Take Advantage Free Admission for Kids in San Diego
Every October, San Diego runs a special promotion perfect for SoCal families, or families planning a trip to Southern California. Kids get free admission to more than 100 museums, amusement parks restaurants and activities (usually with a paying adult). If you live in Los Angeles or Orange County, you can take a quick day trip, or do a mini overnight getaway.
My family has taken advantage of the kids free San Diego promotion a few times and we have a blast. Most of the attractions aren’t overly crowded and the weather is perfect. If you are staying overnight, it is still warm enough to enjoy the hotel pool and since a lot of restaurants participate in the program, you have several affordable meal options. You can also pick a hotel with a mini refrigerator and bring some easy food with you.
This list covers all of the kids free promotions in San Diego. Since San Diego is one of our favorite weekend getaways, I’ll share some of my favorite activities in case you need help narrowing down your options.
Favorite Kid Free Attractions in San Diego in October
San Diego Zoo – Take advantage of the kids free admission to visit the San Diego Zoo, which is one of the largest in the area. Normal kids admission is $40, so this is a huge savings!
LEGOLAND – This is by far my family’s favorite amusement park. We actually prefer it to Disneyland. There are so many fun rides appropriate for younger kids and there are also little playgrounds and building areas for kids to enjoy. I find it much more fun than going from line to line to ride a 60 second ride. If you have room in your budget, consider staying at the LegoLand hotel.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park – While the San Diego Zoo is a popular tourist destination, really, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a must for my family. The first time we went was five years ago and I have to say, while my son, who was 3 at the time, had a blast, my husband and I were mesmerized. It was truly one of the best animal parks that we have ever been to. The San Diego Safari Park is a wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,000 animals. Unlike a standard zoo setting, the animals have the ability to roam in large open spaces that is more similar to life in the wild. The first time we visited, we saw a rhino that was one of three left in its species. We have since gone every year.
Newport Landing Whale Watching – If you’ve never been whale watching, this is your chance to go whale spotting. We took this tour a few years ago and spotted several whales. Unfortunately, they can’t guarantee sightings, so there is the possibility that you won’t see whales, or that you’ll just see one, but the boat ride itself will be fun for the kids.
San Diego Air And Space Museum – We are a short metro ride away from the California Science Museum, but even though we’ve been there hundreds of times, my kids still had a blast at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. The museum is packed with airplanes and space craft. We went with my pre-teen/teen nieces and they also had a blast, so this museum doesn’t just appeal to the younger set.
Casa Guadalajara in Old Town San Diego – Kids eat free from kid’s menu with paying adult. Old Town San Diego is one of my favorite places in San Diego. This state-protected historical park is like walking through San Diego in the 1800s. You can walk through restored historical buildings, shop in cute little retail shops and enjoy a tasty meal, complete with Mariachi music or guitar players.
Most hotels and several restaurants are offering free meals for kids with a paid adult so if you are on a budget, you can plan your dining accordingly.