For those of us who live in landlocked areas, California is an ideal spot for a family getaway. Every so often, it’s nice to see the ocean and enjoy some sun, fun, beach, and sand. One popular California destination is, of course, San Diego. Here are a few ideas for activities to consider as you plan your visit.
10 Things to Do with Kids in San Diego, CA
1. Explore the Reuben H Fleet Science Center – Our kids are young, so we spent our time in the spacious and creative toddler area. Older kids may enjoy the Grossology exhibit. This museum is even better if you get in FREE because your local museum participates in the reciprocal ASTC passport program.
2. Don’t miss the world-famous zoo – No article about kid-friendly San Diego would be complete without mention of the zoo! Ride the SkyFari, see the giant pandas, spend time at the petting zoo, and (by all means!) watch the live animal cams before and after you go!
3. Take a walk on the wild side at the Safari Park – At the park, you can watch (in awe) as the animals roam freely. Should you want to do more than just watch from afar, there are several opportunities for up close and personal encounters; check the website for the different safari options. Hint: the Flightline Safari is a great adventure for those looking for some excitement!
4. Play at the New Children’s Museum – This museum is interactive, hands-on, and engaging. Toddlers will love the lights, animal noises, and the disco ball hanging from the hayloft in the Barn Dance exhibit. In October 2013 a new exhibit debuted, Feast: The Art of Playing with Your Food.
5. Make some memories at Legoland – For many families, a trip to LEGOLAND is an important item on their travel bucket list. What will your little Lego lover want to do first? Visit the waterpark, ride the rides, check out the aquarium, dig for dinos, or play in the DUPLO interactive playground?
6. Spend a day (or two) at SeaWorld – SeaWorld was the highlight of our San Diego trip. Our little ones loved the waddling penguins, playful seals, jumping dolphins, and splashing whales. For families with little ones, you MUST check out the relatively new area for young kids–the Sesame Street Bay of Play.
7. Listen to and watch the seals at La Jolla – We ended up in La Jolla almost by accident. We were looking for a kid-friendly restaurant with an ocean view and heard that there were several great restaurants in La Jolla. The best surprise was the large population of seals and seal pups that live in the area.
8. Spend time at the beach – We live in landlocked Indiana, so an obvious highlight of San Diego is that there are several beautiful and kid-friendly beaches. We stayed near the bay where the waters were calm and cool. The ocean side of the beaches offer great surfing potential for daring grown-ups.
9. Board the world’s most-visited floating ship museum – This city on a ship has enough to do that most families spend three or four hours exploring this nautical museum!
10. Go whale watching – Depending on the time of year you visit, you and your family can watch a spectacular whale migration. Whales swim near San Diego from December through May. Great news for those who prefer to stay out of boats: you can even watch them from the shore or the water!
Whether you’re visiting with babies or teens, there’s plenty to do and see in sunny San Diego. The hardest part may be deciding between the many appealing choices.