Activities for Kids in San Diego
Entertain children — and yourself —with our guide to San Diego activities for kids
Kid City is a permanent exhibit at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. Catering to infants through age 5, this exhibit houses a magnetic wall, a funhouse mirror and a grocery store where kids can gain understanding in basic math. Members free, adults $10, kids 3-12 $8.75.
1875 El Prado, Balboa Park
San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park
Lions and tigers and bears abound at each park, where more than 3,500 animals may be viewed in their natural habitats. Exhibits of note are the Journey into Africa tour, Lion Camp and the Conservation Carousel. Adults $35, children $26.
Zoo: 2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park
Park: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido
San Diego Seal Tour
Designed for tourists and locals alike, this 90-minute tour takes participants on a beautiful tour of San Diego’s attractions on land and sea. Adults $32, kids $16. The tour starts at Seaport Village.
500 Kettner Boulevard, downtown
This renowned aquarium showcases exploratory and learning classes for kids. The A, B, Sea Club teaches kids up to age 4 about the ocean world. Each class has live animal encounters and exhibits. Pre-registration required. Adventures for the whole family include grunion watching, tidepooling, snorkeling, whale watching and pier walks. $12 adults; $8.50 children.
2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla
This exhibit is the pride of the Natural History Museum. Traveling through a 75-million-year timeline, this exhibit details the time of the dinosaurs to the Ice Ages, and reveals the ancient history of southern California and Baja California, Mexico. Ages 5-18, admission included with price of the museum. Adults $16, kids $10.
1788 El Prado, Balboa Park
This amusement park boasts more than 50 rides, shows and attractions perfect for the whole family. Attractions of note are The Land of Adventure, Dino Island and Fun Town. $65 adults; $55 kids.
One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad
SeaWorld is an obvious choice for kids in San Diego. With live interactions with animals and exhibits such as the shark encounter, wild arctic, forbidden reef and manatee rescue, kids and parents alike are able to learn about aquatic life under the sea. $65 adults, $55 kids.
500 Sea World Drive, Mission Bay
This famous Navy aircraft carrier served for nearly 47 years. Currently it serves as one of San Diego’s most interesting museum attractions for the whole family. Kids and parents can explore the actual carrier and hear from people who worked on board. $17 adults, $13 students, $9 kids.
910 North Harbor Drive, downtown
This amusement park on Mission Beach is not to be missed. Boasting the Giant Dipper rollercoaster, glow mini-golf, laser maze, bumper cars, arcade, carousel and more, Belmont Park is a blast for all ages. Rides can be bought individually. Unlimited one-day pass is $22.95 for patrons over 50 inches, $15.95 for those under 50 inches.
3146 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
This unique museum houses the largest indoor model railroad and is a magnet for children who love trains. The museum shows exhibits with current train routes around the San Diego area as well as Mac’s Kids Corner for train-related stories, games and crafts. Adults $7, children under 15 are free.
1649 El Prado, Balboa Park
The New Children’s Museum
Not just for kids! The whole family can explore the New Children’s Museum and work side-by-side with current artists to test their creativity. Check out the Texture Forest for toddlers or the Teen Studio for teens. The museum also offers classes to learn beginning Spanish and baby sign language with your toddler. $10; seniors $5; children under 1 free.
200 West Island Avenue, downtown
Kumeyaay: Native Californians is an exhibit at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park, displaying the food, clothing, pottery, games and ceremonies of the true California natives. Cost is included with museum admission. Adults $10, kids $5.
1350 El Prado, Balboa Park
KidVentures takes indoor play centers to another level. As a parent, visit the indoor café as your child experiences Fantasy Island’s castle, rock wall and pirate ship. Specialty gymnastics classes are available as well as a multiweek performing arts class and Nightingale music classes. First child $12; each additional sibling $8.
5066 Santa Fe Street, Pacific Beach
Boomers family fun center has it all! Bumper boats, Go Karts, batting cages, game room, mini golf, rock wall and a snack bar ensure that the whole family will have a blast. $5 a ride or $19.99 for all-day pass.
6999 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Kearny Mesa
Miramar Speed Circuit
This course is considered one of the best indoor go-kart racing tracks in the United States. You have to be at least 4 feet tall to drive a go-kart on the quarter-mile racetrack. The karts go as fast as 40 mph, and junior karts are available for younger drivers. $23 per person.
8123 Miralani Drive, Miramar