Best Things To Do In San Diego With Kids

  • Family
    Mums & Bubs

Here is our list of the TOP 10 things to see and do in San Diego – and trust us, it was hard to cut the list back to 10!

1. San Diego Zoo

The whole family will be delighted by this 100-acre tropical wonderland, home to 4000 animals of 800 rare and exotic species! You’ll feel right at home in the Australian Outback exhibit, housing the largest Koala colony outside of Oz! Visit Xiao Liwu, the adorable Chinese Giant Panda cub who is only a few years old. Other visitor favourites include the Polar Bear Plunge where you will come within feet of these great bears and visit the mock snow den and Arctic research helicopter! Spy on the 8 member herd of Asian elephants roaming their exhibit, where a nearby children’s playground will take care of your little ones. The children’s petting zoo and baby animal nursery are bound to be a hit with kids as well. For more info visit San Diego Zoo website. 

sd zoo

2. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

This 1,800 acre preserve allows animals to roam free like they would in the wide expanses if Asia and Africa. Check out Sumatran Tigers up close on the Tiger Trail, get your adrenaline pumping with a zipline ride 400 feet high above the Asian and African field exhibits, or get on board an open air tram on the Journey into Africa Tour- like you’re on a real safari observing lions, gazelles, buffalo and rhinos! For more info visit San Diego Zoo Safari Park website.

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3. LEGOLAND California

This wonderland for children aged 2-12yrs opened in May 2016! The LEGO NINJAGO World is sure to be a massive hit – a one acre ninja themed land with a brand new interactive ride where you can virtually throw fireballs, ice and lightning to beat the villains and earn your ninja status – all with cutting edge technology! You can’t miss the Pirate Reef ride for some wet and wild fun shooting water cannons, and Miniland USA where memorable Star War scenes will be be displayed in LEGO live action! For more info see the LEGOLAND California website. 


4. SEA LIFE Aquarium

SEA LIFE Aquarium is located inside LEGOLAND, offering 36,000 sq.ft of play zones, quiz trails, fun facts and marine exhibits- as educational as it is fun! Don’t miss the seahorse kingdom, 360-degree ring of sting-rays and fish, an interactive tide pool, and enormous aquarium with incredible replica display of the Lost City of Atlantis! You’ll be in awe in the Jellyfish Discovery as over 100 jellyfish dance and float in ceiling-high tubes lit with multi-colored lights, and you’ll marvel at the Japanese spider crabs which can grow up to 13 feet across in the Claws exhibit. For more info see the SEA LIFE Aquarium website. 

sea life

5. SEA WORLD San Diego

Located on Mission Bay, you’ll find a 189-acre park with dozens of marine exhibits and 6 major shows! Ride the manta-ray shaped rollercoaster as you swoop over sea and through sky, and be sure to watch the dolphin show Blue Horizons as trainers plunge off elaborate set pieces with their bottlenose friends! The family will also love the Penguin Encounter and Shark Encounter exhibits, as well as dolphin petting, bat ray feeding, and playing the Sesame Street Bay of Play. This is a world of underwater fun. For more info see SEA WORLD San Diego website. 

sea world

6. Balboa Park

Also known as the “Smithsonian of the West”, this is the largest urban cultural park in the US. over 1200 lush acres, you’ll find the San Diego Zoo, 15 museums, 8 gardens, art galleries, performing arts centres and the award winning Old Globe Theatre. At the Visitors Centre, kids and adults can opt for 1 hour listening tours, where you will learn (in age appropriate ways) about the park’s history, architecture and horticulture. There is also an onsite carousel, a mini railroad and a puppet theatre! For more info visit the Balboa Park website. 


7. The New Children’s Museum

Contemporary artists have created an interactive arts destination allowing children to think, play and create in an innovative, hands-on museum in downtown San Diego. It doubles as a ‘green’ project, with recycled building materials and water-saving devices incorporated. For more info visit their website.

kids museum new

8. The Maritime Museum of San Diego

Head down to the San Diego Bay to see some historic sailing vessels docked. This is a boat lovers dream- you’ll see the world’s oldest merchant sailing vessel, a steam powered ferry boat, and the deepest diving submarine in the world, to name a few. You can’t miss the San Salvador living history exhibit offering a historically-accurate reconstruction of the ship that first breached the San Diego harbour in 1542. For more info see their website.

maritime sd

9. La Jolla Beach

Whilst there are many fantastic beaches in San Diego, La Jolla constantly arises as the most family friendly. It’s a spacious 1 mile stretch of beach with gentle slopes down to turquoise water. The boardwalk separates the sand from large grassy park where you can picnic or tap around a volleyball with the family. Find out more. 

la jolla

10. Aquatica San Diego

SeaWorld opened a water park in Chula Vista in San Diego’s south bay- Aquatica! Highlights include exciting waterslides and guest viewings of exotic animals. Get your thrills and spills on the Taumata Racer- the new attraction zooms riders down a 375-foot slide, around a 180-degree swooping turn and in and out of tunnels before racing them across the finish line. Prepare to get wet and wild at Aquatica! For more info see their website. 




Sarah Smith

Sep 18 2016

San Diego is on my bucket list. I love animals and there are so many opportunities to get up close with them whether it be at the zoo or under the sea experiences. My kids would enjoy it too!

Hannah smith

Sep 18 2016

From zoo's to beaches to legoland my kids would feel like they are in wonderland. A great family holiday to the usa is a must!