Thursday, April 14, 2016

Free Stuff in San Diego

There's lots to do in this town, and that's why I love having little kids here! Today I'm sharing a list of free (or nearly free) things to do in San Diego. Maybe you're new here, or maybe you're just looking to kill some time without breaking the bank. Either way, here are some of my recommendations: 

The Point Loma library

In my opinion, we have the best branch of the San Diego library for little kids. The whole downstairs area is for them: lots of toys for toddlers to play with, puppets, kid-sized chair, a ship-structure they can play inside, two touch screen computers, arts and craft supplies, and tubs of legos (and a dinosaur world!) you can play with. Every Thursday at 10:30 they have story time and craft time. It's an excellent way to occupy the kiddos before nap time!

The New Children's Museum

Speaking of the library, did you know you can borrow FREE museum passes to the New Children's Museum downtown? You'll need to go to the library's website, search for the museum passes, and then "place hold". If you don't mind waiting a few months, you'll get tickets for 2 adults and up to 4 kids that are good for 10 days. I take my boys 2 or 3 times a year, and I only have to pay two bucks for street parking. And the kids love this museum!!

The Beach

There are a lot of awesome beaches around here! But my favorite is Fanuel Street park in Pacific Beach (4000 Fanuel St). It's a bay so there are no waves to knock your toddler down. There's a playground structure right on the sand. There's a grassy area for running around. There's a decently sized parking lot. Oh! And there are bathrooms and showers right on site. Also, the view is really pretty!

Free Museums

Certain museums are FREE at Balboa Park every Tuesday for residents. Check out the full list here. For young kids, I highly recommend Reuben H. Fleet Science center (free the first Tuesday of every month). Their "Kid City" room upstairs is pretty magical if you're under five! Tip: get there early for parking as it can get quite crowded on the free days! I've also heard that the Model Railroad Museum is fun for kids too, but I haven't checked that one out yet.

Free Movies

Liberty Station hosts free family movie nights every so often. The next one will be this Saturday (4/16) from 6:30 to 9 PM. Bring a picnic blanket or chairs, and a picnic dinner (although they'll also have snacks available for purchase). More info here. I can't wait for the boys to be older so we can do stuff like this - as it is, they have an early bedtime! But I thought I'd include it in this list anyway!

Take a Hike

If your kids love conquering a "mountain" (hill) or exploring nature or getting dirty, there are lots of great hikes around here! Lots of them are easy enough that my two year old can hold his own. There's a great roundup of kid-friendly hikes here. Our family favorites are Mission Trails Regional Park and Torrey Pines State Reserve.

Birch Aquarium

If you're a Bank of America or Merril Lynch customer, you can get free admission to the Birch Aquarium on the first full weekend of every month (just show your credit or debit card and your ID). The Birch Aquarium is definitely worth a visit. It's on the smaller side but there's plenty to see and a toddler area and hands-on area outside.

Free Craft

Thanks-A-Bunch Bouquet

Every Saturday from 11 AM to 3 PM, our local Lakeshore Learning store (7510 Hazard Center Drive) hosts a free craft for kids ages 3 and up. No reservations needed! Craft examples here.

Free Cookie

Okay, this one is not an activity but it might save you from a toddler meltdown at the grocery store. If you go to the bakery department at Ralphs, they'll give your kids a cookie if you ask for one. Yep, every time! I'm not above bribing my two boys for good grocery store behavior, so this is great for me :)

Any free activities that I've missed? Let me know your recommendations!!

1 comment:

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