Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in San Diego

Hotel del coronado

Summer means more time to spend as a family. Not only can you play outside, but the days are longer. Summer is the perfect time for swimming and other outdoor fun. But what can you do to make the most of your extra time together? To help you find ways to stay busy and make memories, here are 10 ideas for things you can do with your kids in San Diego. You could even turn this list into a family summer bucket-list and check off activities as you do them.

Surfside ranch


1. Pet Animals at Surfside Ranch: Spending time around animals benefits us all. At Surfside Ranch they have animals beyond just horses. Enjoy unique animal interactions at the petting zoo at Surfside Ranch. They have horses, alpacas, llamas, goats, chickens, and pigs that you can get up close and personal with, taking turns to feed and pet them. Surfside Ranch provides a relaxing adventure through beautiful nature trails or frolicking on the cool sandy beaches of San Diego.


Balboa park


2. Go to the Museum: Whatever your family is interested in, there is surely a museum (or even a few) that will suit your interests. Enjoy hacking, inventing, exploring, and make something new with a variety of options in Balboa Park. This summer, explore all things that go at the San Diego Air & Space Museum to The Fleet Science Center, there are plenty of options to choose from. To make a day of it, pick a few museums to visit in Balboa Park.


Water kayaking

3. Spend the Day on the Water Kayaking: Depending on how young your children are, kayaking may be an adventurous family activity you can do together. There are plenty of companies that offer kayaking tours and provide you with all the equipment, you just have to show up. La Jolla Kayak has tours where you can explore caves and possibly even spot sea life. Explore La Jolla Shores and see harmless Leopard Sharks, Garibaldi, and other reef fish that call this area home.


Living coast discovery center

4. Learn About Local Wildlife: You might be surprised to find just how much interesting wildlife we have in our own backyard. Take your kids to the Living Coast Discovery Center to enjoy wildlife encounters, explore exhibits, and walk the trails along the shore of San Diego Bay. San Diego is home to dozens of raptor (bird of prey) species. Encounter bird ambassadors and learn how awe-inspiring each species is. You can also enter the fascinating world of sharks and rays! Touch the velvety backs of friendly rays as they glide through the interactive touch pool and get face-to-face with endangered Eastern Pacific green sea turtles.


Hotel del coronado

5. Movies on the Beach at Hotel del Coronado: If your family loves feature films, Movies on the Beach at Hotel del Coronado is a fun way to bond. The hotel will be screening movies through September with favorites like Grease, The Goonies, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off showing. You can get snacks and drinks there, and even reserve your own private bonfire. Offering two packages: General Admission – Enjoy the movie from a comfy Del Beach sand chair. Guests will be seated in socially distanced groups. VIP Family Movie Package – Treat yourself to the ultimate Coronado Island movie experience with a Roast private beach bonfire, s’mores for 4 people, two Del Beach chairs and a Del Beach daybed.


Surfside ranch


6. Play, Ride, and Eat at Belmont Park: Mission Beach’s very own amusement park is the perfect place to soak up the sun and the fun. Belmont Park is located at Mission Beach Boardwalk in San Diego and they have plenty of rides like the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, Tilt-A-Whirl, and Krazy Kars to entertain for hours. Explore 7 acres of beachfront fun where more fun awaits with laser tag, a rock wall, mini golf and plenty of beachfront shopping, dining, and entertainment. Make sure to get a Dole Whip to snack on and keep cool.


San diego zoo

7. Visit San Diego Zoo: The San Diego Zoo is located near downtown San Diego in Balboa Park and the 100-acre Zoo is home to more than 3,500 rare and endangered animals representing more than 650 species and subspecies, and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. Have you heard about the two new habitats at the San Diego Zoo? Visit the new attractions which feature Komodo dragons and hummingbirds, two creatures you do not get much of a chance to observe otherwise. It will make for an exciting and educational experience all in one.


Mission trails regional park

8. Take a Hike: What better way to explore San Diego than showing your kids all the natural wonders that lay just off the path. If your children are into the outdoors, there are a variety of kid-friendly hikes around the city that you can do together. Try beginner hikes like the Grasslands Loop Trail at Mission Trails Regional Park. The park encompasses more than 8,000 acres of both natural and developed recreational areas. Its rugged hills, valleys and open areas represent a San Diego prior to the landing of Cabrillo in San Diego Bay in 1542.


San diego padres

9. Catch a Baseball Game: Heading out to a ballgame with the family is a classic pastime that perfectly personifies that summer feeling. Support the San Diego Padres, grab some snacks, and get caught up in the excitement of it all. This summer you can catch home games against the Rockies, Dodgers, D-Backs, and more.


San diego waterfront park

10. Go for a Picnic: Sometimes it pays to keep it simple, especially when you can take advantage of the beautiful San Diego weather at one of our local parks. Plan a picnic for your family with your favorite foods, toys and games, or even a good book—just make sure to bring the sunblock. Some parks even have their own attractions, like the children’s play zone at Waterfront Park.

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Esteban Villanueva