Cayton Children's Museum

395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

happyly approved

A Memorable Museum For Kids In Santa Monica

Cayton Children’s Museum Is A Must See In the LA Area

A hidden gem of Santa Monica and the Las Angeles area, Cayton Children’s Museum is a mission-oriented non-profit that is over the top in the very best way. Located one block off the beach near the Santa Monica pier, the museum is on the third floor of the indoor/outdoor mall and shopping district. 

Boasting everything from a climb on fire engine equipped with hats, boots and firefighter costumes, to a large ball pit and an expansive climbing structure along the ceiling, which is beyond cool. With high ceilings and an incredible amount of natural light, the space feels happy and relaxed. Every detail of the ambiance is thoughtful and the team working is upbeat, helpful and so proud of this special place. As an added benefit for parents looking to play and relax a bit, the space has thoughtful seating throughout. 

There’s a lovely reading area with bean bags and great books as well as a sand table and a large water table. They also have a very cool room with big green, foam building blocks for your future engineer! The invitation to touch and examine everything enables kids to experience it all fully. 

For babies and younger toddlers under two, the museum features a spacious area with soft play mats and toys. As a new mom, this feels like a great place to stem early playtime interaction and meet new friends. The museum is designed for ages six months to five years old. Ample stroller parking is available and the clean, fully equipped restrooms provide changing tables galore. 

Cayton hosts storytimes, music times and various art activities. The programming is extensive as well, ranging from aftercare to camp programs. There’s also a sweet toy store as you depart with a variety that ranges from art-oriented options to dolls and books. We visited on vacation, but we envision top-notch birthday parties in the space.

Since your admission provides access for a full day, you can plan a picnic lunch (Flower Child is just four blocks away) or just take a walk on the beach to mix up playtime. If you’re looking for another fun local activity, there are so many options, including a bike ride, stroller run or a leisurely walk. Stop at the corn dog or lemonade stand along the beachfront, splash in the surf and build a sandcastle, or hop on the swings to the left of the pier when facing the water.

We are fortunate to explore children’s museums near and Cayton Children’s Museum is exceptional, a clear winner in so many ways! 

Caitlin Iseler
Washington, D.C.
Caitlin Iseler, happyly founder and CEO, was born in New York and is one of eight children. Her favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and the chance to sit at one table with her favorite 40 people. Caitlin and her family live in Jackson, Wyoming. Caitlin is married to Thomas and they have three children that she adores more than anything. Being a mom has always been something she dreamt of and it brings her great joy. While attending the University of Virginia, she was a member of the National & ACC Championship Teams. Before starting happyly, Caitlin spent 15 years working in executive search with technology companies.
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