The Best Ways to Enjoy the Rest of San Diego Winter With Kids

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There are a few more months of chilly weather in San Diego, but there’s still plenty to do around town. Dig out the sweatshirts, put some hats on the kids, and head out for one of our favorite winter adventures.

Be a Tourist in Your Own City

Whether you live in Paris, France or Paris, Texas, we all have a tendency to forget about the attractions right in our hometown. Especially with kids in tow, the off-season is a great way to enjoy the area without the summer crowds. Here are just a few things that tourists enjoy.

Watch the whales

Few things are as magical as the sight of a gray whale moving in and out of the water. The winter season is the best time to spot humpback, minke, and fin whales off the San Diego coast. Whether you splurge for a guided tour or head to the shore for a private expedition, this is surely an experience your family will never forget.

Check out the museums

San Diego’s museums bring history and art to life, and many offer discounted admission during the winter months. Car enthusiasts of all ages will love the Automotive Museum, while history buffs and budding artists will enjoy both the Museum of Art and the Timken Museum. And, of course, there’s the Children’s Museum for the littlest San Diegans.

Take a hike

Whether it’s a short walk through Torrey Pines State Park or a more ambitious trek on Iron Mountain Trail, exercise, nature, and fresh air have never felt so good. Keep little ones engaged with a scavenger hunt by searching for native plants and animals.

Enjoy Winter Sports

While surfing and swimming are the iconic sports here, there’s also fun to be had even when the water’s too cold. Take the kids to enjoy some unexpected fun on the ice.

Take to the ice

San Diego offers several skating rinks like the San Diego Ice Arena. It’s ideal for an afternoon of skating (or falling) or watching a hockey game.

Cheer for the home team

If you and the kids are more inclined to watch the action, bust out your foam finger and catch a Gulls game. Pechanga Arena is a great place for a family outing, no matter the weather. Catch the puck sliding across the ice without catching a cold.

Break the Routine

Winter is the perfect time to take an unexpected approach to common San Diego pastimes. Our beautiful beaches are good for so much more than just sunbathing.

Catch a film under the stars

While summer might see you beating the heat inside a cold movie theater, the mild winters are a great time to cozy up in the car for an old fashioned drive-in. South Bay Drive-In invites movie enthusiasts of all ages from Tuesday through Saturday. Don’t forget some cash for the snack bar!

Enjoy some cocoa at the beach

Instead of a picnic lunch beneath the sunshine, opt for an evening treat at dusk. Grab a couple blankets, pack the kids’ favorite snacks, and make some hot cocoa. Find a comfortable spot on the sand to watch the sun go down and listen to the waves. Mission Beach Boardwalk and Ocean Beach Municipal Pier both offer stunning views.

Stop and look up

If you’re looking for an afterschool activity or an evening pastime, find a nice spot to relax and check out the stars. Even with the naked eye, there are plenty of celestial bodies to observe. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park offers stargazing and moon-watching tours each month.

San Diego winters pale in comparison to the dry and warm summers. However, that doesn’t mean you and the kids have to hold up with Netflix and board games. Winter is the ideal time to take advantage of smaller crowds, discounted rates, and the area’s unexpected treasures.

Alison is a world traveler who loves to spend her time writing and reading. When she’s home, you can find her playing with her pet rabbit and baking.

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