Cool & Unusual Places for Kids in San Diego
With such incredible weather for the majority of the year, it’s no surprise that the typical activities to do with babies and toddlers in San Diego revolve around being outdoors or by the beach. It’s also no surprise that San Diego is dubbed “America’s Finest City,”. With its mecca of sandy beaches nestled on the coast of the Pacific Ocean it’s the perfect family getaway.
Travel to the area (especially with kiddos) wouldn’t be complete without a requisite visit to a sunny beach or indulging in the expansive outdoor activities. With great tips from San Diego locals, we’ve highlighted some of the “must see” activities to check out on your next visit. These cool and unusual places should definitely not be bypassed!
Babyquip Quality Providers, Kellen and Melanie Alca and Amy Jellison of San Diego, CA, rent baby gear to families traveling to their hometown. However, when they aren’t helping other families enjoy their time in the sunny city, they head out with their own kiddos and explore the best activities San Diego has to offer. Melanie and Amy offer up cool and unusual family-friendly activities in San Diego, as well as some local favorites!
Explore the Tidepools
Tidepooling is definitely an off-the-beaten-path San Diego activity, and there are more than a few tidepools to visit. In the summer, low tides occur in the middle of the night. This makes late fall and winter (November through March) the ideal times to go tidepooling in San Diego.
Melanie and family really love The Scripps Pier tidepools in La Jolla. She explains: “They are never super crowded. The beach there is wide, and there are plenty of tidepools to explore. My four year old loves collecting seashells. As you walk north from the access point towards the tidepools the beach is absolutely covered in them! You can find this spot just west of Birch Aquarium. Take La Jolla Shores Dr. and go towards Scripps Pier. Find street parking near the intersection at El Paseo Grande (it is a residential neighborhood). The beach access point is a walkway right next to the last house on El Paseo Grande. The tidepools there are free to enjoy, but if you’d like to explore with a trained naturalist, the Birch Aquarium offers paid Tidepooling Adventures as well.”
Experience the Grunion Runs
Melanie also loves the unique experience of the Grunion Runs and exclaims that they are “so much fun for toddlers!” She points out that the season hits in San Diego from April through June. Melanie explains, “Grunions are silvery fish that come up on the beach to lay eggs under the full moon around high tide. The beach is literally COVERED with them during the nights they “run”. During the open season, you are allowed to catch the grunions by hand while they do this.”
Melanie also mentions that, “because they happen around the time of the full moon, the grunion runs are an evening activity. So it is definitely a special treat and not for every family if they don’t like making exceptions to bedtime. But if they do, it is so much fun for little ones to run around and participate!” You can find the Grunion Run Schedule for 2019 and more here.
Visit the Water Conservation Garden
The Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon, is a “hidden gem in East County” says Melanie. “The flat, easy walking trails are stroller friendly and a great place to introduce your little ones to nature.” Melanie and family especially enjoy the “nature treasure hunt for little ones. Kiddos complete it by using the signs/name markers that are found on plant species in the garden. They’ll also learn about plants, animals, and even dinosaurs!” It is FREE and open daily from 9-4pm.
Live like a Local!
Amy has great suggestions for those visiting San Diego! She says, “San Diego has so many things to do with your little ones. Some of our favorite places to visit are Belmont Park, the Downtown New Children’s Museum, the San Diego Zoo, Waterfront Park, the Fleet Science Center, Seaworld and the Escondido Children’s Museum. Amy is truly a local experts and enjoys all that her city has to offer. She says “There are so many parks, restaurants, beaches, craft fairs and farmer’s markets all around San Diego. It’s truly the ultimate destination spot!”
We couldn’t agree more! We hope you check out this ultimate travel destination equipped with tried, tested and true, as well as cool and unusual places to explore in San Diego! Oh, and if you need to rent baby gear to facilitate getting around this lovely city, Melanie and Amy have you covered. They offer strollers, infant carriers, car seats, beach packages and so much more!
Jennifer O’Neill is an Independent Quality Provider with BabyQuip, helping families travel lighter and happier. She is a mother of two boys and enjoys working out, spending time with family and friends and of course, traveling.