rockinmama's Passport


Member since:
13 December 2009

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5 fun and educational kid activities in San Diego

While vacations and travel should be fun, I like to incorporate activities that stimulate a child's imagination and creativity.  Here are my top 5 educational activities children will enjoy doing in San Diego


2920 Zoo Drive in Balboa Park
San Diego, California

reviewed on: December 14 2009

"The BEST Zoo for Children"
The San Diego Zoo is my favorite in all of Southern California.  It's huge, especially for toddlers like my son, so plan on spending at least 2 days for a leisurely, enjoyable trip.  There is also a lot of walking involved (including hills) so be prepared with a stroller.  I recommend at least doing the guided bus tour to give you a little overview of the zoo.  Must-sees include the pandas and the elephants, although the entire outback is incredible.  Be sure to follow their recommended walking paths on the map to make the most of your visit.  
As a side note, I was still nursing my son when we visited last and I was highly impressed with their facilities.  Very family friendly!


200 West Island Avenue
San Diego, California

reviewed on: December 14 2009

"Hands-On Educational Fun"
My two year old and I have visited numerous times and he always enjoys it.  There is definitely a focus on the arts and children can participate in activities such as painting a car, sculpting clay, bubble-making, drawing on a gigantic chalkboard, and much more.  More active activities include the mattress room (which my son loved) and the toddler "forest" downstairs.    There are multiple levels to explore and I highly suggest going during the week when it's less crowded.  The second Sunday of each month is free but it gets very crowded.  The cafe has a selection of healthy food and right outside you'll find a small playground.  


1875 El Prado
San Diego, California

reviewed on: December 14 2009

"Play, Discover, Learn"
My two year old and I went to the museum with the intention of cooling off from the heat and settling down for more of an indoor activity by watching an IMAX movie.  What we found on the second floor was an entire area dedicated to tots like my son.  He loved running and playing and "grocery shopping."  The area even has computers although my son wasn't particularly interested in sitting down at that point.  My son was particularly interested in the distorted mirrors and fruits/veggies.  While I think the IMAX movie theater is an incredible educational experience for children, toddlers may not be able to sit still the entire length of the movie.  My son was also a bit fearful of the sharks during the Under the Sea movie.  


Sea World Drive
San Diego, California

reviewed on: December 14 2009

"Exotic and Aquatic!"
Aquatic animals are some of the most amazing creatures...It's a rarity to get an opportunity to see such animals up close.  If you're visiting San Diego, SeaWorld is really a must.  Shamu and the dolphins are a must to see.  I also recommend having children get hands on at the Tide Pool where they can touch a sea star, Forbidden Reef to touch the rays,  and Rocky Point Preserve to feed the dolphins. The park is huge and little ones like my son can't handle an entire day so I recommend getting a pass if you live in the area.  The Sesame Street Bay of Play is fun for tots and preschoolers, but if you only have one day, I'd focus on the aquatic life.


15500 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, California

reviewed on: December 14 2009

"Wildly Unique and Enjoyable"
This is no ordinary zoo.  Here is where you'll find some of the most exotic animals in the world.  Plan on spending several days or focus on some of the key exhibits, particularly Journey into Africa. The park is HUGE and young children won't be able to walk it so plan on bringing a stroller and utilizing their trams and tours.  We loved seeing the animals roaming "free."  Their are a number of unique experiences you can pay extra for, but the park is so large I think you'll be content if you opt to explore it as it is.