Have you heard? It’s Kids Free month in San Diego! Nope, that doesn’t mean San Diego is free from kids. But rather, just about everything for a kid’s visit (with their family) to San Diego is Free – as in free admission to all the major attractions, museums and so much more.
Kids Free month deals abound in Mission Bay!
One area that was made for play is Mission Bay, a 4,600-acre aquatic wonderland of beaches, walking/bicycling trails, family-friendly resorts, water activities and famous attractions like SeaWorld.
Following are some of the coolest free offerings I scoped out around Mission Bay:
SeaWorld San Diego
Kids can enjoy the Dolphin Interaction Program at SeaWorld for free!
SeaWorld San Diego offers kids 3-9 years old free admission (1 child per paid adult), free Dine With Shamu (1 child per paid adult) and free Dolphin and Beluga Interaction Programs (1 child 10-13 years old per paid adult).
Free kids rides on the Giant Dipper roller coaster by Mission Bay!
At nearby Belmont Park, home of the thrilling Giant Dipper roller coaster, kids can enjoy unlimited free rides and laser tag (1 child per paid adult). They also ride for free (1 child per 2 paid riders) on FlowRider or FlowBarrel.
Paradise Point Resort
The tropical Paradise Point Resort offers kids free bike rentals to cruise the bayside plus free kayak and standup paddleboard rentals.
The Kidvasion has begun! The 3rd annual Kids Free San Diego month kicks off today and continues through Halloween. Kids are sure to get a kick out of being VIPs (or should we say, VIKs – Very Important Kids 😉 ) all month long.
As you and your family are in town exploring the sights or planning a fun-filled fall visit to San Diego, be sure to check out these kids free deals in Mission Valley, conveniently located in the middle of it all just minutes from many major attractions.
Enjoy the sound of the San Diego river rushing through the Old Mission Dam with a free hike through Mission Trails
Mission Trails Regional Park, one of the nation’s largest urban natural parks, is free for the whole family to explore, bike and hike 42 miles of scenic trails, including paths to the historic Old Mission Dam/San Diego River and to the top of Cowles Mountain, famous for its spectacular 360-degre views. The interactive Visitor Center is cool too, as are free guided nature walks every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 AM.
Mission San Diego de Alcala
Take a trip back in time at Mission San Diego
Take a trip back to the time of the Spanish explorers and Franciscan friars who discovered San Diego at Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first mission in California (founded in 1769 and relocated to its present site in 1774). Children under 6 are free to tour the little museum (kids 6 to 12 are only $2). The Mission church and grounds, including a cool excavation site out back, are free for all to explore.
Junipero Serra Museum
Junipero Serra Museum on Presidio Hill
Kids under 6 are also free at Junipero Serra Museum on Presidio Hill overlooking Mission Valley and Old Town. It was here in 1769 that the Spanish friar Junípero Serra and a group of soldiers built California’s first mission and a fort (called “presidio” in Spanish). The original buildings are gone, but an impressive Spanish-style museum sits on the site today.
Lots of restaurants in Mission Valley’s hotels and resorts are rolling out the red carpet for children 12 and under. Kids eat free (with purchase of an adult entrée) at:
Kids eat free at the tiki-tastic Crowne Plaza Hotel!
Amazing places like Corvette Diner are offering great deals during Kids Free in San Diego this October
For the entire month of October, Kids Free in San Diego partners including local attractions and museums are offering kids the ability to go and play for free. To make things even better, many local restaurants are offering free children’s meals to make sure your kids have the energy for all the fun they are about to have.
Below are 5 great Kids Free in San Diego dining offers:
Dine With Shamu at SeaWorld San Diego – Mission Bay
If your kids have been eating all their veggies, now’s your chance to reward them with a unique dining experience they’ll never forget. Dine With Shamu at SeaWorld San Diego offers a unique opportunity to sit at a poolside table and enjoy up close, personal interaction with trainers and of course, SeaWorld’s biggest star, Shamu – all while indulging in a delicious, first-rate lunch or dinner. Reservations recommended.
Even before I had children, I loved eating at this up-tempo, 1950’s style diner whenever I wanted to feel, well, like a kid. This Americana-inspired eatery decked out in pop culture memorabilia really took it up a notch when it moved to its Liberty Station location and added Gamers Garage – a spacious entertainment arcade featuring everything from Guitar Hero to old school classics like skee ball and air hockey – perfect for digesting that peanut butter banana milk shake. Receive a free $5 Gamers Garage card with any kid’s meal purchase.
It’s been over 40 years since the original opened in London, but Hard Rock Café San Diego, located in the heart of our city’s Gaslamp Quarter, continues to deliver an encore-worthy performance. Spacious booths for families, a kid’s menu longer than a playlist, and décor that will inspire your lil’ Jimi Hendrix, make this joint worthy of a stop on your world tour.
Atoll Restaurant at Catamaran Resort Hotel – Mission Bay
While recently attending a friend’s wedding here, I was reminded how awesome this resort is with its lush landscaping, exotic birds and overall tropical vibe. Atoll is the resort’s signature restaurant and features indoor and outdoor seating with magnificent views of the bay. This place is definitely a step above your typical fast casual fare – which is all the more reason you should flock here during Kids Free in San Diego this October. Nearby, the Bahia Belle, a “Turn of the Century” Mississippi-style sternwheeler offers weekend boat cruises on the water of Mission Bay. 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM cruises are designated “Family Hours” and kids ride free through the month of October with each paid adult.
The Wave House is living proof that San Diego is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to action sports, which is why the focal point of this 40,000 sq. ft. beach lifestyle venue is the FlowRider – an artificial wave machine that produces perfectly groomed swells by a technology that is taking the world by storm. The Wave House Beach Club lets Kids Eat Free and is a perfect venue for families to watch skilled surfers put on a remarkable display riding these killer waves. And after the kids are done eating, take advantage of Belmont Park’s Kids Free in San Diego offer so they can burn off all the calories.
The Manchester Grand Hyatt is just one of more than 40 hotels offerings Kids Eat Free dining deals.
Let’s face it: family vacations can be costly. By the time you get to where you’re going, you still have to pay for hotel rooms, tickets to all the fun theme parks and attractions. Add on three meals a day for you and your kids, and you’ve totalled up quite a bill.
Fortunately, thanks to Kids Free San Diego in October, more than 40 San Diego area hotels are offering free dining for kids at their properties. Along with the hotel dining options, kids can enjoy a free meal at these local restaurants too, ensuring that you can enjoy your vacation and still have money left for Christmas.
Here are just a few dining specials happening all October long:
Get ready for the ultimate family vacation! During the entire month of October, kids eat, stay and play for free throughout San Diego. Take advantage of great deals at over 100 participating partners including Amtrak, world-class attractions, museums, hotels, restaurants, surf companies, tour companies and more.