10 Things to Do in San Diego With Kids

Aug 20, 2020 | San Diego Activities

Are your kids getting lockdown blues and missing going outdoors? Are you in San Diego or planning to visit San Diego soon? Are you unsure about what to do in San Diego when you visit it?

If you want to bring your kids to San Diego after the pandemic calms down, keep reading. Below, we’ve got a list of things to do in San Diego with kids.

In 2018, a record-breaking 35.8 million people visited San Diego.  Because of its many kid-friendly attractions, San Diego is a great place for family vacations and school field trips. San Diego also holds a lot of educational and informative destinations. Your kids won’t only have great fun, but they’ll also learn a lot from the places you’ll visit.

1. Play With Huge Legos at LEGOLAND

One of the top things to do in San Diego with kids is to visit LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad. From researching on the internet, your kid may already have this theme park in mind. It’s a Lego-themed resort and theme park that’s great for kids between 2 and 12 years old.

It features the Lego-theme Sea Life Aquarium. It also has a Lego-themed water park that’s perfect to visit on a hot day. A few of its attractions include a driving school, police and fire academy, and a Lego factory tour.

If you’re unsure about what attractions are open, download the LEGOLAND app. It’s available for free, and it shows up-to-date ride statuses and waiting times. That’ll help you create an optimized plan for your LEGOLAND visit.

2. Get Hands-on in the Fleet Science Center

Learning from and joining hands-on exhibits are fun things to do in San Diego. You can find and explore 100 of these hands-on exhibits at the Fleet Science Center. They’re all over the eight galleries in the establishment in Balboa Park.

It’s an awesome place for kids to get a better understanding of natural phenomenon like gravity. They’ll also learn how to lift fingerprints and explore the universe. The center hosts STEM activities for all ages, like building stuff.

If you want to hold your field trip to the Fleet Science Center, all you need to do is to book it. They also hold sleepovers for kids who want to experience spend the night in a museum. Teachers who want to improve their knowledge can join the Teacher Partner Program.

3. Learn Natural History in theNAT

theNAT is another name for the San Diego Natural History Museum. You can find it across the Fleet Science Center. Its activities and attractions include scavenger hunts, a play area, and a lot of exhibits.

If you want to educate kids the fun way, bringing them to theNAT is a good choice. They’ll learn about fossils, geology, ecosystems, and history. Everyone in the family picks up useful knowledge of insects, minerals, and more.

Don’t forget to follow the guidelines to stay safe during the ongoing pandemic. Wear masks and create distance from other people who don’t belong in the same household.

4. Tour and Eat in Old Town California 

Is your adolescent or teenager into haunted houses? Bring them to Old Town California to take a tour of the El Campo Santo Cemetery or the Whaley House. It’s the first house in San Diego made from bricks and is one of the oldest.

Speaking of old, the Old Town is a historic place that you can visit for a half-day trip. It’s been around since 1769 and where the first Spanish settlers arrived. It’s also the birthplace of modern California, according to the park’s history.

The heart of the Old Town is in its food. You can find over 25 eateries within a one-mile radius and every kind of food in them. Note that its specialty is traditional Mexican cuisine to be in sync with the place’s theme.

5. Have a Close Look at the Animals at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The presence of a pet in the home helps a child’s emotional development. However, to a kid, nothing beats a trip to see actual wildlife. They may only see the rhinos and giraffes once, but they’ll treasure the memory or even talk about it with their pets at home.

For unique things to do in San Diego, bring the kids to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It’s a sister property of the San Diego Zoo, and it’s on a massive 1,800-acre land. It features an open landscape where the animals can roam free rather than stay in cages.

You go through the park on a transport vehicle. For a more memorable adventure, try the park’s zip-line. You can also stay overnight and watch the stars “in the wild” when you sign up for the Roar and Snore camping feature.

6. Hike the Trails in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

With eight hiking trails in the reserve, you and your kids have a lot of choices on the path to choose. For example, for a trail that’s well-suited for young children, pick the Guy Fleming Trail. It runs and loops only for two-thirds of a mile.

For a destination worth hiking to, take the Beach Trail. It goes down three-quarters of a mile from a cliff by the sea to the beach. The journey’s end will also give you a spot to relax while your kids play in the surf.

Everyone is welcome in the natural reserve. The reserve is the home of Torrey pines, which is a rare pine species in the US. You can also find the prickly pear cactus, wildflowers, desert brush, and other native plants here.

7. See the Sea World at Birch Aquarium

SeaWorld San Diego can pose a lot of restrictions to younger kids and parents with babies. A great alternative is the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. It also offers a similar underwater attraction at a more affordable price.

Birch Aquarium focuses on ocean education and conservation. There, you can touch starfish and anemones under the guidance of their personnel. You can join off-site events like whale watching and snorkeling with leopard sharks.

8. Swim at the San Diego Beaches

Are you working with a limited budget? If you still have a day left or you arrived early in San Diego, why not spend it on the seaside? The beaches are open at all times of the year and are great for family picnics.

Do you want the kids to learn something cool? Sign the kids up for surfing lessons. If you want to go further into the sea with your child, try sea-kayaking.

For teachers and parents, the simple act of sitting in the sand and listening to the waves can be relaxing. When it’s time to go home, they’ll feel tired from the day in the surf and sun. If you’re on a supercoach bus, it’s a great and comfortable vehicle for the kids to rest while on the road.

9. Get In-Touch With Nature at the San Diego Botanic Garden

If you’re in the Encinitas area in San Diego, head over to the Botanic Garden. It has 29 gorgeous gardens with a variety of themes. Those themes range from a bamboo garden to a fire safety garden.

It also has gardens that feature plants that come from various places. Your kids can find gardens housing plants from the Canary Islands, Africa, and Mexico. There are also the Old and New World Desert Gardens that feature cacti, dragon trees, and more.

For bird lovers, bird watching is one of the best things to do in San Diego. You can also sign your kid up for youth tours. If you live in San Diego, celebrate your kid’s birthday by booking a picnic area in the park.

10. Think, Play, and Create at The New Children’s Museum

This is the final entry on our list of the top things to do in San Diego today. The New Children’s Museum is one of the best places to visit if you’ve got kids in a range of ages. Its goals, experiences, and features all ring true to its motto of “think, play, create.”

You can bring babies, toddlers, kids, and teenagers to the museum and find activities appropriate for them all. It includes art-based, interactive, and educational activities. Most of its art installations are open for kids of all ages, but some also have age restrictions.

Don’t forget to go to self-quarantine after your trip. The CDC recommends you stay indoors for 14 days and watch your health even if you don’t feel the symptoms. Now, the Museum is still working on a reopening plan and doesn’t have an opening date yet.

Enjoy With These Things to Do in San Diego With Kids

Build your kids’ childhood with happy memories and educational activities. They only last a short while, so make the best out of them while you can. San Diego offers a variety of great experiences your kids need to experience at least once.

That ends our list of the top things to do in San Diego with kids. We hoped you enjoyed reading our list of the best places to see in San Diego with your kids.

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