Must be summer: two of our favorite spots to splash with the kids are opening up for Memorial Day.  So if you’re wondering what to do and how to keep cool for the long weekend (and the long summer) we know just where to go… and we’ve got the inside tips on what to do once you’re there.

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Spot #1: Pristine Pool, Beachside Lounging

Perhaps you’ve company in town, and you want to put our city’s best foot forward. Or maybe your immediate family runs the gamut from tots who like the jungle gym to kids who like to splash to teens who like laps and laying by the pool. Then the Annenberg Beach House is for you. (All of you!)

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You can lounge by the pool on a chaise, pretending you’re on vacation on the Mediterranean coast. The kids are sitting nearby, taking a break from swimming by playing a game of poolside checkers or Connect Four (the have plenty of games and floating devices to borrow). Then take a walk on the beach. Tour the Marion Davies Guest House. (The house that was designed by Julia Morgan, the architect of Hearst Castle. Where movie stars like Clark Gable and Charlie Chaplin would visit and party, play tennis and swim.  In that same pool you’re swimming in. Learn more about the history of the house here – it’s fascinating!)

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Lunchtime? While you order and wait for take out from Back on the Beach, the kids can play on the beach playground. After bringing your lunch to the rooftop deck to enjoy the views, you can nap poolside and swim again. After a dip in the ocean, you can let the kids scrub the salt off by playing in the splash pad, and everyone can round out the day with an ice cream or glass of wine (heading back to Back on the Beach, which offers to-go, or dining on the sand).

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No wonder we’re thrilled the Beach House is open again.

411: Passes are available online in advance, and when the weather is hot the pool fills up, so it’s a good idea to reserve ahead of time. Towels and locks aren’t provided (but the bathrooms, showers and locker rooms are the cleanest we’ve ever seen at a public facility). The pool is fairly deep, so kids under 8 must have a grown up in the pool with them.
Score: Mondays are $1 days, with craft tables set up for the kids. (They’re also extra crowded. Come early as no reservations are accepted on Mondays.)
Admission: $10 adults, $4 kids
Open: Open weekends from Memorial Day and daily beginning on June 6, through Labor Day. Check website for hours.
Parking: $3 per hour or $12 for the day in the adjacent lot. You can reserve parking spaces online, too.

Annenberg Beach House
415 Pacific Coast Hwy
Santa Monica
Online: beachhouse.smgov.net

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Spot #2: Seaside Slides & Splashing

If the Beach House is your vacation getaway, Seaside Lagoon is the family reunion you remember from your childhood. Everyone brings a picnic, families play, splash, and swim, and it feels like a big party. This large and enclosed saltwater lagoon is great for parents with new swimmers who don’t like big waves and seaweed but do like the salt water. And slides. And clean (chlorinated, then de-chlorinated before being filtered back into the ocean) water.

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Bring snacks for the day, or not, as you can come unburdened by baskets of food and just get takeout at the walk-up window at Ruby’s Diner (nothing tastes as good as burgers and milkshakes at the beach). There’s a playground for when kids tire of swimming and a beach for digging in the sand or sun bathing.

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There are showers and restrooms (which recent renovations have definitely improved). They also have barbeques, if you want to grill. One of the best things about the Lagoon is that there are shallow spots for babies and kids learning to swim, but also deep places with cool slides for big kids who want to bring friends and then disappear from parental view.

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The 411: They only accept cash, so don’t forget to swing by an ATM on the way here. The lagoon is closed on the 3rd and 4th of July for a party and fireworks show, which is open to the public, but requires tickets (usually in advance, as it fills up). Also, there isn’t a ton of shade, but they allow umbrellas and pop ups, and we really recommend bringing them if you are staying for the whole day. And why wouldn’t you?
Score: If you plan on frequent visits you can save big with a season pass – just $125 for a family of 4.
Admission: $7 adults, $6 kids
Open: The pool is open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day from 10 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Parking: $4.50 for the day in the adjacent lot.

Seaside Lagoon
200 Portofino Way
Redondo Beach, Ca
Online: www.redondo.org/depts/recreation/facilities/seaside_lagoon

Where’s your favorite spot to swim?  Let us know!

Photo Credit: City of Redondo Beach, Annenberg Beach House and Meghan Rose