Alison

Balboa Park’s December Nights – Two Nights of Holiday Magic – December 7-8, 2012

Organ Carolers - Balboa Park's December Nights
Organ Carolers - Balboa Park's December Nights

Music, food, drinks, rides and more! Find some Holiday Cheer at Balboa Park’s December Nights

Balboa Park’s December Nights – the city’s annual holiday gift to the community – promises to be bigger and better than ever this year. The 35th annual two-day celebration is the city’s largest free festival, expected to draw at least 300,000 this year.

December Nights is as close as San Diego gets to becoming a winter wonderland. Balboa Park is decked in twinkling lights and silvery garlands. Fanciful Christmas trees abound and the aromas of multi-cultural holiday treats waft through the air.

Free Entry into the Museums

For the occasion, park museums open their doors to the public, free of charge, from 5:00 until 9:00 PM both evenings. Many present special holiday programs. Kids will be awed by the elaborate gingerbread constructions at the Mingei International Museum and can join in holiday-inspired craft projects at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. All ages will be enthralled by the amazing bell ringers who perform at the San Diego History Center.

Things to Do During December Nights

Santa Lucia Procession - Balboa Park's December Nights

Enjoy a traditional Santa Lucia Procession in the California Quadrangle in front of the Museum of Man

Festivities are family friendly, multi-cultural and staged throughout the park. The San Diego Civic Youth Ballet will perform excerpts from “The Nutcracker” on the Casa del Prado Stage. Steps away, on the California Quadrangle near the San Diego Museum of Man, revelers can see the Santa Lucia Procession and children’s choir performances. Dozens of singers, dancer and musicians will take to the stage at the Organ Pavilion.

Youngsters will have the opportunity to visit with roving Santas and can pose for a photo in The Old Globe courtyard with Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! At the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, they can see puppets come to life in an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and they can join with San Diego Junior Theatre students singing holiday songs. A series of children’s holiday movies will run nonstop both evenings in the theater at the San Diego Hall of Champions. There also are plenty of carnival rides to keep the younger set entertained.

December Nights are prime time for holiday shopping. Find great gifts at museum stores, from Spanish Village Art Center artisans and at a wide range of arts and crafts booths.

December Nights Food Options

House of China Food Prep - Balboa Park's December Nights

Sample delicious delicacies from around the world including traditional dishes from the House of China.

Hungry? December Nights is known for its mouth-watering range of food and drink offerings. The International Cottages of the House of Pacific Relations offer traditional holiday foods from a smorgasbord of nations: Think empanadas, eggrolls, aebleskiver, samosas, fried plantains, pierogi, bourekas, baklava, paella, even mashed potato stew.  Many museums offer tasty treats: Find roasted chestnuts at the San Diego Art Institute, yakisoba at the Japanese Friendship Garden, hot toddies at the Hall of Champions. In addition, numerous food vendors sell an array of yummy holiday delights – from melted Swiss raclette to fresh-baked gingerbread cookies. The 21+ set can sip a locally crafted brew at one of several beer gardens.

Getting to December Nights

Parking

With so many attending December Nights, parking can be tougher than fitting down a chimney. Shuttles are provided from PETCO Park (where parking will cost $5), the County Administration Building and several City College Parking lots offering free parking. Carpooling with all your friends is a must!

> Balboa Park’s December Nights Parking Map

Public Transportation

Since parking can be a little rough, consider saving yourself the hassle and taking public transportation. Ride the Orange or Blue Trolleys to the City College stop on 11th Avenue and then either hop on the Number 7 bus or enjoy a brisk walk up park. From Hillcrest, Uptown, Mid-City, Normal Heights, City Heights, and North Park communities take any bus to University Avenue and Park Blvd and transfer to a special Route 7 shuttle heading to Park Blvd.

Alternative Transportation

Want to relax without worrying about which stop to get off at or if you can get to the parking spot before it’s gone? Consider taking a taxi or using the posh Uber private driver service.

If you are close enough, try getting some fresh air and cycling into Balboa Park. There are plenty of bike racks throughout the park. The biggest bike racks can be found by the entrance of the San Diego ZooPlease remember to be safe and to wear a helmet and reflective vest, and to use front and rear blinking lights.

Balboa Park’s December Nights General Information

Location: Balboa Park
Dates: December 7-8, 2012
Times:
– Friday, December 7: 5:00 to 10:00 PM
– Saturday, December 8: 12:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: Free
Website: www.balboapark.org/decembernights

And be sure to bundle up. While San Diego may better known for sandmen than snowmen, it can get downright chilly here on December nights!

Denise

Hanging Out at San Diego’s Tide Pools

Swami's Tidepools - Encinitas

Mild ocean breezes and rolling waves are always in season at San Diego beaches.  In the fall, the weather is still warm enough to hit the surf, and even better, a great time to discover the secret world of tide pools. There’s no telling what tiny creatures you’ll encounter in these incredible little ecosystems teeming with life along San Diego’s shoreline. It all happens when the tide rolls out – shallow pools form around the rocks and become a home to tiny octopuses, colorful sea stars, hardy Hermit crabs and other remarkable critters. And that’s just what’s visible to the naked eye.

When my own kids were very young, exploring the tide pools was one of our favorite weekend adventures. Their favorite discoveries: The slimy looking sea cucumbers and prickly sea urchins. Now teenagers, they still love to go, so this activity is good for nature-lovers of all ages.

Fall kicks-off the best viewing season and runs through winter. Before you visit, check the surf report to make sure it’s low or minus tide, so the tide pools are out in the open. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Cabrillo National Monument

Tidepools of Cabrillo National Monument

The Intertidal Area – Cabrillo National Monument

Walk down the scenic path where land and sea meet to a large rocky area. These tide pools offers some of San Diego’s best protected examples of periwinkle snails, tiny crabs and other unique organisms.

Shell Beach, La Jolla

Minus tide is the best time to see the tide pool here.  It is at the south end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla at the bottom of the small cement stairway.  This beach is also home to Seal Rock Reserve, where you can watch seals and sea lions playing and sunning themselves.

Tourmaline Surfing Park, Pacific Beach

This is a surfing-only beach that’s also popular with biology students. To get to the tide pools walk north along the beach from the parking area west of La Jolla Boulevard at the north end of Pacific Beach.

Swami’s, Encinitas

Swami's Tidepools - Encinitas

Swami’s Tidepools – Encinitas

North on Pacific Coast Highway from Cardiff State Beach is Swami’s. Once you’re on the beach, walk north to the rocky areas. Hidden in the hard sedimentary rock are old fossils shells, and during low tide, you have a good chance of seeing sea hares, brittle stars and octopuses.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

She sees Sea Hares down by the sea shore!

For something more organized, Birch Aquarium offers guided visits to La Jolla tide pool to learn how these amazing habitats and their inhabitants truly survive “between a rock and a hard place.”

Sarah Weinberg

Haunted Hotel Deal for a Halloween Weekend at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Haunted trail at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

We plan to hit the Halloween trail early this season and venture beyond our own neighborhood to experience a spooky yet family friendly getaway for locals and visitors alike. San Diego hotels are getting into the “spirit” of Halloween by offering special packages focusing on a ghoulishly good time for young children and their parents.

My kids are excited about our overnight visit to the Rancho Bernardo Inn on Halloween weekend to experience the Halloween @ the Inn Stay and Spook family package. My girlfriend did this last year with her kids and recommended the family activities including trick-or-treating, a not-so-scary haunted house, pumpkin decorating and even glow in the dark cocktails for mom and dad.

Halloween @ the Inn Activities

Kids Making a Witches Brew at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Double, double toil and trouble

Kids will enjoy dressing up for a costume contest and being allowed to roam through the spooky carnival games at Rancho Bernardo Inn during Halloween weekend.

Haunted trail at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Do you dare take the haunted trail

The ghostly grounds of the Rancho Bernardo Inn decorated for Halloween. The Inn’s themed family events are open to hotel guests purchasing the Stay & Spook package starting at $199 for a family of four, or locals can join in the activities scheduled Friday and Saturday from 5:00 to 8:00 PM for $17 per child (age up to 14 years old).

Kids picking pumpkins at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Find the perfect Halloween pumpkin

Younger children will enjoy the pumpkin patch, a free “goodie pumpkin” at check-in, face painting and trick or treating.

Kids acting like flying witches at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Fly, Fly my pretties!

With a focus on a friendly Halloween experience, and lots of treats and sweets, including s’mores, trick or treating and kid-friendly snacks like caramel apples and hot pretzels available for purchase, Halloween @ the Inn should prove to be one of the most fun Halloween parties we’ve ever attended!

Halloween @ the Inn Package Information

Rates starting from $199 per night. Additional kids $17 per night (ages 3-14). Rate valid for two adults and two kids. Some restrictions may apply. Available October 26 & 27, 2012.

> Book Your Spooktacular Halloween @ the Inn Weekend Today!

Suzzanne

Preview: La Jolla Art and Wine Festival

Kids Painting a car at the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival
Kids Painting a car at the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival

Family Fun at the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival. Photo: Steve Simpson

The 2012 La Jolla Art and Wine Festival returns to La Jolla October 13th and 14th and takes place in the heart of the village, between Prospect Avenue and Kline Street. The two-day juried art show has quickly garnered a reputation as one of the most prestigious art and wine festivals on the west coast.

The free festival is open to the public and will feature over 150 established artists from San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Baja and beyond. Visitors will enjoy a little bit of everything from a silent auction, roving entertainment, a gourmet marketplace along with a beer and wine garden, which will include premier wineries from around the world in addition to San Diego’s top breweries. Families can enjoy a scavenger hunt, crafts, games, musical entertainment, even a car to paint!

La Jolla Art and Wine Festival Information

Where: Girard Avenue between Prospect Avenue and Kline Street, La Jolla (map)
Dates: October 13-14
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
Website: www.lajollaartandwinefestival.com

Event Parking and Shuttle Information

Valet parking will be located at the entrance on Kline Street at Girard Avenue for $10. There will also be free shuttles with stops at Muirlands Middle School as well as in front of the Holiday Inn Express on La Jolla Boulevard.

Suzzanne

Top Free Things to Do In San Diego: October 4-7, 2012

This weekend we are highlighting some fun activities you can do…all for free!

1. Annual Pacific Beachfest

Pacific Beachfest Logo

On Saturday, October 6, Pacific Beach will be hosting a one-day event to highlight all that San Diego beaches have to offer. This year the Pacific Beachfest will feature a Pro/Am Surf Competition Final with surfers competing from around the world, an Action Alley where professional skaters will be on hand demonstrating their skills, a beach volleyball tournament, as well as artists, vendors, activities and music.

2. ArtOberfest Walkabout

On Saturday, October 6 from 6:00 to 10:00 PM, visitors can walk around the neighborhood of South Park and enjoy a fun-filled evening festival and be introduced to the shops and cafes of South Park. From Kalmia to Beech Streets, you’ll find shops open late, entertainment, specials and surprises. Browse, explore, shop and celebrate the independent spirit of this legendary neighborhood!

3. Old Town San Diego Art Festival

Old Town San Diego Art Festival Banner

Watch the streets of Historic Old Town San Diego transform into an art extravaganza on Saturday and Sunday, October 6-7. Stroll down San Diego Avenue and see the variety of artists, entertainment, food and wine. And for the first time this year, there will be a Young Artist area that will feature a children’s art competition.

4. Friday Night Liberty & Fall for the Arts Kickoff

October is when arts and culture takes center stage in San Diego. Fall for the Arts is a month-long spotlight on the many vibrant arts and cultural activities throughout the region in conjunction with National Arts and Humanities Month. On Friday, October 5, at the NTC Liberty Station, local arts and culture organizations will present hundreds of free (and almost free!) events to ensure residents and visitors can get more bang for the buck!

> Discover More Great Things to Do with San Diego’s Event Calendar

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Martin

Take the Kids Fishing in San Diego

Kids fishing at the docks
Kids fishing at the docks

Spend a day with the kids fishing.

With kids spending more and more time in front of Smart phones or desk computers and less time in the outdoors, organizations throughout the country have taken on the task of getting more kids involved outside.

One of them is the Take Me Fishing movement at www.takemefishing.org, an excellent source for parents seeking guidance on how to get their kids into fishing.

Those who have tried know it’s not easy prying their sweaty little palms away from their mobile phones or computer games, but maybe, just maybe, the tug of a fish on the other end of the line will hook a kid for a lifetime of great fishing experiences.

What I’ve learned about taking kids fishing is that you have to take them somewhere where they’ll catch fish or at least get lots of bites and action. There’s never a guarantee in fishing. It’s not called catching, but there are ways to ensure that they’ll at least get into some biting fish.

My best bets are a lake or pond when bluegill are biting or a sport boat when there’s good action on smaller fish like mackerel, bass or bonito hitting.

A few years ago I took golf writer Tod Leonard out from the U-T San Diego newspaper. His son, Casey, was new to fishing. We went to San Diego Bay with fishing guide Jeff Stock, and it was a very successful trip. Casey outfished us all, knowing just the right time to set the hook and start reeling. Tod and Casey had a fishing memory of a lifetime. And that’s what you want when you take a youngster fishing.

San Diego Bay can be a great place to take a kid. So can places like Lake Murray and Santee Lakes. Keep it simple. Use light gear, not kiddy stuff, but good light gear like a spinning rod and reel. Lower Otay Lake has a very healthy population of bluegill, and they can be found close to the shoreline in the summer months.

Takemefishing.org recommends keeping kids busy with other activities when the fish aren’t biting. Try and teach them about the nearby environment they’re in by pointing out birds or other animals around them. Teach them knots or the difference in lures that they’ll use and why they use them. If you’re on a boat, teach them nautical terms such as the boat’s stern, port side, starboard and bow. Teach them how to cast. There is no more valuable skill an angler can have than making a great cast. Work with them closely on this and then let them try on their own.

It’s not easy these days getting a young boy or girl to give up the instant gratification they get from computer games and switch to fishing, a pastime that often requires patience, but it’s worth a try. The best thing you’ll hear later is, “Gee, Dad, when are we going fishing again?”

> Find More Family Friendly Travel Guides for San Diego

Suzzanne

Top Things to Do In San Diego: September 27-30

Band Playing at Oktoberfest

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love pumpkin patches, crisp evenings and all the fun things there is to do in San Diego. Here’s my top picks for this weekend. What will you be doing?

1. Cabrillo Festival

Cabrillo National Monument

For the 49th year, San Diego will celebrate the day in 1542 when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo landed on the shore that is now San Diego. On September 29th and 30th, visitors can learn more about San Diego’s early history at this fun event for the whole family.

2. Oktoberfest in El Cajon

Band Playing at Oktoberfest

Lederhosen, Beer, Bratwurst and Family Fun at the Authentic Oktoberfest in El Cajon.

Head east and partake in authentic German food, beers and liquors at the annual Oktoberfest in El Cajon. Visitors will enjoy traditional folk dancing performances, games and contests, vendor and craft booths and a Kids’ Zone. The fun kicks off September 28th.

3. 40th Annual Poway Rodeo

Girls Carrying Flags on top of Horses at the Poway Rodeo

Western Fun at the Poway Rodeo

Get a taste of the western life as professional rodeo cowboys from all over the country compete at the annual Poway Rodeo. This rodeo has everything including, bareback riding, tie down roping, a clown act, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding. Break out your dancing boots for the Rodeo Dances on both nights. Rodeo runs Friday, September 28-Saturday, September 29.

4. Annual Adams Avenue Street Fair

Normal Heights sign above the Adams Avenue Street Fair

Music, Food, Rides and More at the Adams Avenue Street Fair

Southern California’s largest free music festival features arts and crafts, carnival rides, food, circus acts and musical acts on six outdoor stages. Festivities take place September 29-30 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Saturday and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sunday.

5. Trolley Dances

Discover Unconventional Dance Spaces during the 2012 Trolley Dances. Photo by Yvonne M. Portra.

Hop on board and travel to six stops along the MTS Trolley line featuring site-specific dance. New work to be performed by 50 of San Diego’s most adventurous dancers. As an added twist, this year’s event will present WillyGood, a French circus duo. Tickets includes a free all day Trolley Pass with advance purchase.

Suzzanne

Fall Activities with the Kids in San Diego

Fall is a great time to visit San Diego. And it’s even better with kids free all month-long in October. I plan on taking full advantage of all the free offerings around town. Below are my top 5 fall activities I’m doing with my kids.

1. Tide Pools

Explore the many tide pools throughout San Diego.

San Diego’s tide pools are a blast to visit. Besides being completely free, they offer a chance to touch up close the little sea creatures. One of my favorite spots is Swami’s in Cardiff. During a good low tide, you can explore and see sea hares, brittle stars and octopi.

2. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Are you faster than a cheetah?

With the temperatures dropping in Fall, the Safari Park is a perfect time to visit. Recently we were lucky enough to catch their famous Cheetah Run. For an extra $10 per person, you get to stand up close and watch the fastest land animal on the planet run. What a thrill!

> Kids Go Free to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park this October

3. Pumpkin Patches

It wouldn’t be fall without a visit to a Pumpkin Patch. This year, we are going to Bates Nut Farm. Kids can enjoy hayrides, a maze, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Guests can bring a picnic and hang out on one of the many picnic benches.

4. LEGOLAND California’s Brick-or-Treat Party Nights

I’ve been to LEGOLAND pretty much every time of year, and I have to say, this is my favorite time to visit. Every Saturday night in October, LEGOLAND celebrates from 5:00 to 9:00 PM with its Brick-or-Treat Party Nights. Kids can come in costume and visit several areas that will be open late including Land of Adventure, Castle Hill, the Imagination Zone and Park favorites Coastersaurus and Safari Trek. Be sure to have the kids dress in costume. Prizes will be given for Best Pirate, Most LEGO Themed and Most Creative.

> Kids Go Free to LEGOLAND California this October

5. Balboa Park’s Halloween Family Day

Costumed fun in San Diego’s Historic Balboa Park

Over a dozen museums are treating families to free admission for children 12 and under during the 4th Annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day on Saturday, October 27. There will be a spooky array of hands-on activities, crafts, special tours, storytelling and other free goodies from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

> Kids Go Free to San Diego County Museums this October

> Take Advantage of Over 100 Kids Free Offers this October in San Diego

What do you have planned for your kids this Fall in San Diego?

Suzzanne

25 Free Things to Do With Kids This Fall in San Diego

Enjoy A Bonfire with the Kids

Fall is a great time for the kids to explore many of San Diego’s free outdoor activities including the beach, hiking sports, sightseeing and more.

Below are just 25 of the free things kids can do this fall in San Diego:

  1. Head to one of San Diego’s 33 beaches, all open to the public, and perfect for body surfing, boogie boarding, building sandcastles, collecting seashells and basking in the sun.
  2. Catch a magnificent Pacific sunset and watch sea lions play along the shoreline at La Jolla Cove, one of the most spectacular natural settings in the world.
  3. Take free fly-fishing lessons from the San Diego Fly Fishers club on Sunday mornings from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Lake Murray, located in La Mesa. If you don’t have your own gear, arrive early for a free equipment loan.
  4. Sample some of the more than 200 varieties of fresh produce grown in San Diego at one of the region’s many Farmer’s Markets, held daily at locations throughout the county.
  5. Bike, walk or play along Mission Bay Park’s many trails. Bikers, walkers and joggers share more than 20 miles of scenic paths winding through sunlit and shade near the shoreline.
  6. Rollerblade, skateboard, or bicycle along the Mission Beach and Pacific Beach Boardwalk, a scenic three-mile boardwalk running along the coastline of these lively neighborhoods.
  7. Take a scenic drive to Mt. Laguna to hike, bike or picnic while enjoying the fresh mountain air whispering through the pines.
  8. Hike the trails of Torrey Pines State Reserve and see the rare and elegant Torrey pine trees, a number of animal species and miles of unspoiled beaches below.
  9. Visit Mission Trails Regional Park featuring a state-of-the-art Visitors Center where guests explore and learn about the wonders of nature and the native people who once lived on the land. The park also offers over 40 miles of natural and developed hiking and biking trails.
  10. Go scuba diving or snorkeling off San Diego’s shores to see spectacular creatures of the sea. La Jolla Shores and Cove offer some of the clearest waters on the California Coast, as well as miles of protected underwater preserve to explore.
  11. Walk along the downtown Embarcadero and view impressive public art sculptures, tributes, and memorials set along San Diego Bay. The artworks celebrate San Diego’s international ties, cultural diversity, military significance and unique oceanfront environment.
  12. Watch tail-waggin’, Frisbee-catchin’ and stick-fetchin’ dogs splash in the surf. Man’s best friend is permitted to roam leash-free at all hours of the day on designated dog beaches in Ocean Beach, Coronado and Del Mar.
  13. Talk a walk through Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the United States, and discover its beautiful Spanish Colonial-Revival architecture and glorious gardens. Also, visitors can take advantage of the Park’s variety of other free offerings, including ranger-led walking tours at 11:00 AM on Tuesdays and Sundays.
  14. Gather friends, family and firewood for a cozy beach bonfire at one of San Diego County’s bonfire-friendly beaches, located in Coronado, Ocean Beach, Oceanside, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.
  15. Go on a self-guided walking tour of The Stuart Collection, a display of contemporary sculptures scattered throughout the University of California, San Diego campus in La Jolla. Tour maps are available at the Gilman Drive campus entrance.
  16. Spend an afternoon at Tidelands Park in Coronado. The park’s 22 bayfront acres feature four baseball fields, a playground, skatepark, picnic tables, small beach with an exercise course, boat access, fishing pier and bike and pedestrian paths.
  17. Explore the clear shallow tide pools of La Jolla Cove and Point Loma when the tide is low and the pools are teeming with aquatic life.
  18. Visit Julian in San Diego’s East County and enjoy this quaint, historic mining town that grew into San Diego County’s second largest urban center during the Southern California gold rush of 1869.
  19. Take a drive to the top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla, home of the Mt. Soledad Veterans War Memorial, for breathtaking, 360-degree views of San Diego. Spectacular views also await at the top of Mt. Helix in La Mesa, offering visitors a birds-eye glimpse of San Diego’s East County communities.
  20. Witness the living legacy of California’s birthplace in Old Town State Historic Park, San Diego’s first “downtown.” The six-block park features 12 acres of Mexican lore and historical sites presented in shops, restaurants, museums and several carefully preserved or restored adobe and wooden buildings.
  21. Visit the U.S. Olympic Training Center, the nation’s first warm-weather, year-round Olympic training facility, located in Chula Vista. Free guided tours of the 150-acre lakefront facility are offered at 11:00 AM on Saturday; tours begin at the Copley Visitor Center. Self-guided tours are also available 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Mondays – Saturdays.
  22. Visit downtown San Diego’s Seaport Village for hours of free entertainment, leisurely strolling and window shopping. Enjoy a laid-back day of hanging out in the grass and watching the many passing yachts and ships on picturesque San Diego Bay.
  23. Fly a kite along the grassy field in the Tecolote Shores of Mission Bay Park, a 4,600-acre aquatic park.
  24. Hang 10 at the California Surf Museum, which houses a permanent collection of historic boards, photographs and videos on Highway 101 in Oceanside. During free admission day on Tuesdays, visitors can explore its colorful and educational display on the sport of surfing and the legends who braved the waters over generations.
  25. Head over to La Mesa for the annual Oktoberfest. Traditional German celebration in San Diego’s East County featuring dancing, Bavarian bands, arts and crafts and more.

Even More Kids Free Fun this October

Visiting with the kids during October? After they have checked everything off the list above, save on other attractions, food and more with over a hundred kids free offers.

> Browse Over 100 Kids Free San Diego Offers for this October

Know of any other great free fall activities for kids? Tell us in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Spend A Day With the Kids on Coronado

Coronado Beach - Brett Shoaf
Coronado Beach - Brett Shoaf

Bring the Kids for a Day on Coronado. Photo courtesy of Brett Shoaf

Looking to spend a day with the kids at the beach in San Diego? With its pristine beaches, near perfect-weather, beachfront dining and plenty of sweet-treat shops, Coronado is a great and easy option.

To make your beach trip even easier, here are just a few of the things you can add to your itinerary throughout the day in Coronado.

Sandcastles at the Beach

Build a Sandcastle at the #1 Beach in America – Coronado Beach

Start off a day with the kids at Coronado Beach, the #1 Beach in America! The kids can easily spend hours splashing in the water and building monumental sandcastles while you lounge on the towel with your favorite book.

Lunch at by the Water at Sheerwater

When lunchtime comes around and the kids are hungry, you don’t want to have to go far and luckily Sheerwater at the Hotel del Coronado is just steps away from the beach. The kids menu has favorites including hamburgers, pizza, grilled cheese, chicken fingers and more. While the kids chow down, you can relax with more “adult” options while enjoying the sunshine and the sound of the ocean waves accompanied with your kids excitement.

Mid-Afternoon Treats

Elvis (and a cow!) greet ice cream fans at Moo Time.

After lunch, head back to the beach for a few more hours and then take a sweet mid-afternoon walk to pick up a yummy treat. If the day is really warm, pop into Mootime Creamery for hand-made ice cream served in fresh waffle cones, all made daily. With two convenient locations in the Hotel del and on Orange Avenue, you never have to go far from the beach.

In the mood for some chocolate or another confectionary delight? Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory is the spot for you and the kids. Chocolate, caramel and more are made daily for your enjoyment. If the kids are on their best behavior, they might even receive a free sample!

If you don’t need the sugar rush, spoil the kids by allowing them to pick out a toy at the Blue Octopus Toy Store in the Hotel Del. This blue store has something fun for everyone including big plush octopi (of course), stickers, games, coloring books and more. The perfect thing to distract the kids for the rest of the evening.

Make It Overnight for More Fun

Why not extend the fun with an overnight on the island. During the month of October (2012), book a stay at the Hotel del Coronado or the Glorietta Bay Inn and they will surprise the kids with a Free Welcome Gift.

With a room booked on the island, head out for dinner with Vigilucci’s Ristorante Coronado, which has a Kids Eat Free offer this October!

The next morning, step back in time with breakfast at Clayton’s Coffee Shop. Take a seat in a retro “leather” booth or cozy on up to a chrome stool around the horseshoe counter and start off the day with delicious pancakes, waffles, omelets or cup of coffee. Don’t worry if you sleep in, breakfast is served all day at Clayton’s!

After breakfast, finish off your stay by learning the history of the Enchanted Island at the Coronado Museum of History and Art. In October, the museum extends a special a Kids Go Free Offer.

> Find even More Kids Free Offers in San Diego for this October

Is there something or someplace else you would take this kids during a visit to Coronado? Let us and others know in the comments below.