San Diego Family Fun Activities

San Diego is one of the most family-friendly and fun destinations in the United States. It is one place that combines fun beach culture, great city events, amazing parks and recreation, and arts and entertainment. There are many things to do in San Diego, but here are some top destinations and activities the whole family will enjoy.

San Diego Zoo

I would venture to say that the San Diego Zoo is the best zoo in the United States. Staying true to the vibe of California, the San Deigo Zoo feels more like an amusement park with an animal theme than a zoo. It is completely over-the-top, in a good way. There are 9 different animal kingdoms—each representing a different area of the world where you would find different kinds of animals. You can experience everything from elephants and giraffes to kangaroos and pandas. The zoo is definitely worth the investment and is something the whole family will enjoy.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, over 2600 animals, including giraffes, elephants, lions, and others, roam freely in large free-range enclosures.

Wear walking shoes because the animal enclosures are spread out to accommodate large animals. One of the most popular attractions is watching the afternoon cheetah run. We adore the tigers at Tiger Trail, the petting zoo at Nairobi Village, Lorikeet Landing (where you can feed lorikeet parrots), and Walkabout Australia, where wallabies jump around you without a barrier.

Tour on your own or plan a safari (or both). The free Africa Tram tour all around park and the Caravan Safari through the Asian Savannah and African Plains are two of the best safaris. On the Skyline Safari, you can also zipline over certain animal enclosures.

SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego alone brings visitors from all over the world to our city to enjoy up-close animal interactions, fun rides, animal shows, and educational experiences.

Sesame Street Bay of Play® entertains young children with gentle rides and plenty of things to climb on. Older riders will enjoy the Manta roller coaster and the new Electric Eel roller coaster. On a hot day, the Shipwreck Rapids water ride is a great way to cool off. SeaWorld San Diego’s facilities are used to rescue local sea life, such as the La Jolla seals.

Guests can learn more about penguins, rays, dolphins, sea otters, moon jellies, and other animals on particularly unique behind-the-scenes tours. In the walk-through shark tank, you can touch reef sharks and marvel at giant ones.

Aquatica San Diego

San Diego’s one and only water park offers a variety of attractions for all skill levels, including wave pools, a lazy river, massive water slides, interactive water play areas, private cabana rentals, and much more.

La Jolla Beaches

There are many amazing beaches in San Diego, and you would behave a great time at any of them. There are two reasons why I recommend driving down to La Jolla for your beach adventures. First, there are a number of fun sea activities the whole family can enjoy. You can rent a sea kayak, snorkel, and scuba dive in the area. The water is a great temperature and there is a number of cool visible sea animals including sharks and sea lion. The second reason is La Jolla is home to Dr. Seuss, and you can see his house from the beach. The guides always bring it up, and it’s a fun learning activity for kids. The only beach in the La Jolla area that you may want to avoid taking the family to is Black’s beach as it is a clothes-optional beach.

Civic Theater

You don’t have to travel to Broadway to see a show these days. There are many great theaters across the country and one of the greatest is in downtown San Diego. This year there are many great Broadway musicals on the agenda including Wicked, Adam’s Family, Chicago, Les Miserables, and Memphis.

Balboa Park

I can’t stress enough how awesome Balboa Park is. The park is chock-full of amazing museums including the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Natural History Museum, and San Diego’s Museum of Man, to name a few. There are also fun venues for concerts, performances, and recreation. You could spend days just in Balboa Park and still find fun things to do. I especially recommend hitting up San Diego’s Museum of Art, visiting the gardens, and attending a concert in the park.

Balboa Park

Tijuana, Mexico

If you are interested in giving your kids a little culture shock, you can scoot on down to Tijuana for a day. You don’t need a passport to cross the border, and it doesn’t take too long to get into Mexico. In Tijuana, you will experience a new culture by eating new food (not from off the street), bartering at a local market, and brushing up on your Spanish skills.

Final Word

These are just a few of the fun things you can do while in San Diego. San Diego really is one of the most beautiful American cities, and you’re bound to create lasting family memories by experiencing all San Diego has to offer.

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