Meet Rebecca Warfield, a proud working mother living in California. Rebecca takes us on the perfect family-friendly day in Manhattan Beach with her two-year-old. There, we discover their favorite parks, outings, and restaurants.
Although I grew up in a little country resort village in Northwest Montana, I migrated to the quaint town of Manhattan Beach, CA about 13 years ago. I’ll give you an overview of the life of a mom in Manhattan Beach, CA. It is a gem of a seaside town and a wonderful family community. Locals often refer to it as “The Bubble.” It’s only about 12-15 minutes from the LAX airport, and a 40-minute drive from Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. It is a perfect place to spend a family-friendly day or afternoon before hitting your next flight.
I’m a talent and artist manager and have worked in the entertainment industry for 16 years. I’ve traveled the world extensively and have worked closely with artists and their careers and philanthropies such as Britney Spears, Steven Tyler, Aerosmith, Mark Ballas, Julian Lennon, and many more. I regularly work in a fast-paced and high profile environment.
However, I truly cherish the rare weekends I get at home with my family. We enjoy the beach, the people, and laid back lifestyle of Manhattan Beach and the South Bay area of Los Angeles. The area also includes Hermosa, Redondo, and El Segundo.
My husband and I met nine years ago ON the red carpet at the Golden Globes and have been together for almost eight years. We actually had two weddings and got married in Istanbul with just the two of us. Then we picked up my stepdaughters, now ages 11 and 15, and went to Napa and got married on the wine train! Our lifestyle includes VERY FREQUENT travel all over the world and we’ve become pretty used to our constant in-motion lifestyle. Our daughter is two years old and there is an abundance of activities to take part in around our community for kids and families of all sizes and ages.
We wake up and casually drink coffee and get ready to play outdoors for the day. I usually give our 2-year-old a quick breakfast of yogurt and fruit. Then we pack up for the day and head out to downtown Manhattan Beach. Parking can be tough, but there is plenty of metered areas and lots, so just drive around and be a little patient! It’s worth it!
We head downtown Manhattan Beach and go to The Strandhouse right by the Manhattan Beach Pier for brunch. I would suggest making reservations if you can! It’s a casual vibe but can also feel upscale and has endless windows and an outdoor terrace looking over the ocean and pier. It’s located at 117 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. If this feels too fancy or restricting for the kids on some weekends, we just grab some bagels and fresh-squeezed OJ at Noah’s up the street. Then, we have our breakfast on the beach or sitting on the pier watching the waves break and all the surfers. There are tons of other restaurants to pick from downtown also, like the famous Uncle Bill’s Pancake House in Manhattan Beach, and then a string of healthy and colorful little cafes in North Manhattan Beach also, just a short drive away on Highland Ave.
Stroll down to the end of the pier and mosey inside the little (historic but recently remodeled) Roundhouse Aquarium. This is a town pride and favorite place for kids growing up in town. They can walk around and look at all the different fish in the tanks, learn about sea life, and there’s even a little touch tank. It’s donation only and there is hand sanitizer on the way out!
Hit the beach right under or next to the pier. We go back to the car and grab our umbrella and beach chairs, towels, and any other beach gear. Then we head down the stairs to the sand. The kids can play and you can either bring lunch or a picnic to the sand, and you can even order food or pizza right to the Strand. The Strand is what we call the boardwalk that separates the sand from the street.
P.S. Watch the little ones as you cross over the bike path!
My favorite family-friendly lunch spot is in North Manhattan Beach and is called Fishbar. It’s located at 3801 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. I love this place because they have big booths in the back. They have large soft cushions and cozy pillows! The kids can play, color, and bounce around and have fun while we dine. They have high quality, clean eating, and unique seafood dishes and some healthy kids menu options like salmon, fruit and rice, and some other great choices.
**This is a short drive from downtown Manhattan Beach or a 25 min walk on the strand.
Usually, our daughter will take a 2-hour nap in the stroller or on the sand. We just chill wherever that happens to be!
Before leaving downtown Manhattan Beach, we usually make a trip for a cold drink at Starbucks downtown or Sunlife Smoothies and then play at the Metlox Plaza. There’s a fun giant dog fountain and a place for the kids to run around in a contained courtyard surrounded by outside tables, and restaurants like Le Pain, and a Greek restaurant called Petros. All great choices for dining! There is also a toddler safe play area called Live Oak Park. It’s a great spot to play with a mini train and playground and a woodchip trail. The trail is called the greenbelt. It’s a great walk/run/nature discovery area for kids and adults of all ages.
Another great park that everyone loves is called Bruce’s Beach toward North Manhattan Beach. The views are epic over the ocean and there’s lots of room and fun grassy hills to play on. Just know that the cell service in this particular block is a bit spotty. If you walk straight to the strand from Bruce’s beach, there is a little outdoor workout area if you feel like getting in some exercise while the kids play!
If it happens to be a rainy day, then we like to hit the Family Zoo Jam at Zooga in North Redondo which is a 10 min drive from downtown Manhattan Beach (2206 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278). It’s a great movement and music class with an energetic and fun teacher who leads on guitar. There are mid-morning classes to choose from and sometimes afternoon classes as well.
Another fun indoor activity that we love is Adventureplex (also within a 5 min drive from downtown Manhattan Beach) at 1701 Marine Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. They have a toddler town with shopping carts, and all kinds of toy fruits, vegetables, groceries, a kitchen, and more. They also have a big ball pit, quiet area with puzzles, blocks, and books, and fun area for older kids with a rock-climbing wall.
We head home for a DoorDash order in or a simple meal at home and some quiet and relaxation time.
If everyone is feeling up for it, we head to either the Point which is a super fun shopping area at 850 S Sepulveda Blvd, El Segundo, CA 90245, with tons of green grass area for kids to run and play with a mini lifeguard house that kids love to play in and on, while parents sip a beverage nearby. Bring a soccer ball or volleyball to play with if you can. There’s a large fountain, a bunch of restaurants and shops, a foosball table, and plenty of room to run around. Kids can play in a safe and contained area amongst a cool, local family beach crowd vibe.
If you’re more in the mood for a private froyo chill, head to Pinkberry nearby in Plaza El Segundo at 2004 Park Pl, El Segundo, CA 90245 (It’s tucked in the corner by Anthropologie). There, you can let the kids play in the mini fountains/micro splash pad outside surrounded by comfy chairs that are also in view from indoors.
After that, we head home and CRASH!
That wraps up our busy but fun day enjoying our neighborhood!
Hope you enjoyed our tour : )