Top 9 Things To Do in San Diego With Kids

San Diego is where we started our iconic Highway 1 trip with our kids, across California. We went all the way to San Francisco through L.A., Malibu and the beautiful Monterey. The road-trip is beautiful doubtlessly. But the city of San Diego also called 'the birthplace of California' is a charming little port city that engages you with both natural and man-made attractions. Here is our list of things to do with kids at San Diego. First a little about this city:

San Diego California

Remember Maverick, from the iconic movie Top Gun? Well, some of the most iconic shots from the movie were filmed in this harbour city. Kansas City Barbeque, where the four play the "Great Balls Of Fire". Or the oh so romantic shot where 'Charlie' catches up with 'Maverick' and tells him how she didn't want anyone in the class to know she was falling for him. Or even the beautiful cottage where 'Charlie' and 'Maverick' play their love games. It is all in this coastal city on the Pacific Ocean. Yes, this city is gorgeous. And while visiting the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, we walked into the Kansas bar and sipped on some chilled beer. And it did 'Take my breath away'.

Almost 120 miles south of Los Angeles lies this beautiful city of San Diego. Spanish for Saint Didacus, San Diego is also the second largest city in California. The city is known for its dramatic sunsets, extensive beaches and beautiful climate. And if you are blessed with kids then this city is a mine of kid-friendly activities. Just why we chose it.

Here Are Top 9 Things To Do In San Diego With Kids:

1) Sailing in San Diego

This city is known for LEGOLAND and zoo and other parks like Balboa. But what lured us the most here was a chance to go Sailing with our twins. The first time ever. We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day and a gentle breeze as our wonderful instructor from Seaforthboatrental guided us on the gentle waters. We set sail from their Coronado location.
The kids grabbed their chance to tame the winds and we enjoyed the sights of San Diego attractions like Cabrillo National Monument and USS Midway Museum.

Tip: Seaforth has three locations at San Diego Bay and one at Mission Bay. So go enjoy!

                                                           Here is our list of things to do with kids at San Diego.

2) Cabrillo National Monument:

This is a beautiful park with significant historic importance and rich natural resources. This is where in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo docked his boat and stepped into history. He was the first ever European to set foot on what is now the west coast of US.

Cabrillo National Monument is in honour of his and his fleet's voyage of discovery. Walk around his statue overlooking the bay and introduce the kids to this rich piece of history. Or walk down to the southern end to experience unique ecosystems like tidepools. Or walk up to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

Tip: Please check on the park's timing or else you will be escorted out by the friendly rangers. Hire a round-trip taxi back to your hotel. It can get difficult to find one easily here.

                                    Here is our list of things to do with kids at San Diego.

3) Balboa Park

And the entire day seems less for this fun and educational place. It is a pram friendly place with tons and tons of activities for kids. It is home to stunning Spanish architecture, over 17 museums, a carousel and the awe-inspiring Space Museum. This science and culture ground is spread over 1200 acres and packs in something about everything - cars, dinosaurs, sports, puppetry and more. Plan your day according to your kids' choices- the Puppet Theatre and Space Museum was a runaway hit with our 7yrs olds. You can choose from-

a) Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre
Make sure you note the timings of the show and don't miss it. The show we attended was fun and interactive.

b) San Diego Air & Space Museum
This one blows your mind away. The displays, Kids' Aviation Action Hangar, the space simulators, the animation movies and the sir blast capsule. Fun.

c) San Diego Museum of Man
If your kids have questions about mankind, take them here and introduce them to monsters, mummies, puzzles and more.

d) San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Show me a kid who doesn't love a train journey, especially where he can find his favourite cartoon characters. Hop on and enjoy.

e) Japanese Friendship Garden
This is a fun place to just walk and absorb nature. It is also where you can download an app and go virtual hunting.

f) EthnoBotany Children’s Peace Garden
If your kids love nature and getting down and dirty with it, this garden is a must.

g) Fleet Science Center
Let your kid discover the scientist within. They can invent, explore and experience.

                                              Here is our list of things to do with kids at San Diego.

4) San Diego Zoo

If your kids love animals then the Zoo at San Diego is a must. This 100-acre zoo has more than 3500 animals including giant pandas. This has been voted the best zoo in the world by TripAdvisor and can be explored on foot, by bus tour or even overhead gondola lift. They even have a petting zoo with farm animals, penguins and insect house.

Tip: Look for tickets online and save some money.

5) Seaport Village

Just let the kids walk or run up and down the 4 miles of cobblestone pathways. Or let them soak the San Diego Sun while licking their favourite ice-cream flavour. Let them fly kites while you scan 50 shops for that unique pick.
Tips: Search online for weekend or summer festivals.

6) Old Town San Diego

Credited as California's first settlement this is where we took our kids for the taste of Mexican Culture. Literally. You can walk through historic sites, sit down for delicious food or shop for a piece of culture.


7) La Jolla Cove
Let the kids watch sea lions swim or walk through ocean caves. The Birch Aquarium is fun for marine life lovers. And the chidren's pool is a beautiful treat for them. There are great kid's menus in the restaurants around here. And playgrounds to burn all those calories. It is also a heaven for water babies- Kayaking, surfing, scuba diving and a lot more.

8) LEGOLAND
If your kids are a Lego fan then don't miss out on this one. This 128-acre park has numerous rides and is almost 45 min. from LEGOLAND

                                    Here is our list of things to do with kids at San Diego.

9) USS Midway Museum

We were staying very close to this place and almost gave it a miss. This museum is a must for your kids. Why? Well, just how many chances will they get to walk on a real Navy aircraft carrier? You can simply choose to walk through and experience it. Or make it super special with their Spend the night on board the USS Midway offers.
What do you get?
-A chance to be an honorary crew member of the USS Midway.
- Learn about its journey on the high seas, especially when she was the largest warship.
- Experience the Mess Call (dinner and breakfast) served in the Forward Galley
- Find yourself under the stars while you park yourself on its flight deck.
Tip: Your child has to be at least 4 years of age or older.


We love to travel with our kids, you can follow our adventures through Singapore, Hua Hin, Thailand, America, Chandigarh and more. Every time we discover something new about a city, like how sleepy San Diego is. Yes, this town takes it easy and so plan early retire to ned. If possible head to the fisherman docks early morning. If lucky, you might find a fishing trailer jus back with its fill. We sure did.

Have we inspired you to travel with your kids yet? Well, tell us in the comment box where are you headed to. How about Solvang. 

Comments (5)

Docdivatraveller Posted on May 05, 2019

I have always loved San Diego and the fact that it is so kid friendly makes it a must visit!\r\nwww.docdivatraveller.com

  Reply

Shweta Mishra Posted on May 05, 2019

Woow Santiago is so beautiful and I wish to go and will definitely plan according to your blog post.

  Reply

High On Gloss Posted on May 04, 2019

I definitely had no idea that San Diego can offer this much to kids. I literally never thought it would be so lively to everyone. Thanks for sharing.

  Reply

Purnima Madan Posted on May 04, 2019

I believe a trip with kids is a different kind of adventure and specially a road trip, as if not carried out well can also be a hectic. Thanks for the tips and the kids, they seem to enjoy their trip to the fullest.

  Reply

Madhu Posted on Apr 24, 2019

The place looks amazing, and looks like quite an amazing place for kids !

  Reply

Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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