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Top Fun Family Activities in San Diego Bay

Mother and Son walking on the Beach

Make Your San Diego Adventures Memorable!

Whether you want to see the seals in San Diego or are seeking something even more adventures while remaining a family friendly activity in San Diego, these are the things to do that will make your outing a memorable one.

  • Tour the San Diego Harbor
  • See the Seals in San Diego
  • Relax at La Jolla Cove
  • Cultural Balboa Park
  • Visit San Diego Zoo
  • Experience Coronado Island
  • Explore the Children’s Museum

Tour the San Diego Harbor in a Speed Boat

Speed Boat Adventures Family Activity in San Diego

Tour the San Diego Harbor on our speed boat ride. Experience a once-in-a-lifetime view of Navy ships, the USS Midway aircraft museum, Coronado Bridge, the famous Star of India, the historic ships of the Maritime Museum, the downtown skyline, photogenic seals. Feel the thrill of speeding across the harbor in your own speedboat. No other San Diego Boat tour packs this much excitement and harbor sightseeing into one fun-filled day.

Where can you see Seals in the San Diego Harbor?

Seals Sun Bathing

In the San Diego Harbor seal pupping season can bring hundreds of baby seals to the Children’s Pool. The City of San Diego closes the beaches to humans from December 15th to May 15th each year to protect the baby seals. Even between those dates, people are still welcome to walk along the barrier next to the beach, which has a great view of the seals. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity for your children to see pup seals with their mothers. We love learning more about seeing seals in San Diego.

The Breathtaking La Jolla Cove in San Diego

a rocky beach next to a body of water with La Jolla Cove in the background

Visit La Jolla Cove a 6,000-acre Underwater Park, which includes an Ecological Reserve. See amazing wildlife, such as seals, barracuda, opaleye, giant sea bass, baitfish and orange garibaldi. Point La Jolla forms the south side of the cove. The area is protected as part of a marine reserve and is popular with snorkelers, swimmers and scuba divers. California sea lions can be found in the waters of the Cove and hauling out, temporarily leaving the water to rest on its beaches, cliffs, and bluffs.

Free public parking is extremely limited and is all on-street; there are also paid parking garages in the area. From the park at the top of the Cove, there are a few steps down on each side to a “gallery” area with a lot of benches. This gallery includes the entrance to the lifeguard station, where the lifeguard’s chalkboard shows useful information updated throughout the day. From the gallery level there are two steep sets of concrete steps that lead down to the beach itself, although visitors often have to step on rocks to get all the way down to the sand.

A GoCar Parked while a family activity is happening in San Diego

The 2-hour Balboa Park & Downtown GoCar tour is an essential San Diego tour. You will see many of the great places that make San Diego “America’s Finest City”. You will see the visually stunning Balboa park which is littered with Spanish Renaissance-inspired architecture, over a dozen museums, colorful flower gardens, and a world-renowned outdoor organ pavilion.

The Beautiful Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park

a large orange building

The facility is named for aviation pioneer Mr. Reuben Fleet, who founded the U.S. Air mail service. Mr. Fleet’s San Diego-based company, Consolidated Aircraft, built several of the famous aircraft of World War II, including the B-24 Liberator and PBY Catalina. Mr. Fleet and his family made the initial gift which established the Science Center.

Established in 1973, it was the first science museum to combine interactive science exhibits with a planetarium and an IMAX Dome (OMNIMAX) theater, setting the standard that most major science museums follow today. This is a perfect way to educate your children while having a fun family day.

The World-Renowned San Diego Zoo

a group of people entering the Zoo

The San Diego Zoo does not let visitors down. The San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, housing over 12,000 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies on 100 acres. The San Diego Zoo was the pioneer in the concept of open-air, cage-less exhibits that recreate natural animal habitats. For decades, the zoo housed and successfully bred giant pandas, though the pandas were repatriated to China in 2019. The zoo offers a guided tour bus that traverses 75% of the park. The temperate, sunny maritime climate of California is well suited to many plants and animals. Besides an extensive collection of birds, reptiles, and mammals, it also maintains its grounds as an arboretum, with a rare plant collection. The botanical collection includes more than 700,000 exotic plants. As part of its gardening effort, some rare animal foods are grown at the zoo. For example, 40 varieties of bamboo were raised for the pandas when they were at the zoo on long-term loan from China. It also maintains 18 varieties of eucalyptus trees to feed its koalas.

Don’t Miss The Lovable Koalas at San Diego Zoo

a close up of a koala

At the San Diego Zoo we never tire of talking about koalas, ever since we welcomed our first pair, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, back in 1925. Since then, we have become famous for having the largest koala colony as well as the most successful koala breeding program outside of Australia.

The Informative three-hour Coronado Island GoCar Tour

family riding gocars down a street next to a car

The three-hour Coronado Island GoCar tour is for anyone that wants to discover California’s Crown Jewel, Coronado Island. Coronado’s pristine beaches, famous Hotel del Coronado, Ferry Landing, and quint shops fills this adventure with lifelong memories. Your automated GPS tour guide takes you to all the best sites, recommends restaurants, cracks jokes, and tells the stories that bring Coronado Island to life.

Go Tide Pooling on the Coronado Island Beach

a woman standing on a rocky beach

If its low tide, tide pools reveal themselves in front of the Hotel del Coronado. Here, you’ll usually spy sea anemones, hermit crabs, small fish, and more in addition to lots of sand dollars tucked into the sand along the shoreline. I like these tide pools for exploring with small kids. You don’t have to really climb on rocks to see sea creatures and can stay pretty steady on the sand, and it’s a free activity. This is a great hands-on activity for children of all ages and is a great way to have fun together as a family.

Discover, Learn, and Have Fun at the Children’s Museum

children playing on museum feature

The New Children’s Museum is an arts-based children’s museum in downtown San DiegoCalifornia, whose mission is to “stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art”. This is a must see for families visiting San Diego with children. The Museum is housed in a dynamic space designed by visionary and award-winning architect Rob Wellington Quigley and is one of the first green museums in California. The Museum commissions contemporary artists to create room-sized art installations (playscapes) for children to interact with and explore. The Museum has collaborated with hundreds of artists since opening in 2008.

Sunny San Diego Family Activities

Mother and Son walking on the Beach

With San Diego boasting 360 days of sun per year, it is the perfect place to enjoy Family-Friendly Activities. There are plenty of passions to pursue in San Diego. We invite you to step outside of your comfort zone and explore new activities while you’re here. You might just find that discovering a new pursuit is an adventure in itself.

There are Endless Fun Family Activities in San Diego

In conclusion, San Diego has no shortage of family-friendly activities to offer. From exploring the harbor on a speedboat tour and spotting seals at La Jolla Cove to experiencing the culture of Balboa Park, visiting the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, and discovering Coronado Island’s pristine beaches, there’s something for everyone in this sunny city.

Other must-see attractions include the informative exhibits at the Children’s Museum and the breathtaking views from the top of Point Loma. And if you’re looking for a unique and hands-on experience, try tidepooling at the Coronado Island Beach.

With so many options to choose from, San Diego is the perfect place to make unforgettable memories with your family. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, don’t miss out on all the fun and adventure that this beautiful city has to offer.