Top 20 places to visit with kids in San Diego
San Diego in California, United States, is brimming with entertaining & fun places that you can visit with your kids. Located in Southern California, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, San Diego has plenty of places that kids can enjoy. Its border with Mexico gives it a rich heritage and mouth-watering delicacies. The ocean and the beaches not only add them to the beauty of San Diego but also make for an exciting day out with the family.
- Maritime Museum of San Diego
Take a look at old ships and submarines, some of which date back to the 1800s. The special attraction is the Star of India, a vessel used for the Indian Cargo trade. You can also board a few of the ships and take photographs. This museum can be a great learning experience for the kids about the history of maritime and is one of the best places to visit with kids in San Diego.
- SeaWorld San Diego
A theme park where the whole family can definitely enjoy! It is an animal theme park inside Mission Bay Park in San Diego. SeaWorld is one of the most visited places to visit with kids in San Diego and it has roller coasters, shows, tours and rides and is a delight to animal lovers. Kids will enjoy watching the dolphins, orcs, sea lions, and beluga whales up close. You should definitely check out the Tower Ride in the park to get a great view from the top. The Bay of Play is an area where the rides are based on Sesame Street characters like Elmo’s Flying Fish and Abby’s Sea Star Spin!
- Carlsbad Flower Fields
Get closer to nature atop the North San Diego County and see the vibrant colors of nature illuminate the hills. There are fifty acres of flower fields, which bloom for about six to eight weeks between March and May. Kids will love to see the beautiful fields and get a chance to be near nature.
- San Diego Natural History Museum
The museum is a must for history lovers and is one of the best places to visit with kids in San Diego. Kids will especially love the dinosaurs and the fossil exhibits. The museum also boasts the largest 3D theater in California, which shows the Subaru 3D Experience, and can accommodate about 300 people. Located in Balboa Park, the museum has stunning architecture and is a venue for wedding ceremonies!
- Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
If you are up for hiking, this is a great option! The landscape is breathtaking as you get the view of the ocean from the hills. Great for geology enthusiasts, a hike towards the beach will be rife with fossilized seashells and rocks. Don’t forget to catch the sunset with your family after a beach stroll.
- Aquatica Water Park
The park has water slides that your kids are sure to enjoy in their summer break this park is one of the best places to visit with kids in San Diego.. See animals from up-close and enjoy the water experience. There are tube slides, lazy river and body slides to choose from. Take your kids to the wave pool area where they can dance to the DJ. Let your kids enjoy in the children’s pool as you soak in the sun.
- Seaport Village
A waterfront complex spanning 14 acres with a shopping area, eateries, and entertainment, Seaport Village will be a fun place to visit with the family. Walk around the area and explore the open-air mall. You can also take a cruise ship shuttle which runs every 15 minutes.
- San Diego Zoo
The zoo is easily the best place for a family to enjoy and is among the top places to visit kids in San Diego. Walk around and see the pandas, rhinos, elephants, koalas and other exotic animals. Take a Skyfari ride for a great view of the zoo. A place in San Diego that your kids will surely enjoy! Every New Year’s Eve there is an event held at the zoo called Jungle Bells with special music and lights and good food. What a great way to enjoy the forthcoming year with your family.
- Knott’s Berry Farm
The 160-acre farm is the first theme park in California with some really thrilling rides. Enjoy the famous Knott’s chicken dinner restaurant, and attractions like the Christmas Carol, the Krazy Kirk, and Snoopy on Ice. There are rides for every age, from fast to slow that everyone can enjoy.
- Belmont Park
The amusement park is best for an exciting afternoon with the family. The Xanadu 7D Experience is a must, packed with a roller coaster and a laser game together! The elders can enjoy the live acoustic show at the beach while the kids enjoy the rides. The beachfront amusement park is San Diego’s sparkling attraction. There are plenty of activities to choose from including snorkel adventure and harbor excursion tour.
- La Jolla Cove
A marine lover’s paradise, the reserve is the best place for scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming. The kids will enjoy the tide pools and be closer to nature. Surrounded by cliffs, the water is protected to preserve sea flora and fauna. You can also check out the crabs, sea lions, seals, and seabirds. Enjoy the sunset at the beach with your family.
- San Diego Botanic Garden
Explore the 37 acre garden with your family. Watch the Garden of Lights where thousands of lights will be illuminated to make it a winter wonderland! Do see the horse-drawn wagon rides and take part in the marshmallow roasting, and Santa visits. While kids are sure to love the Hamilton Children’s Garden, adults can enjoy the hot mulled wine.
- Old Town San Diego
A historic park in San Diego, Old Town is there to embrace the history, art, and culture of the city. Taste the Mexican food. Special attractions include the fountains at Fiesta de Reyes and the Bazaar del Mundo. Visit Old Town to learn about the heritage and roots of early California. The colorful stores and restaurants are sure to make your trip worth remembering.
- Moonlight Beach
One of the best places in San Diego to go with the kids! Spend some quality time with family at Moonlight beach. There is a playground for the kids at the beach, a volleyball court, and outdoor showers. You can also rent surfboards and umbrellas in the summers to enhance the experience.
- LEGOLAND California
Which kid doesn’t like LEGO and this amusement park in San Diego is a fun way to enjoy the day. There are around 60 rides and plenty of attractions for kids. The kids can create and build stuff from the Legos. There is also an aquarium at LEGOLAND worth checking out. Children between 2 and 12 will have plenty to enjoy in this miniature park in San Diego.
- San Diego Model Railroad Museum
The Rail Museum at San Diego is the world’s largest and is a must-visit place for you and your family. The museum preserves the heritage of the railroad network and showcases the history of the model railroading. The kids will enjoy the Toy Train Gallery as well as the recreations of train routes like the Pacific Desert Lines and Tehachapi Pass.
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Choose from a variety of Safaris like Caravan Safari, Cheetah Safari, Cart Safari, Jungle Ropes Safari, Flightline Safari, Roar & Snore Safari etc. You can customize an itinerary of safaris and activities at the official website. The kids are sure to enjoy the walk-through exhibits showing exotic animals from around the world.
- Cabrillo National Monument
The Cabrillo National Monument honors Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo who discovered San Diego Bay. He was the first European to have visited the West Coast of the United States. Do not miss the exquisite view of San Diego from the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. There is a great view of the ocean and the San Diego skyline from the lighthouse. You can also spot whales if you carry binoculars! Check out the exhibit for tourists and watch the sunset with the family.
- San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
The kids will love this museum that shows the culture, history, and communities of the world. There is a Discovery Sailboat and a feature called the Kids Global Village that help understands the timeline of the world. Kids can play plenty of games that also help them learn and explore. A great place for both education and entertainment purposes.
- Balboa Park
Balboa Park is the go-to place if you are in San Diego and is one of the best places to visit with kids in San Diego. With about 17 museums, gardens, and art attractions, it is a delightful tourist attraction. Every person from all age group will have something to enjoy. Spend a day at the Park and visit museums, watch children’s plays at the Globe Theatre, and the street performances. Check out the San Diego Museum of Man, the Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego History Center, the Japanese Friendship Garden, and the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
So, enjoy the visit to San Diego and take your kids to places where they will definitely enjoy. San Diego has much to offer for families who are just looking to spend some quality time together while also enjoying. You are sure to make beautiful memories at these places in San Diego with your kids.