Downtown San Diego Fun for the Whole Family

If you want the laid back surf life vibe, head to North County. If you want to feel a little more heat, go to East County. If you want a European-like seaside scene, hit La Jolla. And when you want a little more action? Go to Downtown San Diego! From museums to boat rides, your family is sure to enjoy the hustle and bustle our downtown has to offer with some gorgeous water views thrown in. Here are some fun-for-the-family activities to check out:

The New Children’s Museum

New Children's Museum

Kids can paint, play and climb around at the New Children’s Museum downtown.

Start your day with a little rock and roll by grabbing the delicious MJ’s famous sticky bun at the Hard Rock Hotel’s MaryJane’s Café or some infamous breakfast at Richard Walker’s Pancake house. Once fueled with coffee, turn the corner to the amazing art based children’s museum. From the bubble fountain to the indoor and outdoor art studios, your budding Picasso’s will have a day that will go down in art history.

Where:  200 West Island Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about The New Children’s Museum

Ferry from Downtown to Coronado

Visitors and locals alike enjoy the views and short trip across San Diego Bay on the Coronado Ferry.

Visitors and locals alike enjoy the views and short trip across San Diego Bay on the Coronado Ferry.

Catch the ferry that leaves downtown to cross over to Coronado. Enjoy the waterfront marketplace with over 25 shops and restaurants. Be sure to check out the flamingos at the nearby Marriott then head back to grab some gelato. Or just go for a round trip water ride with a cityscape view – whichever floats your boat.

Departing from two San Diego locations; Broadway Pier and the Convention Center
> Find out more about the Coronado Ferry

Petco Park

Padres at Petco Park

Catch the Padres play at the beautiful Petco Park in the heart of San Diego

During the spring and summer, enjoy Padres baseball from the kid-friendly picnic hill or “The Beach,” a sandy play area to keep your children entertained as you take them out to the ballgame. Bring plastic sand buckets and shovels for the kids to enjoy behind the right-center-field fence as you root, root, root for the home team.

Where: 100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about the San Diego Padres at Petco Park

Seaport Village

Boy on Carousel at Seaport Village

Take a spin on the carousel at Seaport Village in Downtown San Diego

With so much to do and see, this set of shops and restaurants is a whole lot of fun for the whole family. Stop at the kite shop or toy store after enjoying some ice cream or frozen yogurt. Go for a spin on the carousel that was built in 1895 after watching one of the various street performers. And when all is said and done, drop some pocket change in the seaside telescopes to watch the boats glide by and really magnify the view.

Where: 849 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about Seaport Village

San Diego Maritime Museum

maritime museum of san diego

The Star of India is one of the ships featured at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Ahoy thar matey! Let your pirates walk the plank or at least the decks of the many boats to choose from! Some set sail and others have lessons in knot tying and rope making. Be sure to check out all the activities available for kids as well as your options for hitting the seas for a boat ride, including some seasonal whale watching. And if you time it right, you may be able to take in Pirate Days, complete with sword flying demos that will shiver yee timbers.

Where: 1492 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about the San Diego Maritime Museum

San Diego County Waterfront Park

San Diego County Waterfront Park - Downtown

Relax and enjoy the views at the new Waterfront Park. Photo credit: County of San Diego

Just across the street from the Maritime Museum is the amazing new waterfront park. Let your little ones run cool off in the splash fountain while you take a break on the green grass. They can burn off even more energy on the plethora of climbing structures and hills. After an hour here, you’re almost guaranteed a happily tired group who will sleep soundly on the ride home.

Where: 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about the San Diego County Waterfront Park

Like the song says, forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go downtown for some San Diego fun with the family!

This entry was posted in Family Vacations and tagged by Chelsea. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chelsea

A fourth generation San Diegan, Chelsea P. Gladden is Co-founder of, a lifestyle blog for moms. A mother of five (ages 10, 8, 5, 3 & 3) , Chelsea’s advice has been featured in numerous press outlets including her recurring appearances on Fox 5 San Diego’s “Ask the Moms”, People Magazine’s Moms & Babies, Parents Magazine, NBC San Diego, on MSN’s HerSay with Soleil Moon Frye, US News, Pregnancy Magazine and more. In addition to helping parents through speaking engagements and leading class discussion groups, Chelsea has attended several pre-screenings of kids’ movies (including red carpet events with her family), product trade shows, TV events, kid related events as well as conducting several celebrity interviews. How would you describe your ideal San Diego day? First stop is always Pipe's for breakfast with my family. After ordering my second mocha, we love heading to the beach either to swim in spring/summer/fall or to ride boogie boards down the sand dunes at Moonlight in winter. For lunch or an early sunset dinner, we can be found eating at Bull Taco while overlooking the ocean or picking up a nice bottle of wine and something to BBQ from Seaside Market. If you were invisible, where would you go? I asked my husband and he said I would likely go take a nap (true). What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity? The beach. Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine? Too tough to choose. Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player are… The Frozen soundtrack, Dark Horse by Katy Perry, featuring Juicy J, All Night by Icona Pop, Started From the Bottom by Drake, Every Single Night by Fiona Apple, and Royals by Lorde. Twitter: @breezymamasite Facebook: BreezyMamaSite

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