It’s given that San Diego has practically perfect weather, world-class beaches, and some of the best breweries in the country. But are there any activities that one can carry their children along with everyone having fun? As someone who’s looking for family-friendly activities to do in San Diego, you are probably looking for a blend of activities that will leave your brood feeling satisfied at the end of the day. That said, here are the top 10 engaging family fun activities to do to keep all ages content during your stay in San Diego.

  1. The beach

The beach always tops the list of top ten things to do in San Diego. The beaches offer a fun place for people of all ages to have fun and pass the time. No matter the time of the year you visit, you are still guaranteed to have a great time. You can surf or have a relaxing day and enjoy the day while the children build sandcastles.

  1. Eat ice cream while supporting social change

Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream isn’t just any ordinary ice cream shop. The parlor was co-founded by Daniel Szpak, a San Diego resident who wanted people to enjoy their favorite frozen treat while supporting local change, so he started Scoop San Diego.

Scoop San Diego seeks to raise funds for nonprofits in the area that support at-risk citizens in San Diego. When you buy a ticket to one of their festivals, you get the rest of your vehicle’s occupants (in this case, your family members) an ounce of taste from all the 25+ participating vendors. This means you and your kids can enjoy treats from Mr. Trustee, Gelati & Peccati, Snoice, Holy Paleta, and many more vendors.

The best thing is that if you have a dog, they are also included. The festivals have unique stops that serve doggie ice cream, so your pup doesn’t feel left out on all the fun. The vendors also include dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan options, so best believe everyone is included.

  1. Take your doggie for a trip

Speaking of doggies, San Diego also offers an inclusive Cardiff Dog Days of Summer that involves dog-related vendors, pet adoption agencies, and rescue groups. You can buy your four-legged friend new toys at the festival while enjoying live music, food trucks, quality handmade goods, and a beer garden.

You can also enroll your pup into the full lineup of beauty contests that include various categories like best trick, best looking, cutest puppy, and best-dressed dog. Winners of the doggy pageant get a great goodie bag and a ribbon. The rescue centers at the fair are also open for adoptions, so if you’ve been looking to adopt a dog, then this might be the best chance to do so. Aside from the adoption services, on-site pet services are also available, including rabies vaccination, microchipping, and licensing opportunities.

  1. Old Town California

If you’re looking for a hands-on history lesson, you can take the kids to Old Town, California. Old Town is popularly known as California’s birthplace and is where the first Spanish settlers arrived in 1769. The family can wander through the historic buildings here, including stores selling homemade soaps, candies, and other souvenirs.

Older children might have more fun visiting the Whaley House, which is believed to be haunted. The Whaley House was even featured on America’s Most Haunted and was the first house made from bricks. Since its construction, the building has served more than one purpose; It has been a courthouse, a theater, and a school.

  1. The New Children Museum

The New Children Museum was designed to encourage children to play, think and make things using hands-on exhibitions. Some museum areas are age-specific, like Reconnecting to Home caters to children over six years of age, while the Sketch Aquarium caters to children over the age of 2.

  1. Maritime Museum of San Diego and USS Midway Museum

Your children can pretend to be pirates when touring the floating maritime museum. The museum has nine boats, including a submarine, powered boats, and a sailing ship.

  1. Birch Aquarium at Scripps

If you’re on a tight budget or have limited time in San Diego, you can visit Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. This aquarium provides families with attractions that trick your children into believing they are at SeaWorld. The aquarium focuses on ocean education and marine life conservation. It’s an excellent option for those with toddlers as they love to get up-close views of tanks full of beautiful lionfish, glowing creatures and silvery sardines.

  1. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s main attraction is the African Tram which transports guests over a wide-open landscape that closely resembles the African savannah. Your family can spy on wildlife, including giraffes, rhinos, and cape buffaloes. You can pay an additional fee if you want a closer view of the animals on a Caravan Safari . The zoo park also has several things to do. On hotter days, you can bring swim gear for your kids to cool off in the fountains in the Cool Zone. You can also zip line for an additional fee over the wild animals.

  1. LEGOLAND California

LEGOLAND California is one of the most interactive attractions in San Diego. There are plenty of activities for your children to enjoy when in LEGOLAND. For example, they can drive pint-sized cars around streets at the Volvo Driving School. They can also build Lego vehicles and race them or program robots. The park also has fun games for parents with The Police and Fire Academy as teams race to stop robbers and put out “fires.”

  1. SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld has ocean-like dolphins and sea lions that are sure to capture your children’s hearts. Your family can walk through shark tanks or take rides on manta and shipwreck rapids.


San Diego has a lot to offer when it comes to family-friendly activities. You can never fall short of things to do here. As you embark on a long list of activities to undertake when vacationing in San Diego, you need a family-friendly place to stay. Get in touch with us, and we will help you find a suitable rental for your budget and family needs.

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