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Santa Monica Pier

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Learn the Trapeze on Santa Monica Pier

If you always had a weakness for the circus or just want to broaden your horizons with a unique adventure, try trapeze classes at Santa Monica Pier. The Trapeze is located in the open-air environment of the Santa Monica Pier between the Pacific Park amusement complex and Playland Arcade. Especially in the summer months, classes get booked up quickly, so call a few weeks ahead. The classes run two hours and they offer beginner and intensive levels. The school also hosts an open house where you can check out the facilities and see what you’re getting into before signing up. [more ]

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is more than just a tourist attraction. I travel to this famous spot rather often, and manage to leave without putting a huge dent in my wallet. Since I was a kid I have watched this area grow from a little children’s park to a full blown cash cow, and thanks to keeping my eye on its growth, I have figured out how to have fun at this historic spot. First of all, avoid the carnival section. While the Ice Cream dots are fun to eat, the nearby 3rd Street Promenade offers plenty of delicious food at half the normal price. Like most carnivals, almost all of the games at the Pier are a gag anyway, and will only offer an empty and expensive day. Instead, a walk to the end of the pier after a picnic on the beach offers a much more pleasant time. If you have kids and want to distract them without spending too much, the arcade has everything from video games to skiball and air hockey. Beneath the pier and around the area are also numerous oases where I have been able to sit down and read, and the nearby Hot Dog Stick offer some of the first and best corndogs of the west coast. The shopping stands can be tempting, but can once again be too expensive. The carousel is still incredibly cheap, of course, and offers plenty of vintage quarter machines that tell you everything from your fortune to your love energy (whatever that is). While I do not recommend chatting with fishermen on the pier, I do recommend the daily bike rentals around there, as the pier makes an excellent beginning and endpoint to the day. Lastly, by checking Santa Monica’s website, I have been able to find numerous free concerts and parties that take place year round on the pier, and with the occasional art galleries opening up on the surrounding beach, there really are a lot of things to do there without spending too much. So while you should definitely visit the Santa Monica Pier next time you go to Los Angeles, there is no point in eating lunch or dinner there, though there are plenty of fun things to do, even if you don’t have kids. [more ]

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