It’s simple enough to take them to the various theme parks in the area, but parks can get expensive and exhausting for both you and your kids. Here are a few attractions and activities children are sure to enjoy outside of the typical theme park:
1. Seaport Village, Downtown
Located in Downtown San Diego overlooking Coronado Island and San Diego Harbor, Seaport Village is a fun place that kids can enjoy. With a carousel, arcade, toy store, kite shop, and always several street musicians and performers, there is lots for children of all ages to enjoy. Pick up some ice cream or freshly made popcorn and walk around—your kids will certainly not get bored and you can enjoy the many art galleries and specialty shops as well.
2. Corvette Diner, Hillcrest
Corvette Diner has been a San Diego favorite for years and kids especially love the 50s themed restaurant. A typical American diner, Corvette Diner has menu items all kids can enjoy such as hamburgers, fries, and milk shakes and the restaurant has a jukebox and a real Corvette right inside. Instead of mints, the waitresses will leave you with some Bazooka Bubble Gum and your children will never forget how much fun eating out can be.
3. Mission Bay Park, Mission Bay
Neighboring Sea World is the beautiful Mission Bay. A favorite for water skiers, jet skiers, and sailors, this bay also has plenty of picnic room, playgrounds, and basketball courts. Take your children here to play at the playground or to ride bicycles around. If you don’t have bikes with you, they are available to rent at the nearby hotels as are small boats and sailboats. Pack a picnic and you’re ready to have a relaxing day outside in the San Diego sun.
4. The Children’s Pool, La Jolla
Don’t be fooled by the name, your children can’t swim here anymore but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to see here. This spot in La Jolla used to be an ideal place to take children to the beach due to the breakwater that was built. Children could enjoy sand and surf without fear of the waves crashing or strong currents. Unfortunately, California seals have taken over this stretch of beach making the waters surrounding hazardous to swim in. It is still worth taking your children to see the seals which can be found lazily sleeping on the sand, wading in the nearby waters, or on the rock island just off the coast. This may be as close as you can get to a seal in the wild and definitely cheaper than Sea World.
5. Old Poway Park, Poway
This 4.75 acre park in the old community of Poway is a fun stop far from popular tourist destinations and the bustle of the city. It has a few historical buildings as well as a working steam train which kids can ride throughout the day. There is plenty of shade and picnic areas, but the Hamburger Factory is worth a visit if you find yourself hungry. With an old-West saloon feel, the restaurant serves good food at a fair price. This turn-of-the-century park is small, but can be enjoyable and relaxing if you want to get away from the metropolis.
San Diego can be a fun place for children to explore and for not too much money. When you want to avoid the amusement parks and crowds, know that there is still plenty to keep you and your little ones busy wherever in San Diego you are.
Picture of Corvette Diner wall, San Diego originally posted by DavidDennis