Best Family Activities in San Diego
Figuring out the best things to do with kids in San Diego is pretty easy. If you're planning to bring the whole family to SoCal, plan to stay busy.
When considering the best San Diego attractions for kids, the beach always tops the list. This Southern California city is renowned for its long sandy beaches and surf-able waves. In fact, San Diego boasts more than 70 miles of coastline. No matter what time of year you visit, beauty and fun abound at San Diego's beaches.
This 106-year-old crowd pleaser is world-renowned with over 4,000 animals and an exotic garden setting. With 100 acres of diverse habitats, the zoo might feel like its own continent. Start with a narrated, double-decker bus tour to get a quick overview of major attractions. Highlights include cuddly koalas of Australian Outback, celebrity pandas of Asian Passage, and adorable penguins of African Rocks.
San Diego Safari Park The San Diego Safari Park is just as impressive as its sister property, the world-famous San Diego Zoo. This animal park encompasses a whopping 1,800 acres, compared to the zoo's 100.
Balboa part has kid-friendly museums, striking architecture, and dazzling gardens. Whirl around a historic carousel, catch a free amphitheater concert, and sniff fragrant plants in the breathtaking Botanical Building. An Explorer Pass offers discount admission to all 17 museums including the popular Model Railroad Museum.
This spiffy seaside amusement park has thrill rides, midway games, and beachfront eats. The recently restored 1925 amusement center exudes timeless charm.
Everything is awesome at this vibrant Lego-constructed world that’s a worthwhile drive from San Diego. Geared toward the 12-and-under set, the park’s themed landscape and painstaking, large-scale models put that Lego aisle at Target to shame. The resort features a separately ticketed aquarium and water park, plus two Lego-themed hotels.
At Seaworld you can get up close with orcas, walruses, penguins, sharks, flamingos, seals, dolphins, otters, sea lions, and more. There are rides and roller coasters, of course, plus interactive animal activities and presentations. Special events are held throughout the year, including Halloween and Christmas-themed celebrations and even a craft beer festival.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps This aquarium in La Jolla provides a worthwhile alternative to SeaWorld San Diego. It's a great place for families on a tight budget or with limited time. The focus at Birch Aquarium is on ocean education, animal care, and conservation.
The New Children's Museum This Children's museum was designed to encourage children to think, play, and create using hands-on exhibitions and artistic activities.
Sesame Place opened in the southern suburb of Chula Vista in 2022. This theme park was designed specifically for children aged 3 to 10.
San Diego County overflows with fun for families. From theme parks and animal adventures to nature play and museums, these activities are sure to keep all ages content.
Shawn Collins image Sesame Place