With the school year over and the official start of summer right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of what you’re going to do with the kids now that they’re out of school. San Diego offers plenty of great family-friendly activities, but some of them can get quite pricey, especially if you have a large family. To help, we’ve put together a list of some activities that are inexpensive or even free to do with your family this summer!
Visit the San Diego Fair
Follow the yellow brick road to Del Mar because this year’s theme is The Wizard of Oz! A San Diego summer tradition, the fair offer plenty of family fun and entertainment. And if you take advantage of the discounts and deals, your family can enjoy the fair for less! According to the Fair website, you can pick up discounted tickets at Albertsons or Vons. You can also purchase a season pass if you plan to visit more than once – in just two visits the pass pays for itself! And on select Wednesdays and Thursdays you can pay one price to enjoy unlimited rides. Make sure to check out the Fair website for even more ways your family can save this summer. Rides, carnival games, food, animals, music – what’s not to love?
Spend the Day at the Beach
It’s easy to take living near the beach for granted and forget that our beaches are a free source of entertainment for the whole family! From Imperial Beach in the south to Oceanside Harbor Beach in the north, San Diego has over one hundred beautiful beaches to enjoy. Whether your family likes to swim in the ocean, surf, snorkel, wakeboard, look for shells, or just relax in the sand, there’s no better way to make memories than to spend a day at the beach. Many of San Diego’s beaches also have free fire pits which makes it easy to close out a perfect day grilling and roasting marshmallows as the sun sets. You can even bring your own fire pit to some beaches – just make sure you check the rules before you go.
Take a Hike
San Diego has tons of great hiking trails. Check out the AllTrails website to pick a trail with a degree of difficulty that’s appropriate for your family. Some hikes are definitely for experienced, fit hikers while others can be enjoyed by families of all fitness levels, including dogs and small children! Inland, you’ll love hiking Iron Mountain, the five peaks at Mission Trails Regional Park, Mt. Woodson, and Blue Sky Ecological Reserve. But if you want to enjoy some scenic ocean views while you hit the trail, you’ll want to check out the Batiquitos Lagoon Trail in Carlsbad, the trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve near Del Mar, or Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma.
Go to a Movie or Music in the Park Night
When the weather warms up, many parks in San Diego hold summer concerts or movie nights. Most of these events are free to attend, just bring your own blanket or folding chairs to sit on! Some events offer food for sale, but you can also bring a picnic lunch or dinner instead. Attending one of these events is a great way to keep the kids entertained, make new friends, and connect with your community. Check out your local chamber of commerce to find events in the park happening near you!
Attend a Street Fair or Festival
While San Diego has street fairs and festivals all year long, these events are a great way to spend time with your family this summer and not break the bank! Most street fairs and festivals feature local vendors or artists with goods for sale, though the fairs themselves are free to attend. And you can find entertainment in the form of performances from community musicians and dancers. Food is usually available for purchase as well from food trucks or vendors. Upcoming events of note include the Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off, Mission San Diego de Alcala 250th Jubilee Festival of the Bells, Hillcrest’s CityFest, and the 15th Annual LeucadiART Walk.
What are your favorite ways to beat the heat and make memories with your family? Any free or inexpensive things to do that we missed on our list? Leave us a comment below!
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