From exploring local tide pools, to horseback riding, to building sandcastles on the local beaches, Half Moon Bay has many family-friendly activities that can cater to just about any age.

To review our top picks for family activities, please scroll down the page or click on year round or seasonal activities.

Half Moon Bay beaches is our #1 pick#1 Half Moon Bay Beaches

Picnicking, swimming, building sandcastles, and kite flying are just a few of the activities that the whole family can participate in at any of the Half Moon Bay beaches.  Please note that along Half Moon Bay’s coastline the waves tend to break close to the beach, so the surf can get pretty rough – especially for young children.  For milder surf and sand, you my want to try a beach between Miramar and Half Moon Bay Harbor. They tend to be the least hazardous with a gradual incline into the water and usually smaller waves.  Although they tend to be the most gental, always use extreme caution because all of the California beaches can have sleeper wavesrip currents, and BIG waves.

The Coastside Trail is our #2 pick.#2 The Coastside Trail

The Coastside Trail offers over 3 miles of paved trail that is perfect for walking, strolling, biking and skating.  You can also just sit, relax and and take in the sweeping ocean views from the bluff top benches.

Exploring Tide Pools is our #3 pick#3 Exploring Tide Pools

The tide pools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is a fascinating activity for all ages.  As the name applies, the tide plays a crucial role in this activity so, for best exploration, be sure to visit the reserve during LOW tide.

Bird watching is our #4 pick#4 Bird Watching

You may think of bird watching as an adult only activity, but my 16 month old toddler loves watching the birds. Half Moon Bay offers a number of great locations to spy on our feathered friends!

Petting pen at Lemos Family Farm is our #5 pick.#5 Lemos Family Farm

Although the farm can be a little over done with seasonal decorations and a carnival like atmosphere, kids seem to just love it.

Hidden Villa#6 Hidden Villa

Located in the Los Altos Hills, it’s worth the drive to visit this real working farm.  Its mission is to educate, and that it does with its organic gardens and animals.  Children love to get up close and personal with chickens, cows, pigs and much more…

Horseback riding#7 Horseback riding

Although this activity isn’t a good choice for younger children or those that are intimidated by extremely large animals, I have observed a number of families having a wonderful time.  Rental horses with guides are available just north of Half Moon Bay around Roosevelt Beach.


Family Favorite Seasonal Activities

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin PatchesHalf Moon Bay Pumpkin Patches

Half Moon Bay is world famous for its pumpkins and a great Fall activity is to take the whole family out to a Half Moon Bay pumpkin patch and select the perfect pumpkin.  Most of the larger farms/patches have activities that range from hay mazes to petting pens to pony rides and haunted houses.

Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival 

The Pumpkin Festival has plenty of activities designed specifically for younger attendees.  From face painting to pie eating and pumpkin carving contests, there is something for just about everyone!

Christmas Tree Cutting

Christmas Tree Cutting

During the Holidays, you can create a cherished family memory by cutting your own tree at one of the Christmas tree farms located in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Berry PickingBerry Picking

During the Spring and Summer, many local farms between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay open their fields to the public for berry picking.  This can be fun, educational, and yummy activity for the whole family!