Fun Things to Do in San Diego for Families with Different aged Children #VisitSD

As I look out the window and see mud as far as the eye an see, I miss the sun and warmer temperatures I experienced in San Diego recently. The weather in San Diego may lack variety, but that is perfect for families who want to visit at any time of the year.  Everyone is practically guaranteed warm temperatures and sunshine, whether they visit in April or August. We had a little fog while we were there, but it was sunny and warm for the most part. A bit cooler in the evening, so a sweater is needed.

photo credit Courtesy Joanne DiBona

I look forward to taking my kids with me next time to California. There is lots to do for all of them no matter what their age. Here are some popular activities and places for families in San Diego:

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is sixty-eight acres and people have been able to watch the whales from on top of the cliffs since the park opened in 1983.  The park is a wonderful place for families to run around playing, enjoy a picnic lunch, or sit down relaxing with a snack in between other activities.  Watch surfers, read a book or explore the cliffs at your leisure. While the park is beautiful during the day, it is even more spectacular at night when the sun is setting over the water.

Cabrillo National Monument

Along the Point Loma Peninsula, families will be able to see the Cabrillo National Monument.  This monument was dedicated as a reminder of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo arriving in the San Diego Bay in 1542.  There are many events held in this area throughout the year including the Cabrillo Festival Open House, singing and dancing, booths filled with local foods, and a reenactment of a 16th century encampment. Climb up the lighthouse and see how the light house keeper lived many years ago. A great spot for families or history lovers.

Liberty Station

Liberty Station used to be the Naval Training Center mess hall until 1997 when it closed.  Since then, the building has been transformed into Liberty Station.  Liberty Station now features boutiques, events, and concerts and families can explore the nearby historical landmarks as well. This hot spot is a local fave with trendy restaurants, market style vendors and a comic book shop. There is a little bit of everything there for everyone traveling and spending some time in San Diego. We had a great lunch while there and had some time to explore a few very unique shops.

San Diego Speed Boat Adventure

Any family who wants to experience driving their own speedboat will want to book an adventure with San Diego Speed Boat Adventure.  Families will drive their speedboat while following the tour guide and others through the waters of the San Diego Harbor.  Everyone will be able to listen to the guide through a two-way communication system as the guide talks about all of the important features of the harbor. The tour is almost two hours long and a great one for the thrill seeker in your group. Drivers must be 18 years old and passengers 5 minimum. Get up close to Sea Lions and some amazing boats in the harbor.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

The Birch Aquarium has more than sixty different types of fish and other invertebrates that can be found anywhere from the Pacific Northwest to the warmer waters of Mexico.  While families will enjoy all of the exhibits, they will love watching the sharks being fed and the touch tanks even more. The knowledgeable volunteers are happy to educate you on everything living within the aquarium. Make sure you look out at watch the surfers waiting for the perfect wave while you visit.

Belmont Park

There’s a little of everything at Belmont Park in San Diego, and the entire family will find themselves busy from the time they arrive until it is time to leave.  In between amusement park rides, family members can eat in one of the numerous restaurants and shop for souvenirs. You can learn to surf and walk along the boardwalk meeting locals and tourists. While here I screamed on a wooden roller coaster and ate a yummy lunch on the board walk while chatting with people walking by.

These are only a few things that families can do while in San Diego and of course, no one wants to forget about heading down to the beach for some time in the sun and the sand.  Every family will have the time of their life when they are visiting San Diego. Beach not your thing? Maybe you can grab a bite at Fathom Bistro on the Shelter Island Pier, and watch the fishermen catch their supper?

Have you visited San Diego before? What is your favourite spot to hang out with the family?




  1. Never visited San Diego, but looks like fun!

  2. It looks amazing! I would definitely take the family for a visit. I love the look of those caves/ cliffs…The Monument is my favourite. We have not yet visited.

  3. I have never been to San Diego, but I have always wanted to travel to that part of the west coast. There looks to be so many fun activities and so much to see, there would definitely be something for everyone in the family!

  4. Robin rue says

    We have family out there, so we go fairly often. There’s so much to do in that area. Is very family-friendly.

  5. I love San Diego. There is always so much to do.

  6. These are all great picks. I love San Diego. There really is something for everyone there.

  7. reesann723 says

    San Diego is on my travel bucket list! It looks beautiful!

  8. We were in San Diego last year and we missed a bunch of these. It was to go back and check again with my family.

  9. Oh my gosh! I’ve lived near San Diego since I was three years old and I’ve never been to Sunset Cliffs. I do have photos of me at Belmont Park as a toddler. I have got to plan a staycation in San Diego!

  10. shaunatorres says

    Wow, what a great assortment, I have a 6, 8, 10 year old and they are at that point where the 6 and 10 year old like different things, so this is perfect. Thanks so much for this!

  11. We go to San Diego every year. It is such a great place to visit. I’ll have to check out some of these spots.

  12. I haven’t had a chance to go there yet. I would love to see the aquarium and my daughters would love Belmont Park.

  13. I would love to go to San Diego some day. I have always wanted to go too. I just know it would be a great vacation for my family.

  14. Claudia Krusch says

    I would love to go to San Diego and see all these great places. I would start with Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.

  15. These are all fun things to do in San Diego. I am hoping to be there in the next few months.

  16. These are great! I would love to try all these when we visit San Diego!!

  17. This is on my bucket list to do before I turn 30! San Diego looks like the perfect place to visit, especially if you have kids.

  18. I love visiting San Diego but haven’t taken the kids yet, I usually go for work. Knowing all this makes me want to take them when I go in two weeks!

  19. Sunset Cliffs park looks so beautiful! I would absolutely love to visit San Diego – it’s on our family’s bucket list!!

  20. This is on my bucket list. There is so much to do, I’m bookmarking to use later for reference. 🙂

  21. Oh my, looks like so much fun! I have to put San Diego on our list now!

  22. San Diego is one of our all time favorite vacation spots. I’ve never heard of some of these places you’ve mentioned, so we will have new things to explore our next visit. The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are always on our list. We also love getting yummy tortillas in Old Town!

  23. My hubby and I have visited San Diego several times and have found all the attractions so fun-filled!

  24. Tricia Hope says

    Great ideas,thanks!It is always more of a challenge when children are spread out in age.

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