Your Family Getaway Guide to Claremont, CA

Looking for a relaxing getaway that’ll make you and your wee ones happy?

With spas, wine bars, and gourmet eats for parents and fun museums, nature experiences, and sweet treats for kiddos, Claremont is the perfect spot for families looking for a weekend respite.

And being about an hour drive from L.A., you should only hear “Are we there yet?” once… maybe twice.  

Here are some fun things to do in this charming little college town that everyone in the fam will enjoy:

Kid-Friendly Museums, Shops, and Art

Look Mom, fossils! Little dinosaur lovers will dig the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, which houses the largest collection of fossil footprints in the U.S. Here kids can discover a wide array of artifacts from ancient giants. 

Got a little rock n’ roller on your hands? Rhino Records, a world-class record store, is a great spot for scoping out old records and discovering new tunes. 

Your kiddos will get even more kicks when they cross the street and head into the kid-friendly Folk Music Center, owned by Grammy-winner Ben Harper’s family. Here they can touch and play any one of the hundreds of instruments from around the world. 

And if you come back again in the spring, you can enjoy a family-friendly day filled with great music at the Folk Music Festival (on May 31). 

Once your mini musicians have had enough of strumming the guitar, head to Lost Levels arcade at the Claremont Packing House where you can introduce them to the classic games of your childhood such as Mario Bros and Pac-Man.

For a shopping extravaganza, be sure to stop at Boon Companion Toys, Tattle Tails for cute kids clothes, and A Shop Called Quest for comic books

Little art enthusiasts will also enjoy Pomona Museum of Art and Claremont Museum of Art

And for an amazing public art experience that’ll expand their little minds, James Turrell’s Skyspace entitled “Dividing the Light” at Pomona College is a do-not-miss.  At 10 minutes before sunset and one hour before sunrise you and your little people can sit on benches beneath a canopy that frames a window to the sky. A magical lighting program will bathe the canopy in changing colors, from goldenrod to turquoise, altering your perception of the sky. Oh, and did we mention it’s free? 

Outdoor Kid Fun 

California Botanic Garden, the largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California native plants, should be first on your outdoor fun list because it’s something you’ll definitely want to make ample time for. Don’t forget to pick up the kid’s guide which doubles as an entertaining scavenger hunt. 

If you visit the garden in the Fall, you’ll want to attend Things that Go Bump in the Night, where kids can learn about nighttime nature, and Acorn Festival, which celebrates the connection between native peoples and plants. 

At the Organic Farm at Pomona College, kids can roam through fruit orchards, beds of crops, and a 162 square foot greenhouse. There’s also a chicken coop and an Earth dome that looks a bit like something out of Dr. Suess. 

Claremont Hills Wilderness Park has hiking and biking trails with views stretching to Downtown L.A., Catalina Island, and the Inland Empire basin that will render little ones speechless—savor the moment. 😉

There’s also horseback riding at Marshall Canyon Equestrian Center, just north of the city, which offers guided trail rides and pony rides for youngsters.

Need to make a pit stop for some play? The city is filled with cute parks and playgrounds such as Higginbotham Park and Memorial Park.

Kid-Approved Eats

Got particular eaters? Pizza N’ Such and Eddie’s Italian Eatery offer great kid-friendly Italian eats in a laid back, family-friendly atmosphere.

For a more upscale option, the patio at Union on Yale allows room for your kiddos to get up and shake their jitters out while you leisurely sip on a glass of wine. And after a lovely locally sourced meal, the whole fam can move to the middle of the patio to play a round of bocce ball on the restaurant’s bocce ball court. 

For fast, inexpensive food and fun atmosphere, The Village Grill, a traditional old-fashioned diner with a counter and booths, is a great option. 

If your tykes are begging for burgers, Eureka Burger makes exceptional ones. They also offer lollipop corn dogs with cheese dipping sauce that little ones love. 

And then there’s 42nd Street Bagel Cafe. What kid can resist a well-made bagel with loads of cream cheese?

For a thrilling night out, you can take your kiddos for dinner and a show at Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater, which features musicals such as Little Mermaid and Peter Pan.  

Time for dessert? Sweet treats abound in this town. They’ll go ga-ga over cupcakes and cookies at Some Crust Bakery, ice cream and candied apples at Bert and Rocky’s Ice Cream Co., a smorgasboard of sweet and savory pies at I Like Pie, gourmet ice cream at A La Minute, and delicious chocolates at A-Kline ChocolatierYou can also plan a visit in March for the Claremont Pie Festival

Where to Stay with Kids

With rollaway beds available in most rooms, a kid-friendly courtyard, and a continental breakfast, Hotel Casa 425 is a good choice for a family stay, especially since the hotel courtyard connects to a family-friendly shopping area with a pie shop, cafes, restaurants, and a fun fountain your kiddos will surely flock to—bring a towel.

At Doubletree by Hilton, your kids will begin their stay with a warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. There’s also a large outdoor pool, perfect for cannon balls. And while the full bar means margaritas for you, the breakfast buffet offers cereals your kids will devour.   

Family Holiday Fun

Coming to Claremont in December? The Nutcracker from critically acclaimed Inland Pacific Ballet is a treasured holiday tradition that’ll delight the whole family

During Luminaria Nights, over two thousand hanging lanterns are placed along the trails at California Botanic Garden, dappling the night with winter wonderland magic. With music from local musicians, complimentary hot cider, a food truck, and a bar, it’s a swell way to welcome the holiday season together. 

Kid-Friendly Day Trips 

In less than a half hour, you can be at Mt. Baldy for snow play in the winter, Raging Waters and the Los Angeles County Fair (at Pomona Fairplex) in the summer, and Ontario shopping outlets for back to school shopping in the fall. 

In Claremont, there’s always super stuff for little ones to discover throughout the seasons. 

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