Seaside has long been a favorite family retreat, but it’s an especially good choice for families with young children. Why? Because Seaside has plenty to keep pint-sized beachgoers busy. After a day in Seaside, we promise that your little tykes will have no problem nodding off at night — for that matter, neither will you.
1. Search for treasure
What kid doesn’t love a treasure hunt? Plan to visit the beach at low tide for beachcombing. Scan the shore for whatever the ocean washes up that day. (The bull kelp can look pretty alien!) Learn how to read the tide tables here.
2. Pedal around town
After a few hours on the beach, rent a four-wheeled surrey from either Wheel Fun Rentals or Prom Bike Shop. Little ones will love riding through downtown while you do all the pedaling. Seaside’s city center is walkable, so explore on foot as well; don’t miss the iconic the 1.5-mile paved, beachfront Promenade.
3. Walk among towers of taffy
Now that you’ve burned off some calories, time to put them back on. Head to The Seaside Candyman, where you’ll be surrounded by a forest of taffy towers. While you’ll find 180 flavors of salt water taffy to choose from, I always go for the marionberry cheesecake.
4. Ride a pig
Take a spin on the indoor Seaside Carousel. Your kids can choose from 17 different animals. My personal favorite: the pig.
5. Blow through a roll of quarters
Funland Arcade is home to plenty of games that eat pocket change, but it also has an extra special surprise: one of the only Fascination parlors left in America. What is Fascination, you ask? Think skee ball meets bingo. For another nod to the past,walk on Broadway Street just west of Funland Arcade to Seaside Shootout, a classic, fully animated shooting gallery. Win your kid a prize!
6. Dig for dinner
Give your kid a shovel and bucket, and you’re in business. The best place to dig for razor clams is the south end of the Seaside beach, around two hours before peak low tide. Just make sure beaches are open for clamming (regular closures occur July 15 to September 30) and that you have purchased a license. For more information on how to clam, click here.
7. Be an amateur birdwatcher
A perfect hike for little legs, Mill Ponds Trail is just under 1 mile long. Part of the Neawanna Creek watershed, this nature area consists of two ponds: one freshwater and the other tidally-influenced. You’ll see a variety of birds, no matter the time of year. Please note: While not prohibited, dogs can startle birds, so consider leaving Fido at home for your birding excursion.
8. Feed the seals
One of the oldest on the West Coast, the Seaside Aquarium is small, but young kids will enjoy feeding the seals and touching such sea creatures as sea anemones, sea urchins and starfish. It’s also a good place to go on a rainy day.