10 Kid-Friendly Activities in San Diego For Under $10

It’s no secret that while California living is sweet, it can certainly be expensive. With school out for winter break, we decided to put together a list of activities that kids will love, that cost $10 or less. Hopefully this list helps you get out, get active, and make some great memories!

San Diego skyline on clear evening in HDR

  • 1. Ride the Trolley
    • Cost: $5
    • Check out the trolley map and time table and take the kids on an adventure they will love! There are so many fun stops along the way that you can take, this is something the whole family will love.
  • 2. Mission Valley Library
    • Cost: Free
    • This library is great for kids, featuring the Children’s Garden, reading room, story time, puzzles and coloring, you name it. Your kid can explore the garden, read books, and learn while you sip your latte from a nearby coffee shop.
  • 3. Feed the Ducks at Balboa Park Botanical Building
    • Cost: Free
    • Pack a lunch, head outside for a picnic, explore the botanical gardens, and settle down to see and feed the ducks! Kids love to explore this area and the sunshine is sure good for the soul.
  • 4. Check out the Cabrillo Monument Lighthouse and Tide Pools
    • Cost: $5/vehicle
    • This monument is a sight to see! It has one of the most breathtaking views of the city, and there is a lot to do once you are in the park. With tide pools, great photo ops, hiking trails, a chance to see gray whales migrating, and the lighthouse, it’s a great deal!
  • 5. Ride the Ferry Across the Bay
    • Cost: $4.25 (children 4 and under are free!)
    • Check out the ferry’s schedule and head over to Coronado to explore. Kids will love riding the giant boat across the bay, and the chance to explore another town.
  • 6. Kid City in Reuben H. Fleet Science Center 
    • Cost: $10/adult, $8.75/ages 3-12
    • Kid City is a permanent exhibit at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. Catering to infants through age 5, this exhibit houses a magnetic wall, a funhouse mirror and a grocery store where kids can play and learn. The rest of the science center is a great time as well!
  • 7. Birch Aquarium
    • Cost: $8.50
    • This amazing aquarium showcases exploratory and learning classes for kids. The A, B, Sea Club teaches kids up to age 4 about the ocean world. Each class has live animal encounters and exhibits- make sure you pre-register! There’s something for everyone in the family whether it’s grunion watching, tide-pooling, snorkeling, whale watching or pier walks!
  • 8. USS Midway
    • Cost: $9
    • This amazing navy carrier served our country for almost 47 years. Now, it is serving San Diego as an amazing museum. You can explore the actual carrier and hear from people who worked on board.
  • 9. San Diego Model Railroad Museum
    • Cost: $7/adults; Free/kids 15 and under
    • This unique museum houses the largest indoor model railroad and is amazing for anyone who love trains. The museum has exhibits with current train routes around the San Diego area as well as Mac’s Kids Corner for train-related stories, games and crafts.
  • 10. The New Children’s Museum
    • Cost: $10; Target Free Second Sunday: 12:00 to 4:00 PM
    • The Museum stimulates imagination and innovative thinking by providing a venue for art and play to coexist. Through fun-filled exhibitions, hands-on art making activities, special artistic performances, and educational experiences, kids not only learn, but have fun!

What are some of your favorite kid-friendly activities in town? We’d love to hear!

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