If you’re planning your San Diego shopping excursion to Fashion Valley Mall, which we highly recommend, you’re going to need to rest those feet and your wallet during the day, and one of the many restaurants or cafes is the perfect place to do it. This newly renovated mall has tons of options for every preference, taste and budget.
First, some basic information about the mall: it’s open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. There are five department stores, 200 shops and restaurants and an 18-screen AMC movie theatre. The stores cover big name brands like Burberry and Gucci and budget stores like Forever 21 and H&M.
If you’re making the mall trip a fun family outing, then take a play break with the kids at the Geppetto’s children area on the first floor next to Gap Kids. The mall also has multiple baby changing stations, including one near Guest Services on the lower level.
If you’re coming from another country to vacation in San Diego you might want to utilize the mall’s Foreign Currency online ordering with Travelex option. You can have U.S. currency delivered right to your door or you can have money preloaded onto your Cash Passport. Something else that might make your travel easier is staying at a cheap hotel near the San Diego International Airport.
Now that you have content kids and the right currency, it’s time to eat! Here are our suggestions for Fashion Valley Mall food destinations:
- 59th& Lex on the third floor in Bloomingdales is a nice quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the busy outdoor mall.
- The Zodiac is a hidden gourmet gem nestled inside Niemen Marcus that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Nordstrom Café also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner but caters to the busy grab-and-go shopper who’s just looking for a quick bite.
- California Pizza Kitchen in the top level food court is a great place to bring the kids. Their diverse menu has everything from pizza (of course) to chicken plates, pastas and kids meals.
- Cheesecake Factory is the place to go for large plates and hot dates. The expansive restaurant has a hot happy hour, large booths and an inviting patio.
- True Food Kitchen is the one true option for the health conscious eater who wants delicious food options while still sticking to their diet.
- Stacked is a great burger and pizza joint that lets you decide when you get your bill and when the food arrives. This is a great option for families with sometimes fussy kids.
For a full listing of Fashion Valley stores and restaurants you can visit the Fashion Valley mall website at simon.com/mall/fashion-valley. Its central location makes it a great destination to relax whether you spent the day at SeaWorld San Diego, the zoo or one of the fantastic beaches along the coast.
Now that you’ve got some information about San Diego, start planning your vacation! To see what a nearby family friendly budget hotel in San Diego can offer you, click here. The Marina Inn near downtown San Diego has all the family friendly amenities you’re looking for: free breakfast, affordable rooms, and a Kid’s Suite that has an adjoining room with a bunk bed for the little ones! To book a room at the Marina Inn, please call our Reservations desk at 1-800-571-2933 and be sure to inquire about our available discounted rates.
San Diego’s 25th Annual Museum Month has officially begun! For the entire month of February museum lovers can get a free museum pass that grants them 50% off at 44 local museums. That means you have 22 whole days left to enjoy the plethora of participating San Diego museums. The overzealous can even attempt to tackle two museums a day to see them all. If you’re flying into San Diego for your vacation, click here for information about San Diego Airport hotels that are minutes from all the museum action!
The San Diego Museum Council started this event 25 years ago in 1989 as a way to draw tourists and locals to local museums. All you have to do to participate is go to 1 of 14 Macy’s stores in the San Diego Area, Temecula or Imperial Valley to pick up your free Museum Pass. One pass is good for 50% off museum admission for up to four people throughout the entire month.
Here is a list of the 44 participating museums:
- Adobe Chapel
- Barona Cultural Center & Museum
- Birch Aquarium at Scripps
- Bonita Museum and Cultural Center
- California Surf Museum
- Coronado Museum of History & Art
- Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
- Gaslamp Museum at the William Heath Davis House
- Heritage of the Americas Museum
- Japanese Friendship Garden
- Junipero Serra Museum
- La Jolla Historical Society
- Living Coast Discovery Center
- Lux Art Institute
- Maritime Museum of San Diego
- Marston House & Gardens
- Mingei International Museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Downtown
- Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla
- Museum of Making Music
- Museum of Photographic Arts
- Oceanside Museum of Art
- Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
- San Diego Air & Space Museum
- San Diego Archaeological Center
- San Diego Automotive Museum
- San Diego Botanic Garden
- San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
- San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
- San Diego History Center
- San Diego Model Railroad Museum
- San Diego Natural History Museum
- Santa Ysabel Store
- The New Children’s Museum
- The San Diego Museum of Art
- Tijuana Estuary Visitors Center
- Timken Museum of Art
- USS Midway Museum
- Veterans Museum & Memorial Center
- Visions Art Museum
- Warner-Carillo Ranch House & Museum
- Water Conservation Garden
- Whaley House Museum
- Women’s Museum of California
As you can see, there is a vast array of museums throughout the county specializing in different subjects, from boats and botanical garden to surfing and song, your interests will surely be appeased.
Of the 44 museums, 13 are located in the beautiful Balboa Park next to the San Diego Zoo. For a day full of cheap family fun, book a budget hotel near the San Diego Zoo to enjoy the local museums like the popular Reuben H. Fleet Science Center at Balboa Park before walking to the Zoo to ogle the new panda cub. Or you could make this an adult only vacation and attend Balboa Park’s Culture and Cocktails event at the San Diego Museum of Art on Feb. 20. This 21+ social event features South Asian art, multiple bars inside the museum, an after party and a live DJ! Who said museums weren’t any fun?
Book your cheap San Diego hotel now and start planning your SoCal vacation so you don’t miss out on these great affordable events. For more information about discounted hotel rates, contact the Marina Inn today at 1-800-571-2933!
SeaWorld is one of those must-see places when you’re planning your family vacation to San Diego. SeaWorld has it all: amusement park rides, shows, exhibits, shopping and dining! However, if you don’t plan accordingly, the budget for your family day out could easily double or even triple! Click here for information on affordable family friendly San Diego accommodations, and continue reading for some helpful tips on how to easily save some cash during your SeaWorld trip:
- Don’t pay full price for admission! For the same price as a single day admission ticket you can get the Fun Card which is good for admission throughout the whole year! Also, right now you can get the adults Fun Card at the child’s price if you enter code “SWCWestwaysFC2014” online. Visitors can also ask about available AAA and AARP discounts. However, be sure you always make purchases from reputable websites and dealers and do research before giving anyone your credit card information, especially online.
- Pick your splurges. You know your kids are going to want a souvenir or that overpriced cotton candy, so consider allotting them, and yourselves, a certain “allowance” on unnecessary items. Something as little as $10 will let your kids feel like they’re picking a special treat and will force them to be more selective when they know ahead of time what the spending limit is.
- Pack your own food. Amusement Parks have notoriously overpriced restaurants and snack bars, so come prepared to feed you family. It’s even easier to pack a meal ahead of time if you have a cheap San Diego hotel room close to SeaWorld with a refrigerator and microwave. Leave a large cooler in the car and enjoy a delicious and cheap homemade meal in the picnic area just outside the park. There are also a handful of kid-friendly restaurants nearby where you can easily travel to during breaks from the park.
Another way to save money is by booking a cheap family-friendly San Diego hotel room at Vagabond Inn & Suites. Not only are we located just minutes from San Diego’s major attractions like SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo, but we also offer a 15% discount on your hotel stay when you purchase your admission tickets through us.
If you have a friend who is looking for a centrally located budget hotel near the San Diego Convention Center, SeaWorld or another popular attraction, be sure to share this article on Facebook and Twitter by clicking on the icons in the upper right-hand corner!
A Tech Vacation is simply a vacation away from technology in a new and active city like San Diego. When was the last time you shared a family dinner without the presence of a smartphone, tablet or gaming device? Is the TV or DVD player constantly on in your home? Can you recall the last long and meaningful conversational you had as a family?
These are just some of the signs that technology is taking over your home. Breaking away from these devices can be a refreshing way to spend quality family time in a new place. And what better place than San Diego for a technology-free weekend? Year-round sunshine, beaches and cheap hotels near the MCRD, SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo.
Not sure if you could spend more than an hour away from your electronic devices? Here are some reasons we think your family should try replacing a laptop with laughter and a cellphone with conversation:
- Health benefits. We’ve become reliant on technology to do all the thinking for us and we are starting to forget how to use our brains. Did you know that a weekend without technology is proven to boost brainpower? Cognitive thinking improves when we use a map for directions and figure out a 20% tip without a calculator. And your kids probably won’t argue too hard if you agree not to set an alarm clock.
- Relational benefits. Without a screen in front of your face for hours, more time is opened up for family bonding, meeting new people and engaging in conversation. Ungluing yourself from technology forces families to communicate with each other over games, outdoor activities and meals.
- Simple living off the grid. Too often we complicate our lives by worrying about Facebook “likes” and work emails. Disconnect with technology to re-connect with the simple pleasures available in the real world. Let friends and co-workers know before you go that you’ll be out of touch for a few days and hold true to your promise to power down.
- Adventure. Don’t be afraid to get lost and explore new things. Instead of mapping out a minute-by-minute itinerary, try playing part of your trip by ear. Let your kids have a say in some of the activities to take their mind off of the lack of social media.
Now that you know the benefits, how do you actually do it? Don’t tempt yourself by packing devices; instead leave anything that’s not a necessity at home. If you’re allowing cellphones on the trip for safety purposes be sure to set some ground rules. Perhaps don’t allow phones during family time, disable in-room WiFi and turn off social media notifications. Planning ahead will also allow you to stick to your tech-free trip guidelines. Print out crucial addresses, directions and phone numbers ahead of time and consider purchasing a San Diego Guidebook. Most importantly, act as a role model for your kids. If you don’t adhere to your own rules, and look like you’re having fun doing it, they won’t want to either.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many people also use their phone as a camera, and having these memories to hold on to can be important. If you plan a trip to the San Diego Zoo and want to capture a photo of the famous Giant Pandas go ahead and snap away, just set guidelines about whether uploading photos online is allowed or not. To learn more about the Zoo’s exhibits and why it’s a necessary stop during your tech-free travels click here!
If you’re really craving a little technology during your vacation you can find a way to make it a family bonding experience. Create a music playlist together that you can all listen to during the car trip, go see a movie at a local theatre, or create some friendly competition at an arcade. Also be sure to take advantage of the family-friendly features offered at the top San Diego budget hotels like Marina Inn and Suites. Purchase your Zoo or SeaWorld tickets through us and get 15% off your entire stay! We also have Kids Suites and Park & Fly Packages available for your convenience.
Want to learn more about how Marina Inn can help you plan a Tech Vacation in San Diego? Call us today at 1-800-571-2933 and learn how much you can save!
We know that planning a day trip with children can be a taxing task at times. So to ensure that everyone has a great time at the San Diego Zoo, sit down with your children the day before you head to the park and plan out a possible itinerary of shows and exhibits you would like to see. This allows time for each child to contribute their opinion and helps ensure your family will get to enjoy as many animals and shows as possible. Also, read up on the following tips that will make your day a walk in the park:
- Bring your own stroller or rent one at the park – $12 for a single or $16 for a double – if you have kids that won’t be able to walk around the 100 acre park for an entire day. Additionally, make sure everyone wears comfortable shoes!
- Pack a backpack full of any necessities like sunscreen, snacks and juice boxes. Having snacks and drinks on hand is a great way to avoid spending extra money throughout the day and can keep kids from getting cranky! If you don’t feel like carrying a backpack or diaper bag around the park, you can rent a large locker for $1.50.
- Need somewhere to nurse a newborn in privacy? You can use the Zoo’s First Aid office, the Health Office or the women’s restrooms with designated nursing stations. Most restrooms also have diaper changing stations for your convenience.
- Make your trip a fun, educational experience by introducing your youngsters to new plants and animals online before arriving at the park. The Zoo’s website has a special section just for kids where they can learn all about the animals on display, play games and watch videos. Getting to know more about the Zoo ahead of time will make them more eager to interact when your family visits.
- Don’t forget to take frequent breaks. A long day of walking around the Zoo can be tiring for children and adults alike. Be sure to take a break every few hours to eat, rest and regroup. Break time would also be a good opportunity to catch their sea lion show, hop on the Skyfari aerial tram or watch a film in their 4-D theatre.
If you’re in need of a family-friendly hotel near San Diego Zoo, then look no further than Marina Inn & Suites. We’re located less than three miles away from the Zoo and offer 15% off your hotel stay with the purchase of Zoo admission tickets! We also have a Kids Suite which is great for large families as it has two queen beds and an adjoining room with twin bunk beds.
To learn more about the rooms, rates and discounts offered at our affordable San Diego hotel, click here or call 1-800-571-2933 and speak with a reservations specialist.