>Heading out to the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach, Calif., on a sticky Friday evening in traffic and on the verge of a full-on family meltdown, I thought maybe the weekend getaway was a mistake. But we took a friend’s advice and cruised down Pacific Coast Highway instead of the jam-packed 405 freeway, and an hour and a half later, we were listening to the sounds of waves crashing on the beach and a folk guitar from the poolside restaurant from our hotel balcony. Kids tucked in bed and a glass of champagne in hand, my husband and I toasted the “silence.”
This was just the beginning of our fun-filled weekend in Huntington Beach. In the morning, we hit the pool early. The hotel’s partnership with Toes On the Nose means families can make use of complimentary arm floaties, life jackets, kickboards and more in the pool. This made our lives so much easier since our two-year-old daughter likes her independence, but can’t really swim. Outfitted with some floaties and a kickboard, she was on her way to aquatic freedom.
Apart from swimming, kids can also color in the kids’ area, which consists of tables set up in a shady corner with crayons, books, coloring books and stickers to keep young children busy. The friendly staff was more than willing to help their young charges find what they needed and help keep them entertained.
Around noon, we moved from the pool to the beach when some friends of ours with two toddlers of their own showed up for a visit. Again, the people at Toes On the Nose provided our entire group with beach chairs, umbrellas, plenty of towels and sand toys. They also provided bikes with child seats and helmets for an afternoon bike ride. Apart from the challenges of carrying armloads of beach equipment across Pacific Coast Highway while wrangling three 2-year-olds and a baby, the beach was awesome. The weather was perfect, and the water temperature was surprisingly warm. The girls built a sandcastle and played in the waves for hours before we were finally able to drag them back to the room to get ready for dinner – and they didn’t even know that the best was yet to come.
The highlight of the trip came after dinner when we took all the girls down to the beach, after sunset, to roast s’mores. The hotel provided us with graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmallows, two pitchers of hot chocolate, blankets, roasting sticks, wood and, most importantly, a wagon. We rolled our goodies down to the beach and set up camp at one of Huntington Beach’s many firepits located at the top of the beach in the sand. The concierge recommended we get there early, before sunset, to get a spot. We arrived moments after and lucked out. If you are going, especially in summer, definitely get to the beach early. With the fire lit, and the girls full of hot chocolate, we set to roasting s’mores and then spent the rest of the evening singing campfire songs and watching three toddlers jump up and down in the wagon until their sugar highs wore off. At the end of the evening, we rolled back them back up to the hotel, but not before they passed out in the wagon.