When the kids are in break, I'm always thinking of ways on how to keep them busy without pulling my hair out. I love my kiddos and the best way to keep them happy is to keep them entertained, which doesn't have to cost a thing. Living in San Diego is already a cost of its own, but it's all worth it when you know where to go and enjoy its beauty. What's better than enjoying the sun, but learning at the same time. So here's a compilation of places I like to take the kiddos during their school breaks or during family time that are absolutely free or budget friendly to our pockets.
Balboa Park: Residents & activie military (plus their dependents) can enter museums for free every Tuesday. Museums are different every week. Click here for the schedule.
- San Onofre
- La Jolla Reefs
- Carlsbad State Beach
- Imperial Beach
- Pacific Beach
- Mission Beach
The beaches are a great way for the kids to swim off some energy. There are parks nearby where the family can fly kites, have a picnic, or play sports. Have a bonfire, walk, build a sand castle.
Seaport Village: Take a walk through this Southern California walkway that consists of restaurants, music, gift shops, a carousel, and markets. Nearby is my all time favorite, the Midway. A battle ship that's been decommissioned and is opened as a museum for the public to visit.
Old Town: This place is a nice old spanish landing like place filled with stories from wartime to ghost stories that would be fun to take the kids to. There is traditional mexican foods everywhere just waiting for you to try.
San Diego Zoo/ Wild Animal Park: Get the yearly memberhip pass and visit both the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park for as many times as you want throughout the year. You can backpack your own food, so don't buy food there. Althought, it is tempting to buy the nice warm Espressos when the eyes get dreary. And oh! Don't get me started on the ice creams!
Seaworld: Now if anyone lives in San Diego, you gotta get the Yearly Fun Pack offered in the begininng of the year, which is usually the Buy 1 ticket and the rest of the year for free! Who can beat that deal? It's perfect for every occasion of the year and the best part is that the pass is valid all year long with hardly any blockout dates.
Parks: There are so many parks here in San Diego from Otay Lakes up to La Jolla. Find your favorite park and pack up a picnic. Eat, play, run, grill up some corn and don't forget to invite my family over... just kidding! =) I did this one time and the kids learned how to fly a kite! (P.S. I bought bubbles, candy, kites, and squirt guns all from the 99 cents or Dollar Tree store.)
GO Fish!: Not the card game, silly. GO FISHING! There are piers throughout every beach like Imperial Beach, Pacific Beach, and even Seaport Village where you can go fishing and catch mackerel, lobster, and other fishes that you would be so proud of to eat that night. Look into the Grunnion run fest in the summer time when all the grunnions come out and people from the north and south come together and catch these little guys.
Farmers Market: The market is not necessarily free when there's Philly Cheesesteaks and kettle popcorn calling our your name, but it's a great place to walk through and the kids to experience. Click here to find the closest location to you.
Biking: Our favorite place to go biking is at Silver Strand or Mission Bay during a weekday. There's so much fun about riding a two-wheeler on the boardwalk and then stopping for ice cream. This is a great way for the family to exercise together too.
Hiking: Go hiking to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Park.
Julian: Do you like applie pie? ... a la mode? Ooohhllala! I do! I just want to go now! Go to Julian's, a favorite local place every San Diego should go to and get some nice warm apple pie to start off or end the summer.
Mt. Soledad: Visit Mt. Soledad and check out the scenic view from the high cross honoring military veterans.
Free Summer Concerts: Do you like music and art of all kinds? Then click here and you'll enjoy the company of others with the same taste of what you have and also teach the kids on how to be more creative.
KIDS Eat FREE!!! The best part of going out is when you get to go and eat, but it's no fun when the bill comes. So there's a link to the best places to eat where kids can eat free. Enjoy! Click here!