San Pedro is a great place to take the kids for a fall adventure. What was once its own city, San Pedro is now a community within Los Angeles with strong ties to the fishing industry. It has plenty of places to explore, such as its lighthouses and various museums, and it was recently named “Neighborhood of the Year.”
There are plenty of family fall activities near Los Angeles for everyone to enjoy. From spooky amusement park fun to pumpkin patch games, here are the best things to do as a family in around San Pedro in the fall.
1. Go whale watching
Fall is the best time to catch humpback whales, blue whales and dolphins as they travel through the area. San Pedro has many cruises to choose from, with some costing as low as $20 to view the animals. People who have yet to get their sea legs can stay ashore and watch whales from the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. The center is located next to the Point Vicente Lighthouse, and they have volunteers on site to help point out the whales in the water.
2. See the Korean Friendship Bell
San Pedro’s Korean Friendship Bell is a gift from South Korea to the U.S. in celebration of its 200th birthday in 1976. The massive bell is 12 feet tall and weighs 17 tons, and it was modeled after the Bronze Bell of King Sondok from 771 AD. The bell hangs in a pretty pagoda designed by Korean craftsmen. It is rung four times a year, with one happening every September during Constitution Week.
3. Shop at the Old Town Farmers Market
Head to the farmers market to find a pumpkin or other fall goods and tasty treats. The farmers market takes place every Friday from 9am to 2pm, and it attracts many local musicians who perform while you shop. Many of the items are Certified California Grown, and there are also vendors who sell fresh flowers to brighten the day.
4. Explore Historic Downtown San Pedro
This part of the city is just steps from the waterfront and perfect for taking the family for a nice stroll. The area is especially nice in the evenings when the Tivoli Lights strung across the streets come alight. Historic downtown has several restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, with foods from Japan, Greece and the Caribbean. It also has multiple family-owned businesses where visitors can buy clothing or unique jewelry.
Take the family to visit Old City during First Thursdays when the art galleries open their doors to the public. Many restaurants offer specials during this time, and the event attracts musicians, dancers and other entertainment to the area.
5. Enjoy spooky thrills at Knott’s Berry Farm
Located just outside of San Pedro is Knott’s Berry Farm, an amusement park that traces its origins to the original berry seller Walter Knott. Every fall, the theme park turns into Knott’s Scary Farm with scares and thrills around every corner. The park has special scare zones and haunted mazes, and it has thousands of costumed people hiding throughout the park to give visitors a jump. The theme park offers a family-friendly version called Knott’s Spooky Farm where children can wear their costumes and go trick-or-treating. The Spooky Farm offers a special Halloween show at Camp Snoopy Theatre, and it has a pumpkin patch for children to decorate their own pumpkin.
6. Dia de Los Muertos Activities
Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is an annual Mexican tradition honoring friends and family members who have died. The event is a celebratory affair, and San Pedro will host its own Dia de Los Muertos Festival downtown. The event takes place Oct. 28, and it is free to attend. Artists performing this year include Latin Folk group Cuñao, “prom rock” band Cutty Flam and soul group Cuicani. A variety of tasty food options will be on site, as well as different vendors selling Dia de Los Muertos wares.
7. Take a trip to Catalina Island
Located only an hour away by ferry, Catalina Island offers a fall festival that is fun for the whole family. Fall Fest takes place Oct. 18 in Avalon from 5-9 p.m. The event includes hayrides, live music, games and a pumpkin patch. Money raised during the festival helps support local charities. Other fun activities in Catalina Island include going snorkeling or hiking along the Trans-Catalina trail. End the day with a visit to Knabe Park, which has a pirate-themed playground to entertain little ones.
8. Explore a lighthouse
San Pedro has two historic lighthouses, Angel’s Gate and Point Fermin. While Angel’s Gate is only viewable from a boat or on the shore, visitors can tour the inside of Point Fermin Tuesday-Sunday. This lighthouse was built in 1874, and its rich history includes its use as a military lookout post during World War II. General admission is free, however donations are encouraged.