Did you know that every October the city of San Diego and surrounding areas offer up free attractions for kids throughout the month??
San Diego has always been one of the best spots for a family vacation, but the month of October brings an additional incentive for parents. For the whole month, more than 100 attractions offer free admission or deals as part of Kids Free San Diego.
It began 30 years ago when the San Diego Zoo decided to celebrate the month it was founded by admitting children free throughout October. Then the San Diego Museum Council joined in, and now there are more than 100 participating partners.
Below is a list highlighting some of the top local activities we know your kids wouldn’t want to miss this October. With even just putting two or three of these together, you’ve got savings worth traveling for.
1. San Diego Zoo
Lions, and tigers, and Koala Bears, oh my! The San Diego Zoo is the most visited zoo in the United States. Travelers have also cited it as one of the best zoos in the world. It is always a favorite for both kids and adults and this big-ticket item is offering some of the best savings this October. One paying adult can bring up to 5 kids (ages 11 and younger) free all month long.
The San Diego Zoo is asking all tickets to be purchased online ahead of arrival to limit queue lines and interaction with employees/guests. One adult pass for the San Diego Zoo costs $60 and child passes cost $50 normally. By taking advantage of this deal with Kids Free San Diego you could end up saving $250 on this one attraction alone. You can get more information on what to expect when you arrive, and tips for a safe visit to the San Diego Zoo here.
2. San Diego Zoo Safari Park
San Diego Zoo’s sister park is an impressive, 1,800-acre refuge for more than 2,600 animals who roam freely, offering a safari-like experience for visitors. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Diego County. The park is home to cheetahs, zebras, condors, African rhinos, giraffes, and more! Just like the San Diego Zoo, every paying adult can bring up to 5 kids free of charge during October.
Both the Zoo and Safari Park are operating with limited attendance capacities. Guests can expect smaller crowds on weekdays but expect larger crowds on busier weekends. You can visit their website to view estimated wait times so you can plan ahead. Please click here for Zoo and here for Safari Park.
3. Oceanside Adventures – Whale Watching and Dolphin Tours
If you’re staying with us at North Coast Village in Oceanside California, you won’t have to travel far at all to enjoy this October Kids Free perk. Oceanside Adventures Luxury Cruises offers whale watching and dolphin tours from Oceanside Harbor which explore the coastal Pacific Ocean. Sail aboard the beautiful 50 foot, 49 passenger NEW catamaran which offers covered seating and a stable platform with unobstructed 360-degree views on one deck (no stairs to take). This is truly a National Geographic worthy experience and your kids will not be disappointed. With the purchase of TWO full-priced Adult tickets, ONE child (up to age 12) rides free. Reservations can be made online or by calling (888) 507-1130. Tickets are available at the kiosk in Harbor Village.
4. San Diego Air and Space Museum
The San Diego Air and Space Museum is an exciting place for kids to learn, explore, and have great fun. The museum includes a collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft from all over the world. Kids will also enjoy interactive exhibits including MaxFlight® simulators and an interactive kid zone. The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During the month of October up to 2 kids (Ages 2-11) get FREE admission with one full-price paid adult. Contact the museum at 619.234.8291 and mention Kid’s Free when purchasing a ticket.
5. California Surf Museum
Visit California’s Surf Museum in Oceanside, CA, and learn all about California’s Surf history! The California Surf Museum is dedicated to archiving and displaying surfboards, surf art, surfing equipment, photographs, magazines, videos, and more. The museum features many unique pieces of surfing memorabilia, including an exhibit that includes the shark bitten board Bethany Hamilton was riding the day she lost her arm. The museum is open daily from 10 am – 4 pm. Adult tickets are only $7 and kids, ages 12 and under, are FREE. No reservations required.
So although the lazy days of summer may be over, there’s still plenty of fun to be had and at a great price! So, pack up and head to southern California and take advantage of San Diego Tourism Authority’s annual Kids Free promotion. You can visit their website for a complete list of everything offered during Kids Free San Diego.