & beyond has to offer! Beer & wine, food, live music and lego fun! Over $3,000 in total prize…
Have you ever seen a pumpkin patch on the beach? One of Avalon's cutest new traditions is the Fall Carnival. Support Avalon Schools and local non-profits by partaking in carnival inspired games, eating some delicious food and pre-packaged goodies, listening to live music, and…
Swim it. Bike it. Run it. Tri it! Experience the beauty of Catalina Island and the City of Avalon with the perfect end of the season triathlon. Come for the weekend or for the day and experience all that Catalina Island and the City of Avalon has to offer. A half-mile swim in the…
Join ghouls and ghosts and mermaids and firefighters in a Halloween Parade down Crescent Ave. Annual Halloween Parade Line-up begins at Knabe Park at 4:30 p.m. Zombie Park Also Known as Avalon Kid's Park Time: 5:30 p.m. Ghoul-tastic activities include a superhero jump house…
You are invited to our 5th Annual Dia de los Muertos Family Festival! Although this part of our First Fridays at the Museum program, it actually takes place on Wednesday, November 1st from 6-9 pm. The museum welcomes the colorful Mexican tradition celebrating life and death while…
Join us for the 30th Annual "Shop Catalina" Holiday Kick Off & Tree Lighting Join us for a week of holiday cheer, shopping and fabulous savings! Our island shops open their doors and offer rarely offered discounts on your favorite island jewelry, art, clothing, unique gifts…
Join the City of Avalon & the Catalina Swim Club for a New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim at 7:30am at Casino Dive Park, Intermediate to Advanced Swimmers, approximately 1 mile, and Polar Bear Plunge at 11:30am, Middle Beach, family fun – just plunge or swim the pier with…
The Avalon Benefit 50 Mile/50K Run is the oldest Ultra Trail Run in California with the 50 Mile run entering its 42nd year. The 50K joined the party four years ago and instantly became a California classic in trail running traversing all of the same trails that the older run…
Catalina Divers Supply and the Avalon Rotary Club Foundation are proud to host this annual event. This is the only time scuba diving is allowed in Avalon Bay, with 500+ expected volunteer divers collecting trash and debris. Awards ceremony follows on Wrigley Stage with prizes…
$10 Off Catalina Island Ferry
Hop onboard the Catalina Flyer for daily ferry service from Newport Beach to Avalon, Catalina Island in just over 1 hour.
Online reservations are now open!
A sparkling night of evening gowns, tuxedos, champagne, dining and dancing on Sunday, December 31 in the world-famous Casino Ballroom.