10 Best Things to Do with Kids in San Diego

Fact: San Diego is one of the world's best family destinations. Between the gorgeous beaches, year-round temperature average of 70° F, waterfront restaurants, family-friendly resorts and attractions, there truly is something for all ages to enjoy, frequently at the same time.

Though difficult to pick a top choice, the world-famous San Diego Zoo is a must-visit. A pioneer of cageless exhibits designed around a particular habitat, the zoo houses different species (some coexisting side-by-side) among native plants just as they might be found in the wild. You may want to plan your visit around special experiences such as the back stage pass experience (featuring animal encounters) or even a zoo sleepover.

Grab the sand toys and sunscreen. Prepare to spend part of your San Diego holiday on one of the world's finest beaches. Coronado Municipal Beach promises plenty of picturesque white sand and a usually calm ocean. Not staying in Coronado? Don't worry, there are plenty of other gorgeous beaches up and down the coast of San Diego county.

One way to drag the kids off the sand involves taking them to SeaWorld or LEGOLAND. Win parent of the year by including both in your holiday plans. Either park can fill up an entire day, though if short on time a half-day is doable. And, don't forget Balboa Park's museums which are perfect for a rare rainy day.

Check the San Diego Convention and Visitor's Bureau website for current discounts, such as the Go San Diego card, that can make multiple activities around town a little easier on the wallet.



For ocean-related adventure activities, this is the beach to visit. Located in front of the La Jolla Shores Hotel, La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and playground of Kellogg Park, La Jolla Shoes beach is one of the best in San Diego. A mile of...  Read More



Known as one of the top ten beaches in the US, the seaward side of Coronado Island is exceptionally clean, with wide stretches of sand. The northern end, North Beach, is dog-friendly and popular for surfing in the summer. The main part, Central...  Read More

Belmont Park


Built in 1925 by sugar magnate John D. Spreckles, this amusement park reopened in the late 1980s and is the only beachside amusement park in Southern California. Perhaps the biggest draw is the Giant Dipper, the original wooden roller coaster....  Read More



If it's major league baseball time, why not grab some tickets to a Padres home game at PETCO Park, when they're in town. Not only does PETCO Park have the best sight lines in baseball, there's also great views of San Diego from some parts of the...  Read More



This park encompasses over 4200 acres, with 27 miles of shoreline of which 19 are sandy beach. Facilities include marinas, a horseshoe court, sand volleyball courts, fire rings, picnic areas, children's play areas, and paths for biking,...  Read More

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona


Get nose-to-nose with a lion, feed a giraffe, see rhinos tending their young, view an elephant herd splashing in a pond, and marvel at the fact that you can have a mini Safari experience right here in the USA. A tram takes you through the heart...  Read More

LEGOLAND California
Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona


This is the place for kids and the kid in you. LEGOLAND California is perched on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Carlsbad, a 40-minute drive north from Downtown San Diego. Everything looks like it was built with LEGOs (likely because it...  Read More

Balboa Park


With over 85 cultural and recreational facilities, Balboa Park is a must-see. It's probably best to start at the Visitor's Center for a map and events calendar, and to purchase a Balboa Park Passport, which provides entrance to most of park's...  Read More

SeaWorld San Diego
Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona


Pet a dolphin, watch the antics of barking seals and walruses, enjoy polar bears taking an icy plunge, view penguins in their icy habitat, come eye-to-eye with a shark, see cats and dogs (and even pigs) doing amazing tricks, and more. SeaWorld...  Read More

San Diego Zoo
Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona


A trip to San Diego isn't complete without a visit to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Located in Balboa Park on 100 acres, the Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals representing 800 species, many of them rare or endangered. The lush landscaping...  Read More


Meet Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon originally moved to the seaside community of La Jolla to attend UC San Diego. When the opportunity presented itself, she and her husband set off for a 7 year stint overseas as...  More About Katie