Traveling with children? You’re in luck, because San Diego has tons of great places to visit that both children and parents will enjoy. Below are our top picks for family-friendly attractions in San Diego.
This renowned aquarium showcases exploratory and learning classes for kids. The A, B, Sea Club teaches kids up to age 4 about the ocean world. Each class has live animal encounters and exhibits. Pre-registration required. Adventures for the whole family include grunion watching, tidepooling, snorkeling, whale watching and pier walks.
Catering to infants through age 5, this exhibit houses a magnetic wall, a funhouse mirror and a grocery store where kids can gain understanding in basic math.
It’s right there in the name. This is not your average museum. Bounce houses, playgrounds, crafts, a bubble station (bring extra clothes) all combine to a wonderful day of family fun. We recommend a visit for children 8 and under. Many of the areas are geared toward toddler and younger children.
The preferred beach for Winners Circle Resort guests, this pristine beach is nestled in the upscale village of Del Mar. Powerhouse park is nearby along with many shops and restaurants.
La Jolla Shores
One of the most popular beaches in San Diego, this stretch of sand offers a playground and both sand and grass areas for you to picnic, surf, or sunbathe.
This laid back beach boasts its very own amusement park, featuring the Giant Dipper rollercoaster, glow mini-golf, laser maze, bumper cars, arcade, carousel and more, Belmont Park is a blast for all ages. The boardwalk is lined with restaurants, shops and cafes.
Lions and tigers and bears abound at each park, where more than 3,500 animals may be viewed in their natural habitats. Exhibits of note are the Journey into Africa tour, Lion Camp and the Conservation Carousel. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and enjoying a full breakfast for either park. Most cafes and coffee shops inside the parks do not open until 11am.
This amusement park boasts more than 50 rides, shows and attractions perfect for the whole family. Attractions of note are The Land of Adventure, Dino Island and Fun Town.
Featuring a ride-on train, outdoor courtyard with live music, an indoor ice rink, and a playground, this mall was voted the best mall for families by San Diego locals. It’s not all fun and games though–you can do some serious shopping at luxe retailers like Tiffany’s, Lush, Madewell, Lululemon and Michael Kors. Of course, if you’re shopping with the kids for the kids the outdoor mall also has plenty to offer, including Gepetto’s Toys and Gymboree.
This outdoor shopping center features a luxury cinema and great restaurants. There is a fun fountain for the kids to splash in and plenty of upscale boutiques to peruse. They also offer many seasonal events, like the annual Halloween costume contests and meet and greet with Santa.
This is not your typical strip mall. Anchored by Whole Foods and Spa Gregories, you can find some casual dining staples (Chipotle, Burger Lounge), but you’ll also see many one of a kind shops–everything from cheese to maternity clothing to wine to toys can be found in this newly remodeled shopper’s paradise. There is also a playground located near Gepetto’s Toy store.