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?

Brent Bernasconi

Experience New Excitement at San Diego Attractions this Summer 2012

Pirate Reef - LEGOLAND California

Summer in San Diego means sunshine, beaches and barbecues. During your visit this summer, why not check out some of the awesome new offerings at San Diego attractions, including roller coasters, battling pirate ships, chinese acrobats and more!

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Giraffes along a Africa Tram Safari - San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Get Up Close During a Summer Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Enjoy a Summer Safari at the Park from June 30-August 19 for unique viewing opportunities of exotic wildlife like a cheetah sprinting just seven feet from where visitors stand. This festive summer celebration also includes interactive drumming, puppet performances and acrobats who entertain guests throughout the day.

LEGOLAND California

Pirate Reef - LEGOLAND California

Climb Aboard LEGOLAND's newest ride at Pirate Reef

LEGOLAND’s new adventure ride, Pirate Reef, takes to the high seas where riders board rival pirate ships and battle one another with splashing water cannons.

The park also expanded its popular STAR WARS Miniland, which now features seven live-action LEGO displays of memorable scenes from the classic Star Wars movies, along with three life-sized LEGO models of its famous characters.

San Diego Zoo

Chinese Warriors - San Diego Zoo Nighttime

The Wonders of China Await at the San Diego Zoo

During June 23 – September 3, roam through the park until 9:00 pm for Nighttime Zoo: China Celebration and experience special summer offerings. In honor of the Year of the Dragon, witness a 20-foot-long serpent puppet, trampoline acts and performances by breathtaking Chinese acrobats, robotic actors and stilt walkers.

SeaWorld

SeaWorld's Manta

Ride the New Manta Coaster at SeaWorld San Diego

From June 16-August 19, visit SeaWorld San Diego for Summer Nights at SeaWorld. The summer showcase features extended park hours, nightly firework shows, live music and special nighttime animal performances.

This summer experience Manta, a new mega-attraction that combines the thrill and excitement of a roller coaster with an incredible marine-life exhibit, featuring a 100,000-gallon aquarium.

> Save With San Diego’s Fabulous Four Attractions – Tickets Package

What are you most looking forward to while in San Diego this Summer?

Suzzanne

Spring Fun in San Diego

Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park Wildflowers

Springtime in San Diego makes a colorful entrance every year as warm weather sweeps through the County and brilliant flowers bloom. There are also spring celebrations at the region’s major attractions and enough festivals, fairs and events to keep visitors entertained throughout the season. Be sure to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful San Diego Spring weather!

Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park Wildflowers

Wildflowers in the Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park

Floral Celebrations

A spectacular display of color occurs annually between February and April in the 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego’s East County as wildflowers bejewel the sun-scorched desert landscape. Guests are advised to call the Park’s 24-hour “Wildflower Hotline” at 760-767-4684 before planning a tour of the desert flora.

At the Flower Fields of Carlsbad California, a vibrant sea of giant ranunculus flowers transforms 50 acres of hills into rows of brilliant color. During March through May, guests can stroll past oceans of flowers and through beautiful gardens, including a miniature rose garden, fragrant sweet pea maze, a garden featuring more than 50 All American Rose Selection winners and a spectacular display of red, white and blue flowers planted in the shape of a giant American flag.

Balboa Park‘s Offshoot Tours provides free, one-hour tours that highlight the park’s lush botanical offerings; the tours begin at 10:00 am on Saturdays in front of the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Must-sees are the beautiful Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, displaying approximately 2,500 roses of nearly 200 varieties, and the award-winning Alcazar Garden, with a floral design patterned after the gardens of Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park's Butterfly Jungle

Butteryfly Jungle Photo courtesy of San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Springtime Attractions

Guests can celebrate spring with Shamu and friends during Spring into Night at SeaWorld San Diego. During weekends in spring, exact dates TBA, visitors can laugh with sea lions Clyde and Seamore at the Sea Lions Tonite! nighttime show and be amazed at the visually stunning evening performance of Shamu Rocks before looking to the sky for a fantastic fireworks show.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park presents Butterfly Jungle, March 24 – April 15. During this four-week celebration, guests can walk through the Park’s Hidden Jungle, an African aviary, and surround themselves with thousands of butterflies of every shape, size and color.

Seaport Village Spring Busker Festival

Seaport Village Spring Busker Festival. Photo courtesy of Boardwalk Betty

Festivals, Fairs and Events

Seaport Village comes alive with a celebration of street performers during the Spring Busker Festival, March 24 – 25. In a battle of entertainment, extraordinary, one-of-a-kind performers including jugglers, sword swallowers, comedic stuntmen and Didgeridoo players take to Seaport Village’s cobblestone streets for a weekend of outdoor family amusement.

The La Jolla Concours d’Elegance, sponsored by the La Jolla Historical Society, takes place April 1 in Scripps Park near La Jolla Cove and draws droves of classic car enthusiasts.

The city of Fallbrook in San Diego’s North County celebrates its designation as “the avocado capital of the world” during the Annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival on April 15. Highlights include arts and crafts, games and creative foods featuring the delicious, green fruit.

Tell us in the comments, what are you looking most forward to this spring in San Diego?

Suzzanne

5 Reasons San Diego is Tops for Spring Break

USA Today recently revealed its Top Destinations for Spring Break and San Diego (of course!) was among them. Here are 5 reasons why we think San Diego is a top pick for Spring Break:

1. Beaches

From surfing and paddleboarding to just strolling along the beach, San Diego’s 70 miles of beaches has something for everyone.

2. Nightlife

San Diego’s nightlife scene has never been hotter. Visitors can celebrate all year long in the Gaslamp Quarter with over 100 restaurants and clubs, it is the place to be any time of year. Visitors can also relax under the stars at the beach, go upscale in La Jolla or try something a little different in the Uptown neighborhood, North Park.

3. Attractions

The San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo Safari Park…need we say more? Be sure to check out LEGOLAND’s expanded Star Wars exhibit in miniland.

4. Craft Brew

San Diego is home to the nation’s best brew pubs including Pizza Port which just recently won Small Brewpub of the Year at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival. In the next few months, you will have even more options when five more breweries open throughout the county.

5. The Great Outdoors

San Diego’s temperate weather allows for outdoor activities all year round. Go hiking along the water in Torrey Pines State Reserve or mountain biking through the natural landscapes of Mission Trails Regional Park. Here are a few more ideas to get outdoors. There is no reason you should stay inside while in San Diego!

To make your spring break even better, you can save up to 35 percent with these hotel deals and packages.

Tell us in the comments below, what is your favorite thing to do during spring break in San Diego?

Aki

Attraction Action! Explore San Diego Zoo Safari Park

One of the best features of San Diego as a vacation destination is the countless number world-renowned attractions that offer adventure, thrills, education and engagement for your family. For those of us lucky enough to live here, especially with children, every weekend or holiday poses a dilemma of choosing which attraction to explore. From the Zoo that made San Diego world-famous, to close encounters with Shamu, there’s some serious voting and lobbying that goes on in our house when deciding what to do on a gorgeous San Diego weekend.

One attraction that often wins out on these debates is the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park) and as a member of the San Diego Zoological Society, our annual pass gets us in. February and March are great months to explore the park, when the temperatures are still mild and the animals are quite active.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Located 30 miles northeast of downtown San Diego in the beautiful San Pasqual Valley in Escondido, the drive out to Safari Park is always a treat. Taking in the gorgeous mountain views and wide open vistas, the journey there serves as a precursor to the Safari adventure ahead.

Africa in San Diego

The sheer scale of the park alone is impressive. Situated on a 1,800-acre preserve, wild animals roam free over vast expanses as they would in their native habitats of Africa and Asia. Upon our arrival, we always beeline to the African Plains first, for the Journey into Africa Tour. Hopping aboard an open-air tram, this Safari tour bring us at eye-level with exotic animals like white rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, Roosevelt’s gazelles and African crowned cranes. The ride is quite long too, lasting 30 minutes, which takes you around the perimeter of the park’s three expansive African field enclosures: Lion Camp, Heart of Africa and Nairobi Village. This ride is free with park admission and is a great way rest your feet while observing the animals.

Flightline over Africa and Asia

Seeking some thrills? Why not fly 400 feet across the park at speeds up to 60 mph on the Flightline zip-line. You’ll need to make reservations, as the 1.5-hour experience features a training lesson, behind-the-scenes narration and an aerial adventure that soars across the Asian and African field exhibits. It’ll cost you $70 per person on top of park admission, but the experience is well worth it.

Get up and close at Safari Park

In addition to the various Safari rides that get you up close to the animals, Safari Park features plenty of exhibits to walk around, like the Elephant Overlook, Lorikeet Landing, and Hidden Jungle. Many of these exhibit house endangered species in enclosures that mimic their natural habitats, and offer visitors an intimate encounters with these magnificent animals.

What’s your favorite Safari Park encounter?

Suzzanne

Top 5 Reasons to Fly to San Diego From Heathrow

With the new non-stop flight on British Airways arriving in San Diego daily, there has never been a better time to visit!

1. Short Queue: The BA flight will be the only flight using the International facility when it lands making customs and luggage retrieval easy.

2. We have it all: With over 70 miles of beaches, year-round great weather and world class attractions including the San Diego Zoo and Legoland California, it’s so easy to experience the So Cal lifestyle.

3. Easy distance to other top destinations: Take the Pacific Surfliner train to Disneyland for a day or experience the desert and drive or fly to Las Vegas, Phoenix or the Grand Canyon.

4. Location: The San Diego International Airport is a five minute drive from the city center, train station and thousands of hotel rooms.


5. So many experiences..so little time: No matter what you’re looking for San Diego has it all. Outdoor adventurer? Try whale watching or surfing among world-class surfers. Family time? How about Legoland California, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park or the USS Midway Museum. Arts & Culture buff? Visit Balboa Park, the nation’s largest cultural urban park.

Suzzanne

5 Reasons to Visit San Diego’s Attractions This Summer

LEGOLAND California Star Wars Miniland

1.This past March, LEGOLAND California unveiled its newest exhibit, STAR WARS Miniland. Guests will be taken to a galaxy far, far away with six new live-action LEGO displays of memorable scenes from the classic Star Wars movies. Over 1.5 million LEGO bricks create life-size models and interactive features from famous Star Wars scenes including Tatooine, Endor, and the Millennium Falcon.

San Diego Zoo's Red Panda

2. This summer, the San Diego Zoo is unveiling Panda Trek. This giant panda reserve will include newly built homes for the red pandas, takins and pit vipers as well as feature six species of bamboo and other Chinese plants including camellias and azaleas.

Splash Zoo at LEGOLAND Water Park

3. Opening May 26, 2011, the new Splash Zoo, just for toddlers, will open over at the LEGOLAND Water Park. This brand-new area will feature zoo-themed animals, interactive spray pads, fountains and a teeter totter.

SeaWorld's Sea Turtle Bay

4. Scheduled to open in June 2011 is SeaWorld San Diego’s Sea Turtle Bay. This new attraction will offer an up-close look at more than 60 threatened or endangered sea turtles. The attraction’s highlight is Turtle Reef, a 300,000-gallon aquarium, with a massive, underwater viewing window where visitors can watch as many as 60 green and hawksbill sea turtles.

Cheeta Run San Diego Zoo Safari Park

5. Be part of a Summer Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. From July 2 – August 21, 2011, visitors will be treated to entertainment, activities and animals that embrace the spirit of Africa in its Summer Safari-An African Extravaganza. Acrobats, artisans and Ethiopian circus performers will entertain in the Safari Park’s village. Guests can join African artisans to create beaded necklaces and decorate safari hats in the African Activities Plaza.

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

1. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park presents Butterfly Jungle, April 9-May 8. During this four-week celebration, guests can walk through the Park’s Hidden Jungle, an African aviary, and surround themselves with thousands of butterflies of every shape, size and color. A variety of butterfly species flutter freely throughout the Hidden Jungle along with more than 100 birds, creating a realistic rainforest environment.

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa

2. This annual spring event is a must see for any wine lover out there. South Coast Winery celebrates spring on April 10th from 3:00 – 7:00 pm with a blessing of the vineyards, followed by live entertainment, a barbecue, dancing and of course wine! Interested in a wine tasting? Comment on our blog and five lucky people with receive a 2 for 1 Wine Tasting gift card. Comment by Monday, April 11, 2011 at 10:00 am pacific.

The Lindley Lopez Circus

3. Head downtown with the kids for the Shake & Shout Family Festival, Saturday April 9 at the New Children’s Museum. From urban dance with Culture Shock to circus arts with The Lindley Lopez Circus, the Shake & Shout Family Festival appeals to kids and adults alike. Additional performances include Birdie’s Playhouse, Aaron Nigel Smith, and San Diego Young Gunz. Free with museum admission.

Photo by Jessica Packard

4. The season is just getting underway in San Diego as the San Diego Padres take on the Dodgers April 8-10. Special promotions include fireworks and rally towels on Friday, Padres mesh caps on Saturday and a special Military opening day on Sunday.

Ramona Music Fest

5. A variety of music artists will light up two stages at the annual Ramona Music Fest IV on Saturday, April 9th. The music kicks off at noon and continues to 6:00 pm at Dos Picos County Park. Ten bands and solo performers are expected to entertain the crowd with everything from rock, country and reggae, to a full brass band.

Suzzanne

Spring Break in San Diego

Travel & Leisure recently named San Diego as the #3 destination for Best Time to Visit – Spring Break. And why wouldn’t we be? From beaches to attractions to the best weather in the country (we were named #1 for weather!); San Diego has so much to offer.


One great way to see San Diego’s best attractions, museums and general sightseeing is the Go San Diego Card. With the Go San Diego Card, visitors can purchase 3, 5, and 7 day cards that will give you entrance into over 50 San Diego area venues. Popular itineraries include the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, Legoland California, Safari Park, USS Midway Museum, and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. But those are just suggestions, with so many options, you can customize your Spring Break into whatever you like. The folks at Go San Diego Card tell us that some popular options for Spring Break include the rides at Belmont Park, Bike and Kayak tours in La Jolla (kayak rentals or beach cruisers) or “ride the wave” at the Wave House Athletic Club. And even better, the Go San Diego Cards are unlimited and work for consecutive days.


Interested in trying the Go San Diego Cards for your Spring Break? Comment on the blog below and one lucky winner will win 4 Go San Diego Cards. Comment by Monday, March 21st at 10:00 a.m.

Suzzanne

44 Things I Love About San Diego


Today, most of us were home to celebrate President’s Day. My son and daughter reminded me there have been 44 US President’s so far. In honor of that, we decided to come up with our 44 favorite things about San Diego. In NO particular order, this is some of what makes us happy to call San Diego home.

What do you think we are missing?

1. The weather
2. The Chargers
3. San Diego Bay
4. Hiking Torrey Pines
5. Legoland
6. Balboa Park
7. Mission Bay
8. Little Italy Farmer’s Market
9. Safari Park
10. Cucina Urbana Restaurant
11. The fire pits at the beach
12. Riding your bike in Pacific Beach
13. Sunny Jim Cave
14. La Jolla Playhouse
15. San Diego Padres
16. Coronado
17. San Diego Zoo
18. San Diego Museum of Art
19. Gaslamp Quarter
20. Moonlight Beach
21. Old Globe Theatre
22. Fashion Valley Mall
23. Model Railroad Museum
24. Wild Flowers in Anza-Borrego
25. Wine Steals (any of them!)
26. Tide Pools
27. USS Midway
28. Birch Aquarium
29. Influx Restaurant in Little Italy
30. Dog’s Beach in Del Mar (any)
31. Cabrillo National Monument
32. Sailing
33. Fish Tacos (insert favorite spot)
34. Corvette Diner
35. Sunset at the beach
36. La Jolla Shores
37. Extraordinary Desserts
38. Carlsbad Flower Fields
39. Phil’s BBQ
40. San Diego Comic Con
41. SeaWorld
42. Cafe Chloe
43. The view from Mr. A’s
44. THE PEOPLE!