Santa Monica Pier/Pacific Park-Santa Monica

Santa Monica Pier/Pacific Park-Santa Monica

What: Santa Monica Pier/Pacific Park

Where: Santa Monica

For: All Ages

The Santa Monica Pier is a great place to go for rides, carnival games and dinner by the beach.  We took the kids there for a night out and the entire family had a blast.  There is also a historic carousel and aquarium under the pier to checkout.

The Rides

There are twelve theme park rides offered at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.  We purchased a Groupon and paid $15 for $30 worth of rides, but we ended up spending another $20 for tickets (the rides are not cheap!).  The kids loved going on the smaller rides (keep in mind that if you want to accompany your toddler or infant on a ride you are required to pay for yourself as a rider as well).  We also went on the Ferris Wheel, which lasted for a while and made for some cute photo ops.  Make sure to check the website for hours of operation and height/weight restrictions on rides.

The Games

The Playland Arcade offers a mix of arcade games with machines that dispense quarters to break cash.  The games each cost from $1 to $1.50.  There are also twelve carnival games at Pacific Park.  The carnival games each cost $3 to $5 and the prizes are cheap, which is to be expected.  The girls were happy that Ethan won them each a plush donut.

The Food

There are eight restaurants on the pier, and we’ve eaten at two of them.  Bubba Gump’s Shrimp is a favorite chain restaurant with dining prices ranging from $20-$25 per person excluding drinks.  We took the kids to the Pacific Park Food Court where they ate hot dogs under the outside overhang.  Keep in mind that it gets fairly cold by the beach at night.  It started to slightly rain when we were out there, but the kids enjoyed the rainy sprinkles.  The hot dog prices were a little inflated.  We spent $30 for four hot dogs and two drinks.  Most of the food offered at the pier is either American or a Seafood mix.  Pacific Park also has a choice of restaurants, dessert stores and coffee shops to choose from.

The Crowd

There is always a mix of people at the pier.  Many families come to enjoy the rides and carnival games with their kids.  Couples come for date night while groups of older kids wander around in the area by the arcade.


Overall we paid $10 for parking, $30 for dinner, $45 for the rides and $10 for the games.  We expected to pay a lot less for a night out with the kids, but we should have anticipated the inflated prices due to the proximity to the ocean.  We came back to Santa Monica again for some date nights, but we decided to forego the rides and carnival games.

Santa Monica Pier/Pacific Park Information

200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

(310) 458-8901

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Santa Monica Pier/Pacific Park, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing


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