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10 Activities to Do with Toddlers in San Diego

San Diego: the land of sandy beaches, surfers, and palm trees. You might ask, “What can my little toddlers do there?” Here are ten ideas to start you off!

Watch the Fish at Birch Aquarium

With over 5,000 fish within its tanks, it’s no wonder that Birch Aquarium consistently draws in toddlers who hope to be future oceanographers or marine biologists. If you time your visit right, you may even get to watch some of these beautiful ocean creatures have a bite to eat! The cost of an adult ticket is $19.50, and the price of a child ticket is $15.


Get an Aeronautics Lesson at the USS Midway Museum

Think you might have future pilots on your hands? The USS Midway Museum may be the perfect stop for you and your family! With a flight simulator, hangar deck exhibits, and an aircraft gallery, your future little fliers will be having the times of their lives! An adult ticket costs $23, a student ticket costs $16, and a child ticket costs $9.


Spend a Day at Legoland

What kid doesn’t grow up playing with Legos? See Legos at their highest potential at Legoland! Check out miniature versions of the U.S.’ most iconic landmarks, hop on some Lego-themed rides, and even watch a few shows! Tickets start at $95.99 per person, although this price does depend on the day.


Watch the Del Mar Horse Races

Perhaps horse racing may not be the first “family-friendly” activity that comes to mind. But, think of the looks of awe that’ll be glued onto your little one’s faces as the horses zip by at 30 miles per hour! Ticket prices are announced about two months before the start of the season.


Look for Sea Creatures in the Tide Pools at Moonlight Beach

During low tide at Moonlight Beach, there are sea creature-filled tide pools that appear. Your little ones can see sea creatures that they might have only seen in aquariums before, like anemones and starfish! If they’re collectors of ocean treasures, Moonlight Beach is also a great place to find shells and sea glass.


Learn about a Bunch of Animals at San Diego Zoo

For over a century, the San Diego Zoo has opened its doors to its animal-loving visitors. Allow your toddlers to learn about almost animal they have ever dreamed of – from an anaconda to a giant panda to a snow leopard! An adult ticket costs $56, and a child ticket costs $46.

As a bonus, consider visiting the Safari Park as well!


Spot Sea Lions at La Jolla Cove

Every San Diego local knows that La Jolla Cove is the place to spot sea lions. Watch them lie in the sand, swim around in the water, or bark at each other. Beware, they come with quite a fishy smell!

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Spark Your Inner Scientist at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The Rueben H. Fleet Science Center has nine permanent exhibitions in addition to its visiting exhibitions. That’s a lot of science for any youngster to learn. Shrink down to the nanoscience scale, learn about retro-active science, and even become a human battery! An adult ticket costs $21.95, and a child ticket costs $18.95.


Look at the Stars at Palomar Observatory

This astronomical research center owned by CalTech is home to three active research telescopes (including the largest useful telescope in operation). Admission is completely free! They also offer guided tours, which cost $5 per adult and $3 per child. (Children under five are not allowed.)

Do note that Palomar Observatory may close without advance notice due to severe or dangerous weather conditions.


Hop on a Boat to Do Some Whale Watching

While whales are known for their migration patterns, there always seems to be some whale species swimming around San Diego’s waters. Between gray whales in the winter and spring and blue whales in the summer and fall, there will always be something to see! Many companies do whale watching tours in San Diego, and the price of these tours vary greatly depending on the company and the length of time. Before purchasing your tickets, be sure to check with the company to see if your children are above the minimum age required to go on the tour.