United States California Travel

Family Friendly Activities in San Diego

If you’re thinking of a place to take the family on your next vacation, consider visiting San Diego, California. Renowned for one of the most temperate climates in the country, San Diego is home to some of the best theme parks, museums and beaches. With such a wide selection of amusements, it’s the perfect get away for you and your children. Be sure to check out these top locations on your trip.

San Diego Zoo

Panda at the San Diego Zoo

No trip to San Diego is complete without visiting the San Diego Zoo.  Consistently rated as the best zoo in the world, it’s a family destination you can’t miss. Home to 4,000 animals, San Diego Zoo has some of the rarest animal species in the world. Try to visit early in the morning or late afternoon, in order to avoid crowds and view the animals at their most active state.

Safari Park

San Diego Safari Park

While you’re in the San Diego Zoo area, stop by Safari Park.  Unlike the San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park has animals roaming in vast open spaces that emulate their natural habitats. Go to the jungles of Africa or Asia without ever having to leave San Diego. Take a tram ride and view all the animals from the comfort of your seat, zip line across ropes through the forest, or ride a hot air balloon 400 feet into the air!

Balboa Park

For a more cultural and artistic experience visit Balboa Park. With 15 museums in one gorgeous location, you’ll never run out of activities in this beautiful location. The list of museums includes the San Diego Modern Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Japanese Friendship Garden and so much more. Enjoy live music, theater and exhibitions in the most beautiful park in San Diego.


Technic Coaster at Legoland

San Diego is home to one of only six Legolands in the entire world (the others are in Florida, UK, Denmark, Germany, and Malaysia). With giant Lego models of the White House, Las Vegas, and The Golden Gate Bridge, your family will be dazzled by ingenuity of the familiar and timeless household Lego blocks. Drive around in Lego cars, ride Lego boats, and of course, build your own Lego structures.


Shamu at SeaWorld

For an aquatic adventure, head over to SeaWorld. This park is unique in that it’s the only SeaWorld that is actually connected to the ocean. In addition to famous attractions such as Shamu and the Sea Lion comedy show, SeaWorld also boasts theme park rides and aquariums that will delight adults and children.

USS Midway Museum

USS Midway Museum, San Diego

This museum delves into military and navy history with great exhibits and expert guides and helpers to give tours and answer questions. This great museum can easily interest the family for several hours.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Torrey Pines State Reserve

This lovely reserve is a great place to go to get out into nature. With a lovely walk and hiking place, a beach, wonderful views, plenty of space for children to run, and picnic spots, this park will refresh those who just need to get outside and have fun.

If you’re there late in the day, try Razor Point trail; it’s a great place to catch a San Diego sunset.

Old Globe Theatre

Old Globe Theatre in San Diego
Photo credit Bernard Gagnon

Catching a live play is always a great source of entertainment for the family, and this theater adjacent to the zoo makes performances extra special with its outdoor atmosphere. Get tickets reserved or buy them the day of the show. Performing Shakespeare and musicals, patrons everywhere rave about this theater.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Photo credit Antoine Taveneaux licensed under creative commons

Geared specifically for children, this aquarium is a great place to go to. The expert staff are quick to help and answer any questions, and though it may be small, the exhibits are magnificent and fascinating. Plenty of activities for the children, and you can even watch a show where they feed the sharks!

Petco Park

Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres
Photo credit SD Dirk licensed under Creative Commons

For sports families, this ballpark is a great stadium to visit. Catch a San Diego Padres baseball game. Tickets are affordable, the seating is excellent, and for $10 a person you can get an hour long tour of the park. What an exciting event for any baseball lover!

Belmont Park / Mission Beach

Mission Beach, California
Photo credit Phil Konstantin licensed under Creative Commons

No vacation guide is complete without mentioning San Diego’s beaches. With miles of sandy shores, San Diego has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Clean, gentle waves and pristine sand can give your children the opportunity to swim and explore. Though the water and sand may be a bit chilly on the Pacific coast, you still can’t beat a day at the beach. With a nice boardwalk, an amusement park nearby, and excellent waves and sand for swimming, playing, and tanning, the beach is a must stop for any family on vacation.

Belmont Park is one of San Diego’s most popular theme parks. Located on the beautiful ocean front of Mission Beach, it has many of the contemporary amusement park rides, as well as an arcade and Lasertag arena. With free admission, parking, and Mission Beach nearby, there are plenty of attractions to keep your family entertained without straining your wallet

Balboa Park

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park is s special cultural park in San Diego. The park contains museums, gardens and theaters. Balboa Park is also home to the previously mentioned San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park has plenty of activities for kids of every age. If you plan to sneak in a trip before the summer’s end, the park is having a photo contest with prizes for all kids ages 6-17.

San Diego has plenty of family activities, from museums to parks to theaters, and there is so much for you and your family to see and do. So book out your trip now and have a great vacation!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Buy Dholki
    November 9, 2012 at 12:33 am

    San Diego is really a cool place to hangout with your friend and family and its has a lots of places to visit and enjoy the moments.

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