I assist individuals plan San Diego household holidays and am a trusted useful resource for locals looking for enjoyable issues to do in San Diego with children. Why? I reside right here, and regardless of repeatedly touring the world, I strongly consider that San Diego is likely one of the finest locations in the US to spend a vacation regardless of how outdated you're.
There are child actions in San Diego, toddler actions, and loads of issues to do in San Diego with teenagers and tweens, too. A few of these sights are free to enter and plenty of are close to my favourite kid-friendly motels in San Diego.
This can be a BIG checklist of insider ideas, however that’s as a result of I’ve included some concepts that even residents could not learn about. Additionally, I’ve famous the place it can save you cash on tickets, excursions, and motels by way of my affiliations. If you happen to make purchases by way of a number of the hyperlinks on this submit, I could also be compensated.
Prime Issues to Do in San Diego with Youngsters
Let’s begin with the kid-friendly sights which are on the prime of most household sightseeing itineraries.
Tip: If you'll go to a couple of of those San Diego actions for youths, it could be value contemplating a multi-attraction cross like Go San Diego to economize. (This cross just isn't legitimate for the annual Youngsters Free San Diego promotions in October.)
1. San Diego Zoo
Location: Balboa Park
The world-famous San Diego Zoo tops my checklist of issues to do in San Diego with children. We’re members. It’s dwelling to over 3700 uncommon and endangered animals and a lovely show of over 700,000 unique vegetation all through its 100 acres.
San Diego Zoo is a part of San Diego Zoo International, a corporation devoted to saving species worldwide. Each greenback you spend with them goes towards animal care and conservation efforts, which you’ll study extra about throughout your go to. Sure, your day will contain animals and training — an ideal mixture for youths.
I’ve written about my favourite San Diego Zoo animals and reveals intimately. Nonetheless, I don’t miss the koalas, polar bears, komodo dragons, new child pygmy hippo, Galapagos tortoises, Keeper Talks, and Skyfari Aerial Tram.
We additionally wish to go proper when it opens when the climate is cool, and a few animals eat breakfast. Nevertheless, I encourage you to take a look at their upgraded excursions and experiences. Some start earlier than the park opens, so that you’ll already be inside with a head begin to favourite animals. Learn all San Diego Zoo posts.
See additionally: Find out how to Purchase Discounted Tickets to the San Diego Zoo
2. San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Over 2600 animals, together with giraffes, elephants, lions, and extra, roam in giant free-range enclosures on the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Tour by yourself or schedule a safari (or each). Two of the preferred safaris embrace the free Africa Tram tour across the park and the Caravan Safari by way of the Asian Savannah and African Plains. You can even zipline over a number of the animal enclosures on the Skyline Safari.
Remember that it will get fairly sizzling over right here in the summertime (although children can get moist within the Savannah Cool Zone splash pad).
Animal enclosures are unfold out in order that they will home large animals, so put on strolling sneakers. Watching the afternoon cheetah run is likely one of the hottest sights.
We love the tigers of Tiger Path, Nairobi Village (the place the petting zoo is), Lorikeet Touchdown (the place you'll be able to feed lorikeet parrots), and Walkabout Australia, the place wallabies leap round you — with out a barrier. Small plug additionally for the platypus exhibit, which my household helped sponsor.
They’re a part of San Diego Zoo International, dwelling to the world’s largest veterinary facility, and dealing on bringing again the Northern White Rhino from extinction, because of their Frozen Zoo. And, that’s not even half of it.
3. LEGOLAND California
LEGOLAND California is, in fact, some of the standard issues to do in San Diego with children. The resort consists of LEGOLAND California, SEA LIFE Aquarium, LEGOLAND Water Park, LEGOLAND Resort, and LEGOLAND Citadel Resort.
If pressed for time, LEGOLAND California theme park could be visited in a half-day. The park is finest for toddlers and youthful children because the prompt age is between 2–12. Teenagers must be die-hard LEGO lovers to take pleasure in it with out accompanying a youthful visitor as most rides could also be too juvenile for them.
The typical go to to SEA LIFE Aquarium is about 45 minutes, and it’s a enjoyable cease, too. Don’t overlook to carry LEGO Minifigures to commerce with workers members.
Vital: Throughout the college yr, LEGOLAND California closes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The water park can be seasonal. You'll want to verify their calendar earlier than planning a go to.
4. SeaWorld San Diego
Location: Mission Bay
SeaWorld San Diego alone attracts vacationers to our metropolis from everywhere in the world to take pleasure in up-close animal interactions, enjoyable rides, animal exhibits, and academic experiences.
Particular behind-the-scenes excursions permit company to study extra about penguins, rays, dolphins, sea otters, moon jellies, and extra. You'll be able to contact reef sharks and marvel and large ones within the walk-through shark tank.
Sesame Avenue Bay of Play entertains younger children with delicate rides and much to climb on. The Manta curler coaster and Electrical Eel curler coaster thrill older riders. Shipwreck Rapids water trip is an effective way to chill down on a sunny day.
SeaWorld San Diego makes use of its amenities to rescue native sea life, together with the La Jolla seals (which you'll study extra about beneath).
As a mother who has been right here extra occasions than I can depend, I can inform you that the majority company spend a complete day right here. Nevertheless, a enjoyable half-day is doable if brief on time.
Tip: Skip the strains with a Fast Queue Premier cross. Discounted SeaWorld San Diego tickets are normally finest purchased by way of them instantly. If you happen to’re sure you’ll spend a complete day within the park, take a look at the All-Day Eating Plan.
5. SESAME PLACE SAN DIEGO
Location: Chula Vista
A model new theme park in San Diego opened in March 2022. Sesame Place San Diego, the one theme park on the West Coast based mostly completely on Sesame Avenue, replaces the Aquatica San Diego water park.
It reimagined a few of Aquatica’s water sights whereas including 7 themed dry rides and an interactive musical play space. The park additionally options an interactive Sesame Avenue Neighborhood full with the enduring 123 Stoop, a reside character present, a each day parade, photograph alternatives, and naturally, everybody’s favourite characters.
Sesame Place San Diego tickets are on sale and you should buy them now by way of SeaWorld.
6. Belmont Park
Location: Mission Seashore (free to enter)
Break from the seaside for a couple of hours to pop into San Diego’s seaside amusement park. It’s free to stroll round Belmont Park San Diego, however you’ll want tickets for the video games and rides.
We’re speaking a couple of historic curler coaster, an arcade, carnival rides, large scoops of ice cream, a zipper line, laser tag, miniature golf, and a brand new go-kart observe. With all of this, how can Belmont Park not be some of the enjoyable issues to do in San Diego with children? It’s additionally on my checklist of finest issues to do in San Diego with teenagers.
It’s dwelling to a few fairly good eating places like Cannonball and Seashore Home. The latter is a family-friendly seaside bar on the sand. Save room for dessert from the onsite Dole Whip truck.
Don’t pay for rides a la carte: The price of rides and actions can add up shortly, however that’s as a result of children love this park. You'll be able to typically purchase discounted limitless trip tickets by way of Costco or Groupon. The Go San Diego sightseeing cross contains the all-access combo cross. If you happen to reside in San Diego, contemplate the annual cross, which pays for itself after a couple of visits.
If you wish to choose up bike leases or skateboards to benefit from the Mission Seashore boardwalk, you'll be able to seize them on the park.
7. Balboa Park
Location: Balboa Park (free to enter)
The nation’s largest city cultural park is dwelling to 17 museums (probably the most kid-friendly choices are enumerated in 9-13 beneath), many beautiful gardens, historic buildings, the San Diego Zoo, eating places, and performing arts venues. It's certainly some of the enjoyable locations in San Diego for households as a result of there's something for everybody to take pleasure in.
Balboa Park is free to enter, although the museums have particular person ticket charges. If you happen to’re visiting a number of museums, you can purchase a Balboa Park Explorer cross or the Go San Diego cross. Each sightseeing passes embrace a number of museums for a flat charge. I’ve enumerated our favourite household museums beneath.
Tip: Our favourite al fresco, counter-order eating places are Panama 66 and the Tea Pavilion on the Japanese Friendship Backyard. Youngsters additionally like the coloured courtyard tiles within the Spanish Village Artwork Heart, which I feel is an typically neglected park gem.
See additionally: The place to Eat and Drink in Balboa Park
8. Previous City San Diego
Location: Previous City San Diego (free to enter)
As California’s birthplace, Previous City San Diego is a enjoyable half-day go to in San Diego with youngsters. Youngsters have a tendency to love The Whaley Home, one of many coolest haunted homes within the nation, and strolling by way of the graves at El Campo Santo Cemetery.
If that sounds too creepy, to not fear. You'll be able to take pleasure in our sunshine in Previous City State Historic Park in between popping into the free museums that showcase what life was like in early California. Simply above the park, you’ll discover the Serra Museum, which showcases Kumeyaay Indians Spanish and Mexican reveals of native historical past beginning within the 1700s.
Choose up a festive memento from one of many many retailers. Sure, most eating places right here serve good Mexican meals and large margaritas for fogeys on their patios. Previous City San Diego typically has mariachi performances, individuals wearing interval costumes, reside music, and leisure totally free household enjoyable in San Diego. You'll want to verify the occasion calendar.
See additionally: Information to Previous City San Diego – Eating places, Procuring and Extra
Greatest Museums in San Diego for Youngsters
Even should you can’t go to in particular person, don’t overlook that these museums supply unimaginable alternatives for on-line studying and enjoyable that features science experiment tutorials, digital after-school applications and camps, at-home crafts, downloads and a lot extra.
If you happen to do go to in particular person, admission to the Balboa Park Museums can add up. They aren't giant, and also you’ll doubtless go to a couple of and even two.
Purchase the Go San Diego cross or the Balboa Park Explorer Move. This manner, you’ll keep away from a number of a la carte ticket purchases to the favored San Diego youngsters’s museums talked about beneath.
9. Fleet Science Heart
Location: Balboa Park
The entire household will love exploring the 100 hands-on reveals scattered all through the eight galleries at Fleet Science Heart. You’ll learn the way gravity works, construct stuff, watch films on this planet’s first dome IMAX theatre, after which some. Toddlers and even infants can get in on the “do contact” enjoyable within the particular Child Metropolis part for youths 5 and beneath.
10. San Diego Pure Historical past Museum (theNAT)
Location: Balboa Park
Situated throughout the courtyard from the Fleet Science Heart, the San Diego Pure Historical past Museum is dwelling to fossils, scavenger hunts, and reveals concerning native geology, ecosystems, and historical past.
This is likely one of the finest locations for the entire household to study our binational area’s biodiversity, from Southern California to Baja California.
Youngsters beneath 5 will love The Yard play space. Mother and father can watch them discover with a latte in hand from The Flying Squirrel Cafe subsequent door. I really like this museum, and it’s been a favourite of my daughter’s, too, all through her complete life.
See additionally: A Native Youngsters’ Information to the San Diego Pure Historical past Museum
11. San Diego Mannequin Railroad Museum
Location: Balboa Park
The San Diego Mannequin Railroad Museum is North America’s largest mannequin railroad museum and a toy practice fanatic’s dream. Inside, you’ll discover 4 monumental scale and mannequin railroad observe layouts. The element on the practice fashions and the surroundings is staggering. Guests can admire and tinker with toy trains right here, too.
12. San Diego Air and Area Museum
Location: Balboa Park
Go to the San Diego Air and Area Museum to study in regards to the historical past of flight from early balloon ascents to area journey. Over 50 plane dangle from the rafters, and the varied galleries showcase the Wright brothers, the Golden Age of Flight, World Wars I and II, the Jet Age, and ladies in flight.
13. Museum of Us
Location: Balboa Park
Youngsters can channel their internal archeologist on the Museum of Us, our anthropology museum. They will additionally costume up as a Pharaoh and study excavating and wrapping mummies in different interactive reveals. Different exhibit matters embrace cannibalism, beer, race, and residing with animals.
Older children could take pleasure in climbing to the highest of the enduring California Tower for spectacular San Diego views. A reservation is required for this household exercise.
14. San Diego Botanic Backyard
If you happen to’re on the lookout for out of doors enjoyable for youths in San Diego and backyard inspiration, the San Diego Botanic Backyard is your house. Spend an hour or two strolling by way of 29 beautiful gardens with themes starting from hearth security to olive timber to vegetation native to the Canary Islands.
Youngsters will love the Hamilton Kids’s Backyard with its enjoyable treehouse, grass maze, and particular children’ actions. You can even normally schedule a go to in accordance with excursions on supply starting from hen watching to numerous walks catered towards particular age teams.
15. Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Location: La Jolla
Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the general public exploration middle for the distinguished Scripps Establishment of Oceanography. It’s among the best issues to do in San Diego with children for a couple of hours, particularly in the event that they’re lovers of marine life.
Enter and stroll to the precise to see the 60 habitats of fishes and invertebrates from the Pacific Northwest’s chilly waters to the tropical waters of Mexico and past. On the opposite aspect of the aquarium, children can play with hands-on instructional reveals that train conservation values.
A human-made tide pool space on the again patio known as Tide Pool Plaza boasts panoramic Pacific Ocean views over La Jolla Shores Seashore. Right here, docents assist guests gently contact starfish and anemones whereas answering questions.
New in summer time 2022 are the emperor penguins – I cannot wait to see them.
I additionally encourage you to try their calendar of off-site programming, together with whale watching excursions (December by way of April), tide pool excursions (winter), snorkeling with leopard sharks (summer time), summer time camps, and different particular occasions.
Tickets: Purchase instantly by way of Birch Aquarium or entrance is included on the Go San Diego cross.
See additionally: Information to Birch Aquarium (Suggestions, Tickets, Offsite Adventures, and Extra)
16. USS Halfway Museum
One among America’s longest-serving plane carriers is now a well-liked maritime museum with 60 reveals and 29 restored plane. Youngsters love studying what life was like at sea on the usMidway, touring the engine room and galley, and making an attempt two flight simulators (peak restrictions apply).
A few of the usMidway Museum docents lived on board the ship, and it’s considered one of my favourite locations to advocate to everybody planning a visit to San Diego as a result of there isn’t one other museum prefer it. You'll want to take the audio tour.
See additionally: Suggestions for Visiting the usMidway Museum
17. Maritime Museum of San Diego
This San Diego museum preserves one of many largest collections of historic crusing vessels within the nation. Guests could climb on board to discover the crusing ships, a few of which sometimes nonetheless sail (verify the web site for excursions on the bay).
Highlights embrace the Star of India, the world’s oldest energetic crusing ship, and the Soviet-era B-39 submarine, one of many largest conventionally-powered submarines ever constructed.
Tip: It’s simple to mix a go to to the Maritime Museum of San Diego with the usMidway Museum and Waterfront Park as they're neighbors on the Embarcadero. (Seize a taco at Carnitas Snack Shack right here, too.)
18. The New Kids’s Museum
The objective of the New Kids’s Museum is for youngsters of all ages to expertise the humanities in methods which are significant to them. Their motto is “assume, play, create,” and that’s precisely what children do there by way of arts and crafts, hands-on reveals just like the Sketch Aquarium, and performing arts.
Searching for issues to do in San Diego with infants? This museum is free for infants beneath 12 months and is participating to your littlest relations as a result of they’ll love watching different children in movement.
The actions within the museum are applicable for toddlers as much as youngsters. It’s one of many San Diego sights for youths that may spark their love of studying early.
19. San Diego Kids’s Discovery Museum
If you happen to occur to be within the space, cease by the San Diego Kids’s Discovery Museum. It’s completely devoted to studying by way of play all through 6000 sq. toes of indoor area and much more outdoors, the place there are hen coops, worm farms, and different investigative stations. Themes of water and power conservation are current all through the power.
Tip: It’s very near San Diego Safari Park, so you could possibly go to each on the identical (albeit lengthy) day.
20. Museum of Making Music
This can be a enjoyable San Diego museum for youngsters or adults occupied with music or the historical past of music. However, let me inform you why that you must go when the youngsters are younger.
Youngsters don’t at all times know what instrument they’d wish to discover ways to play. Generally, they want to decide on one for a college music class. At different occasions, mother and father encourage studying an instrument to broaden their minds.
A giant spotlight of the Museum of Making Music is the instrument room the place you'll be able to choose up and play lots of of devices from all over the world. It’s enjoyable for the entire household, and it offers children an opportunity to really feel what enjoying an electrical guitar, trumpet, or flute could be like.
21. Dwelling Coast Discovery Heart
Location: Chula Vista
These occupied with California’s coastal natural world ought to plan a go to to The Dwelling Coast Discovery Heart, about 15 minutes south of downtown. It’s a well-liked location for college area journeys (usually additionally a much less busy spot than many different standard San Diego animal sights).
You'll be able to add varied experiences like bat ray feedings and reptile meet and greets to boost your day there. You'll want to take a look at their occasions calendar as company can take part in hen walks, composting lessons, and far more household enjoyable in San Diego.
Greatest San Diego Seashores for Households
Our lovely San Diego seashores prime most household sightseeing itineraries and they're free to make use of after you safe road parking.
Issues to do in San Diego embrace going to the seaside whether or not you’re a resident or a vacationer throughout any season. We have now 70 miles of gorgeous shoreline. Every San Diego seaside and seaside city has its personal traits.
There may be doubtless a family-friendly seaside close to the place you're staying in San Diego, however listed here are my prime picks for households.
See additionally: 17 Greatest Seashore Resorts in San Diego
22. Coronado Central Seashore
Location: Coronado Island (free to enter)
This beautiful seaside is in entrance of the Resort del Coronado although it extends fairly a distance previous the luxurious resort. The water is normally fairly calm right here, and the large flat sandy seaside is dreamy to relax out on. You'll be able to stroll as much as eat at The Del and lease chairs and umbrellas from their Del Seashore space, even should you’re not an in a single day visitor.
Coronado Central Seashore ranks extremely on nationwide journey publication lists together with Journey + Leisure. The north finish is dog-friendly and appropriate for browsing when waves cooperate.
See additionally: Detailed Information to Coronado Seashores
23. La Jolla Shores Seashore
Location: La Jolla (free to enter)
This family-friendly seaside is considered one of our favorites on the town as a result of it fits individuals of all ages who crave ocean actions. The seaside is flat, sandy, and an particularly excellent place for youths.
Lifeguards patrol the world, guests could use the handful of fireplace pits (first come, first served), and the loos are fairly good. The Kellogg Park playground and grassy space to run round in are steps from the sand, too.
Stroll simply to Avenida de la Playa, the principle road within the La Jolla Shores neighborhood, for snacks (seize a sandwich at The Cheese Store) or necessities like forgotten sunscreen from the handful of cute boutiques. The car parking zone in all fairness large however go early throughout the summer time months to keep away from parking points.
We checklist a number of standard issues to do with children at La Jolla Shores Seashore beneath out of doors actions beneath as a result of it’s a great place for water sports activities like snorkeling and studying methods to surf.
25. Moonlight Seashore
Location: Encinitas (free to enter)
Additional north awaits Moonlight Seashore. North San Diego County resort concierges ship company right here, even when there’s a better seaside to their property. It is because it has probably the most family-friendly facilities of seashores within the space. Between picnic tables, hearth rings, lifeguards, restrooms, seaside volleyball courts, a snack bar, and even gear leases, visitor wants are nicely taken care of right here.
Enjoyable reality: The title “Moonlight Seashore” dates again to the early 1900s when residents used to picnic right here late at evening.
24. Del Mar Seashores
Location: Del Mar (free to enter)
The Del Mar seaside between 15th Avenue and 29th Avenue may be very standard, particularly throughout the summer time (when parking on this residential neighborhood is troublesome). Stroll from a number of the hottest eating places in Del Mar and L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and some smaller inns.
One other enjoyable stretch of Del Mar seaside is Torrey Pines State Seashore, close to the well-known state reserve. The state park system administers it, so that you’ll have to pay at a kiosk to park.
Probably the most family-friendly half is positioned closest to Torrey Pines Highway. Right here, you’ll discover loos, showers, and lifeguards. Youngsters wish to play within the little space the place the shallow lagoon water trickles into the Pacific Ocean.
26. Mission Bay Seashores
Location: Mission Bay (free to enter)
The most important human-made aquatic park in America is Mission Bay and it’s heaven for water sports activities fans and household journey. Hire boats, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, aqua cycles, jet skis, and extra from distributors in entrance of the Mission Bay motels.
Bay seashores enchantment to younger households as a result of there are not any waves in comparison with the ocean seaside. Older children benefit from the water actions right here, however you'll be able to seize a motorbike rental and hit the flat, simple, paved path across the bay.
The sand is gentle, and the water is calm although it may be murky in spots. You'll be able to entry Mission Bay’s finest seashores from varied locations and resorts, however Sail Bay Seashore in entrance of Fanuel Park in Pacific Seashore is a favourite.
See additionally: Eight Greatest Mission Seashore and Mission Bay Resorts in San Diego
Enjoyable Outside San Diego Youngsters Actions
The excellent news is that the entire household can take pleasure in these actions for youths in San Diego County at any time of the yr.
27. Kayak the Sea Caves
Location: La Jolla Shores Seashore (free to go along with your personal gear)
Hire a double kayak, carry your personal, or be part of a tour. Kayaks launch simply from this seaside, and plenty of, many individuals use them to discover the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park. Whereas paddling, you'll be able to see brilliant orange Garibaldi fish and leopard sharks swim beneath the floor. Our pleasant sea lions are at all times round for leisure, too.
Most individuals kayak towards the La Jolla sea caves. All however one are solely seen from the ocean, and it’s a marine life wealthy space. Some excursions will take you thru Clam’s Cave, the place the barks of sea lions are virtually deafening (however humorous), although this isn't one thing you need to attempt by yourself. I like to recommend a sea cave kayak tour with On a regular basis California.
28. Seaport Village
Location: Downtown San Diego (free to enter)
Sure, it’s a touristy spot, however Seaport Village is a enjoyable bayside leisure space for native and visiting households.
We’re speaking a couple of fudge retailer, an superior kite retailer (and a close-by grassy space to fly one), roaming leisure, ocean views, and eating at over 50 eating places and specialty retailers in complete.
It’s inside strolling distance of many motels in downtown San Diego. And, the historic carousel isn’t enormous, however youthful children assume that it’s enjoyable.
29. Be taught to Surf
One of many coolest issues to do in San Diego with children is to get them up on a surfboard. Youngsters as younger as 5 can take browsing classes. The truth is, all ages can study to hold ten on our well-known waves. It’s by no means too late to study.
A good way to ebook this quintessential Southern California expertise is thru non-public classes, group classes, or perhaps a half-day summer time camp that you could ebook by the day or week.
I like to recommend Surf Diva at La Jolla Shores or San Diego Browsing Faculty in Pacific Seashore, although there are accredited surf colleges all up and down the coast. You can even discover them in Mission Seashore, Del Mar, and Carlsbad.
30. Kids’s Pool Seals and La Jolla Cove Sea Lions
Location: La Jolla (free to enter)
One of many many free issues to do in La Jolla is to go to the seals and sea lions. They’re cute, noisy, and maybe a bit smelly — however so cute.
Harbor seals hang around on the Kids’s Pool, a small stretch of seaside protected by a partial seawall that was initially meant to be a swimming space for youths. Effectively, the seals took it over.
The seaside is closed to the general public in order that seals can have their pups right here between December 15–Could 15. Throughout peak vacationer season they have an inclination to go away the seaside within the early morning, fish all day, and return within the night.
It's technically okay to swim on the Kids’s Pool when the seaside is open to the general public, however the water just isn't of the best high quality. It’s fairly a scenic spot for pictures, although.
Stroll north alongside the boardwalk from right here to the Cave Retailer alongside Coast Blvd. You’ll additionally see a myriad of sea lions on and in between the sandstone cliffs of La Jolla Cove.
As a result of these two pinniped spots are close to one another, that is undoubtedly a kid-pleaser as a result of one or each teams are prone to be round. I by no means get bored with seeing them, both.
Be taught precisely methods to go to them in my Information to Visiting the La Jolla Seals and Sea Lions.
31. Cabrillo Nationwide Monument
Location: Level Loma
Cabrillo Nationwide Monument, San Diego’s solely Nationwide Park, commemorates the 1542 touchdown of Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo on the West Coast, by way of the San Diego Bay. This historic occasion is well known as the invention of California.
A half-day go to right here normally begins with a photograph op at Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s statue with the panoramic view of the bay and downtown behind you.
Then, step into the Customer Heart to study a bit extra in regards to the website and get the data needed for youths to earn a Junior Ranger badge whereas having fun with a mini-history lesson.
Different out of doors household issues to do in San Diego right here embrace beautiful walks on the Bayside Path and implausible tide swimming pools (the very best viewing of them is November–March when low tides occur throughout the day).
You'll be able to stroll into the Previous Level Loma Lighthouse to see its frozen-in-time inside with furnishings that date again to 1855.
32. Torrey Pines State Pure Reserve
Location: La Jolla
Torrey Pines State Pure Reserve is dwelling to the uncommon Torrey Pine tree, a number of the finest San Diego ocean views, and eight miles of climbing trails — lots of that are appropriate for little ones.
The scenic 3/4-mile-long Seashore Path within the Higher Reserve boasts beautiful views and stairs all the way down to the seaside. (I don’t advocate heading all the way down to the seaside with younger children as a result of it’s a steep climb again up.)
I do advocate the Man Fleming Path, a 2/3-mile-long delicate loop hike appropriate for all ages, full with panoramic Pacific Ocean views and the very best present of wildflowers and native vegetation. A
Make the most of the free public guided walks for households and small teams that occur on weekends and holidays to identify native natural world.
And, Torrey Pines State Seashore is beneath the park so it’s simple so as to add on some enjoyable within the sand earlier than or after your go to.
33. Petco Park Baseball Recreation and Tour
Even when the San Diego Padres aren’t enjoying, you'll be able to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Petco Park year-round. The excursions final roughly 80 minutes and contain about 1.5 miles of strolling across the area, within the press field, and extra. The state-of-the-art, open-air ballpark boasts views of downtown, the Gaslamp Quarter, and past.
If the crew is enjoying, undoubtedly seize tickets for a sport. Petco Park boasts a number of the finest sightlines in Main League Baseball. A day sport is likely one of the standard household issues to do in San Diego throughout the summer time.
34. Waterfront Park
Location: Downtown (free to enter)
Households love this large waterfront park (therefore the title) with its interactive water fountains (sure, they will play in them) and playground gear — particularly on sizzling summer time days.
Its giant grassy space is a superb place for picnics and video games, and for little ones to run round. They even present out of doors films right here in the summertime.
The views over San Diego Bay from the park are additionally spectacular. It’s positioned throughout from the Maritime Museum of San Diego and subsequent door to the Wyndham San Diego Bayfront.
35. Falconry Classes
Location: La Jolla, Alpine, Ramona
If you happen to’d wish to study falconry or see raptors in motion up-close, you could have a few nice choices.
Complete Raptor eXperience gives falconry experiences at Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla. Members work together with and study to fly a raptor. All ages are welcome within the introductory class.
We loved a falconry lesson with Sky Falconry on the Torrey Pines Gliderport a couple of years in the past. They now solely supply these classes at their lovely Alpine ranch. If you happen to’re on the lookout for issues to do in San Diego with children involving animal interplay, I'd extremely advocate them.
These classes bond individuals with raptors and educate them in regards to the human-related threats (local weather change, air pollution, and so forth.) these majestic creatures face that I nonetheless take into consideration years later.
36. Electrical Bike Excursions
Location: La Jolla, Pacific Seashore, or Downtown
Enjoyable issues to do in San Diego with teenagers embrace electrical bike excursions. Riders normally have to be 13 or older, however you'll be able to pedal if you like and depend on the motor to get you up steeper hills. Tour La Jolla seashores like La Jolla Cove, along with scenic hilltops, downtown sights, and extra.
Or, lease considered one of these cool bikes for a couple of hours to trip by yourself. Some bike retailers supply self-guided ebike excursions that you could navigate by yourself as a household. Ebook eBike excursions.
37. Queen Calafia’s Magic Circle
Location: Escondido (free to enter)
A considerably hidden gem in North San Diego County, Queen Califia’s Magic Circle is the one American sculpture backyard by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, well-known for her colourful mosaics.
This show contains 9 giant sculptures, a round “snake wall” (400 toes lengthy with various heights), and a maze entryway along with some bench seating. You’ll discover this touchable artwork is inside Equipment Carson Park.
38. The Stuart Assortment at UC San Diego
Location: La Jolla
A distinct putting artwork set up is woven all through the campus of UC San Diego. The Stuart Assortment options 20 moderately giant items of public artwork starting from an precise home hanging off the aspect of the Engineering Constructing (Fallen Star by Doh Ho Suh) to the Solar God by Niki de Saint Phalle.
Obtain the map and use your creativity to make exploring the gathering a enjoyable scavenger hunt for youths to search out these hidden gems (some aren't so hidden). Let the items function one thing enjoyable to look out for when touring the campus with a possible scholar.
39. San Elijo Lagoon
Location: Cardiff (free to enter)
The practically 1000-acre San Elijo Lagoon is considered one of San Diego’s most numerous coastal wetlands. See should you can spot a number of the over 1000 species of birds, fish, reptiles, and mammals that decision this space dwelling.
Earlier than visiting, verify their web site for particular programming (and path closures if it’s simply rained) that the entire household will love. Mountain climbing right here is likely one of the enjoyable issues to do in San Diego for youths outdoors as a result of the climbing trails are appropriate for younger youngsters.
40. Junior Golf
Location: La Jolla, La Costa, Carlsbad
In case your little one has ever wished to attempt golf or wants to shine his or her abilities, San Diego is the right place for it. You'll want to take a look at the excellent junior golf academies at Torrey Pines Golf Course, Omni La Costa, Aviara Golf Academy (close to Park Hyatt Aviara and 4 Seasons Aviara), and elsewhere.
While you keep at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, children ages 12 and beneath obtain complimentary tee occasions and membership leases when accompanied by a paying grownup.
See additionally: The Greatest Child-Pleasant Resorts in San Diego
41. Resort Pool Day Move
Location: Resorts throughout San Diego County
Households who really feel like they want a change of surroundings now have the choice by way of ResortPass to ebook a day at considered one of our implausible native resort swimming pools.
Choices embrace Hyatt Regency Mission Bay (water slides!), Loews Coronado Bay Resort, San Diego Mission Bay Resort, Estancia La Jolla, and plenty of extra.
See additionally: The Greatest San Diego Resort Swimming pools
42. Skate Parks
Location: Varied (free to enter)
Among the world’s most well-known skate boarders, together with Tony Hawk, have known as San Diego dwelling. For sure, we have now a wide range of skate parks scattered throughout the county that cater to numerous ranges. They're free to make use of. Attempt:
- Linda Vista Skate Park (the second-largest in California)
- Carlsbad Skate Park (good for newbies)
- Washington Avenue Skate Park (good for specialists)
43. San Diego Missions
Location: San Diego (Grantville neighborhood) and Oceanside
A very talked-about motive for a San Diego household trip is to study California historical past, particularly when children who reside within the state want to arrange for his or her 4th grade Mission challenge.
Mission San Diego de Alcala was the primary of the 21 California Missions. Its unique location was in Previous City San Diego, however as a consequence of infertile land, it was moved six miles east into Mission Valley round 1774.
You can even go to Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, which is the most important of the California Missions. Each are open to the general public each day.
44. Sandcastle Courses
Location: Del Mar and Coronado
This got here on my radar just lately as a implausible concept, particularly since households are on the lookout for extra out of doors actions. Bond collectively over a sandcastle constructing class! You’ll be fully blown away by the skilled high quality sandcastle your group will construct with some instruction and instruments.
It’s finest for youths over the age of 9 who've the endurance and drive for a challenge like this (although youthful children have participated with cheap expectations).
Greatest San Diego Excursions for Youngsters and Teenagers
If you happen to’re questioning what to do in San Diego with children in terms of sightseeing excursions, relaxation assured that with these they won't be boring.
45. San Diego Seal Excursions
Location: Embarcadero or Seaport Village (Downtown)
San Diego Seal Excursions are 90-minute, fully-narrated excursions on an open-air amphibious car that tour scenic downtown spots on land first. Youngsters will love that it subsequent “drives” into the San Diego harbor for skyline views and seal sightings.
46. Velocity Boat Adventures
Location: Harbor Island (Downtown)
Even should you’ve by no means pushed a ship, you'll be able to drive these. Velocity Boat Adventures boats are 13′ mini pace boats with quiet, eco-friendly motors that carry as much as three individuals (babies sit within the center).
Boats have a two-way communicator so you'll be able to hear narration from the information. It’s a wonderful technique to sightsee from San Diego harbor. In addition they supply sundown excursions.
47. Previous City Trolley Excursions
Location: Varied stops from La Jolla to Downtown
The orange and inexperienced open-air Previous City Trolley Excursions automobiles permit company to hop on and off at varied stops round city. This enjoyable service can remove the necessity for a rental automobile in San Diego.
Test the trolley’s interactive map for details about stops, vacationer sights, locations to eat in San Diego close to trolley stops, and extra. Make sure you board the precise trolley tour as not all go as far north as La Jolla Cove. The usual hop-on, hop-off tour circles neighborhoods in downtown, Balboa Park, Previous City, and Coronado Island.
48. Patriot Jet Boat
Location: Downtown San Diego
If you happen to want enjoyable San Diego household actions that may entertain teenagers and tweens, look no additional than the Patriot Jet Boat!
It’s a 30-minute tour of the San Diego Bay on a speedboat that reaches speeds of as much as 50 mph. They’ll love the twists and turns and the blaring rock music.
It’s like a thrill trip on the water. However, you'll be able to truly see some sights and revel in our sunshine in a brief period of time. It's possible you'll (okay, will) get moist! There may be normally a Patriot Jet Boat Groupon.
Household-Pleasant Seasonal Actions
Some enjoyable household actions and vacationer sights are finest loved throughout sure occasions of the yr.
49. Winter Tide Pooling
Location: Varied (free after you park a automobile)
Tide pooling season begins in November and extends roughly March when tides are low throughout the day. These low tides reveal sea creatures galore, together with sea anemones, sea cucumbers, hermit crabs, octopus, sea stars, sea slugs, and extra residing in our tide swimming pools.
Birch Aquarium leads tide pool excursions close to Scripps Pier at La Jolla Shores Seashore throughout choose low tide dates. Different nice places embrace the Cabrillo Nationwide Monument, Shell Seashore in La Jolla, Tourmaline Browsing Park in Pacific Seashore, in entrance of the Resort del Coronado, and extra.
See additionally: Prime Eight Locations to Go Tide Pooling in San Diego County
50. Snorkel or Swim with Leopard Sharks (Summer time)
Location: La Jolla Shores Seashore (free to go along with your personal gear)
Whereas this doesn’t sound like an exercise for a listing of finest issues to do in San Diego with children, we residents ship our offspring into the water with the leopard sharks. It’s enjoyable! And, no, they don’t chew.
La Jolla Shores Seashore is dwelling to the most important aggregation of leopard sharks on this planet. They begin to arrive in June, however the numbers peak round August and September. You’ll see them even in knee-deep water, however principally whereas snorkeling (swim slowly to keep away from scaring them).
51. Whale Watching Excursions
Location: Cruises usually depart from Downtown San Diego, Mission Bay, or Oceanside
Whale watching in San Diego is viable for about 9 months of the yr. The forms of whales seen on these excursions rely on the season.
Roughly 20,000 grey whales make the 10,000-mile migration from Alaska to the nice and cozy waters of Mexico yearly to provide start. Grey whale season is roughly between mid-December and April.
Your probabilities of seeing them from land (Torrey Pines State Park and Cabrillo Nationwide Monument are two wonderful spots) are higher earlier within the season once they swim nearer to shore on their technique to Mexico. They swim additional away from shore once they head again north with their calves.
Blue whales are among the many largest creatures on earth and noticed between mid-June and September. Quite a lot of native firms supply whale watching excursions together with some that depart from downtown, Mission Bay, and Oceanside in North San Diego County.
Browse whale watching excursions by native firms like Flagship Cruises and Occasions and San Diego Whale Watch.
52. Butterfly Farms
Butterfly Farms is a nonprofit group devoted to the survival of our native butterflies and pollinators. It’s open each day for public visits from April to November.
Docents are readily available to teach company in regards to the analysis and conservation efforts that occur at Butterfly Farms, and also you’ll be capable of stroll by way of the 3000-square-foot Vivarium the place butterflies fly free. Searching for butterfly-friendly vegetation? You can even purchase them right here.
53. Bayside Summer time Nights Live shows
When you ought to verify the San Diego Symphony calendar year-round, their out of doors summer time live performance collection is likely one of the implausible seasonal issues to do in San Diego with children. I’m devastated that the 2020 season needed to be canceled.
Whether or not you picnic on the garden and let the youngsters run round (carry some glow sticks) or order a bottle of champagne to a reserved desk, you’ll take heed to implausible reside music themed to the occasion. There may be normally a Harry Potter themed live performance and others on the schedule which are themed to standard films and tv exhibits.
54. Carlsbad Flower Fields
Each spring, a 50-acre Carlsbad hillside turns right into a rainbow of colour as hundreds of ranunculus flowers bloom towards an ocean backdrop.
The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is a family-friendly San Diego attraction open to the general public for about 6-Eight weeks, with hayrides and different particular occasions.
It’s a practice going over 60 years robust. If your loved ones journey coincides with the Flower Fields being open, carry your digicam for some gorgeous vacation card photographs amid rainbow coloured rows of flowers and aromatic candy peas.
55. Free Outside Summer time Live shows
Location: Throughout San Diego
Free out of doors summer time concert events pop up round San Diego County all through the summer time. Convey a blanket, a picnic, and take heed to reside music beneath the celebrities between roughly Memorial Day and Labor Day. Among the many calendars to take a look at embrace:
- Coronado Promenade Summer time Live performance Collection
- Balboa Park Twilight within the Park
- Del Mar Summer time Twilight Live shows
- TGIF Live shows within the Park (Carlsbad)
Ebook in Del Mar by way of San Diego Sand Castles. The well-known Sandcastle Man, who typically leaves his artworks in entrance of Resort del Coronado, additionally gives classes.
56. Carlsbad Strawberry Firm
Convey the youngsters for a enjoyable u-pick strawberries expertise at Carlsbad Strawberry Firm. Strawberries are prepared normally between the tip of January and July.
Between the tip of September and the primary week of November, it’s pumpkin patch season which incorporates different enjoyable actions like a corn maize.
Issues to Do in San Diego with Toddlers
If you happen to’re not touring with a toddler, leap to saving cash in San Diego with children.
Households e-mail me fairly a bit seeking suggestions for the very best issues to do in San Diego with toddlers. So, I’ve created a shortlist of the above concepts right here particularly to deal with this age group.
First, word that ages Three and beneath obtain free admission to numerous main San Diego sights for youths on this checklist. Taking a San Diego household trip earlier than children require a baby’s ticket (the identical goes for Disneyland) is an effective way to economize.
Residents in San Diego with toddlers take them to SeaWorld San Diego to go to Sesame Avenue Bay of Play. Tame amusement park rides embrace Elmo’s Flying Fish, Oscar’s Rocking Eel, and Abby’s Sea Star Spin. After spending time on this colourful, kid-friendly land, you'll be able to go to the turtles, penguins, and different park residents.
We additionally now have Sesame Place, which is completely devoted to the favored present and forged of characters — implausible for visiting San Diego with children on this age group
All the mission of The New Kids’s Museum is to get younger children to assume, play, and create. Toddlers and elementary college children work together with reveals, make crafts, take heed to tales, after which some right here.
Pushing a stroller round San Diego Zoo is nice train along with a enjoyable day trip of the home. The Kids’s Zoo is beneath renovation, however you'll be able to roll children as much as reveals, allow them to waddle across the playgrounds, and see them squeal after spying their favourite animal.
Balboa Park is definitely one of many implausible toddler actions in San Diego. You'll be able to stroll the paths and gardens but in addition cease in a couple of of the museums. San Diego Pure Historical past Museum and Fleet Science Heart each have play areas for youths beneath 5.
All ages love the La Jolla seals and sea lions at Kids’s Pool Seashore and La Jolla Cove. As quickly as you see that your child or toddler reacts to animals, they’ll be sure you smile at these loud, energetic residents.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps is one other favourite of residents in San Diego with toddlers. Arrive when it opens to seize a parking area. Then, spend a couple of hours right here taking a look at fish and enjoying with hands-on reveals.
As quickly as your children present an curiosity in LEGOs, you'll be able to take them to LEGOLAND California. Often, this hits round age 2. There are tame household rides they may take pleasure in, too.
Convey a provider and contemplate a stroll alongside a few of our delicate climbing trails with the entire household. There’s a one-mile loop at San Elijo lagoon, simple trails all through Cabrillo Nationwide Monument in Level Loma, or you'll be able to soak up views at Torrey Pines State Pure Reserve. The latter gives eight climbing trails.
Find out how to Save Cash on Your San Diego Household Trip
With a bit planning, your San Diego journey doesn’t have to interrupt the financial institution.
Purchase Sightseeing Passes
If you happen to plan on visiting two or extra of our sights, contemplate buying the Go San Diego sightseeing cross.
A lot of the ticketed excursions, museums, and amusement parks on this checklist are included on a number of of the three Go San Diego passes. If you understand precisely the place you’re going, Construct Your Personal cross with financial savings beginning at 20% off.
The extra sights you add, the upper your financial savings will probably be. You can even select a complete All-Inclusive cross, which saves as much as 55% off of 35+ sights, or the brand new Explorer Move, which helps you to go to 3, 4, 5, or 7 included sights that you simply don’t must preselect.
Have a look at Low cost Tickets & Combo Tickets
You can even seek for ticket combo packages or purchase low cost tickets a la carte by way of my aRes Journey website as methods to economize on a San Diego trip.
And, don’t overlook that I've the very best costs for Zoo and Safari Park tickets.
Go to in October
If you happen to’re visiting in October, Youngsters Free San Diego gives free admission, meals, and resort stays at over 100 taking part eating places, motels, and San Diego sights for youths.
It’s a good time of yr to expertise all the cool stuff to do in San Diego for youths with out going over price range. Adults might want to purchase a qualifying ticket (which you'll at a reduction by way of me when the time comes) to reap the benefits of this promotion which is straightforward to do.
See additionally: San Diego Reductions: Expertise the Metropolis for Much less
FAQs About San Diego for Youngsters
These are probably the most often requested questions on issues to do in San Diego with children that I obtain from readers.
Is San Diego family-friendly?
Sure! San Diego is likely one of the finest family-friendly locations on this planet regardless of how outdated your children are.
Our year-round temperature common of 70 levels implies that sightseeing at our hottest sights like San Diego Zoo Safari Park, LEGOLAND California, and the San Diego Zoo are not often restricted by rainfall.
You'll be able to go to the seaside year-round and the overwhelming majority of our eating places of any caliber welcoming to children. I'm your go-to useful resource for planning your San Diego household trip.
What’s there to do in San Diego with a child?
Gentle hikes are standard with households visiting with infants. We have now implausible beachfront parks, like Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla the place you'll be able to lay out a blanket and allow them to roll round or sit in shade or solar for hen watching or a peek on the seals.
Dip their toes within the ocean at considered one of our family-friendly seashores and get them up-close with fish at Birch Aquarium and even greater animals on the San Diego Zoo. Test my checklist of finest San Diego resort swimming pools for one to swish round with them in on the finish of the day.
In case your child naps nicely within the automobile, drive elements of our well-known 59-mile scenic drive to discover the larger San Diego space. Whereas she or he sleeps, you'll be able to take heed to tunes and sightsee. Plan at the very least three hours to make the loop or cut up it into a number of days.
What’s there to do with a 1-year-old in San Diego?
A enjoyable exercise for 1-year-olds is to take a stroll round Balboa Park. Cease into the Yard play area for ages 0-5 at San Diego Pure Historical past Museum. Child Metropolis inside Fleet Science Heart additionally has a gentle play space for this age.
Admission to those museums for this age group is free and they're proper subsequent to one another. This age group additionally will get a kick out of the La Jolla Cove sea lions and the seaside.
What can a 2-year-old do in San Diego?
Probably the greatest locations to take a 2-year-old is Birch Aquarium at Scripps. This age group loves wanting on the fish, touching sea creatures within the tide swimming pools, and enjoying with hands-on reveals in a protected, contained area.
Sesame Avenue Bay of Play at SeaWorld San Diego can be a favourite of native 2-year-olds particularly if they're Elmo followers. On the age of two, my daughter additionally beloved the San Diego Zoo as there are many animals to see up-close.
What’s there to do in San Diego with youngsters?
Except for touring our implausible schools, we have now loads of enjoyable actions for older children. SeaWorld San Diego is dwelling to some curler coasters that teenagers love and so they can discover ways to shred some waves or showcase mad abilities at a skate park.
There’s no lack of selfie spots. We have now murals, cute cafes, and ornamental desserts (from decadent donuts to huge ice cream cones) which are good for his or her Instagram feeds. Learn the complete checklist of issues to do in San Diego with teenagers and tweens.
What’s free for youths in San Diego?
Fortunately, a number of the finest issues to do in San Diego with children are free. Youngsters ages Three and beneath get in free to theme parks just like the San Diego Zoo and LEGOLAND California. Prime concepts totally free household enjoyable in San Diego embrace:
- San Diego seashores (in fact).
- Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego with its play constructions and water play fountain.
- A go to to the La Jolla seals and La Jolla Cove sea lions.
- Household-friendly climbing trails.
- Exploring Previous City San Diego’s historic buildings and park.
- Youngsters eat free restaurant promotions, although as these change, you need to verify earlier than you go.
And don’t overlook about Youngsters Free San Diego in October the place children enter free with a paid grownup. Restrictions apply and particulars for the promotion are usually launched in August.
What can a household in San Diego do at evening?
San Diego children’ actions at evening fluctuate by season, however there are at all times enjoyable issues to do for the complete household. Test occasion calendars at native museums and sights. Ideas embrace:
- Night Padres baseball video games at PETCO Park.
- Belmont Park (normally open till Eight p.m).
- Night Previous City Trolley Excursions that drive by haunted sights or vacation lights.
- Night bay dinner cruises.
- Seashore bonfires or s’extra roasting (the latter you are able to do at Resort del Coronado).
- Household-friendly performs at native theaters corresponding to The Previous Globe (see The Grinch throughout the holidays), Prado Theatre, and San Diego Civic Theater.
- Bayside Summer time Nights concert events.
What to do with children in San Diego when it rains?
A wet day is an ideal excuse to discover considered one of our many kid-friendly San Diego museums. Balboa Park is my prime choose as a result of its museums are shut collectively which implies that with an Explorer or Go San Diego cross, you'll be able to bounce between them at leisure with out worrying about paying admission every time. Plus, you’re solely strolling brief distances between lots of them.
What’s there to do in La Jolla with children?
My seaside neighborhood of La Jolla gives children implausible alternatives to unplug within the outside, be it a day at La Jolla Shores Seashore, kayaking previous our sea caves, or simply gawking at our resident seals on the Kids’s Pool and sea lions at La Jolla Cove.
Dr. Seuss lived in La Jolla, and the wind-blown timber thought to have impressed the truffula timber in The Lorax are positioned in Ellen Browning Scripps Park. We have now playgrounds and parks, Birch Aquarium, and family-friendly eating places. Please learn my full rundown of issues to do in La Jolla with children.
Ought to I keep in Downtown San Diego with Youngsters?
One query I obtain fairly a bit since there are not any large resorts in downtown San Diego is whether or not it’s a enjoyable place to stick with youngsters.
It may be, undoubtedly, should you don’t thoughts a boutique or enterprise resort. Among the most enjoyable issues to do in San Diego with children are in downtown like the usMidway Museum and New Kids’s Museum. San Diego Zoo is about 10 minutes away by automobile.