7 Free Things to Do with Kids in San Diego

Playing at the Beach - Free Things to Do in San Diego
Playing at the Beach - Free Things to Do in San Diego

From the water to the mountains, there are plenty of free things to do with kids in San Diego

Believe it or not, one of the most amazing destinations to visit with kids actually has so many fun things to do that are free! If you are heading into town and looking for great adventures to do with your family on a budget, check out my favorite free things to do with kids in San Diego!


Let’s start with the obvious – San Diego has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and, yes, they are free! From swimming in the waves to perfecting your sand castle masterpieces, grab your buckets and shovels and be prepared for you kid’s to have so much fun, you may get away with reading a magazine or two!

My favorites for families: Coronado, Moonlight in Encinitas, La Jolla Shores and Law Street in Pacific Beach.

Tide Pools

As the tide retreats, tiny pools fill up and become a natural aquarium for you and your family to enjoy. Find the starfish, sea urchins and guess whether there’s a crab in that shell!

My favorites for families: Swamis in Cardiff, Carlsbad off Tamarack, in front of the Power Plant and the La Jolla Cove.

> Find out more about San Diego’s Tide Pools

San Diego Libraries

Just as you find yourself needing a break from the sun, enter into one of the many San Diego libraries for some free fun. The new central library in San Diego’s East Village offers plenty of different open spaces for kids and teens to read and play.

My favorite for families: Encinitas library with its ocean views.

Free Museum Days

Each October, kids generally receive free admission with a paid adult at over 40 museums!

Also, check with each individual museum as certain ones do offer a free night. For example, every third Thursday, the La Jolla Modern Art museum offers free admission for everyone!

My favorites for families: Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Botanic Garden and Museum of Making Music.

Seaport Village

From street performers to flying kites, pack your lunches and head for some fun along the bay at San Diego’s Seaport Village.

My favorite: Walking along the water and watching the boats.

Balboa Park

Catch a free concert in the outdoor pavilion after counting the lilies in the pond! Walk along the historic Cabrillo Bridge and enjoy the multiple flower gardens throughout the park.

My favorite: Japanese Friendship Garden

> Find out more about Balboa Park


With so many San Diego kid-friendly hikes to choose from, enjoy the amazing weather while taking in breath-taking views…and for free!

My favorite: Torrey Pines

> Find more Free Things to Do in San Diego

What’s your favorite free things to do with kids in San Diego? Let us know in the comments below or join in the conversation on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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 BreezyMama.com, 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

1 thought on “7 Free Things to Do with Kids in San Diego

  1. Pingback: My Favorite FREE Things to Do with Kids in San Diego |

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.