Father’s Day at Pacific Park – Celebrating at Santa Monica Pier
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you’ve been to or seen pictures of the Santa Monica Pier, I’m sure you’ve seen the iconic ferris wheel and roller coaster that sits on the pier. Well this is a magical place right by the ocean called Pacific Park, one of my favorite places ever to visit with my family. My love for this theme park in Santa Monica began with my first visit twelve years ago, when I went with my husband (then boyfriend). Instead of going to my high school prom, we decided to have prom our own way. We got dressed up in a prom dress and suit, had dinner at the pier, played games in the arcade, and then went to Pacific Park at night. It was one of our early dates the first year of dating, and I still vividly remember how fun and spontaneous it was, and how magical it felt to be all dressed up, experiencing the rides lit up for night, and hearing the ocean.
For an early Father’s Day surprise this year as well as twelve year anniversary since our first date (which both happen to land on June 16th this year), I wanted to recreate that “prom” date but this time with our daughter to come along. We got dressed up, just like that night twelve years ago, then drove us to Pacific Park! My husband was so excited to celebrate an early Father’s Day this way, and loved seeing his little girl all dressed up! And I have to admit I was getting teary eyed seeing her in her sparkly dress holding my husband’s hand dressed in his suit.
First stop of the evening was at the ticket booth by the Pacific Wheel. We have Annual Passes (which is good for unlimited rides), but stopped by the window to get a game card since of course we wanted to win some prizes to take home as souvenirs!
We played the clown fish water target game, her absolute favorite one at Pacific Park, it’s very toddler-friendly (for my full list of things to do at Pacific Park with toddlers, see this post). We played the game all together three times, and she carried around her prizes the whole night very proudly!
After we played games, I pulled out our Annual Passes, and it was time for some rides! Pacific Park is magical no matter what time of day, but it is extra dazzling at sunset when the Pacific Wheel lights up. We headed there first so we can get the views of Santa Monica at sunset!
Our Father’s Day at Pacific Park celebration just wouldn’t have been complete without riding the ferris wheel! It has the best views, and each gondola has room enough for five or so people. Whenever we ride it all together we always leave with an amazing memory. Next up was another one of Amelia’s favorite rides that she always wants to go on: Sea Planes! (Maybe because her name is Amelia she’s drawn to planes?)
On Sea Planes, you can control how high up you go. When you are at your highest, you can also see some beautiful ocean views! It was so cute seeing Garrett and Amelia having some father-daughter time riding her favorite ride at Pacific Park!
Next, we rode Inkie’s Air Lift, another fun ride that lifts up in the air, and you can spin around! It is also dazzling at night and covered in rainbow lights!
After some rides, it was time to relax and enjoy a meal and treats together as a family at Pacific Park’s food court. They have a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, pizza, tacos, Dole Whips, ice cream, burgers and more! Pretty much something for any craving. We went to Beach Burger, my personal fave since the fries are so deliciously fresh, and they have veggie burgers on the menu!
Amelia was pretty happy about the french fries too! After dinner, Amelia picked out her favorite treat: cotton candy!
We could hear live singers on the pier from where we sat at the food court, and at that moment Amelia pulled Garrett aside and asked him to dance with her! It was making me feel so sentimental, and it was truly the sweetest way our Father’s Day celebration could have ended. It truly felt like we were experiencing the love and spontaneity of that first Pacific Park date twelve years ago, but this time Amelia got to join in the fun.
Between the rides, games and winning prizes, beautiful lights and views, and the delicious food and treats, spending Father’s Day at Pacific Park was the perfect setting for a day filled with love! And if you’re locals like us, I highly recommend the Annual Passes, that you can get at the ticket booth so you can ride rides unlimited any day of the year! You can learn more about Pacific Park as well as their park hours to plan your own special outing here.