A Memorable Museum For Kids In Santa Monica

Published on February 27, 2020 - Updated on February 29, 2020

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

cayton children's museum

A hidden gem of Santa Monica and the Los 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. 

children's museum Santa monica

Santa Monica children's museum

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.

children's museum los angeles

Since your admission provides access for a full day, you can plan a picnic lunch (Flower Child is around 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! 

If you have a favorite children's museum we'd love to hear about it at share@happy.ly  If your family has been fortunate enough to check out Cayton, feel free to share your photos at @gethappyly.

Also, please take a moment to download the happyly app for fast access to all of our weekend roundups, frequent blog content, and favorite activities, both locally and in many communities and travel destinations across the country. 

Parents can now get more time back in their days with the country’s only mobile-first family activity planning app. happyly provides scores of carefully-reviewed activities for parents, grandparents, and caregivers who are looking to spend less time planning and more time happily exploring with their kiddos.

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 is her favorite thing in the world. Caitlin attended the University of Virginia and was a member of the National & ACC Championship Team. Before starting happyly, Caitlin spent 15 years working in executive search with technology companies.
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