10 Fun Things to Do in Cannon Beach, Oregon with Kids

If you’re looking for a beautiful, laid-back coastal family vacation spot, then Cannon Beach is for you. From the moment you see majestic Haystack Rock to that first taste of gooey, caramelized marshmallow roasted over a beach bonfire — you will fall in love with this coastal Oregon town. Here are 10 fun and relaxing things to do in Cannon Beach with kids.

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon
Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

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1. Get your Haystack Rock fix.

So, there’s this big rock. It’s called Haystack Rock because it looks like, well, a big haystack. That doesn’t sound all that exciting, I admit. But, I promise when you see it, something will click inside of you, like a TV remote control switching you to a channel called zen.

Once Upon a Breeze kite shop
Once Upon a Breeze kite shop (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. Go fly a kite.

It’s typically windy near the beach, especially along Oregon’s coastline. That’s why there are two kite-centric shops in Cannon Beach’s small downtown. Pick up a couple of flyers and thrill your kiddos by letting them hold the string and stare into the sky at their airborne wonders. We learned from the local kite experts at Once Upon A Breeze that bat-shaped delta kites catch more wind than triangles, so keep that in mind when making your selections.

Bicycle in downtown Cannon Beach
Bicycle in downtown Cannon Beach (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

3. Shop downtown Cannon Beach.

Spending all of your time on the gorgeous beaches, you just might miss the whimsical wee downtown of Cannon Beach. Take the time to wander through its shops and gab with the friendly local shop owners. You’ll find toys, art, souvenirs and much more.

Chocolate Café
Chocolate Café (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Indulge in all things chocolate.

There is a wondrous place in Cannon Beach called the Chocolate Cafe. Here you will find chocolate truffles shaped like clown fish, puppy dogs, mice and more. You can also get your sugar fix from goodies like cookies, hot cocoa, and crème brûlée. If sweets aren’t your thing, French press coffee and a wide variety of teas are available as well.

Kids playing at City Park in downtown Cannon Beach
Having a swinging good time at City Park in downtown Cannon Beach (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

5. Play at City Park.

When visiting Cannon Beach with kids, get to know the locals with a visit to a park. Children make friends so easily through the language of play. Stop by City Park in downtown Cannon Beach for a few turns on the tire swing and hangs on the monkey bars. I bet you wind up meeting a Cannon Beach family or two!

My kids delighted in finding this "secret" hammock hidden among the beach grass at Surfsand Resort
My kids delighted in finding this “secret” hammock hidden among the beach grass at Surfsand Resort (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

6. Have fun on the beach.

Beach play provides hours of distraction for children, away from the lure of electronics. Your family is probably not going to swim in the water at Cannon Beach, at least without wet suits. Air temps tend to top out at about 60-something on the hottest of summer days. And that’s alright. Children can roll up their pant cuffs and skip over waves. Don’t underestimate the power of sand toys, either.

Child guests at Surfsand Resort are welcomed with a pail and shovel with which to dig and build in the sand. The best part for grown-ups of older kids like my husband and me? Sitting on beach chairs near our hotel room patio, glass of wine in-hand, watching from a distance as our son and daughter happily played without us. (It’s amazing how well siblings get along when adults aren’t there to muck it all up!)

Roasting marshmallows for s'mores at Cannon Beach, Oregon Beach
Roasting marshmallows for s’mores (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

7. Roast marshmallows around a bonfire.

How could you not fall in love with the Oregon Coast when sitting along a crazy pristine stretch of beach, with Haystack Rock in the distance and the sweet smell of toasted marshmallows wafting though the air? It’s impossible!

Surfsand Beach Resort provides a complimentary group s’mores fest for its guests. Or, you can pay a fee for the private route for a set up of firewood, marshmallows, chocolates, metal sticks, and graham crackers. They’ll even start the fire and keep it blazing for you!

My gluten-free beer at Public Coast Brewing Company ~ 10 Things You Must Do in Oregon's Cannon Beach with Kids
My gluten-free beer at Public Coast Brewing Company (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

8. Taste Oregon’s wines and beers.

Okay…this isn’t for the kids. But parents deserve a vacation too, right? Oregon is renowned for its craft beers and its plentiful wineries. While in Cannon Beach, stop by the Westport Winery Tasting Room in downtown to sip a few Oregon wines. A table set up with a tub of Kinetic Sand keeps kids content while the parents taste.

For beer lovers, choose Public Coast Brewing Co. They even offer gluten-free options for travelers with sensitive tummies like me. Kids are welcomed and there’s a children’s menu. When the weather is nice, sit outside on their lovely patio to enjoy your burgers and brews. Oh, and you MUST get their Dirty Fries, which come smothered with bacon, mushrooms, jalapeños, onion, blue cheese and Buffalo wing sauce.

Beach view at Surfsand Resort
Beach view at Surfsand Resort (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

9. Stay in for Goonies and games.

No one in our family had seen Goonies before our visit to Cannon Beach. (Crazy, right?!) Oregonians take pride in this cult-classic movie, which was filmed along the state’s beautiful coast and includes shots of Haystack Rock. Lucky for us, Surfsand Resort provides free movie rentals, including Goonies and plenty of other family-friendly choices. There’s something special about watching a movie and seeing the very same scenery on screen as you do when you peek out your hotel room window.

Surfsand Resort also lends out games galore to its guests. Choose from such classics as Candyland, Apples to Apples and many more. These are perfect for a rainy day, or some mellow family time together on the patio or balcony when it’s sunny.

Weenie Roast on the beach at Surfsand Resort
Weenie Roast on the beach at Surfsand Beach Resort (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

10. Slow down in Cannon Beach with kids.

If you want to slow down and connect with your kids, then book a stay at Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach. You step from your room right onto the beach, with Haystack Rock in the distance. There’s an indoor pool, a fitness center, hosted weenie roasts on the beach, special activities for kids, and delicious meals at the Wayfarer Restaurant next door.

But really, it’s all about the feels here. And I have a feeling your family will love Surfsand Resort. Read reviews of Surfsand Resort on TripAdvisor and Hotels.com.

Sunset at Surfsand Resort
Sunset at Surfsand Resort (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Explore more of Oregon!

I fell in love…deeply, deeply in love with Oregon during my family’s vacation this summer. A lot of this love has to do with Oregon’s slower pace, friendly spirit, and beautiful scenery. Learn more about the wonders of Oregon, including the wonderfully weird things to do with kids in Portland and why to book a farm stay at Leaping Lamb Farm in Alsea, Oregon.

Things to Do in Cannon Beach, OR with Kids

Save these Cannon Beach tips!

Considering a Cannon Beach family vacation? Be sure to save these tips for future reference. Simply pin the image above to Pinterest. I would love it if you’d follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

What would you like to do most in Cannon Beach with kids? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: Travel Oregon and Surfsand Resort hosted our hotel stay and some of our meals during our visit so I could write this review about Cannon Beach with kids. All opinions are mine, as always. 

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  1. I’ve been in love with Oregon for a couple of decades and I’m especially fond of the coast. I paid a quick visit to Cannon Beach almost 20 years ago – well before kids – and would love to go back one day. I really like what you wrote about how well siblings play together when their parents are watching from a short distance. My kids have reached this stage – actually, they didn’t have a choice during the pandemic!

    1. Ha! My tween and teen seem to be fighting more than ever at home now — TOO MUCH together time?! I think we need a trip back to Cannon Beach so we can connect with nature and each other!