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plan your visit


Hours and Admission

Summer Hours begin May 22 through September 2. 

General Hours

Monday - Sunday*


* Closed on Tuesday

Member Early Access

Monday - Saturday*
9-10 AM
* Closed on Tuesday

Sensory-Friendly Hours



All Visitors

General admission to the Cayton per child and per adult:

  • Free for members and children under the age of 1

  • Daily entry from 10AM-4PM

    • $18 walk-in / $16 online​

  • Twilight entry after 4PM

    • $12 walk-in / $10 online​

Advance reservations are strongly recommended, but not required.

Walk-ins are welcome, but you may experience a wait during peak hours. Capacity limited daily.

Members have priority walk-in entry.

The “PLAY4ALL Pass”

For those families experiencing financial hardship, the Cayton offers a year-long PLAY4ALL pass. Households receiving Medi-Cal/Medicaid, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), CalWorks (TANF), or CalFresh (Food Stamps) are eligible.


For visitors who qualify, passes can be activated by presenting proof of eligibility at the museum check-in desk upon first visit.

Annual Members

Annual membership starts at $240 for an adult and a child. Members are free to come anytime during museum operating hours and receive priority entry and expedited check-in.


We encourage visitors who enjoy the museum with frequency to explore their options for purchasing a membership package. As a member, you won’t just save while you play all year long—you will also have access to a bunch of other cool perks! 

Peak Hours

Peak hours vary and may occur on weekends, holidays, and rainy days.

Closed on the following holidays in 2024:

Jan 1 (New Year's Day)

Nov 23 (Thanksgiving)

Dec 25 (Christmas)

Special Museum Open Days in 2024:

Jan 15 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

Feb 19 (President's Day)

Mar 25, Apr 1 (Spring Break)

Mondays from May 27 (Memorial Day ) to Sep 2 (Labor Day)

Subject to change


Group Trips

Are you ready to bring the whole play crew to the Cayton? Whether you are a large family or an awesome youth group—we are the ideal space for kids ages 0–8. With our discovery-based exhibits and experiences, your group will be immersed in creativity and exploration. Join us at the Cayton and play your way to a better world!

Family playing in the Derfner Theater
Explore Our Space

Explore Our Space

Ready to see the Power of Play? The Cayton offers 21,000 square feet of discovery - based exhibits, from a real-life helicopter to a miniature marketplace to reactive VR - and so much more. Add on art studios, a state-of-the-art theatre, and adaptable community spaces: you and your child can experience the Cayton differently every time. 

Children playing in the Cayton

Cayton Community Expectations

The Cayton Children’s Museum is a special shared space for families. To ensure that everyone is safe, comfortable and able to play, we ask that our visitors follow a few basic rules.


  • Drop-offs are not allowed.

  • All children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult (and all adults must be accompanied by children) while visiting the museum. To ensure that all our guests have a great experience, the Cayton requires at least one (1) chaperone for every five (5) children.

  • Children must always be supervised by their adults.

  • Some exhibits have age restrictions, please be mindful of signage throughout the museum.

  • Please be aware of our current health protocols.

  • Please follow directions from the Cayton Play Guides and staff

  • Cayton Children's Museum is a safe space for children. No knives, firearms, or weapon-like objects of any kind are permitted on the museum's premises. Please store any of these objects off-premises prior to entering the reception area.

When Inside

  • Disruptive, disrespectful and/or abusive behavior may result in immediate removal from the museum without refund and may be grounds for revoking membership.

  • We encourage walking instead of running.

  • Each exhibit may have signage reflecting special conduct (i.e., no shoes, age restrictions, etc.). If you have any questions about these restrictions, please inquire with one of our team members.

  • Strollers are not allowed in the museum. We do provide a stroller parking zone for guests, underwritten by Babyletto. Please do not leave your valuables in the stroller.

  • Please be mindful of your belongings. The Cayton Children’s Museum is not responsible for any lost or missing items.

  • Please be mindful of other visitors in the space when taking photos of your family.

  • Visitors may be filmed, recorded or photographed by the Cayton Children’s Museum for educational and promotional uses. Please inform the front desk staff if you would prefer not to be photographed. You may review our privacy policy here.

  • Our staff is here to help while you and your family are in our venue. Please respect them. We won't tolerate any yelling, intimidation, threats, swearing, or any other inappropriate behavior. Anyone who is aggressive toward staff or other guests will be asked to leave.

  • For the health and safety of all our visitors, smoking is strictly prohibited throughout the museum. This includes e-cigarettes and vaping. 

When Leaving

  • Please remember to collect all your belongings. The Cayton Children’s Museum is not responsible for items left behind. Any “Lost & Found” items should be turned in to Guest Services.

  • We encourage you to reach out to us with any questions, comments and suggestions you might have after your visit. You can do this in person, over the phone or via email at

  • We may send you a follow-up survey to ask about your visit.

  • Most importantly, we hope you enjoyed your visit!


Getting Here

Where is the Cayton?

You can find the Cayton Children’s Museum in Downtown Santa Monica. We are located on the 3rd level of Santa Monica Place off of 4th Street & Broadway.

395 Santa Monica Place, #374

Santa Monica, CA, 90401


Parking is available in Structures 7 and 8, owned and operated by the City of Santa Monica, which are immediately adjacent to Santa Monica Place. The first 90 minutes are free, with a fee after that. Please note, we do not validate. To see a map showing S7 and S8, click here.

Easy access and Disability parking are available in parking structure 8 off of Colorado Ave, on Level 5, as well as parking structure 7 off of Broadway on Level 4. Elevators are available close to the Mall entrance on all levels in the parking lots.

Take the Metro

Take the Metro Expo Line and exit at Downtown Santa Monica, which is the last stop on the line. You’ll end up on Colorado and 4th. You can find Santa Monica Place on the opposite corner. For more information about going Metro,  click here.

Driving Directions

From I-10 W: Take exit 1A for 4th Street. Turn right onto 4th and left onto Colorado. Santa Monica Place will be on your right.



The Cayton Children’s Museum meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Here, accessibility means more than compliance with federal law. We are committed to making our Museum a rich and rewarding experience for all individuals.

Service Animals

The Cayton Children’s Museum welcomes service animals. Under federal law, service animals are dogs trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of people with physical or mental disabilities. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. Additionally, service animals must remain under their handler’s control at all times while inside the museum.


Dogs or any other type of animal or pet whose sole function is to provide comfort, companionship or emotional support — such as a support animal — do NOT qualify as service animals under federal law and are not permitted in the Museum.

Wheelchair Access

The entire museum is wheelchair accessible, including all bathrooms and water fountains. Handicapped-accessible parking is available in the Santa Monica Place parking garage. Santa Monica Place also offers complimentary wheelchair loans upon request. To arrange, please call security at 310-260-8399.

Nursing Areas

Mothers are welcome to nurse children wherever they feel comfortable at the Cayton. However, there are two designated areas in the Lounge that provide more privacy, if preferred.

Cayton Children’s Museum Staff

Cayton Children’s Museum staff receives ongoing professional development to offer visitors with disabilities and their families enhanced support. Please ask a Cayton staff member for assistance.

Restrooms And Changing Tables

Family restrooms are located near the ballpit or to your left of the security checkpoint. Additional restrooms are located in the back of the museum near the art studio. Changing tables are located in the wheelchair-accessible stalls in each restroom. Health regulations require that all diaper changing be done in restrooms.

We Want To Hear From You

The Cayton is eager to hear about new ways to serve the children in our community, and we welcome your feedback, suggestions, questions or concerns. Please share your thoughts with us at


Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the FAQ page HERE

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