What to do in San Diego with Kids

things to do in San Diego with kids
If you follow me on Instagram, you may be sick of hearing this, but last weekend the four of us went to San Diego! We made it a family road trip despite the train running conveniently from LA to SD because with an almost 2-year-old and almost 6-year-old, there is no shortage of stuff we need to pack & any road trip savvy parent knows, a snooze in the car is crucial to a good trip. Sometimes the kids and the grownups need a good siesta so I drove us down there Friday and let KW sleep. I’ve been going to San Diego on short Summer vacations since I was a kid. After my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer (when I was 17) we stopped going as a family, but I was lucky enough to hop in on trips with friends’ families and after college, I’d go with girlfriends and get wild before I settled down. Once KW and I started dating, we went together every year for NYE for like 4-5 years straight so it’s now a bit of a special place for us and we love going as a family. I’ve been there through every phase of life so far and had just about every different type of experience from Sea World to dinner cruises and we’ve settled in to a San Diego itinerary that fits our family and lifestyle now. With that, here comes my first post in a new ‘What to do in X with kids’ series! I figured since we do so many little road trips around CA with the little ones I would document our activities and kid-friendly restaurants we enjoyed in case you and your family need any ideas or recommendations with your next adventure.

What we did
We had a lot of beach time. I mean, 10 hours of beachin’ it. The primary purpose of this trip was to catch up with AZ friends who were there visiting family, so what better activity than a beach day? We are a officially beach family thanks to living in LA for 2.5 years now, but we all love being active so toys like balance boards (which luckily friends had one on hand!) are key. This one is a Goof Board, but I’ve also spent a fair amount of time indo boards which I prefer because I think they require more core stabilization and help prepare you for several board activities like SUP, snowboarding and long boarding. I found the Goof Board to be super fun and a great workout, but really ideal to practice surfing and I am so not a surfer (yet)! I am definitely not a balance board expert, but I think it is a blast to have one on hand no matter what your board sport of choice is. It was seriously a blast for the whole family — everyone was on it, even Gunnar.

1989 throwback swim suitLA family lifestyle blog

kid friendly restaurants in san diego

What we ate

For breakfast, I can ‘t recommend Isabel’s Cantina enough fro breakfast/brunch.   They have a kid-friendly menu (I mean, look at that pancake!) plus lots of creatively flavored mimosas for whichever parent is not DD. 🙂 The wait staff was amazingly accommodating and there is even a somewhat enclosed outdoor area out front that the kids can roam around in while you’re finishing your watermelon, cucumber mimosa. Maybe that’s just me? We did Gabbiano’s for lunch. KW picked it up and we ate it on the beach. I like it for it’s convenience, — it’s right by the beach. I get their salads which are not what they are known for. The pizza is apparently great, but I am gluten-free and they don’t have a GF option. I’ve eaten there since college and they are still thriving so it’s obvious lots of people like it plus, it’s uber convenient if you are staying near Mission Beach. If you’re GF try this pizza! It’s delicious. We had it for dinner before roasting s’mores with friends! On that note — did you know they now make rectangular marshmallows just for s’mores? Crazy.

On our way out of town the next day, we stopped at The Menu for breakfast. I had the acai bowl as I was craving one all weekend. I associate SD with acai bowls and theirs did not disappoint. Harlowe and Gunnar got down on oatmeal and yogurt (their favorite breakfast foods) and even shared some with the one-year-old seated in a high-chair next to us. It’s definitely kid-friendly, but parking can be tough so bring a stroller if you don’t want to carry your wee ones.

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Where we stayed

I have no tips for you here other than to book your stay months in advance especially if you are going in July-August. This trip was planned with short notice and there weren’t many options near the friends we were visiting and we luckily got to stay on Mission beach at one of KW’s colleagues homes. Huge thank you to that family for hooking it up so we could go!

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Did you really go to the beach with your kids if you didn’t take this picture?

la family lifestyle blog

Or this one? (I’m making that one happen!)

Wearing: pink suitwhite suit / olive maxi dress

KW and Gunnar’s matching swim shorts: 1st pair and 2nd pair.