13+ Issues to Do in San Diego With Children

I’ve traveled to the higher San Diego a number of occasions for work occasions and conferences however hadn’t been there with my household. I knew they’d find it irresistible – the laid-back ambiance, the sandy, and salty air, the near-perfect temperatures, and the enjoyable kid-friendly actions.

After experiencing a protracted winter in Boston, we have been desperate to board our cross-country flight to lovely and sunny San Diego. Our 5-night go to felt a bit too brief – subsequent time we’ll undoubtedly keep at the very least 7 nights so we are able to get pleasure from much more trip time and exquisite climate. Listed here are a number of the finest issues to do in San Diego with children.

Disclosure: A few of this San Diego trip with children was both comped or supplied at a media charge. This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks. A purchase order and/or click on via these hyperlinks (together with on the map) could end in a fee paid to us. All opinions are our personal.

Get offers on tickets to Southern California sights right here.

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Small San Diego beach with boats docked and in the water. - post about the best things to do in San Diego

Issues to do in San Diego With Children

In the event you plan to go to a number of actions in San Diego, you might discover that you just’ll get monetary savings with a CityPASS. With the San Diego CityPASS, you’ll be capable to select to go to LEGOLAND California and/or SeaWorld San Diego. Then, you possibly can add three further sights from this record:

  • San Diego Zoo or the Safari Park
  • USS Halfway Museum
  • Metropolis Cruises
  • Outdated City Trolley Excursions
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego

Whereas you will want to select from LEGOLAND and SeaWorld (or purchase a go that features each), you received’t have to select from the opposite sights while you buy the ticket.

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo (and different museums in Balboa Park)

The world-famous San Diego Zoo is situated in Balboa Park. It was a few 15-minute drive from our lodge (the Bahia Resort Lodge) and provides free parking. We arrived proper at opening, and I’d undoubtedly advocate that particularly if visiting over a weekend or busy time.

Our go to to the zoo was fabulous. We began behind the zoo and moved ahead to restrict crowds. As you’d count on, the Panda exhibit is extraordinarily well-liked, and a queue begins early. Head to that exhibit towards the start of your go to to keep away from a protracted wait.

My children particularly liked the koala exhibit (Koalafornia), the turtles and tortoises, the child gorilla, the giraffes, the polar bears, and the pandas, though there was actually a lot to see. I’d advocate utilizing the Skyfari to go from one aspect of the park to the opposite – it’s undoubtedly a protracted stroll.

The zoo additionally provides a guided double-decker bus tour, and numerous behind-the-scenes excursions (for an additional price). There are quite a few desk and counter-service meals areas all through the zoo. Parking is free, and also you’ll want a minimal of a half day to see a lot of the zoo.

You’ll be able to guide your San Diego Zoo tickets/trip right here.

Hornblower Cruises in San Diego

Harbor cruise with Hornblower Cruises

With San Diego’s location proper on the Pacific Ocean, a harbor cruise is a should. Hornblower Cruises provides a number of totally different choices. There’s a 3 1/2-hour whale-watching tour, a 1-hour harbor tour, and a 2-hour harbor tour. The whale-watching tour features a assure – in the event you don’t see whales throughout your journey, you’ll obtain a voucher to return.

Paid parking is on the market adjoining to the harbor, in addition to different personal heaps. The lot we parked in appeared to replenish, so undoubtedly maintain that in thoughts while you go to. The 1-hour and 2-hour harbor excursions overlap – so the ship leaves in a single route for an hour, after which returns. The primary group of 1-hour passengers disembark and the 2-hour passengers keep onboard. Then, the 1-hour passengers with tickets for the other way board the ship.

We have been most impressed with the standard and situation of the ship. It was utterly spotless and in nearly new situation. The crew was pleasant and supplied narration all through the tour. There’s seating out there in a wide range of spots all through the ship – I’d advocate asking a crew member which aspect to sit down on if you wish to be nearer to the vast majority of websites. There are mild snacks and drinks (together with alcohol) out there for buy on the ship.

Legoland California


LEGOLAND California is situated about 45 minutes away from San Diego within the lovely group of Carlsbad. A latest addition to the park is the adjoining LEGOLAND Lodge. My children actually wished to see the lodge, so we determined to pop in for a fast breakfast earlier than the park opened. It’s a child’s dream come true – with LEGO toys, shows, and inspiration all through the frequent areas of the lodge (we didn’t see the rooms or the pool).

LEGOLAND itself contains that common theme park, two separate water parks, and a SEALIFE Aquarium. Within the offseason, the water parks are closed, so we weren’t in a position to go to them. I’d undoubtedly advocate checking the working hours of the park prior to creating plans – on the day we visited, it was open 10-5 pm.

My son has been desirous to go to LEGOLAND for years, so we let him put collectively our plan for experiencing all the rides. He completely liked LEGOLAND and is already asking to return. After we have been completed visiting the park, each children had enjoyable spending their allowances within the reward store.

Ebook your LEGOLAND trip right here.

USS Midway

Petco Park, the USS Halfway, and Seaport Village

The waterfront and downtown areas of San Diego are additionally value a go to. Adjoining to the Hornblower Cruises boarding location is the USS Halfway, an plane service, and a brief stroll away is Seaport Village, a waterfront village with retailers and eating places.

Stroll in direction of the San Diego conference middle, cross the road, and also you’ll discover Petco Park (dwelling of the San Diego Padres). Excursions of the sector can be found. We didn’t have the prospect to go to the USS Halfway as a result of we ran out of trip days, nevertheless it was one thing we want we had completed.

Belmont Park San Diego

Belmont Park

Belmont Park is a enjoyable amusement park situated on Mission Bay. We have been in a position to stroll proper from our lodge, however ample free parking can be out there. Admission into the park is free, and you should buy tickets or an infinite journey wristband.

The spotlight of Belmont Park is the Large Dipper Curler Coaster, an old school wood curler coaster that was in-built 1925. My complete household rode it, and we liked it.

There are additionally different amusement-style rides, together with bumper automobiles and a Tilt-a-Whirl, in addition to different sights, like mini-golf, a ropes course, a zip-line (weight restrictions apply, so my children weren’t in a position to do it), and a rock wall. Belmont Park additionally options retailers, snack stands, and eating places.

Mission Beach in San Diego

Go to the Seaside

You’ll be able to’t depart San Diego with out dipping your toes into the Pacific at the very least as soon as. There are numerous seashores situated all through the huge metropolis, however we spent a lot of our time at Mission Seaside, adjoining to Belmont Park. It’s a enjoyable, energetic seashore with a restroom and BBQ services.

The Corvette Diner in San Diego

The Corvette Diner

The Corvette Diner was advisable to us, and we’re so pleased we visited there. This family-friendly scorching spot is situated in Level Loma proper in San Diego and has free parking out there. Reservations are solely out there for big events, so arrive early for a shorter wait, particularly throughout busy occasions.

When you are ready in your desk, you possibly can go to their full arcade which options fashionable and basic video games – my children particularly loved taking part in Ms. Pacman whereas we waited. I additionally had the prospect to show my son pinball (after all he was amazed that mommy really knew methods to play). Lots of the video games give digital tickets that may be exchanged for prizes.

The Corvette Diner options a number of distinct rooms – the primary room (pictured above), a slim “box-car” room the place every desk has a video display screen, the 60s room with day-glow partitions and heat-sensitive tables, and a perform room. A stay DJ emcees, and performs 50s and 60s tunes. It’s undoubtedly a fantastic contact.

The wait employees, who all appear to like their jobs, add to the enjoyable. Every waiter or waitress does enjoyable straw hairstyles for the feminine children in your occasion – my daughter couldn’t look ahead to our server to return over and do her hair. There’s additionally a balloon artist that rotates across the eating rooms, creating balloon animals and different creations in change for suggestions.

Meals is customary diner fare, with numerous choices for youths. My husband and I every ordered a salad, and each have been nice. The diner additionally provides a full bar. Though my children liked all elements of the Corvette Diner, the massive cotton sweet dessert was undoubtedly my son’s favourite.

Different Issues to Do in San Diego With Children

There are such a lot of different implausible issues to do in San Diego with children. These embrace the next:

Bahia Resort Hotel

The place to Keep in San Diego

There are numerous family-friendly resorts and accommodations situated all through the San Diego space, however we completely liked our keep on the Bahia Resort Lodge. Situated on Mission Seaside, the Bahia Resort Lodge contains a personal seashore and heated swimming pool, making it a fantastic “dwelling base” for your loved ones trip.

You can too discover some lodging choices on the map under:

No matter what you see and do throughout your San Diego household trip, you’ll nearly actually get pleasure from some implausible climate. Take pleasure in!

Ebook your Southern California trip right here.

Often Requested Questions

What’s the finest time to go to San Diego?

San Diego has near-perfect climate year-round. Faculty holidays are more likely to be the busiest, so keep away from these if attainable. We loved touring throughout our Massachusetts college trip in February.

What’s the finest airport for a visit to San Diego?

Essentially the most handy airport is the San Diego Worldwide Airport (SAN). The LA airports are additionally an choice, however you’ll have an extended drive into San Diego.

Do you want a rental automotive in San Diego?

You undoubtedly want a automotive to get round San Diego. You’ll be able to evaluate rental costs right here.

What number of days ought to I spend in San Diego?

We spent 5 days on our San Diego household trip, however I’d undoubtedly advocate an extended go to (about 7 days).

Is Disneyland near San Diego?

Disneyland is about 90 minutes from San Diego (longer with site visitors). There’s a lot to do in San Diego itself, however you possibly can undoubtedly additionally go to Disneyland in the event you’d prefer to.

Sightseeing boat docked in harbor

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