Ride The Swan Boats at Lake Balboa

By Evelyn M., Macaroni Kid Santa Clarita Publisher October 18, 2020

At Macaroni Kid, we're big on family fun that keeps us active. While some of our favorite activities have been limited amid the coronavirus shutdowns, we have been able to find excellent alternatives. One such option is riding the Swan Boats by Wheel Fun Rentals at Anthony C. Beilenson Park (Lake Balboa) in Van Nuys. 

We arrived late in the morning on a Saturday. There is a parking lot (free) adjacent to Wheel Fun Rentals and, though the park is popular and was somewhat crowded, we found a parking space without trouble. You can easily locate the swan boat rental area and dock, which is close to but separate from the Wheel Fun bike and surrey rental center. Once we reached the entrance, there was a very minimal wait to pay, select and put on a life vest (included with rental), and board the swan boats. The whole process was quick and easy. 

These elegant, fun-looking pedal boats can fit 5 people (even 6 if you have very young kids) and glide smoothly across the water. The two front seats accommodate the pedalers (and navigator) while the bench in the back haul the rest of your party. A canopy provides shade for the group.

The prices are $11/hour for adults and $6/hour for children (17 years old and under). All children under 15 years old must be accompanied onboard by a parent or guardian. Children of any age can pedal - as long as they can reach the pedals. 

In my group, my 10 year old was able to pedal comfortably while my 7 year old could not reach the pedals but was happily enjoying the ride from the back bench. Our kids were satisfied before our 1-hour rental was due so you don't need to bring food and drinks but you may do so if you wish. While it's tempting to bring food to feed the ducks (and we observed other boaters doing this), it is illegal to do so at the lake.

With more than 200 species of birds around Lake Balboa and a variety of turtles and fish, you'll undoubtedly see wildlife during your excursion. The lake is popular for remote control boats so you'll likely see a couple of those nearby as well. The lake's perimeter is 1.3 miles long and it's easy to complete a loop in less than an hour. It's unlikely that you'd miss this but be sure to head to the north end of the lake where you'll fine a waterfall. Note that fishing is popular here so stay clear of the water's edge to avoid the fish lines. If you go to Lake Balboa in March or April, you'll be treated with a bonus - the many cherry blossom trees around the park are in season during that time.

Once you complete your adventure, you'll simply head back to the dock and drop off your life vests near the exit. If you didn't get enough pedaling, Wheel Fun also offers surreys, deuce coupes, and cruiser bikes so you can continue the fun on land!

If you are a first responder, Wheel Fun Rentals is proud to offer you a FREE 1-hour rental through the end of 2020! Click here for details. Wheel Fun Rentals is located at 6300 Balboa Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91316. Open every day of the year from 9:00 a.m. to sunset. All hours are weather permitting and the last boat rental goes out 1 hour before sunset.

Macaroni Kid Santa Clarita received a free swan boat rental for this review. All opinions are our own.