San Diego Family Out and About with Kids 2021

Page 1

Countywide • FREE

22 n d A nnua l • 2 02 1

San Diego

Ou t &Abou t

wi t h K i d s !

for Local & Visiting Families


San Diego

Out &About



with Kids!

76 15


North County Inland p. 16

Vista 78

Valley Center

San Marcos Escondido


Borrego Springs



N or th C C o a s t a o un t y l p.12

78 Ramona Rancho Bernardo

Cardiff-bythe-Sea Rancho Santa Fe

Solana Beach Del Mar


Carmel Valley

Pacific Beach

Poway 67 Mira Mesa

805 University City

San Diego Central p. 36








Mission Beach


Ocean Beach

San Carlos/ Del Cerro

Mission Valley

Old Mission Town Hills Balboa Park

Downtown Point Loma


Rancho Peñasquitos


o D ie g S a n a l p. 2 2 t Coas La Jolla




College Area


Map sponsored by

o un t y E ast C 0 p. 4

94 125

Sou th B p. 44 ay

75 805 5

Locations indicated by

El Cajon La Mesa

94 National City 805



Imperial Beach


Chula Vista 125

Campo 905

Contents: 7 What to Do Where to Stay 8 Where to Eat How to Get Around 15 San Diego Splash Pads and Spraygrounds 18 Wish You Were Here Photo Ops 26 Hidden Gem Experiences 29 Ocean Adventures 32 Fun Train Experiences

10 San Diego County Neighborhoods 12 N. County Coastal Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad • Del Mar Encinitas • Oceanside Solana Beach

16 N. County Inland Borrego Springs Escondido Fallbrook/Bonsall Mt. Palomar Poway • Ramona Rancho Santa Fe Valley Center • Vista

20 Julian

22 San Diego Coastal

36 San Diego Central

Coronado • La Jolla Mission Bay Mission Beach Ocean Beach Pacific Beach Point Loma

Clairemont Kearny Mesa/ Serra Mesa/Linda Vista Mira Mesa Mission Valley San Carlos Scripps Ranch Sports Arena

28 San Diego Uptown/Downtown Banker’s Hill/Hillcrest Normal Heights/ North Park/South Park SD Downtown/ Little Italy

30 Balboa Park

38 Old Town 40 East County Alpine • Campo El Cajon Lakeside/Flinn Springs La Mesa • Santee

44 South Bay Bonita • Chula Vista Imperial Beach National City

34 Family-Friendly Breweries 39 Favorite Local Breakfast Spots

Photo by Tony Andrews Photography

42 Best Spots for Animal Encounters

On the cover

The Boone Family of El Cajon hits the beach at Mission Bay. Where will your next family adventure be? Photo by: All Colors Photography

#sdoutandabout • •


Publisher’s Letter San Diego

Out &About

with Kids!

Out and About with Kids is Back!

2021 – Volume 22 Publisher/Editor in Chief Sharon Bay

Whether you are new to San Diego County or have been here

many years, it is always fun to find new places to take the family. That is where Out & About with Kids comes in handy. The staff of San Diego Family Magazine has searched high and low to highlight the best family adventures around the county—and to verify those that survived last year’s shutdown. This publication is divided by area sections: North County Coastal, North County Inland, San Diego Coastal, San Diego Uptown/Downtown, San Diego Central, South Bay and East County. Decide which direction you want to explore and have fun! Before you head out, it’s a good idea to call ahead to confirm hours and find out if anything has changed since publication of this annual magazine. Additionally, check out www. for tons of family fun, including great playgrounds we recommend. Many neighborhoods have done an excellent job improving their parks and building new ones. Several have areas for different ages and accommodations for families with special needs. We want to thank our publication sponsors (Realtor Silvia Vasquez and Soapy Joe’s) and all our advertisers who are supporting Out & About with Kids this year. Please thank them for their services when you visit their businesses. Hold on to Out & About with Kids; keep it in your car year-round so you can plan while you are out and about with your family. If you find new fun places, share them with us by tagging us on social media @sandiegofamilymagazine and using #sharesandiegofamily. Enjoy exploring out and about!

Managing Editor Lisa Gipson Editorial Assistant Adrienne Sigeti Graphic Designer Rik Thiesfeld Cover Photography All Colors Photography Marketing Director Michele Hancock Advertising/Marketing Representatives Tony Andrews 619-685-6977 Point Loma, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, North County Coastal Giovanni Baldan 619-685-6987 South Bay, San Diego Downtown, Uptown 619-685-6970 All other areas Main Office 1475 Sixth Ave. #500 San Diego, CA 92101 619-685-6970 This magazine for San Diego County families is published annually by San Diego Family Magazine LLC. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.

Thank you to this year’s sponsor: The Parent Resource Guide for Children with Special Needs

Follow us on social media

San Diego Family Magazine

San Diego Family



6 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021


Tony Andrews Photography Town & Country Hotel

With world-class museums, gorgeous beaches and Instagram-worthy attractions, it’s no wonder San Diego is a hotspot for unforgettable family adventures. A trip to “America’s Finest City” isn’t complete without visiting major attractions like the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, Belmont Park, LEGOLAND California and Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres. Don’t miss Balboa Park, home to more than 16 museums and cultural institutions, including Fleet Science Center, San Diego Natural History Museum,

San Diego offers a plethora of overnight accommodations to suit every family’s preferences and budget—from luxury beachfront resorts to peaceful campgrounds and everything in between. Hotel Circle in Mission Valley is a top choice for its central location and reasonably priced hotels. Kids love the twisty waterslide at the newly renovated Town & Country Hotel. If you prefer to be near the heart of the city, consider Hilton San Diego Bayfront for stunning bay views and easy access to Petco Park and downtown.

W ha t to Do San Diego Model Railroad Museum, and San Diego Air & Space Museum. While there, stroll through the park’s lush gardens and walking trails, and stop by the Spreckels Organ Pavilion to see the world’s largest outdoor musical instrument. Take advantage of San Diego’s perfect weather by hitting the beach! With more than 70 miles of coastline, you’re guaranteed a sunkissed glow and huge dose of “vitamin sea.” Head to Coronado and sink your toes in white sand, have an oceanfront picnic at La Jolla Shores or walk along Mission Beach Boardwalk for laid back spots to eat and shop. Plunge into San Diego’s rich naval history at the USS Midway, the longest serving aircraft carrier in the 20th

century. Be sure to take the self-guided family audio tour, which keeps the whole brood entertained. While you’re downtown, check out Waterfront Park where kids can run around and splash in interactive fountains. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore. Soak in breathtaking ocean views while hiking Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve or join a delightful guided nature walk at Mission Trails Regional Park. Visit Cabrillo National Monument for a dose of history and stunning views of the city and San Diego Bay.

Mission Bay is a fantastic destination for locals and visitors alike. Home to SeaWorld, the area is surrounded by beaches, restaurants and 12 miles of flat, paved, biking bliss. Head to the Polynesian-themed Catamaran Resort & Spa where koi ponds and exotic birds delight kids or Paradise Point Resort & Spa where bungalow-style rooms and lush gardens offer peace and tranquility. Chula Vista’s Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay is the area’s newest RV resort, featuring a poolside movie screen, playground, game room and much more for families. No RV? No problem. The property also boasts fully furnished luxury cottages that sleep up

to six. Discover which local campgrounds have availability for your travel dates at Secure an RV while you’re here through (it’s like Airbnb for RVs). For families with LEGOLAND on the itinerary, head for Carlsbad, where you’ll find the renovated Park Hyatt Aviara Resort (featuring a pool with two-story double waterslides) and the totally awesome LEGOLAND Hotel (it doesn’t get more kid-friendly than this!). If mountain retreats are more your style, make your way to Julian, just 40 minutes northeast of San Diego. Boutique shopping, wineries and apple pie await in this charming small town.

Things change, so before heading out, be sure to check individual websites for the most up-to-date information, including current health guidelines.

W he re to Sta y

#sdoutandabout • •


Photo credit: Katie Sigeti

W he re to Eat

San Diego’s impressive food scene delights locals and visitors alike, but don’t take our word for it. Join us on a culinary adventure with the best eats, drinks and treats this side of the border. Here are just a few suggestions.

Tony Andrews Photography

Day 1: Convoy District Treat your taste buds to a smorgasbord of inspired Asian cuisine, from Japanese-style noodles at RakiRaki Ramen to handrolled sushi at Jasmine Seafood Restaurant and delectable, homemade dumplings at Dumpling Inn

Getting around San Diego may not be as easy as taking the subway, but with a bit of planning, most attractions are just a hop, jump or skip away. Families with young kids won’t want to miss the iconic Red Trolley. Take a tour with stops at major attractions like Petco Park, Old Town and Little Italy. Ride the rails 8 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021

& Shanghai Saloon. No visit to the Convoy District is complete without a stop at one of the area’s dessert shops. Kids love SomiSomi’s delicious soft-serve in fishshaped waffle cones. Tip: Families with littles should dine early to avoid long lines and limited parking. Day 2: Little Italy Enjoy a relaxing evening (or romantic date night) at one of Little Italy’s fabulous Italian restaurants like Buon Appetito, wine and dine al fresco at Sorrento Ristorante or take a meal to-go from Little Italy Food Hall. End the evening with a stroll down India and State streets where authentic gelato shops (such as Bobboi Natural Gelato) entice passersby with freshmade waffle cones and creamy, frozen concoctions.

Day 3: La Jolla If you want a casual breakfast spot or fine dining with a view, La Jolla Village is the place. Join locals as they line up early for weekend brunch at Harry’s Coffee Shop for mouthwatering waffles and bottomless coffee or The Cottage for Mexican- and American-inspired dishes. Craving a more upscale experience? Visit George’s at the Cove for delicious food and panoramic ocean views. Day 4: Liberty Station For casual outdoor eating, head to Point Loma’s Liberty Station, former home to San Diego’s Naval Training Center. Indecisive or “picky” eaters love Liberty Public Market, a one-stop-shop featuring more than 20 eateries. Families won’t want to miss the 1950’s-inspired Corvette Diner with its retro décor, jukeboxes, costumed servers and onsite arcade.

How to Get Arou nd

to avoid traffic and parking fees during events such as Padres games and concerts. Up to two kids (12 & under) ride free on weekends (with paying adult). Trolley lines connect with the Coaster (San Diego’s commuter train) at downtown’s Santa Fe Depot and both connect to the local MTS bus system. The Coronado Ferry offers a relaxing ride and picturesque views of Downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bridge. From downtown, set sail for a 15-minute ride to Coronado Ferry Landing where families

can shop, eat and ride bikes along the bay. Hop aboard an Old Town Trolley Tour for an excursion that includes stops at 12 points of interest, unlimited on-and-off privileges and narration from experienced tour guides. Ask about tours with free museum admission, discount coupons and hotel shuttle service. Take a short train ride up the coast from downtown to Solana Beach or Oceanside on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner or spend the day exploring coastal communities further north. Sit back, relax and enjoy breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

Discover the World of Montessori

“A Montessori Student is a Future Citizen of the World” According to Dr. Maria Montessori, children learn best in an environment that demonstrates love, trust, understanding, patience and consistency. Students excel academically while experiencing cooperation, respect, self-confidence and the joy of learning. Contact these local Montessori schools for more information.

East County

North County Coastal


CENTRAL MONTESSORI SCHOOL Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten

Lic. #376614702

8121 Braddock Place, San Diego 92114 Lemon Grove


Lic. #376700910

Encinitas, Cardiff, Carlsbad, La Costa


ENCINITAS COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL Preschool/Elementary/Middle

San Diego Coastal

Two Locations in Encinitas Encinitas

BETH MONTESSORI Infants/Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten

Lic. #372005943


Lic. # 376700496

8660 Gilman Dr., La Jolla 92037-2202 La Jolla

858-452-3030 MISSION BAY MONTESSORI ACADEMY Preschool/Elementary

San Diego Central MARIA MONTESSORI SCHOOL Preschool/Elementary/Middle AMS Affiliated

2640 Soderblom Ave., San Diego 92122 La Jolla, Pacific Beach, University City

4544 Pocahontas Ave., San Diego 92117 Serving all of San Diego County from our central location

Lic. #372005444 • AMS Affiliated School



We’ll keep you in the loop! Sign up for our eNewsletter at and see what's happening in the parenting community, discover top parenting hacks and check out things to do with the fam. Plus, you will receive our monthly digital issue packed with more info, tips and family fun!

#sdoutandabout • •




San Diego is known for its sun, sand and surf, but there’s much more to explore beyond the beaches. Our diverse county is home to several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own culture and history. From coastal communities to inland valleys, there’s something for every kind of adventurer. Whether you’re an outdoor trekker, thrill seeker or taco enthusiast, all are welcome. Before heading out, you’ll need a guide to point out where the locals like to hang out and play. San Diego Family Magazine’s annual Out & About with Kids is here to help! Flip to page 4 to get an overview of the county, then browse neighborhoods

in this section (North County Coastal, North County Inland, San Diego Coastal, Uptown/Downtown, San Diego Central, East County and South Bay). Whether you’re a visitor or local, keep this as a go-to guide year-round. Gather the family, mark some fun spots and start planning your next adventure. Visit things-to-do/out-about to discover favorite hiking trails and tidepools, local train experiences, San Diego’s favorite frozen treats and more. While you’re out, take photos and tag us on Instagram @sandiegofamilymagazine. Use the hashtags #sharesandiegofamily and #sdoutandabout for a chance to be featured on our IG page.

10 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021

Tony Andrews Photography

Be sure to pick up this month’s issue of San Diego Family Magazine for a plethora of ideas and resources for families. Find the nearest pick-up location at

Official car wash of:

North County Coastal

Tony Andrews Photography

Cardiff-by-the-Sea • Carlsbad • Del Mar Encinitas • Oceanside • Solana Beach

Cardiff-by-the-Sea San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve & Nature Center 2710 Manchester Ave. 760-634-3026 Explore the awesome nature center and one-mile stroller-friendly, ADAaccessible trail. Don’t miss monthly family fun days, featuring themed events and Junior Ranger activities.

Carlsbad Batiquitos Lagoon Ecological Reserve 7380 Gabbiano Ln. 760-931-0800 Enjoy a stroller-friendly 2-mile nature walk through tidal wetlands and nature preserve. Leashed dogs allowed. Visit the nature center, bring a fishing pole, and don’t forget binoculars for excellent bird-viewing.

Carlsbad Lagoon 4215 Harrison St. 760-434-3089 Spend an adventurous day on the water! Rent your choice of WaveRunners, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, pontoons, aqua cycles or paddle boats. LEGOLAND California/SEA LIFE Aquarium One Legoland Dr. 760-918-5346 877-376-5346 Don’t miss this family favorite, LEGO-themed park that includes kidfriendly rides, shows and attractions. Aquarium entrance is separate from theme park. Beginning summer 2021, experience new rides, dining, shops and more in The LEGO Movie World, where an immersive world of the hit movies comes to life.

12 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • North County Coastal

Museum of Making Music 5790 Armada Dr. 760-438-5996 Enjoy the newly remodeled museum featuring an immersive experience across four new galleries. Celebrate music and learn about the music industry.

Del Mar Del Mar Beach/ Powerhouse Park 1658 Coast Blvd. 858-755-1556 A breathtaking coastal park overlooks Del Mar’s favorite beach. Enjoy fantastic views, a large grassy area, playground, public restrooms and outdoor showers. Bring a picnic or grab a bite at one of the restaurants or eateries along 15th Street.

Have you ever thought about changing someone’s life forever?

Make a difference and give the gift of life!

Become a surrogate and earn up to $75,000! REQUIREMENTS • • • • • • • • • •

US citizen or permanent resident Between the ages of 20-40 Body Mass Index no greater than 32 Proven live birth capability without complications Good physical and mental health Medical records of pregnancies and deliveries (Which GRACE can help you obtain) OBGYN clearance which we can assist in obtaining and recent pap smear (within 3 years) No IUD as birth control method - In the past 7 months Home assessment / background check Compliant and availability on schedule


• Matching with intended parents with common objectives and personalities • One embryo transfer at a time • The embryo that will be transferred has been genetically screened, showing no genetic abnormalities. Therefore, lowest risks of abortion or miscarriage in the industry • Accompaniment and administrative services throughout the surrogacy journey

We are looking for surrogates now! Call us today (844) 557-2412 •

UPF 50+ Full-Body Swimwear 503.688.4806 @shade.suits

Get 30% OFF your order!

Use code SS30 at checkout

Celebrating 51 years

Lic.# 376600498

“A learning environment that balances the physical, cognitive, creative, social & emotional needs of your child.”

Give your child an unforgettable birthday party with HANDS-ON animal interactions!

Scheduling Tours for the 2021-2022 School Year

Visit our website


13692 Mango Drive, Del Mar

Leaders in Early Childhood Education Since 1970

For more information visit

#sdoutandabout • •


Handel’s 12843 El Camino Real, Ste. 108 858-925-7308 Handel’s has been serving scoops of homemade ice cream to happy customers since 1945. Choose from sundaes, shakes, smoothies or a “Handel’s Hurricane.” Also in Carlsbad; check website for more locations coming soon!

Encinitas Cottonwood Creek Park 95 N. Vulcan Ave. Spend the afternoon at this relaxing park that offers unique play structures, grassy lawns, picnic areas, creekside trails, and tennis and basketball courts. Walk to nearby restaurants and shops. Dave’s Rock Garden 200-298 B St. This hidden gem is a favorite of artists, families, beachgoers and passersby. Take a stroll through the garden and enjoy a delightfully landscaped oasis with hundreds of hand-painted rocks placed by locals and visitors. Be sure to say “hi” to Dave if you see him working in the garden.

Rockie's Find a list of San Diego County’s favorite frozen treats at things-to-do/out-about/ ice-cream-shops.

One Paseo 3725 Paseo Pl. Cute and trendy complex featuring shops, family-friendly restaurants such as Shake Shack, Tender Greens, Salt & Straw, Parakeet Juicery and unique spots to sit and relax. Pelly’s Mini Golf 15555 Jimmy Durante Blvd. 858-509-5130 pellys-mini-golf Play 18 holes of mini golf on one of two fun, themed courses: Pelly’s Ocean Adventure or Surfin’ Safari. San Dieguito County Park 1628 Lomas Santa Fe Dr. 858-755-2386 picnic/sandieguito.html Surrounded by eucalyptus groves, this awesome, expansive park has lookout platforms, suspension bridges, trails, playgrounds, picnic areas and more.

Encinitas Community Park 425 Santa Fe Dr. This large, beautiful park has sports fields, a skate park, walking paths, a popular children’s playground and dog park. Moonlight State Beach 400 B St. The crown jewel of Encinitas, this gorgeous beach has it all: swim, surf, sand, children’s playground, snack bar, volleyball courts, firepits, lifeguards and more. Free parking lot. San Diego Botanic Garden 230 Quail Gardens Dr. 760-436-3036 Explore the tree house and Children’s Garden, and visit for Family Fun Nights and other kid-friendly events. San Dieguito Heritage Ranch 450 Quail Gardens Dr. 760-632-9711 Home to the Heritage Museum, where you can explore local history, music and art. Check the website for hours and family events such as Prairie Day. Swami’s Beach 1298 S. Coast Hwy. 101 Enjoy spectacular cliff-top coastal views, a grassy area for picnics and a great stretch of sand for family walks. Small parking lot has stairs down to the beach.

Oceanside Buccaneer Cafe A true hidden gem at Buccaneer

14 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • North County Coastal

Park and across the street from Buccaneer Beach. Before your morning beach stroll, fuel up at this popular snack-shack turned delicious quick-service breakfast/brunch joint. Locals recommend the Kitchen Sink Breakfast Burrito and fluffy pancakes. “Sunset Tacos” available every Friday from 4-7:30 pm. Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center 2202 S. Coast Hwy. 760-439-2473 Explore interactive exhibits, visit the bird-viewing deck and walk along the nature trail. Located next to the Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Closed Mondays. California Surf Museum 312 Pier View Way 760-721-6876 This museum celebrates surfboards, surfers, and shapers while chronicling the sport of surfing through permanent and revolving special exhibits. Check out the fun gift shop! Guajome Regional Park 3000 Guajome Lake Rd. 760-724-4489 Spend a relaxing day (or weekend) at this lovely county park. Walk the trails, enjoy playgrounds, ponds and an expansive lawn, or reserve a camping spot. Parking fee. iFLY Oceanside Indoor Skydiving 3178 Vista Way 760-606-4359 Vertical wind tunnels simulate the thrill of skydiving in a safe, familyfriendly environment. Mission San Luis Rey 4050 Mission Ave. 760-757-3651 Explore the historic church, museum, gardens and architectural beauty of this “King of the Missions.”

Solana Beach Fletcher Cove Beach Park 111 S. Sierra Ave. This awesome park sits above the beach, offering gorgeous ocean views, picnic areas and a playground. Grab lunch (or an order of tater tots) across the street at Pillbox Tavern & Grill.

San Diego Splash Pads and Spraygrounds San Diego’s great weather means some local splash pads and spraygrounds are open for year-round play, like the ones listed below. Check out these parks so little ones can have a soaking-wet good time!

Photo credit: All Colors Photography

Recommended by Sandra @ playdatesandpints

Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park 1600 Pacific Highway Downtown San Diego

Santee Lakes 9310 Fanita Parkway Santee

Sunset Park 3337 La Mirada Dr. San Marcos

• Expansive grass area—great for large groups.

• Fenced in sprayground is small, but has the classic bucket dump and water arches to run through.

• Stone seating encircles the sprayground so parents can watch kids play.

• Bring blankets for the grass and an umbrella for shade. • Water sprays Mon. 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Tues. through Sun. 9 a.m.–9 p.m. • Metered parking along Pacific Highway; avoid rush hours downtown to get a spot.

• Benches available to sit and watch kids play. • Open during normal park operating hours. • Parking: $4 on weekdays, $6 on weekends and holidays.

• The north side fountains are typically less busy.

• Wristband required. Weekdays, $2; weekends, $3.

• Grab coffee and a breakfast sandwich across the street at Portside Coffee & Gelato.

• Buy duck food for $1. The sprayground is right on the lake!

• The “pad” is soft, but gets slippery, so bring water shoes. • There’s also a shaded playground with space for kids to play, climb and explore. • Park in the lot at the base of the park; it’s a short walk to the splash pad.

For tips about visiting splash pads and spraygrounds, read our full article at

#sdoutandabout • •


North County Inland

Borrego Springs • Escondido • Fallbrook/Bonsall • Julian Mt. Palomar • Poway • Ramona • Rancho Santa Fe • Valley Center • Vista

Borrego Springs


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 200 Palm Canyon Dr. 760-767-4205 This desert landscape is excellent for hiking, biking, horseback riding and camping. Don’t miss spring wildflower blooms and stargazing; Anza-Borrego is a designated International Dark Sky Park.

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve 8833 Harmony Grove Rd. 760-632-4212 Enjoy walking, hiking, biking or horseback riding on 11 miles of trails lined with native plants and wildlife. Interpretive center and guided nature walks available.

Borrego Night Sky Tours Explore clear night skies over AnzaBorrego. Gaze at stars, planets and satellites with tour guides. Suitable for ages 9 and up. Galleta Meadows 1700-1844 Borrego Springs Rd. Don’t miss the iconic metal Sky Art sculptures of Borrego Springs, created by artist Ricardo Breceda. Fun to stop and take photos; free to visit.

The Grand Tea Room 145 W. Grand Ave. 760-233-9500 Have a tea party! Full service, traditional tea and Children’s Tea (ages 10 & under) available. Closed Sun./Mon. Grape Day Park 321 N. Broadway 760-743-8207 Commemorating Escondido’s grape harvest, discover this working

16 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • North County Inland

barn, train depot, blacksmith shop, and other historical buildings and museums. Kids love Vinehenge, a unique, grape-themed playground. Kit Carson Park 3333 Bear Valley Pkwy. 760-839-4691 Enjoy walking trails, an arboretum, playground, ponds and picnic areas. A large sports complex offers a skate park, athletic fields, courts and arenas. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum 320 N. Broadway 760-233-7755 Explore, imagine and experiment at this popular indoor/outdoor discovery space. Hands-on stations introduce children to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Check website for fun activities.

Photo courtesy of @coffee.with.tia

San Diego Zoo Safari Park 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido 760-747-8702 Experience wildlife close-up and in expansive savanna habitats. Take a safari adventure via Africa tram or caravan, and don’t miss the interactive Walkabout Australia habitat.

Dale y

h nc


Fallbrook/Bonsall Live Oak County Park 2746 Reche Rd. 760-728-2303 en/park-pages/LiveOak.html A great spot for a picnic, this lovely park has playgrounds, sports fields and courts, an amphitheater, and an off-leash dog area. Wild Wonders 760-630-9230 Focused on conservation education, this facility is home to over 120 animals from around the world. Make reservations for interactive, educational tours.

Mt. Palomar Palomar Mountain State Park 19952 State Park Rd. 760-742-3462 Head to the mountains to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Palomar Mountain is great for hiking, fishing and camping, and offers rich natural and cultural history.

Palomar Observatory 35899 Canfield Rd. 760-742-2119 This mountain-top observatory is home to Caltech’s astronomical research program and 200-inch Hale telescope. Check website for reopening plans.


Old Poway Park 14134 Midland Rd. 858-668-4576 This park features antique train rides (check schedule), historical tours, Heritage Museum, Nelson House and a farmers market (Saturdays). Grab a bite at Hamburger Factory or bring a picnic.


Blue Sky Ecological Reserve 16275 Espola Rd. 858-668-4781 Take a nature walk through a beautiful oak-lined canyon, surrounded by coastal sage and chaparral covered hills. Guided hikes available. Lake Poway 14644 Lake Poway Rd. 858-668-4772 Go fishing, hiking, rent a pedal boat, play at the park, feed ducks or have a relaxing picnic. Check out the Tony Gwynn memorial statue dedicated to “Mr. Padre” (a longtime Poway resident). Parking fee for non-Poway residents. Classic Rotors Museum 2690 Montecito Rd. (at airport) 760-650-9257 Make a reservation to tour historic helicopters and vintage rotorcraft. Oasis Camel Dairy 26757 Hwy. 78 760-787-0983 Take a private tour of this familyowned farm and camel dairy. Camel rides and animal feedings available. Shop unique skin care products, camel milk chocolate and other fun gifts.

“Wish You Were Here” Family Photo Ops For Star Wars Fans Take a photo on Clairemont Mesa's Mark Hamill Drive, a nod to the actor’s childhood home of four years. Adventurers Unite Strike a pose (if you dare) on Ramona's iconic Potato Chip Rock, which protrudes from the peak of Mt. Woodson. Bring plenty of water for the steep hike up. Fans of Maverick and Goose Be sure to snap a photo at Kansas City Barbeque, the Downtown San Diego icon made famous in the 1986 hit film "Top Gun." Photo courtesy of @SDFamilyBucketList

Selfies at Spanish Village Follow the rainbow brick road within Balboa Park's Spanish Village for a colorful group photo op. Ruby slippers optional! Epic Beach Shots in La Jolla Capture the magic of La Jolla Shores at sunset with a family photo under the Scripps Pier arches.

Find the Hidden Stairs Snap a selfie or family photo on the brightly colored La Mesa Rainbow Stairs at the intersection of Stanford Ave. and Yale Ave.

Greetings From Liberty Station Send your loved ones a "digital postcard" starring your family in front of the colorful mural at 2849 Dewey Rd. in Point Loma. Panoramic Views Wind your way up Mt. Helix in La Mesa for a stunning panoramic view of San Diego County—the perfect backdrop for a family photo.

18 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • North County Inland


Sign Up Now!!




Julian - San Diego’s favorite local day trip! Miner’s Diner and Candy Mine 2134 Main St. 760-765-3753 An eclectic eatery with tons of local history. Adults enjoy the soda fountain and nostalgic memorabilia. Kids love watching the model train loop above their heads. The self-serve “candy mine” (literally a hidden gem) is a fun surprise, offering a variety of oldfashioned sweets.

Photo courtesy of @SanDiegoAdventureKids

Julian Mining Company 4444 Hwy. 78; 951-313-0166 Take the family for a fun day of gold panning, gem sluicing, riding the mine tunnel train, and axe throwing. Everyone loves Julian’s smalltown charm, apple pie, gold mining adventures and stargazing (Julian was recently named California’s second darksky community)! On the way up the mountain, stop at Wynola Pizza for lunch and pick up fresh bread at Dudley’s Bakery. California Wolf Center 2775 B St. 760-765-0030 Check out the new visitor center and nature store to learn about wild wolves; reserve a tour at the wolf conservation facility off Hwy 79.

Eagle Mining Co. 2320 C St.; 760-765-0036 Learn California mining history by touring an old-fashioned gold mine. Pan for gold, check out tools and machinery, and explore 1,000 feet of underground tunnels. Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures 4425 Hwy. 78; 951-8471904 Reserve an adventure at this family-owned outdoor gem for farm tours, living history events, hands-on activities, petting zoo and more.

Julian Pie Company 2225 Main St.; 760-765-2449 The family-owned Julian Pie Company has been serving up delicious apple pie for over 30 years! Enjoy 20+ pie varieties and be sure to try the Apple Cider Donuts. Also in Santa Ysabel. Lake Cuyamaca 15027 Hwy 79 760-765-0515 This picturesque, 110-acre lake is surrounded by wilderness and pristine views. Enjoy hiking, picnicking, boating and fishing. The lake is stocked with trout all year. Tent and cabin camping available. Moms Pies 2119 Main St.; 760-765-2472 Moms always has a line for their popular homemade pies, including apple varieties, bumbleberry, take & bake chicken pot pies and more. Be sure to try the apple dumplings! Also in Wynola.

Discover local parks that have it all— picnic areas, playgrounds, nature trails and more. Read “Awesome Parks in San Diego” for our recommendations: San Dieguito County Park

20 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • North County Inland

Rancho Santa Fe Helen Woodward Animal Center Rancho Santa Fe, 858-756-4117 x318 Discover the many ways families can get involved at Helen Woodward. Visit our website to learn about fun and educational animal interactions, including birthdays, Critter Camps and more.

Valley Center Bates Nut Farm 
 15954 Woods Valley Rd. 760-749-3333 It started with walnuts, but this farm has become so much more! Visit the shops and petting zoo, bring lunch and enjoy a picnic. Check calendar for fun seasonal events.


Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum 2040 N. Santa Fe Ave. 760-941-1791 Explore and learn the history of tractors, steam engines and much more. Kids love the model railroad displays.

Looking for current events in and around San Diego? Access San Diego Family Magazine’s monthly calendar at Julian, California


Visitor Center FUN MOMENTS WITH THE FAMILY Alta Vista Botanical Gardens 1270 Vale Terrace Dr. 760-945-3954 Explore the awesome Children’s Garden, Discovery Trail and Human Sundial. Offers recycled art, composting and gardening classes and fun festivals.

Enjoy our TOUCHLESS issue of San Diego Family on your mobile device! 1. Open the camera on your phone. 2. Hold your phone up to the QR Code so it is clearly visible on the screen. 3. The phone will automatically scan the code and take you to the issue.

Enjoy! Scan Here

#sdoutandabout • •


Photo courtesy of @TheWhitePartyOfFive

Coronado Ferry Landing 1201 First Ave. 619-435-8895 Fantastic views of the San Diego skyline! Great spot for shopping, dining and picnics. Rent tandem bikes, surreys or SUPs, or take a kayak tour of San Diego Bay. For extra fun, take the ferry from downtown.

San Diego Coastal

Coronado • La Jolla • Mission Bay • Mission Beach Ocean Beach • Pacific Beach • Point Loma


La Jolla

Birch Aquarium at Scripps 2300 Expedition Way 858-534-3474 Perched above the Pacific Ocean, Birch Aquarium is home to more than 60 stunning habitats and a museum that showcases research discoveries by Scripps oceanographers. Check the website for tide pool feedings and fun events like SEA Days.

Coronado Tidelands Park 2000 Mullinex Dr. 619-522-7342 This waterfront park near Coronado Bridge boasts outstanding bay and city views. Take a leisurely walk or bike ride, visit the skate park, fly a kite, and watch the airplanes take off and land. Hotel del Coronado 1500 Orange Ave. 619-435-6611 800-468-3533 This world-famous beachfront resort and San Diego icon attracts celebrities and locals alike. Daytime visitors enjoy upscale dining or picnics on white sand, seasonal family events, movies on the beach and more.

La Jolla Cove Along Coast Blvd. A small-surf beach great for swimmers, scuba divers and snorkelers. It’s fun to watch sea lions play (but keep your distance for the safety of the animals). The cove is part of La Jolla’s underwater ecological reserve. La Jolla Shores Beach and Kellogg Park 8200 Camino del Oro Offers a playground and large grassy area next to La Jolla’s popular beach. A great spot to grill, take a stroll

22 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • San Diego Coastal

along the boardwalk, and enjoy a family beach day. Arrive early to reserve a good spot. Alcohol and pets are prohibited. Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial 6905 La Jolla Scenic Dr. 858-459-2314 Climb or drive to the top of Mt. Soledad for panoramic views of San Diego. The memorial honors veterans living and deceased from all American conflicts, dating back to the Revolutionary War. A grassy area is available for picnics. Rose Canyon Trail Between Genesee Ave. and La Jolla Colony Dr. 619-525-8213 This easy hike follows the train tracks in University City, and offers lovely canyon views—without leading visitors too far from civilization. Bird lovers enjoy exceptional viewing of raptors, owls and hawks. Park rangers offer interpretive walks.

Advanced Reservations Required




Scripps Coastal Reserve 9300 block of La Jolla Farms Rd., west of La Jolla Shores Dr. Near the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, this coastal conservation area features 1,000 acres of ocean views. Check out the tide pools and beach or visit cliffs overlooking the water.

Torrey Pines Gliderport 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr. 858-452-9858 Enjoy spectacular views at this coastal lookout and watch paragliders take off and land. Pack a picnic or grab a snack at the Cliffhanger Cafe. Hands-on falconry lessons available on site.

Stuart Art Collection at University of California, San Diego 9500 Gilman Dr. 858-534-2117 Explore one-of-a-kind modern art installations on the UCSD campus. Take a self-guided tour to see larger-than-life works such as the 24-foot “Bear” sculpture made from oversized granite stones.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve 12600 N. Torrey Pines Rd. 858-755-2063 A favorite spot for outdoor enthusiasts, choose from six hiking trails to enjoy scenic overlooks and panoramic views of La Jolla’s beautiful coastline. Accessible trails available.

Sunny Jim Cave and Store 1325 Coast Blvd. South 858-459-0746 A prohibition-era bootlegger’s tunnel built in 1902 leads to La Jolla’s only sea cave that can be accessed by land. Take 145 stairs down to experience Sunny Jim Cave. Purchase tickets in the gift shop.

Windansea Beach 6800 Neptune Pl. 619-221-8899 Enjoy the splendid rocky shoreline, also great for photo sessions. Surfers appreciate the hard-breaking surf; swimmers should use extreme caution. No restrooms. Looking for San Diego County’s best tide pools? Find local favorites at

• Accelerated Academic Program • Individualized Curriculum • Enrichment Classes: Spanish, Chinese, Music, P.E., Computer, Art, Science • Extended Care, Extracurricular Classes Available • Weekly Summer Program: 6/21/21 - 8/20/21

MISSION BAY MONTESSORI ACADEMY Plan now for the 2021-2022 School Year! Two-year-olds through sixth grade

Email us to set up a virtual tour and informational session. Visit our website to see our outstanding test scores!

2640 Soderblom Avenue, San Diego, CA 92122 • Follow us on Facebook! See our Instagram photos and videos.

Candle Making & Pottery Painting! Parties for all occasions • • • •

Fast Turnaround Kids & Adults Great Group Activity No Experience Needed

(619) 223-1339 • 2770 Historic Decatur Rd. Barracks 14 Located in Liberty Station

24 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • San Diego Coastal

to-do/out-about/tide-pooling-insan-diego. Note: Prime time for tide pooling is Nov.–Feb.

Mission Bay Crown Point Crown Point Dr., Ingraham to Lamont 619-525-8213 This bayfront park offers expansive grass areas, barbecues, fire rings, picnic tables, a beach, tot lot, boat launch and basketball courts. Plenty of space for groups and events. Hospitality Point 2500 block of Quivira Way 619-235-1169 A large park boasting views of Mission Bay and the San Diego River. An ideal spot for picnics and groups, plus a path for walking or biking. Mission Bay Aquatic Center 1001 Santa Clara Pl. 858-488-1000 This waterfront site offers equipment rentals for all your favorite watersports—kayaks, SUPs, sailboats, surfboards, bodyboards and more. Ask about camps and youth lessons.


amazing animals

DISCOVER YOUR FAMILY’S ADVENTURE At SeaWorld® experience up-close animal interactions, one-of-a-kind attractions and thrilling rides. Plus, every visit helps support animal rescue programs and conservation projects around the planet.

furry friends


pay for a day, play all year. Unlimited* visits through 2021 *Blockout dates apply


Over 38,000 rescues and counting

Mission Bay Bike Paths Mission Bay Dr. Cruise through Mission Bay parks on a flat, paved 11.4-mile path that’s easy enough for kids, and almost loops the bay. Several nearby shops offer bike rentals. SeaWorld San Diego 500 SeaWorld Dr. 619-222-4732 A highlight for visitors and locals, this awesome, educational theme park offers thrill rides, entertaining shows, animal interactions and the Sesame Street Bay of Play for little ones.

Mission Beach Belmont Park 3146 Mission Blvd. 858-228-9283 An iconic oceanfront amusement park just steps from the beach offers thrill rides, arcade games, laser tag, mini golf and more. Enjoy a swim day and play on the inflatable floating obstacle course at the recently renovated Plunge Pool. Hamel’s Surf Shop 704 Ventura Pl; 858-488-5050 A Mission Beach favorite one-stopshop for more than 25 years. Find beach, bike and surf gear and San Diego souvenirs.

Mission Beach and Boardwalk Ocean Front Walk from Pacific Beach Dr. South 619-221-8899 beaches/mb.shtml Loved by locals and visitors, this mile-long stretch of sandy beach is home to Belmont Park and a paved boardwalk. Enjoy beachfront restaurants, build a sandcastle or take a stroll. Lifeguards on duty. No pets allowed. Plunge San Diego 3115 Ocean Front Walk 858-779-1630 ext.1041 Enjoy a family swim day at San

FREE La Jolla Secret Swing Enjoy breathtaking views (and snap an awesome photo) from a hidden swing in La Jolla. Locate the small wooden bridge in the back of Birch Aquarium’s parking lot to find the short trail. Sometimes the swing disappears, making it even more mysterious!

Photo credit: @SanDiegoFamilyAdventures

Take a 50-minute gondola ride through the canals of the Coronado Cays. Cruises are private and accommodate up to six people. Experience Petco Park as players and staff do with a fun and informative behind-the-scenes tour. Learn the history of the ballpark and the San Diego Padres while touring a dugout, the Western Metal Supply Co. building, the Padres Hall of Fame, a private luxury suite, press box and more. ballpark/tours

Hidden Gem Experiences for Families FREE Spend a day doing the self-guided Seven Bridges Walk, a 5.5-mile urban adventure that takes participants through some of San Diego’s unique neighborhoods (and across seven bridges, of course). Start on the east side of the Park Boulevard Pedestrian Bridge (near the Rose Garden). FREE Explore eight restored jail cells at The Headquarters at Seaport (San Diego’s old Police Headquarters) downtown, also the location of shops and restaurants. Be sure to snap a photo in front of the lineup wall. Learn how to build sandcastles like a pro! Schedule a family sandcastle-building lesson at

26 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • San Diego Coastal

Explore the inside of one of San Diego’s most iconic historic landmarks, the California Tower in Balboa Park. A 40-minute tour promises 360-degree views of San Diego from the Tower’s eighth-floor viewing deck. california-tower Learn the basics of falconry—holding and releasing birds of prey in a group or private class at Torrey Pines Gliderport. Instructors provide the history of falconry, raptor ecology and conservation. Open to all ages. Get close to and feed gorgeous exotic birds at the Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Del Mar. Reservations required. Flip your own pancakes (and enjoy a delicious breakfast) at Flap Your Jacks in North Park (tables come with griddles on top). Take a 1.5-hour guided tour on three exciting ziplines at La Jolla Zip Zoom in Pauma Valley. Kids must be at least 65 lbs. and 48” tall.

Diego’s historic (and newly renovated) indoor pool. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer awesome ocean views. Kids love playing on the inflatable floating obstacle course (open at Noon). Purchase family day passes at the front desk.

Ocean Beach A quintessential San Diego beach town with waterfront restaurants, eclectic shops, farmers market, historic OB Pier, grassy parks and tidepools. Follow the locals to the original Hodad’s for a burger and fries or to Dog Beach, an off-leash puppy’s paradise.

Pacific Beach Campland On the Bay 2211 Pacific Beach Dr. 858-581-4260 An RV resort on the shores of Mission Bay hosting families for over 50 years. Highlights include a new giant inflatable water slide, skateboard park, scheduled activities (bubble soccer, outdoor movie nights, etc.), bike and watersport rentals. Kate O. Sessions Memorial Park 5115 Soledad Rd. 619-235-1169 Dedicated to local hero Kate Sessions, the famed botanist who helped design Balboa Park, this urban oasis offers 79 grassy acres with stunning views, two playgrounds and ball fields. Great for hiking and picnics.

The Hot Spot 2770 Historic Decatur Rd., Barracks 14 619-223-1339 Paint your own pottery or make candles at this kidfriendly craft studio. Drop-off sessions available for kids over 6. Liberty Station & Public Market Rosecrans St. between Lytton St. & Womble Rd. A foodie’s haven, this family-friendly shopping, dining and arts destination was once a Naval Training Center. NTC Park offers plenty of grass to run around, picnic, and watch airplanes take off from San Diego International Airport. Pigtails & Crewcuts 2865 Sims Rd. #100 619-782-9325 Say goodbye to squirmy kids and bad haircuts at this kid-friendly salon. Kids love the vehicle-themed chairs, fun train sets, and choice of movies to watch during their cut. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park 1424 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. 619-525-8213 Enjoy panoramic sunsets and whale-watching at this 68-acre park with gorgeous coastal bluffs, arches and sea caves.

Pacific Beach Pacific Beach Dr. to Garnet Ave. to Tourmaline St. 619-221-8899 A popular choice for surfers and swimmers, this beach sees huge crowds during the summer months. Fishing pier and concrete pits for evening bonfires. Lifeguards on duty. Check out beachfront restaurants for meals with a view.

Point Loma Cabrillo National Monument and Old Point Loma Lighthouse 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr. 619-557-5450 Part of San Diego’s 59-Mile Scenic Drive, Cabrillo is home to stunning coastal and bay views, a visitor center, seasonal events and a historic lighthouse. Junior Ranger activities available. Corvette Diner 2965 Historic Decatur Rd. 619-542-1476 Feeling nostalgic? Kids love this San Diego favorite for burgers, shakes and poodle skirts. Check out more than 60 games at the “Gamer’s Garage” arcade while you groove to golden oldies.

• • • • • • •

Jewish Montessori Preschool in La Jolla

Children ages 9 months to 6 years Proven Montessori Method and Philosophy Learning through hands-on experience Integrated secular and Judaic curriculum Bilingual Program Skilled teachers, trained in early childhood development Secured, state-of-the-art facilities

Classes are filling up quickly! For more information, contact us at

(858) 452-3030

or Beth Montessori adheres to the principles of Association Montessori International (AMI)

8660 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037 Fax (858) 777-9199 #sdoutandabout • •


Photo credit: @playdatesandpints

Waterfront Park 1600 Pacific Hwy. Downtown San Diego Run around, climb on play equipment, then cool off in the splash fountains. This park is located across from the Maritime Museum and provides a view of the harbor.

San Diego Uptown / Downtown

Banker’s Hill/Hillcrest • North Park/South Park San Diego Downtown/Little Italy • Balboa Park

Banker’s Hill/Hillcrest

North Park/South Park

Marston House and Gardens 3525 Seventh Ave. 619-297-9327 marston2.htm Learn about one of San Diego’s most prominent families (the Marston family). A beautiful example of the Arts and Crafts Movement, this 8,500 square foot home-turnedmuseum boasts stunning gardens and child-friendly tours. Reservations required.

Axe Ventures 3956 30th St. 619-255-9883 It’s like a game of darts, but not. Super fun for families, but best for older kids with the strength to throw an axe. Also in Oceanside.

Quince Street Bridge Bridge St., between Third & Fourth Aves. It’s fun to discover (and take photos on) this 236-foot historic landmark that spans across Maple Canyon. Originally built in 1905, it’s one of the only wooden trestle pedestrian bridges left in San Diego.

Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream 3077 University Ave. 619-220-0231 Treat the family to a flight of mini ice cream cones in Hawaiian flavors like passionfruit, mango and Kona coffee. Perfect for the indecisive ice cream lover and “little” eaters. Also in Point Loma. Station Tavern 2204 Fern St. 619-255-0657 Call to see if the kids’ area on the patio (featuring a mini trolley) is

28 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • San Diego Uptown/Downtown

open for play. This popular restaurant offers top-notch burgers, craft brews and seasoned tater tots. Trolley Barn Park 1943 Adams Ave. A fabulous park with playgrounds, lots of grass and gorgeous views of Mission Valley. Free concerts and movies during the summer.

San Diego Downtown/ Little Italy Chicano Park Logan Ave. and Cesar Chavez Pkwy. Giant, brightly colored murals celebrate indigenous heritage and immigrant communities. An interactive guide to the art and artists is available online. City Cruises by Hornblower 970 N. Harbor Dr. 855-253-7943 Explore San Diego Bay from the

water on a harbor tour, holiday cruises or weekend brunch cruises. Seasonal whale and dolphin watching available with expert narration from the captain and volunteer naturalists. Gaslamp Museum at the DavisHorton House 410 Island Ave. 619-233-4692 Constructed in 1850, this is the oldest remaining home in the Gaslamp Quarter. Each room showcases a different period in the house’s history. Self-guided and private family tours available. Gaslamp Quarter Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Aves. (between Broadway and Harbor Dr.) 619-233-5227 San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter is a fun area for a family outing with many restaurants, shops and museums to explore on your own or book a Family Walking Tour. Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop 643 Fifth Ave. 619-234-2449 This old-fashioned ice cream parlor offers the same decadent sundaes and shakes as the San Francisco icon. Grant Hill Neighborhood Park 27th & J St. in the Grant Hill Neighborhood This park offers fabulous views of the Coronado Bridge, mountains and downtown. Great spot for a sunset picnic. The Headquarters at Seaport 789 W. Harbor Dr. 619-235-4013 Enjoy restaurants and boutique shops at this popular outdoor marketplace, the former site of San Diego’s Police Headquarters. While you’re there, look for the restored jail cells and snap a family photo against the lineup wall (free). iDessert 1608 India St. 619-544-1033 Design custom desserts using inhouse iPads. Includes choice of gelato, meringue shell and optional whipped cream, toppings or cake.

Upgrade to a Vegas Bowl for an over-the-top experience created with dry ice! Little Italy Mercato W. Date St. (Kettner to Union) mercato Grab your amici and famiglia for a stroll through San Diego’s favorite farmers market. A feast for the senses, the Mercato features locally grown produce, sweets, handcrafted goods and more. Saturdays, year-round. Maritime Museum of San Diego 1492 N. Harbor Dr. 619-234-9153 Climb aboard this historic fleet of steam boats, submarines and sailing ships—including the iconic Star of India. Don’t miss family events like Pirate Days and Fleet Week. Sailing adventures and tours available. Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade Market St. to Petco Park, along Harbor Dr. This nice path features art installations, MLK quotes and a hedge maze for kids.

San Diego Ocean Adventures

Photo credit: Angela Beransky Photography

Visit Birch Aquarium’s Hall of Fishes, where families can get close to ocean creatures such as leopard sharks, eels, a giant pacific octopus and more. Don’t miss the two-story Giant Kelp Forest, in addition to the 600-gallon cylindrical Moon Jelly experience, and the touch pools on Tide Pool Plaza, where kids get hands-on with sea anemones and sea cucumbers. LEGOLAND’S SEA LIFE Aquarium is excellent for young explorers. Touch a sea star at the Interactive Rockpool and join an educational talk or feeding demonstration to learn about sea life and the importance of protecting marine species. Don’t miss the walkthrough tunnel, where sharks and rays swim overhead! Aquarium admission is separate from LEGOLAND admission.

Birch Aquarium

Take a 90-minute guided kayaking tour to the La Jolla Sea Caves. All levels welcome. Observe sea lions, kelp forests and maybe even leopard sharks. Life jackets and helmets provided. For ages 6+.

Go behind the scenes during a SeaWorld Sea Lion Encounter, where you’ll meet with an animal educator and come face-to-face with a sea lion. Not included with SeaWorld admission; reservations required. san-diego/experiences/sea-lionencounter Take a Private Wildlife Tour at Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista, where you might choose to feed sea turtles or touch a shark. Learn from an animal ambassador about the marine species, birds and reptiles on the property. The two-hour experience is for groups of up to 10. private-animal-encounters

#sdoutandabout • •


The New Children’s Museum 200 W. Island Ave. 619-233-8792 Get creative at this hands-on museum that encourages children to play with contemporary art. Exhibits rotate frequently, so check website for current offerings, classes and programs.

PETCO Park 100 Park Blvd. Award-winning MLB ballpark features San Diego craft beer and local foodie favorites. Check out Park at the Park for kid-friendly lawn seating and a giant TV monitor. Behind-the-scenes ballpark tours available. San Diego Central Library 330 Park Blvd; 619-236-5800 central-library Visit the ninth floor of this spacious library to experience downtown views from the iconic dome. Don’t miss the spacious Children’s Library with life-size murals of famous Dr. Seuss characters. Also offers a teen center, art galleries and the Binford, I CAN, Too! Center for families with special needs.

Balboa Park 1549 El Prado

Enjoy Balboa Park’s beautiful gardens and fountains, hidden trails, cultural fairs, fabulous museums, worldfamous zoo and more. Visit for info about Residents Free Days.

Photo courtesy of @SDAdventureMom

San Diego Natural History Museum (The NAT) 877-946-7797 From dinosaurs and fossils to rattlesnakes and gemstones, there’s something for everyone at The Nat. Enjoy four floors of exhibitions, films in the giant screen theater and events for kids—both in person and online.

Balboa Park Carousel Park Blvd at Zoo Pl. Hop on Balboa Park’s historic, handcarved carousel that has delighted visitors of all ages since 1910. One of just a few carousels in the world that still offers the brass ring game. Balboa Park Miniature Train 619-239-4748 miniature-train It’s miniature compared to a fullsized train, but people can still ride it! Enjoy a half-mile loop just outside the zoo on this little locomotive.

Fleet Science Center 619-238-1233 Explore interactive exhibits and watch a film under the Giant Dome Theater. Visitors have fun exploring everything from tornados and electricity to microorganisms and outer space. Sign up for exciting camps and engaging events for all ages. Japanese Friendship Garden 619-232-2721 Learn about Japanese culture while enjoying a peaceful stroll through the 12-acre garden, winding your way through bonsai, koi ponds, waterfalls, rock gardens and exhibits.

30 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • San Diego Uptown/Downtown

The Old Globe 619-234-5623 Don’t miss a full lineup of virtual and in-person theater productions and free family-friendly AXIS events. Visit the website for current schedule and event announcements. San Diego Air & Space Museum 619-234-8291 Enjoy a unique collection of air and spacecrafts and explore interactive flight simulators. San Diego Model Railroad Museum 619-696-0199 Discover the junction of imagination and engineering. Experience San Diego’s railway history brought to life through six fascinating scale model exhibits. Free for kids 3 and under. San Diego Zoo 619-231-1515 This 100-acre sanctuary is home to nearly 4,000 rare and endangered animals from around the world including gorillas, polar bears, cheetahs and much more. The Zoo’s new Komodo Kingdom and Hummingbird Habitat delight visitors of all ages Spanish Village Art Center 619-233-9050 Brightly colored bungalows are studios for over 200 local artisans. Watch art in action on the large patio and shop for beautiful handmade gifts. Free admission. Art classes available for all ages.

Nautical miles from ordinary Dining and cocktail cruises, seasonal whale watching, marine life and naval harbor tours





Balboa Park Carousel

A FREE PUBLIC SCHOOL THAT FEELS LIKE A PRIVATE SCHOOL • WASC Accredited • FREE Before and After School Tutoring • FREE bus transportation from Chollas View and from City Heights to our locations. • Dual-Pathway Program (International Studies and Engineering) for grades 9-12 • Sports and Clubs for grades 9-12 • Credit recovery program for grades 9-12

America’s Finest Charter School is eight years old! We are a STEM school! Our curriculum is cutting edge and provides hands-on learning and student collaboration in all subjects.


TK–8th location: 730 45th St. San Diego, CA 92102 P: 619-694-4809

High School location: 4481 Estrella Ave. San Diego, CA 92115 P: 619-909-2826

Check out new restorations on the historic 1910 Carousel and feel like a kid again! | 619-232-2282 #sdoutandabout • •


Old Poway Park

All Aboard! Fun Train Experiences

Photo courtesy of @SanDiegoAdventureKids

Kids (and parents) enjoy the chugging of engines and wind in their hair on these fun San Diego train rides.

Chula Vista Live Steamers Train at Rohr Park 4548 Sweetwater Rd., Bonita Check website for current schedule as it only runs a couple times a month. Rides are free, but donations are appreciated. After the train ride, have a picnic at Rohr Park and play at the playground. Balboa Park Miniature Train at the Zoo 1800 Zoo Pl., San Diego attractions/miniature-train Built in 1948, the miniature train travels along a half-mile loop near the Balboa Park Carousel. Operates daily; $3 to ride. Pacific Southwest Railway Museum 750 Depot St., Campo Experience a full-scale vintage

Day and resident camp sessions to match your passions: • • • • •

train ride that takes passengers through East County’s backcountry. Departs from Campo station on weekends. Before or after the train ride, visit the museum with railroad equipment in various stages of restoration. Poway-Midland Railroad at Old Poway Park 14134 Midland Rd., Poway Volunteers operate trains on most Saturdays and Sunday—a steam locomotive, trolley or speeder on rotating weekends. Explore bridges, a fountain and great climbing trees at Old Poway Park after your train ride or head to the Hamburger Factory for lunch.

Read the whole article at things-to-do/out-about/7fun-train-experiences-in-sandiego.

San Diego Firehouse Museum 1572 Columbia St. 619-232-3473 Stop by to check out firefighting equipment dating back to the 1800s, La Jolla’s first fire engine, and a piece of steel from the World Trade Center. San Diego Symphony 619-235-0804 Experience breathtaking performances and kid-friendly and sensory-friendly concerts throughout the year. Don’t miss special familyfriendly concerts under the stars at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. Seaport Village 849 W. Harbor Dr. 619-530-0704 Wander through winding paths for a perfect lazy afternoon along the water. Unique shopping, outdoor dining, and a ride on the historic carousel complete the day. Theatre Box and Sugar Factory 701 Fifth Ave. 619-814-2225 San Diego’s “luxury” cinema and dining complex offers in-seat food service, decadent desserts and reclining sofa chairs. USS Midway Museum 910 N. Harbor Dr. 619-544-9600 Take a tour aboard one of America’s longest serving aircraft carriers. Climb in cockpits and test flight simulators. Chat with one of the Midway’s devoted volunteer docents, who love to share personal stories and military knowledge. Comfortable, closed-toe shoes recommended.

FIND YOUR WAY BACK TO CAMP Girl Scout camps for every girl!

Hiking • Archery Arts • Leadership Outdoor Skills • STEM Performance Friendship

Open to all girls in grades K-12. Financial aid available.

32 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • San Diego Uptown/Downtown or call 619-298-8391

A destination for discovery, Seaport Village is a vibrant, harbor-side hub showcasing more than 60 shops and eclectic retailers alongside art galleries, cafes, bayview restaurants and a historic, hand-carved carousel.

849 West Harbor Dr. San Diego, CA 92101 619.530.0704 @seaport_village

Photo credit: Crystella Photography

Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill

Family-Friendly Breweries Recommended by Sandra @playdatesandpints What makes a brewery family friendly? The outdoor space, welcoming staff and environment, and good beer and food, of course. Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill 302 E Broadway, Vista The outdoor patio is completely enclosed, which is great for parents of toddlers. Favorite bites and brews: Tater Tot Dam, Hop Stickers, “All In” and “Me So Honey.” Call 15 mins. before arrival to add yourself to the wait list. If you’re saving dessert for one brewery, get it here—the Homemade Brownie Sundae is delicious. Kids menu available. Ballast Point 9045 Carroll Way, Miramar Ballast Point’s sprawling indoor/outdoor restaurant (and robust menu) is great for families. The staff is fun and helpful, so be sure to ask for beer and food pairing recommendations! Favorite bites and brews: Duck Nachos, Bruschetta BLT, Signature Flights (four 4 oz. tasters for only $10). Duck Foot Brewing Co. 8920 Kenamar Dr., Ste 210, Miramar This smaller tasting room is great because they have picnic tables and grass out front where kids can be kids. Bring a few toys and let them play while you check out their rotating drafts and food trucks. Check social media @DuckFootBeer to see what’s cookin’!

Gravity Heights 9920 Pacific Heights Blvd., Sorrento Valley The patio has plenty of picnic tables and is shaded with trees, making it enjoyable even on a hot day. Favorite bites and brews: Tikka Masala Chicken Pie, Fried Chicken Sandwich, the “Crisp and Bright” beer flight. Kids menu available. Stone Brewery World Bistro & Gardens 1999 Citracado Pkwy., Escondido escondido One of the most beautiful breweries in San Diego is also super family friendly! You’ll find koi ponds, little waterfalls and plenty to explore to keep the kids happy. You really can’t beat it—good beer and an outdoor patio to die for. Favorite bites and brews: Charred Brussels Sprouts, Fruity Goat Salad, Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager. Grab a growler on your way out—many beers here aren’t found anywhere else. v Local mom and San Diego blogger Sandra Page can be found adventuring on Instagram at @playdatesandpints.

34 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • San Diego Uptown/Downtown

SAN DIEGO MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUM Model Trains & More in Balboa Park! Discover the junction of imagination and engineering and experience San Diego history brought to life through six fascinating scale model railroads. Children 3 and under are FREE! Located at 1649 El Prado, on the lower level of the Casa de Balboa building in the heart of Balboa Park.

Visit for more information Tony/OA2019/cr

Pick Up Your FREE

Giant Dome Theater Interactive Exhibits Studio X


(619) 238-1233

San Diego Family Magazine — every month at Albertsons — or visit magazines/pick-up-a-copy

#sdoutandabout • •


San Diego Central

Clairemont • Kearny Mesa/Linda Vista Mira Mesa/Miramar • Mission Valley • Old Town San Carlos • Scripps Ranch • Sports Arena

Clairemont Barrio Donas 4714 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. 858-732-0010 Get a taste of Mexican-American culture at this family-owned business offering delicious donuts, tortas and more! Tecolote Canyon Park & Nature Center 5180 Tecolote Rd. 858-581-9944 Originally home to the Kumeyaay Indians, Tecolote Canyon offers 6.5 miles of nature trails and exhibits about local animals and plant life in the nature center.

Kearny Mesa/Linda Vista Casa Machado Restaurant 3750 John J. Montgomery Dr. 858-292-4716

Photo courtesy of Anne Malinoski

Mission Trails Regional Park One Father Junipero Serra Trail San Carlos 619-668-3281 Originally home to the Kumeyaay Indians, Mission Trails offers visitors an escape from city life with over 60 miles of hiking trails, camping and boating, equestrian trails, guided nature walks, visitor center and more.

Little ones love watching planes take off and land from this popular Mexican restaurant that overlooks Montgomery-Gibbs Airport. San Diego Skateworld 6907 Linda Vista Rd. 858-560-9349 Fun to go as a family for indoor public skating! Advance tickets required. No walk-ups.

Mira Mesa/Miramar Mesa Rim Climbing Center 10110 Mesa Rim Rd. 858-201-4411 Take the family indoor rock climbing for a unique day of fun! No experience required as basic climbing techniques and safety will be taught. Reservations encouraged for new climbers. Also in Mission Valley.

36 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • San Diego Central

Mira Mesa Lanes 8210 Mira Mesa Blvd. 858-578-0500 New owners swooped in and prevented the permanent closure of Mira Mesa Lanes! Join them for youth bowling leagues and public bowling sessions. SomiSomi 9168 Mira Mesa Blvd. 858-397-2658 Stop by for delicious soft-serve in a fish-shaped waffle cone! Also in Kearny Mesa.

Mission Valley Civita Park 7960 Civita Blvd. Fourteen acres of fun with expansive grassy areas and paved paths offering lots of room to walk, roll and run. The playground’s unique

Fun Offices

Award Winning Galardonado


¡Oficinas divertidas - Sonrisas, películas, juegos y juguetes!


Medi-Cal Dental

Casi todos los seguros aceptados incluido el Medi-Cal Dental

Make the Best CHOICE For Your Child’s Dentist Haga la mejor ELECCIÓN para el dentista d e s u h ij o



619 900-9130


* Complimentary offers valid for new uninsured patients. Not valid for patients with some contracted insurance plans. Ofertas de cortesía válidas para nuevos pacientes sin seguro. No es válido para pacientes con algunos planes de seguro contratados. REF CODE: AD-SD FAMILY MAG

We are dedicated to cultivating the whole child for intellectual, social and emotional growth. • Engaging and authentic Montessori approach • Highly experienced, Montessori-certified teachers passionate about education and devoted to meeting your child’s needs • Strong school community helps each child feel a sense of belonging • Enrichment programs include Music, Art, Physical Education, Gardening and Cooking • Certified by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)

6540 Flanders Drive San Diego, CA 92121 (858) 264-6014

Serving students 18 months - 9 years

#sdoutandabout • •


multi-level design caters to kids of different ages and abilities. Park on Community Way if you want to be close to the playground. San Diego Humane Society 5500 Gaines St. 619-299-7012 Practice reading skills with a furry companion, take a behind-the-scenes group tour or have a birthday party. Visit website to learn about volunteer opportunities. UltraStar Cinemas 7510 Hazard Center Dr. #100 619-685-2841 Enjoy a family night (or day) out at the movies! Admission is only $10 for all movies (except special events).

Scripps Ranch The French Oven Bakery 10299 Scripps Trail Locals line up early at this popular Parisian-style boulangerie and patisserie. Choose from fresh-baked bread, pastries and tarts. Breakfast and lunch also available. Lake Miramar 10710 Scripps Lake Dr. 619-668-2050 Take a stroll, ride or jog along the five-mile path circling the crystal blue reservoir. Boat rentals, fishing, BBQs and picnic tables available. Scripps Ranch Farmers Market 10045 Carroll Canyon Rd. Follow on FB @scrippsranchfarmersmarket The wait is over! The new Scripps

Ranch Farmer’s Market is now located in the Newtopia Cyder parking lot. Explore 60+ diverse vendors including food booths, local produce, specialty arts & crafts and live music. Thursdays, 3-7 pm.

Sports Arena Kobey’s Swap Meet 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. Find a new treasure or sell something of your own every weekend at San Diego’s largest outdoor swap meet. Bring cash and arrive early. Wagons and strollers available for rent. Check website for special events.

Find a list of San Diego County’s favorite frozen treats at

Old Town — A taste of San Diego history

Photo courtesy of @SDAdventureMom

Presidio Park 2811 Jackson St. 619-692-4918 san-diego-blog/presidio-park The original site of Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala and a National Historic Landmark. Enjoy 40 acres of open green space, picnic areas, and hiking trails with panoramic views of Old Town, Mission Valley and Downtown San Diego.

Cousin’s Candy Shop
 2711 San Diego Ave. 619-297-2000 Discover old-fashioned treats at this old-timey candy store and gift shop. Choose from a huge variety of jelly beans, licorice, fudge, saltwater taffy and more. Haunted San Diego Ghost Tours 619-255-6170 Take a journey into San Diego’s haunted past as master storytellers weave spooky tales of ghosts and ghouls. Don’t forget your camera!

Bus tours and walking tours available. May not be suitable for kids under 10. Mason Street Schoolhouse 3966 Mason St. id=28017 Step back in time to explore this one-room schoolhouse built in 1865. It was San Diego’s first public school! Free to explore. Old Town State Historic Park San Diego Ave. and Twiggs St. 619-220-5422

38 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • San Diego Central

The historic center of San Diego and the first Spanish settlement in California. Explore museums, restaurants, shops and cultural sites. Check website for living history events, live music and seasonal festivities. Old Town Trolley Tours 866-754-0966 This hop-on-hop-off tour features stops at iconic neighborhoods and dozens of landmarks and attractions, including the Hotel del Coronado, Balboa Park and the Gaslamp.

Giovanni/O&A 2019/cr

Serving Allied Gardens, San Carlos, Del Cerro Easy Access for SDSU

Kindergarten teachers love students from our programs! ✓ Serving Ages 2 - 6 (Diapers OK) ✓ 2, 3, 4 & 5 Day Schedules

✓ Full Day Enrichment Program ✓ 3 Large, Beautiful Playgrounds

✓ Loving, Caring and Secure Environment


Canyon Rim Children's Center

“Dedicated to the individuality of children.”

Enroll Now (619) 287-6767

6801 Easton Court San Diego, CA 92120


All Dance Wear Furnished


Leotards • Tights Tap Shoes Ballet Shoes • Tutus

• Peace of Mind • Confidence • Great Exercise • Infant to adult • 3-to-1 student/ teacher ratio • Warm 90o indoor pool

Get in the pool today! FREE Introductory Lesson* *Check for available times & enroll today.

Photo by Zena Holloway •

So much FUN!


Tutoring Tots In Tutus Since 1962

Combination Class Tap • Ballet • Tumbling

Vernetta’s Dance Studio First Lesson is FREE! Enroll Anytime!

w w

Ages 2 & Up


Favorite Local Breakfast Spots

Hash House A Go Go Hillcrest

Breakfast Republic Seven San Diego locations

The Mission Mission Beach, North Park, East Village

Caroline’s Seaside Cafe La Jolla

Morning Glory Little Italy

Cocina 35 Downtown SD, Otay Mesa

Snooze A.M. Eatery Del Mar, La Jolla, Hillcrest

#sdoutandabout • •


Photo courtesy of Anne Malinoski

East County

Alpine • Campo El Cajon • Lakeside/Flinn Springs • La Mesa • Santee

San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Annex at Gillespie Field 335 Kenney St., El Cajon 619-258-1221 museum/gillespie-field-annex A hidden gem for aircraft aficionados! Visit the small hangar to see vintage planes and restoration projects. Free for kids 12 & under.

Alpine Children’s Nature Retreat 5178 Japatul Spur 619-320-4942 Interact with domesticated livestock and exotic wildlife at this 20-acre ranch. More than 120 animals call this retreat home, including camels, zebras, miniature horses and more. Purchase tickets online. Viejas Casino & Resort 5000 Willows Rd. 619-659-2070 Enjoy an afternoon with the family at Southern California’s largest outdoor roller rink, challenge friends to a round of Galactic Bowling, or enjoy some retail therapy at Viejas Outlet Center.

Campo Motor Transport Museum 31949 Hwy. 94

619-478-2492 An eclectic collection of transportation artifacts with more than 200 historic motor vehicles and industrial machinery. Pacific Southwest Railway Museum 750 Depot St. 619-465-7776; 619-478-9937 Hop aboard, train enthusiasts! This popular museum offers year-round vintage train excursions and seasonal rides on the Bunny Train, Pumpkin Express and North Pole Limited. Open weekends. Potrero Regional Park 24800 Potrero Park Dr. 619-478-5212 Offering wilderness cabins, RV hookups and tent spaces, this 132-acre park is great for camping and nature walks. Discover 100-year-old oak trees, shaded picnic tables, playgrounds and an enclosed pavilion.

40 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • East County

Wisteria Candy Cottage 39961 Old Hwy. 80 619-766-4453 This delightful sweet shop was once a one-room school. In business since 1921, the shop is still churning out homemade brittle, fudge, truffles and other delicious treats.

El Cajon Heritage of the Americas Museum 12110 Cuyamaca College Dr. West 619-670-5194 Explore the history of the Americas through art, anthropology, archaeology and natural history collections. Leave time to enjoy the tropical gardens and a desert patio. Yogurt Mill 935 Broadway 619-579-1566 Locals line up at the leaning tower for huge portions and tasty toppings

at this cash-only frozen yogurt shop, which has been in business for more than 40 years. Check FB page for their daily flavors.

Lakeside/Flinn Springs Barona Cultural Center and Museum 1095 Barona Rd. 619-443-7003 Celebrating Kumeyaay-Diegueño culture through art, interactive displays and more than 3,000 artifacts dating as far back as 10,000 years. Visit website for classes and events. Free admission. FUNBelievable Play 11655 Riverside Dr., Ste. 155-157 619-456-2474 Relax in the café while the kids run around and play at this indoor playground featuring wave slides, rock climbing, aerial glides, ball pool and more. A separate toddler area keeps little ones safe. Also offers Parents’ Night Out events.

Lake Jennings 9535 Harritt Rd. Camping: 619-390-1623 Fishing: 619-443-2510 With miles of hiking trails and a gorgeous lake for fishing and boating, Lake Jennings is the perfect spot for a camping trip or picnic. Play horseshoes, ping-pong and ladder golf. Summers Past Farms 15602 Old Hwy. 80 619-390-1523 Stroll through picturesque gardens, a nursery and sweet pea maze. This family farm makes a relaxing weekend day trip and picnic spot. Visit the barn shop, offering homemade soaps and garden accessories. Check website for seasonal events.

La Mesa The Aubrey Rose Tea Room 8362 La Mesa Blvd. 619-461-4832

Tucked between antique shops and boutiques in downtown La Mesa, discover a delightful English tea experience with homemade finger sandwiches, scones and pastries. Reservations required. BO-Beau Kitchen + Garden 8384 La Mesa Blvd. 619-337-3445 bobeaukitchengarden This popular sit-down restaurant offers casual French flavors and a unique play area for kids that includes a re-purposed school bus and chalk wall. Briercrest Park 9001 Wakarusa St. Play all day at this award-winning park with whimsical art that encourages children to engage with nature. Kids love the musical instruments, sensory herb garden, sandbox, swings, and playground with climbing structures. Cowles Mountain Golfcrest Dr. & Navajo Rd. 619-668-3281 Arrive early to beat the heat and crowds at this challenging hike




#sdoutandabout • •


to the highest point in the city of San Diego. Hikers enjoy scenic landscapes, wildflowers and panoramic views. Lake Murray 5540 Kiowa Dr. 619-668-2050 A popular destination for walking, biking, rollerblading and picnicking located in Mission Trails Regional Park between Del Cerro and La Mesa. Open for shore fishing. BBQs and boat rentals available. La Mesa Depot Museum 4695 Nebo Dr. 619-465-PSRM (7776) la-mesa-depot Visit anytime to view a vintage freight train displayed with its steam locomotive, freight cars and caboose. The restored 1894 wooden train station is open Saturdays for docentled tours.

Salvation Army Kroc Center 6845 University Ave. 619-287-5762 Have fun at the Kroc, whether it’s swimming, ice skating, joining a sports clinic or playing pickleball. Ask about family memberships.

Santee Big Rock Park 8125 Arlette St. 619-258-4100 One of many trailheads to Mission Trails Regional Park, this grassy, 5-acre space has two playgrounds and courts for pickleball, volleyball and basketball. Creation & Earth History Museum 10946 N Woodside Ave. 619-599-1104 Dedicated to the biblical account

of science and history. Exhibits showcase the six-day creation of Earth, a life-size tabernacle, dinosaur discovery zone and live animals. Santee Drive-In Theatre 10990 Woodside Ave. N. 619-448-7447 One of the county’s last drive-in theaters, this venue offers two films for the price of one and an awesome snack bar. Open seven nights a week. Must purchase tickets on site. Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve 9310 Fanita Pkwy. 619-596-3141 Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages love this lakefront park for fishing, hiking and fun seasonal events. Kids enjoy the splash pad, adventure course, playgrounds and bike rentals. Check out Tin Fish – the new casual seafood restaurant with tons of patio seating. Cabin and boat rentals also available.

Best Spots in San Diego for Animal Encounters

California Wolf Center Julian Children’s Nature Retreat Alpine Helen Woodward Animal Center Rancho Santa Fe

Olivenhain Farms

Lions, Tigers & Bears Alpine

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Escondido

Living Coast Discovery Center Chula Vista

Sand n’ Straw Community Farm Vista

Oasis Camel Dairy Ramona Olivenhain Farms Encinitas San Diego Zoo Balboa Park (Downtown)

Photo courtesy of @playdatesandpints

Birch Aquarium La Jolla

SeaWorld Mission Bay A Simpler Time Alpaca Ranch El Cajon

Find more under Hidden Gem Experiences on page 26.

42 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • East County

San Diego Zoo

TOP DOG Li LiMO BUS All New Models • call 858.581.3644 Limo Packages & Theme Parties Proms • Birthdays • Graduations • Sweet 16/Quinceañera

“A community where every child is known.”

Literacy First Charter Schools Tuition Free K-12 Public Schools Find us on 619-579-7232


TLC Offers the Flexibility of Homeschooling with the Support and Community of a School. • Founded in 2004

• Small Classes

• Caring Teachers

• Family-Oriented

• Personalized

• WASC Accredited

Families can choose between a 100% homeschool program or a hybrid program with 3 days at school and 2 days at home.


Se habla español.

Chula Vista • La Mesa • Scripps Ranch

Grades TK–12

Call 1-844 GO TO TLC (1-844-468-6852) or sign-up for an information session at

Voted Best Kids’ Birthday Party four years in a row!

Celebrating 10 Years! FUNBelievable Play 11655 Riverside Dr., Unit 155, Lakeside, CA 92040 (River Run Business Park)

Tel 619-456-2474

OPEN 7 days a week. Suitable for 0–12 yrs. Socks Required.



South Bay

Bonita • Chula Vista • Imperial Beach • National City

Bonita Bonita Museum & Cultural Center 4355 Bonita Rd.; 619-267-5141 Explore local art, photography and artifacts of the Sweetwater Valley region through rotating exhibits, student exhibitions and art classes for kids. Rohr Park 4548 Sweetwater Rd. 619-397-6197 Little ones love to climb and play on the newly renovated playground. Visitors enjoy picnic areas, sports fields, a fitness station, basketball court, two playgrounds, dog park and miniature railroad. Check website for train schedule. Sweetwater Summit Regional Park 3218 Summit Meadow Rd. 619-472-7572 Family-friendly activities include hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and camping.

This 500-acre park offers picnic pavilions, horseshoe pits, playground, bike skills course and pump track. Parking fee.

Chula Vista Bowlero 845 Lazo Ct. 619-421-4801 Not your average bowling alley, Bowlero offers an upscale experience for all ages, with 40 black-light lanes, a high-end sports bar, delicious eats delivered to your lane, arcade and more. Also in San Marcos. Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center 2800 Olympic Pkwy. 619-656-1500 Take a guided tour of this state-

44 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • South Bay

of-the-art facility, used to train U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes in track and field, rugby, archery, BMX and tennis. Stop by the Elite Team Shop to purchase a Team U.S.A. souvenir. Chula Vista Marina 550 Marina Pkwy. 619-862-2835 Spend a relaxing day on the bay where you’ll enjoy waterfront dining, spectacular sunsets, music and community events. Adjacent Bayside Park has picnic areas, a fishing pier, and walking paths with views of Downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bridge.

Looking for current events in and around San Diego? Access San Diego Family Magazine’s monthly calendar at

Photo credit: @SanDiegoFamilyAdventures

National City Depot Museum 922 W. 23rd St. 619-474-4400 Train enthusiasts appreciate a stop at this historic depot, built in 1882 and fully restored in 1998. The oldest railroadrelated structure still standing in San Diego County, it’s now a museum dedicated to the history of railroads in Southern California and San Diego.

Engaged to Learn. Empowered for Life. We provide a carefully structured, warmly inviting and stimulating environment that encourages a positive attitude towards learning. • High-quality, authentic Montessori education accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS) • Degreed and experienced Montessori-certified teachers • Carefully structured and stimulating classroom environment • Enrichment through Spanish, Music, Art, Yoga and Cooking classes • Outdoor learning environment that includes gardens and a playground • For children ages 2 to 6 years old

NOW ENROLLING FOR ALL PROGRAMS Serving Bonita, Chula Vista, Eastlake and San Diego for over 30 years!

Schedule your tour today!

3604 Bonita Rd. Chula Vista, CA 91910 619-633-2930

#sdoutandabout • •


Heritage Park 1381 E. Palomar St. 619-397-6197 Pack a picnic and play all day at this 10-acre park that has an amphitheater, sheltered picnic areas, barbecues, sports fields and courts, walking trails, and ample open space. Kids love the play equipment, duck pond and skate park.

Photo courtesy of @SanDiegoAdventureKids

Living Coast Discovery Center 1000 Gunpowder Point Dr. 619-409-5900 Learn about sea turtles, fish, birds, rays, sharks and more. Interactive animal encounters connect people with coastal creatures, plants and habitats. VIP Wildlife Tours, day camps, workshops, guided hikes and family events available.

Greg Cox Bike Park 325 Rancho Dr. 619-482-7361 Riders of all ages enjoy this brand-new bike skills park featuring beginner and intermediate bike trails, a beginner’s zone, jump line and California’s largest modular pump track. Located at Otay Valley Regional Park. Bring your own bike and helmet. No restrooms.

Otay Lakes County Park 2270 Wueste Rd. 858-565-3600 en/park-pages/OtayLakes.html One of Otay’s best kept secrets, this serene 78-acre park provides gorgeous lake views, picnic sites, playground equipment, horseshoe pits, gardens, trails, boating and excellent birdwatching. Play City 871 Showroom Pl. #105 619-882-5663 Indoor playground for kids ages 0–12, featuring bouncers, three-level play structure and a toddler zone for ages 0–3. Open daily. Speed Circuit Family Fun Center 881 Showroom Pl. 619-600-3200 Challenge your friends and family to high-energy go-kart races, test your agility on the Adventure Ropes Course, and play in the 6,000 sq. ft. Fun Zone.

46 • SD Family’s Out&About 2021 • South Bay

Imperial Beach Portwood Pier Plaza 940 Seacoast Dr. 619-686-6200 The iconic “Surfhenge” public art structure pays homage to I.B.’s surfing heritage, welcoming local and visiting beachgoers. The area also offers bike paths, shaded picnic tables, a tot lot, grassy areas, nearby shops and restaurants and pier access. South Bay Drive-In Theatres 2170 Coronado Ave. 619-423-2727 Catch a flick under the stars from the comfort of the car! Screens feature new releases and classics with stateof-the-art digital projectors. Snack bar available. Open seven days a week.

National City Niederfrank’s Ice Cream 726 A Ave. 619-477-0828 Founded in 1948, this oldfashioned scoop shop has been dishing up dozens of unique and classic homemade flavors for more than 70 years. Everything is freshly made onsite. Snowpops San Diego 1005 E. Plaza Blvd. #101 619-477-8327 Look no further for delicious frozen treats! This family-owned shop features snowballs made with fluffy shaved ice and delicious popsicles (with your choice of toppings). Yum!

s e in z a g a m f o y l i m Our fa Countywide • FREE

22 n d Annual • 2021

San Diego

Ou t &Abou t

with Kids!

for Local & Visiting Families


San Diego Family Magazine

San Diego Family

San Diego Family Magazine