Exploring with Kids: 36 Hours in Santa Clarita, CA

Exploring with Kids: 36 Hours in Santa Clarita, CAIn July, my kids and I had the opportunity to explore Santa Clarita, CA. Just northwest of Los Angeles, there’s a lot for families to do and explore, especially outdoor-loving families. From hiking to biking to roller coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Santa Clarita is a must-visit with kids.

Whether you have just a day or two, or even a week, you’ll find much to do as a family in Santa Clarita. Here’s the scoop on where to stay, what to do and where to eat. Have fun. 🙂

Where to Stay

We stayed at the Courtyard Santa Clarita Valencia. It’s in a great location for exploring Santa Clarita as a family. It’s also ideally situated for those who want to spend the day in Los Angeles (just 40 minutes away), then escape the traffic to relax. As a bonus, the hotel is a stone’s throw from Six Flags, which was just across the highway from the hotel.

We stayed just one night, but as usual, my favorite part about staying at a Courtyard property was their daily breakfast. Yumm-o. My kids also loved that there was both an indoor and an outdoor pool. Even better, at least for me, is that there is a huge fitness center inside the hotel. When I travel, it’s a must to get in some kind of exercise, even just 15 minutes on a treadmill.

What to Do

The Courtyard Santa Clarita Valencia is easy driving distance from a number of kid-friendly attractions, including Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Castaic Lake State Recreation Area. If you go, here are a few of my top things to do with kids in the Santa Clarita area.

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park. Santa Clarita is home to more than 25 parks and Vasquez Rocks is one of the best in the area to visit as a family. Located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs, look for impressive rock formations and ancient Indian sites. Go for a hike, pack a picnic lunch or simply explore. 

Exploring with Kids: 36 Hours in Santa Clarita, CA

Six Flags Magic Mountain. Speed down roller coasters, put the pedal to the metal on go-karts and ride the carousel at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Weather permitting, bring your swimsuit to splash in the giant wave pool and relax on the lazy river next door at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.

Walk of Western Stars. Once you explore the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, take time for the Walk of Western Stars in Santa Clarita where the Old West lives on. You’ll find stars on the sidewalk for such western legends as Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and John Wayne.

Exploring with Kids: 36 Hours in Santa Clarita, CA

Mountasia Family Fun Center. Get ready for fun at Mountasia Family Fun Center where you’ll find mini golf, go-karts, bumper boats, batting cages, a rock climbing wall, laser tag and a huge arcade. As a bonus, there’s a Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour on-site. Order the Hot Fudge Volcano (for 30 scoops of ice cream!).

Castaic Lake State Recreation Area. Make time for hiking, biking, kayaking, picnicking and fishing at Castaic Lake. Kids will also love the swim beach. You can even rent boats and go camping. Even better, it’s close to I-5 making it easy to access for a weekend adventure.

Exploring with Kids: 36 Hours in Santa Clarita, CA

Placerita Nature Center. Stop by the Placerita Nature Center to enjoy a network of self-guided nature trails, including trails that lead to a waterfall and the top of the Santa Clarita Divide. Every Saturday, the nature center offers a family nature walk, as well as a native animal presentation.

Where to Eat 

There are a number of restaurants in the Santa Clarita area that are perfect for kids and families. Here are a few to check out during your visit.

Route 66 Classic Grill. For fun décor, even classic car shows, head to Route 66 Classic Grill, a 1950s-style diner. Your kids will love listening to the 50s music and checking out the classic memorabilia. They’ll also love the extensive dessert list, which includes Southern Peach Cobbler and a Fudge Brownie Sundae.

Exploring with Kids: 36 Hours in Santa Clarita, CA

Stonefire Grill. This casual eatery has everything a kid would like, including chicken strips, cheese quesadillas, even kids’ baby back ribs. Stonefire Grill also has tasty desserts, like Our Famous Fudge Brownies and Heavenly Cheesecake. Yum.

Rattler’s Bar B Que. BBQ fans will love Rattler’s Bar B Que, a favorite in Santa Clarita for 25 years. Try the ribs or barbecue chicken with any number of sides, like baked beans, nutty cole slaw and fire fries. For dessert, it’s all about the Triple Chocolate Blackout Cake.

Egg Plantation. For breakfast, try Egg Plantation. They have 101 (yes, 101) different omelets on the menu, as well as a variety of other breakfast favorites, like Huevos Rancheros and Two Egg Breakfast. Not into eggs? They have salads, burgers and wraps on the menu, too.

Disclaimer: I was a guest of Visit Santa Clarita. However, all opinions expressed in this article are my own.