If you’re a first time parent, traveling with your toddler may seem like a challenging and somewhat daunting task. Fortunately, there are many vacation destinations that are great for families with toddlers, San Diego being one of the best. Although popularly praised for its active nightlife scene, America’s Finest City offers a variety of new experiences for little ones that will provide endless discovery and delight.
If you haven’t yet made reservations for your family vacation, start by booking a room or suite at the Marina Inn, a family friendly and affordable hotel in downtown San Diego. Then, check out our top picks for mom-approved activities that are great for toddlers to complete your vacation itinerary.
Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!
The San Diego Zoo is located in the heart of downtown San Diego and offers plenty of space for your toddler to roam and meet new friends. This zoo is world-renowned with more than 4,000 animals in 9 distinct habitats. Although it seems like a lot of walking around, there is a bus and an aerial tram where you can catch a glimpse of zebras, lions, and giraffes without having to exert too much energy. With numerous playgrounds and play areas, movie theaters, live shows and a carousel, there are plenty of activities for your toddler to enjoy. If you’re on a budget this vacation, know that kids under 3 are admitted into the park free of charge and there are a few options for quality, yet cheap San Diego Zoo hotels that will help keep you and your wallet happy.
Under the Sea
Your toddler will have plenty of space to explore what marine life’s all about at SeaWorld in San Diego. Before heading out for a full day of fun, be sure to grab breakfast at your affordable SeaWorld San Diego hotel or outside of the park. This will help ensure your little one has all the energy he or she needs for a full day at the park. Your toddler will delight in watching the dolphins play and perform tricks, and even has the opportunity to get up close and personal with the penguins at the park. SeaWorld also has a section of the park devoted just to younger visitors and your toddler can meet, greet and have their photo taken with their favorite Sesame Street characters. And for a bit of fun, don’t forget to stop and check out the rides including Elmo’s Flying Fish or Oscar’s Rocking Eel.
The New Children’s Museum is a hands-on museum for children to touch and discover the world around them. The exhibits have been created with younger visitors in mind, making for a stimulating yet fun activity that isn’t offered at many attractions. If you’re visiting on a Friday, be sure to stop by in the morning because the museum offers a fun weekly activity that is geared towards toddlers. After participating in the day’s arts and crafts and the weather is nice (which it almost always is in San Diego), check out the bubble fountain in the outdoor area. Here you and your little one can select from a variety of bubble wands, creating bubbles of all shapes and sizes and can also chase some of the larger ones around.
With the proper planning, your first vacation with your toddler can be an experience that the entire family will enjoy. While planning is important, also be flexible with your schedule, allowing extra time at lunch to eat or pushing your itinerary for a much needed mid-day nap. For more tips for visiting San Diego with the family, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!