Your Off-Season (& Rainy Day) Guide to the Boardwalk

With a sunny beachfront locale, open-air thrill rides, and an endless parade of frozen treats, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the very definition of summer. But that doesn’t mean the fun ends with the first bell of the school year. The Boardwalk is open year-round, and quieter months mean more deals and less crowds. Don’t stash those My Boardwalk cards just yet. Below, you’ll see why the off-season-and even a rainy day-is a great time to enjoy the Boardwalk.

Open daily throughout the year, the nautical-themed Neptune’s Kingdom is like a second amusement park inside the Boardwalk. The cavernous historic building that once housed a huge saltwater pool is now home to a fantastical 18-hole mini golf course, billiards room, two mini arcades, and a cool magic shop.

Across from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Boardwalk Bowl is a state-of-the-art bowling facility, arcade, restaurant, and lounge with plenty of party fun! Rain or shine, there’s plenty of fun to be had at the lanes for all ages. During the months of November and December, guests who bring a can of food to the Boardwalk Bowl get one game free thanks to Strike Out Hunger, a promotion that benefits a local food bank. Get more details here. And if having a Bloody Mary while you bowl sounds like a winner, don’t pass this one up!

You’ll hear the fun cacophony of bleeps and zaps before you step foot inside the Casino Arcade. The former penny arcade is abuzz with hi-def video games, air hockey, pinball, skee-ball, laser tag, and other interactive games every day throughout the year. And don’t miss Classic Corner, that temple to golden age games like Donkey Kong, Pac Man, and Frogger.

From now until the summer, a limited number of rides will remain open on most weekends and holidays. Check the Boardwalk’s online calendar to see when rides will operate.

Although much has changed since they opened in 1907, the Boardwalk has never lost touch with its storied past. You can dive into a fun mix of historical photos and keepsakes at the Historium located on the second level of Neptune’s Kingdom. You’ll also discover secret histories and lesser-known facts about the Boardwalk with this self-guided guided walking tour that leads you to numerous points of interest throughout the property.