San Diego is an amazing city with tons of activities to fill your fun meter. There are the activities that would suffice for older adults and ones that suit well for small children. This does not mean that there is nothing that the whole family can partake in because San Diego has plenty family-friendly activities!
San Diego Zoo
For starters, the whole family is always welcome to channel their inner wilderness-lover and explore the San Diego Zoo.
With ten zones ranging from Africa Rocks where you get a taste of the wild from Africa to the Panda Canyon where you can soothe your heart and adore the pandas, the fun can last all day.
Miramar Speed Circuit
Did you just recently watch a Fast and the Furious film? Or maybe you just have the need for speed and because you can’t just get up and go street race you need a medium to release this need in a safe way. Say no more, because the Miramar Speed Circuit Kart Racing is calling your name.
You can come here with friends or the family and prepare to show your skills on their indoor track reaching speeds up to 40 mph. Make friendly bets with family members over who is the best driver on the course. A sure way to have quality family bonding.
Just about every kid has owned some type of Lego when he or she was growing up. That is why it is so terrifying for adults when they see Legos just laying on the floor because they know the pain of stepping on one when you have no shoewear on.
Luckily, LEGOLAND has no loose Legos on the floor to bring you pain. The only thing you should feel is bliss when you and the family take your talents to Carlsbad located right by the beach and enjoy all that Lego Land has to offer. There are events and rides suitable for all ages at LEGOLAND.
Here we have a magnificent place for all ages. Not only will you get to be pleased by what you see but there are multiple aspects to Balboa Park that allows you stimulate all of your senses! For example, if you like the pipe organ then you are in for a treat because the world’s largest is located here.
The park is filled with beautiful gardens, amazing architecture and hiking trails for the active folks. There are days in the month when festivals and fairs take place as well so it is always a great idea to research before heading there.
Here is another one for the ones who are interested in animals and sea creatures. The Birch Aquarium is the perfect match for a family-friendly day out because there are games and activities throughout the aquarium in place for the kids in your party. Of course, the beautiful sea animals swimming around is something that everyone is able to enjoy.
Located on a cliff above the ocean, when you walk outside at a certain area you get a stunning view of the beach just a walking distance away. Meaning, once you are done taking selfies with the sharks you can go swim with the fishes.
Great Wolf Lodge
This resort, while not technically in San Diego (though it’s only a short drive north to Garden Grove) is packing everything you are looking for in a family-friendly activity. Regular water parks can be fun but you always have that one factor that can take away from the excitement, even if it is only a little bit. That factor would happen to be our friend, the sun.
The great thing about this lodge is that it is indoors! And it doesn’t stop at a waterpark; mini golf, mini bowling and a kids spa are all a part of the fun. Come down for a few days and enjoy all that the lodge has to offer as you just crash in your room once the day is done.
Torrey Pines Reserve
For the families who are in tune with nature, this one is for you. Connecting with nature with the family never has been better when you take on Torrey Pines State Reserve. You get views of the ocean whilst you hike along the coast and there are different trails you can take.
Torrey Pines takes in people from all over the world simply because people want to experience it for themselves. The High Point Trail is one of the better ones for views as you hike up steep terrain and once you get to the top you have a view of the whole reserve.
Belmont Park is your stop for easy family fun. Located right on Mission beach, you can get all your fair and meets amusement park cravings satisfied. The kids can spend their time at the arcade or on the various attractions and the older folks can satisfy their bellies at the several food locations.
They also have laser tag which is a perfect family event. Split up into teams and see which half of the family is more tactful! You get free parking and free admission so if you wanted to just roam around before heading to the beach then you are completely free to do so.
Camping is a great way to get out with the whole family and create memories that can last a lifetime. The Santee Lakes are an award winning campground that makes camping so much fun. The campgrounds are found in the foothills of Santee which is only 20 minutes away from San Diego’s main attractions so you are not that far removed from civilization.
Camping has never been more convenient with 300 full hook-up campsites that each have WiFi and even a few with cable TV. You get exclusive usage of fishing lakes that only campers can use. The campsite even aims to help the environment with over four acres of solar panels in place that provide energy to nearly 50 percent of the site.
Carlsbad Flower Fields
Carlsbad is one of the more beautiful areas of San Diego. And every spring, both locals and visitors from afar come and set their eyes on the newly blooming, colorful flowers. It is truly a sight to see and everyone in the family would love to go and check it out.
You are able to walk through a maze of the flowers as well as ride a tractor-pulled wagon through 50 acres of the multi-colored flowers. There are several other kid-friendly activities that should keep them occupied while parents and grandparents can get a bit romantic as they admire the beauty.
The Corvette Diner
Here we have a diner everyone is sure to get a kick out of. The Corvette Diner mixes nostalgia with a good time as it brings items representing decades from the ’50s through the ’80s. The music is old school just as much as your wait person is, so expect some active employees and good vibe at this diner.
You can get a kids party package which makes it even sweeter for the family because the kids will have a great time and parents will be able to live in the moment like they were growing up again. The Corvette Diner is highly recommended.
San Diego Safari Park
Earlier we mentioned the San Diego Zoo so now we go to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The Safari Park is similar to the regular zoo but it is more of an in your face experience. In one attraction, the animals come directly up to you when traversing the park in a secure truck. How cool would it be to pet a rhino?
As you can see, the giraffes are literally in your face and all you have to do is pay a little extra for that experience but it is completely worth it. They also have animal shaped fountains so that when the weather is a bit hot the kids can have fun in the water.
Imagine 37 acres of pure bliss. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? Well, this just might be the next best thing and it is called the San Diego Botanic Garden. More than two dozen gardens cover the 37 acres. Some consider it a hidden gem of San Diego but that depends on who you ask.
There are two gardens crafted specifically for children and they love it. As you walk the four miles worth of trail, you will be walking alongside some of the beautiful flowers lining the walkways. This park is nature at its finest and a treat for all parties.
Even though there has been some controversy surrounding this one-time iconic destination for those traveling to San Diego, you still cannot deny that Seaworld is an overall fun place to take the whole family. It is like a mixture of an aquarium and amusement park. What better than seeing dolphins perform and then getting on a roller coaster? Very few things are better than that.
You can pay extra and eat with some of the animals or have a penguin up-close tour. The possibilities here are amazing and should be utilized with the whole family when you can.
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Have you ever been to a museum in which it is just a collection of restored historic ships? No? Then you have never been to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. You are able to go to the ships every day and they are open quite late so you and the family can make the trip after work or when the kids get out of school.
They even have a special where you are able to stay the night in the world’s oldest active ship called the Star Of India. The kids will also get the chance to pretend they are pirates.
La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove brings you possibly the best beach experience you can get. One of the prime activities you are able to do here is go snorkeling but don’t think that is where the fun ends. You can even go kayaking and diving. The actual beach is not that large but there is a pleasant grassy area where you can have a picnic if you want.
One of the things people rave about most while visiting here is the view. It is argued to be the most photographed beach in San Diego. Even the caves there look as stunning as everything else.
Cabrillo National Monument
With this one, you get a double helping of fun that includes a history lesson and amazing views. Throw in one more perk of exercise because there is a minor hike to make it to the Cabrillo National Monument. Once you get to it you have one amazing view on top of the monument.
The Cabrillo National Monument is named after the first European to travel to and explore what we now call the west coast of America way back in 1542. It would be a very intentional history lesson you would be learning about but at least you get a nice glimpse of the city.
West Inn Suites
Located in North County San Diego, the West Inn & Suites have the perks that connect many of the other items on previous slides. You are able to bring your pets here so that is a plus. The huge perk is that there is a free shuttle that brings you anywhere within a five miles radius of the hotel.
That includes LEGOLAND, the beach, and the Carlsbad Flower Fields. This means while you stay here, you can tell big brother to take the little ones on the shuttle to LEGOLAND while the grownups get to relax. How great does that sound?
The Oceanside Pier is one of the fun places the whole family can enjoy. There is so much to do there from the tasty restaurants to surfing, running out of fun would be a rare occurrence here. They also have a Ruby Tuesday’s at the end of the pier if you are feeling up for a great milkshake!
There are pop-up food stands along the pier so if you are not in the mood for anything heavy you can get something light and it’ll be cheap. There are bike rentals and boogie boards as well so be ready for a full day when you come here with the family.
Old Town California
Another historic place that is family-friendly is Old Town California. Apparently, in 1769, Old Town is where Spanish Settlers first came and built the original 21 missions in all of the states. Amazing that those buildings still stand today after all of those years.
You are able to go through 15 of those buildings when in Old Town. Most of these buildings are just souvenir type shops but there is one building called the Whaley House that is supposedly a haunted house. The food in Old Town is amazing if you are hungry for excellent Mexican cuisine. Overall this a great family experience.