San Diego is a destination filled with fun for the whole family. If you’re a parent of toddlers, you’ll want to check out these San Diego parks, museums, and destinations. From story times to gardening projects to amusement park rides, these things to do in San Diego with toddlers are sure to please their youngest visitors. 

From Story Times to Rides: Top Things To Do in San Diego With Toddlers

San Diego Zoo

2920 Zoo Drive

San Diego, CA 92101

Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is just minutes from downtown! This is a fantastic thing to do in San Diego with toddlers. There are so many animals to see and a variety of plants. 

Inside Look Tours are great for all ages, and other attractions include Walking Tours, the 4D Theater, Play Areas, and the Balboa Miniature Train. The many play areas are perfect for toddlers to roam and explore. The mini train is a 4-minute loop through the beautiful Balboa Park.

Belmont Park

3146 Mission Blvd

San Diego, CA 92109

Belmont Park is a fun spot for toddlers! It includes rides, restaurants, shopping, swimming, and much more. This park has been a part of Mission Beach for over a century and is the perfect place to run around, explore, and enjoy great food. 

The park’s 7 acres feature endless beachfront fun. From taquerias to carousel rides, there’s plenty of family fun. Liberty Carousel is perfect for little ones. This 30-foot reproduction of a classic carousel features 800 lights and classic music.

A pregnant mother and father walk through a garden path holding hands with their toddler son while finding things to do in san diego with toddlers

San Diego County Fair

2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd

Del Mar, CA 92014

The San Diego County Fair is a staple of the area and the ideal destination for family fun. Themes include nostalgic nods to past times, where kids of all ages can move and groove like it’s a past era. 

The county fair became an annual tradition in the 1880s and has since flourished as a premiere San Diego event. This fair is a great place for toddlers, with great rides, shopping, food, and entertainment.

Sesame Place San Diego

2052 Entertainment Circle

Chula Vista, CA 91911

Sesame Place in San Diego is one of the prime spots for fun for younger kids! This amusement park features a variety of rides the whole family can enjoy together – including water rides. Shows and parades are exciting and feature your little one’s favorite Sesame Street characters. The park hosts many family-friendly special events each season, including plenty of holiday fun for kids. This is one of the best things to do in San Diego with toddlers!

In addition to the park’s many whimsical attractions, there are character photo opportunities throughout the park. It is perfect for creating unforgettable memories with your toddlers as they get up close and friendly with their favorite furry friends from the show!

A mother in a pink dress kneels low while hugging her toddler son in a gazebo

San Diego Botanic Garden

300 Quail Gardens Drive

Encinitas, CA 92024

The San Diego Botanic Garden features many special events geared toward young children. The SAPLinGS (Science, Art, and Play in Garden Spaces) group meets weekly for special activities. All activities are educational and hands-on, perfect for young learners. Each month, SAPLinGS focuses on a different plant or nature theme. 

Science projects engage toddlers with fun science and hands-on learning to stimulate your little one’s natural curiosity. Kids can climb in Toni’s Treehouse, make music with natural instruments, or splash in the Mountain Stream in Hamilton Children’s Garden. Other activities include puppet shows, music, and gardening.

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum

320 North Broadway

Escondido, CA 92025

The San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum has inspired young children since 1999. Toddlers are encouraged to explore the world around them through imagination and experimentation. Interactive exhibits feature science, history, and art. Program areas include experimentation (science and math), exploration (culture and history), imagination (theater and arts), and discovery (gardens, environmental science, and art). 

Storytime Connections is a fun program for toddlers, as an Educator reads books based on weekly and monthly museum activities. Tortoise Talk is another fun exhibit where toddlers can meet Sebastian, a 50-year-old North American Desert Tortoise. Big Science Questions is a place where kids can explore topics like underwater plants, butterfly habitats, and much more. 

Things to Do in San Diego With Toddlers

San Diego is a southern California destination filled with family fun. From theme parks to botanic gardens and much more, there are many amazing things to do in San Diego with toddlers for fun and learning. From story time to gardening projects, carousel rides, and meeting their favorite TV characters, toddlers will love checking out these fun destinations in San Diego. 

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