entertainment fun San Diego Travel

85 Family Friendly Things to Do This Summer in San Diego, California

photo: Flickr, jonlclark

photo: Flickr, jonlclark


Are you taking a family vacation to San Diego this year? Or just passing through? Maybe you’re a Southern California resident? I am sure you’ll be looking for things to do while you’re here, there is so much to experience! Born and raised in San Diego, and now enjoying the city with my kids, I consider myself an expert mom in the city.

I have been to almost every single place on this list, so I can definitely recommend by experience. There are many more places to do and things to see, but I am listing my favorites here. Note that activities marked in BLUE are mommyGAGA top picks. You will have something to do every single day of the summer, enjoy your time in San Diego!


85 Things to Do In San Diego This Summer


Newport Beach Pier, California

La Jolla Shores
Coronado Beaches (all of them), Coronado, CA
Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach, CA
La Jolla Cove, Children’s Pool and Tide Pools – Children’s pool and tide pools not for swimming
Torrey Pines State Beach
Carlsbad State Beach
Pacific Beach
Cardiff State Beach


Blue Horizons Dolphin Show, Sea World San Diego
Amusement Parks in San Diego

LEGOLAND, Carlsbad, CA
Sea World San Diego
Belmont Park by the beach
Boomers, San Diego, Vista and El Cajon, CA
John’s Incredible Pizza, National City, CA 


Walkabout Waters kids play, Aquatica, Sea World Water Park
Water Parks in San Diego

Aquatica Water Park, Chula Vista, CA
LEGOLAND Waterpark, Carlsbad, CA
LEGOLAND Chima Waterpark, Carlsbad, CA (yes, they have TWO!)
The Wave Waterpark, Vista, CA


Baby Girl Splashing at Hilton Head Park, San Diego
Splash Pads and Pools

Hilton Head County Park, El Cajon, CA
Embarcadero Waterfront Park, Downtown
Las Posas Sprayground, San Marcos, CA
Sunset Park, San Marcos, CA
Buelow Park, San Marcos, CA
Santee Lakes Sprayground, Santee, CA
Tierrasanta Recreation Center Pool and Children’s Play Area
McGrath Family YMCA Splash Pad, Spring Valley, CA
Omni La Costa Resort, La Costa, CA


John's Incredible Pizza Arcade, Sna Diego, CA
Arcades and lazer tag 

UltraZone Laser Tag
Nickel City
The Boardwalk, El Cajon, CA
Dave & Busters
San Diego Paint Ball Park 
Atlantis Lazer Tag, Chula Vista, CA

Also see Boomers, John’s Incredible Pizza and Belmont Park under ‘amusement parks



New Children’s Museum
Ruben H. Fleet Science Museum
The NAT: SD Natural History Museum
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, Escondido, CA
San Diego Museum of Art
USS Midway Museum, Downtown San Diego


Strawberries from Carlsbad, CA U-Pick Farms
Zoos, Farms and Gardens

The San Diego Zoo
San Diego Safari Park, Escondido, CA
Bates Nut Farm, Valley Center, CA
Suzie’s Farm
U-Pick Strawberry Farms – Carlsbad, CA
San Diego Botanic Gardens
Balboa Park Japanese Gardens


Jumping on trampolines at Sky Zone
Indoor Activities

Sky Zone Trampoline Park – Chula Vista, CA
Air Time Inflatable Jump House, Spring Valley, CA
SkyHigh Sports
Jump Around Adventure Park, Chula Vista ,CA
Pump It Up Inflatable Jump House, Sorrento Valley, CA
KidVentures, Chula Vista & 4S Ranch, CA
My Kids Clubhouse, Poway and Bonita, CA
Playwerx, Carlsbad, CA
Playtown Indoor Playground, El Cajon, CA
Funbelievable, Lakeside, CA
Skateworld Roller Rink
Ice Town Ice skating
Kearny Mesa Bowl
San Diego Ice Arena 
Pelly’s Mini Golf, Del Mar, CA


Seaport Village, shops and dining
Leisure and Recreation

Seaport Village, Downtown
Balboa Park , tons of attractions here
Padres Baseball at Petco Park, catch a game or tour the stadium
Hiking, biking, scuba, kayaking, golf, surfing, fishing, boating, etc, from the San Diego Tourism Authority
Birch Aquarium Scripps, La Jolla, CA
SeaLIFE Aquarium, Carlsbad, CA
Historic Old Town
Cabrillo National Monument
Living Coast Discovery Center, Chula Vista, CA
Mission Trails Regional Park, Hike and Explore
Lake Hodges – Fishing, boating and hiking, Rancho Bernardo, CA 
Segway and Bike Tours, Downtown and Balboa Park
Miramar Speed Circuit, Go Karts and Racing
Mount Soledad Observatory, La Jolla, CA
Palomar Observatory, North County
Campland by the Bay, Pacific Beach
KOA San Diego Campgrounds, Chula Vista, CA


Summer nights dancers at the Bahia Carnaval
Limited Time

The Del Mar Fair, Del Mar, CA, through July 5th
Carnaval at The Bahia Mission Bay – Live music, beach party, BBQ food, and drinks every Thursday through August 28th.
Regal’s Summer Movie Express $1 Films – PG Movies on Tuesdays, through August 20th
San Diego Humane Society, plenty of youth programs throughout the summer
San Diego Farmer’s Markets, SD Countywide
Summer Concerts at Balboa Park, through August 28th
Summer Movies in the Park, Countywide
Day at the Horse Races, Del Mar, CA


What are your favorite summer activities in San Diego?


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  • The Zoo and Sea world are my favorite places to go to in San Diego. I also would love to try Legoland and the San Diego Botanical Gardens. It is so pretty in this city!

  • I forgot all of the fun things in San Diego. Where was the photo taken that’s above leisure and recreation? I can’t place it. Although I am just up the road an hour, I don’t get down there enough. I did go to a lot of those places when my son was young. We practically lived at Nickel City. I didn’t know it was still around.

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