October is the time of year that the leaves start changing color and falling, and the weather takes a decided shift for the colder. Except in Southern California. We are blessed with a summer that continues through October, making it a wonderful time of year to take a trip with your family while enjoying lower seasonal rates.
And this October, kids eat, stay and play free at over 100 places in San Diego. If you have never taken your family to San Diego, it is the mecca of family vacations. No, you won’t find a guy dressed up in a mouse costume or princesses, but you will find miles and miles of beautiful beaches, parks and outdoor activities.
Some of my favorite kid-friendly activities in San Diego include:
- Sea World - book ahead to swim with the dolphins!
- San Diego Zoo - Kids are FREE in October
- Balboa Park - 1,200 acres of culture, museums, a zoo (see above) and amazing views.
- Botanical Gardens in Encinitas
- La Jolla Shores Beach - stop by the Cheese Shop for a delicious sandwich in walking distance from the beach or Girard’s in Downtown San Diego for some soup and sandwiches and huge decorated cookies
- Seaport Village in Downtown San Diego
- Coronado beaches - especially those in front of the Del Hotel called Coronado Central Beach
- Legoland in Carlsbad
- Birch Aquarium in La Jolla - Kids are FREE in October
- Petco Park - take a tour or your older kids can play in a game during and before a real MLB game behind the stadium
- Take the train (Amtrak’s Surfliner) or coaster from Solana Beach to Old Town or Downtown, and then enjoy some delicious pizza at Pizza Port at the end of the day
- Del Mar Beaches near 15th Street and Seagrove Park - a few blocks from lots of great restaurants some with beautiful ocean views
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park - a bit of a drive but really fun!
- For older kids rent a boat on Mission Bay for a fun day in the water
Some of my favorite family-friendly places to stay in San Diego include:
- Loew’s Coronado - a bit away from the village on Coronado, this hotel has it all for families. With ping-pong tables, a kid’s club and teen’s club by Pottery Barn Kids / Teen, and surrounded by pools and boats, the Loew’s is a great place to stay with your family.
- La Costa Resort & Spa - I am a little biased, I grew up going to La Costa Resort. I remember when the valet staff wore those cool tall English socks (sadly they don’t anymore) but the resort is just as kid-friendly as it ever was. And the grounds are beautiful!
- Embassy Suites University Town Center - located right by UC San Diego and across from the University Town Center Mall, this hotel is made for kids of all ages. With free breaskfasts, gladd elevators (what kid does not like a glass elevator?) and an indoor pool, your kids will have a great time at this hotel. They also have a daily wine hour, which you sometimes need on a trip with your kids, and they get their own room in your suite.
- Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island - conveniently located near many great San Diego family attractions
Have a fun trip to San Diego with your family!