7 free non-beach activities in San Diego your kids will always remember

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Finding easy ways to avoid the dreaded "I'm boooored"

1. Play oceanographer at the Point Loma Tide Pools

Father with children exploring on beach

Starfish, crabs, and anemones fill shallow pools ready for curious eyes and hands. Be ready to snap a pic the first time little fingers get tickled by a tentacle.

2. Visit the Scripps Ranch Farmers Market

SRFM balloon

A market-wide treasure hunt will keep your kids engaged amid the fruits and veggies, and you can reward their efforts with face painting or a balloon animal.

3. Dance to mariachi bands at Fiesta del Reyes


Let little ones twirl with Baile Folklorico dancers in San Diego’s Old Town where free entertainment—and a great margarita—await.

4. Get hands-on in the Botanical Building at Balboa Park

Balboa Park Botanical Building


A touch and smell garden and carnivorous plant exhibit show kids that cool plant life extends beyond puffy dandelions.

5. Bark with the seals at La Jolla Cove

Sea Lions Sleeping on the Protected La Jolla Cove

Impress your child by using your mermaid connections to summon the adorable harbor seals that regularly lounge on the shore at the Children’s Pool.

6. Appreciate professional wall art at Chicano Park

Chicano Park 2


Colorful murals painted on the foundation of the Coronado Bridge combine art and architecture to create an ideal exploration environment for little Picassos who love to roam.

7. Inspire a future Olympian: U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista

Olympic Kids

Your kids were born to be athletes, or you just want them to actually nap today. Burn off excess energy touring the Chula Vista U.S. Olympic Training Center—one of only three in the United States.

What are your most memorable family vacation moments?
Plan a San Diego trip.

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