15 Things to Do with Kids in Santa Maria, CA
Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County is a place where you can do countless activities with the whole family.
Its vast and free landscape has always been an attractive prospect for its earliest settlers, and that hasn’t changed in the centuries since the first settlements were built.
The city is home to various attractions, from nature sites to sports complexes, theaters, and more.
Here are just a few things to do with kids in Santa Maria, California, to get you started:
Explore the Los Flores Ranch Park
Los Flores Regional Park is the first open-space regional park in the Santa Maria Valley.
If you’re looking for a rare mix of environmental education and recreation, this place has you covered.
There are hiking and biking trails you can follow, and even equestrian paths you can take if you and your family would like to try horseback riding.
You can also take guided nature walk tours at certain times of the year.
Los Flores Regional Park is on Dominion Road.
Go Rollerskating at the Central Coast Sports Arena
The Central Coast Sports Arena is the premier place to go for both rollerskating and hockey.
If anyone in your family is interested in any of these activities, include this place in your itinerary.
Join the public skates or watch a roller derby, or maybe even try some hockey moves.
If your kids are interested in learning, sign them up for hockey lessons and see how far they can go.
If you want the facility all to yourself, you can reserve it and host a party for your family and friends.
With its warm atmosphere and fun activities, Central Coast Sports Arena on South Thornburg Street is the perfect family destination.
Watch a Rodeo Show at the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo Grounds
In the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo Grounds, the Rodeos are always in town!
Take the entire family and watch professional cowboys perform death-defying feats with bulls and horses.
Their shows are sure to get your adrenaline pumping and fill everyone with excitement—it’s almost like living back then in the Old West, watching famous gunslingers show off their skills with horses and bulls.
The performances include bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wheeling, and more.
The place also hosts various specialty shows throughout the year to keep things interesting and everyone entertained.
You may even catch a famous cowboy or two while you’re there.
So if you and your family are looking for an exciting activity, visit Santa Maria Elks Rodeo Grounds on Skyway Drive.
Have a Picnic at Maramonte Park
Located at 620 East Sundrive, Maramonte Park is a nice picnic spot for the family.
Lay down the picnic blanket and enjoy a hearty meal under the sun.
There’s also a playground for the little ones to run and play around.
The park has a gentle and relaxing ambiance perfect for getting you into that vacation mindset.
It may not be as flashy as the other destinations, but Maramonte Park has exactly what you need when you’re looking to get away: an easygoing space where you can spend time with the people you care about.
Visit the Santa Maria Public Library
The Santa Maria Public Library, like all libraries, is a great stopover in your travels if you’re looking for some quiet time with a book.
Aside from its collection of books, the library also regularly hosts different events to keep the community engaged.
There are different DIY classes, journaling lessons for teenagers, and book clubs.
Join in on the fun with your family and learn something new on your vacation.
There’s always something new and interesting to learn at Santa Maria Public Library, so take advantage of the opportunity to visit it on South McClelland Street while you’re there.
Bounce to Your Heart’s Content at Rockin’ Jump
Bouncing at the trampolines of Rockin’ Jump on Town Center East will surely have your kids screaming with joy and excitement.
This activity isn’t just for the kids, as it will also bring out the inner child inside every adult who tries it.
Besides trampolines, the place offers other fun facilities.
There is a dodgeball arena, a multi-level climbing wall, and a throwdown arena.
Pick your favorite and spend your entire time there or try them all at least once.
Either way, make sure you pick the option that’ll let you have the maximum amount of fun.
Rockin’ Jump is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a fun, lighthearted time with the entire family where everyone can play around.
If you’re looking for a bigger celebration, you can also book Rockin' Jump for birthday parties and give your kid a unique and unmatched gift.
Take Your Kids to the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum
The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum on South McClelland Street is the perfect destination for you and your kids.
It features hands-on learning exhibits for children to discover more things about the world they live in.
One of their exhibits is called “Catching Air,” which fosters children's practical understanding of the movement and power of the air.
They’ll get to move and elevate items through special tubes using pressurized air—a truly magical experience that will astound your kids.
Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum also has other exhibits and displays, each focusing on a different aspect of science, which your kid will surely love learning about.
Test Your Bowling Skills at Rancho Bowl
Bowling is the perfect family activity, and there’s no better place in Santa Maria to do it than at Rancho Bowl.
Show off your skills in a friendly competition with your family at this multi-lane facility.
Of course, no bowling party is complete without pizzas and sodas, which the in-house restaurant offers.
There’s even an arcade for people who want to play other games while waiting for their turn at the alley.
Rancho Bowl has perfected the family night atmosphere, so visit it on Donovan Road and see what it offers.
Learn a Few Lessons at the Santa Maria Natural History Museum
The Santa Maria Natural History Museum is a classic and unbeatable destination for the whole family.
It offers a wide variety of exhibits pertaining to natural history that your kids are bound to love and you’re sure to learn from.
See life-sized displays of nature at the museum—you’ll find yourself gaping open-mouthed at the amazing recreations of the natural world.
There are areas dedicated to portraying the seashores, oak woodlands, majestic birds, and the Pacific Flyway.
Outside, you can find beautiful native gardens alongside breathtaking sculptures of ocean creatures.
You’ll fall in love with the natural world the longer you visit this place, and it always offers something new to learn and discover.
The best part is admission is free, so you won’t have to worry about spending too much if you plan to take the entire family with you.
The Santa Maria Natural History Museum on South McClelland Street is full of amazing wonders, and it’s a destination you won't regret visiting.
Watch Marvelous Shows at the Pacific Conservatory Theater
The Pacific Conservatory Theater is committed to reflecting and transforming the interesting and diverse community it exists in through the power of theater.
It’s a great destination not just for families looking to catch a matinee show to pass the time but also people seeking to learn more about the many interesting aspects of the human condition.
Whether you’re looking for a theater classic or something new, you’ll find it at this place.
Seeing their productions on stage is an amazing experience that will have every family member sitting on the edge of their seat.
If you have the chance, buy some tickets and catch a show by the Pacific Conservatory Theater on College Drive—it’s a magical experience you’ll never forget.
Have the Time of Your Life at Boomers! Park
If you’re looking for unending family fun, another place worth visiting is Boomers! Park on Preisker Lane.
It has something for everyone in the family, whether you’re looking for an exciting game of laser tag or competitive minigolf games.
There’s even an arcade where you and your kids can battle it out on your favorite games from your childhood.
Visit Boomers! Park a visit for some adventure and an endless amount of laughter with your loved ones.
Learn about Local History at Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum
For people looking to explore Santa Maria Valley’s heritage, a visit to the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum on Broadway is a must.
The place opened in the 1970s, and until now, it continues to preserve the city’s history.
It features displays in chronological order, starting with the stories of the Chumash Indians from before the pioneers found the land until the 20th century.
You’ll also find exhibits on the founders of the city and the first ranch owners—discover their stories and learn about their families and the many things they’ve done for the city.
There’s also an entire room dedicated to Capt. G. Allan Hancock, one of the most important men in Santa Maria’s History.
He was an entrepreneur, oil man, railroader, businessman, philanthropist, and more; aside from that, he’s best known for the college in the city that bears his name.
Aside from those, there are other exhibits in the museum that you and your family will learn a lot from.
Go Swimming at Paul Nelson Aquatics Center
A Santa Maria vacation is not complete without swimming in the Paul Nelson Aquatics Center.
With the intense heat of the California sun, cooling off with your friends and family is a must.
Try out Paul Nelson Aquatics Center's recreational pool and play around in the water, and maybe even show off your swimming skills.
There’s also an Olympic-sized pool that adults can try, but an online reservation beforehand is required.
You can visit the center on South McClelland Street.
Stop by Preisker Park
In the northern end of town, you’ll find Preisker Park, which stands at nearly 40 acres.
There are three playgrounds and several picnic tables, making it the perfect stopover for visiting families.
There’s also a large open grass area where you and your kids can play a game of soccer or football.
Preisker Park is also a great place to take a morning walk as you bask in the warmth of the sun and the lovely view.
You can find the park on Hidden Pines.
Catch a Performance at the Santa Maria Civic Theater
The Santa Maria Civic Theater, which was founded in 1959, was the first organization in the area to provide continuous live performances.
Hosting excellent shows for the community has been a time-honored tradition of this place, and it has been honoring that commitment for decades.
The theater stages a wide variety of shows, providing quality entertainment for the entire family.
If you’re looking for a place where you can see a live performance, consider buying tickets and watching a show at Santa Maria Civic Theater on McClelland Street.
Santa Maria is a fun and interesting place filled with endless activities for everyone in the family.
Go swimming, explore the city, watch theater shows—the possibilities in this place are endless.
Plan your trip to the city with these best things to do in Santa Maria, California.