Saturday, June 15, 2019

San Diego Summer: Family Outings, Summer Camps, & Things For Kids To Do

Nova has already finished 6th grade. Last Friday was her last day of school and we're in full how-to-occupy-her-time freak out. How are we going to keep her busy and prevent her from saying the forbidden word (B-O-R-E-D) when we still have to work around here? A couple years ago I did a post about Summer Camps because I was busy researching for her, but now that she's 12 (and spends a month in St. Louis during the peak of summer vacation), we tend to find fun stuff to do more readily, but I still thought I'd update this post for other parents out there who might be hunting for ways to keep the kids occupied. I'd love to hear your favorite spots or camps in the comments. And we'd love to be invited to your pools on a moments notice. Lists after the jump...

Of course, the obvious places to start your search are with the San Diego County YMCA, San Diego Parks and Rec, and San Diego County Parks. All have plenty of activities, in addition to most of the 19 cities of San Diego County, plus all of your typical martial arts, sports, music, and arts facilities. You can also check with your own school- they often offer summer care including field trips for a reasonable rate or even for free.

Taumata Racer at Aquatica
We would never go without renewing our San Diego Zoo passes, but there are tons of annual memberships that might be worth the dough if you've got it: Balboa Park Explorer, San Diego Botanic Garden, Birch Aquarium, Living Coast Discovery Center. And of course there are the biggies like Sea World, Aquatica ( the Splash Pass, but get at least one full membership from CostCo so you can get the free parking), and of course the bigger theme parks in Southern California like Legoland, Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm, and Universal Studios, to name a few. Many of them offer discounted passes if you subscribe to their emails and pay attention to their Flash Sales.

Around here, we're big on doing stuff, especially when it's free or cheap. We're lucky to score comps on occasion, but you can also get on waitlists to check out 4-pack passes from your local libraries. We have three library cards: San Diego City, San Diego County, and Chula Vista/Serra Coop. We've checked out passes for Living Coast, The Nat, Museum of Man, New Children's Museum, and more. The libraries also have summer reading programs with great incentives, and also offer tons of free classes and events, especially for very young readers. We also just learned that kids 12 and under ride any San Diego MTS Routes for free on weekends, up to two kids per paid adult, which could mean some random bus and trolley adventures for us. Below are some of our favorite hangs that are free or low budget. 

Places & Things we love:
Free Summer Street Fairs & Festivals
Free Summer Concerts in the Park (see graphics at end of post)
Balboa Park & Morley Field
Bayshore Bikeway
San Diego River Park Bike Trail
Mission Trails Regional Park
Downtown/Embarcadero/Seaport Village
La Jolla Cove Snorkeling & Scenic Cliff Walk
Sunset Cliffs
OB Dog Beach
Coronado Beach
Humphrey's Concerts via Canoe
Cabrillo Monument & Tidepools
Children's Pool
"Garbage" Beach (North-north Sunset Cliffs, below PLNU)
Fiesta Island Dog Park
Miramar Lake
Lake Murray
Chollas Lake
Hotel Pool Crashing
Waterfront Park
Old Town/Presidio Park
Cuyamaca College Water Conservation Garden
Lake Cuyamaca
Anza-Borrego (not ideal for summer)
Slot Canyon (not ideal for summer)

and we're not big on outdoor movies, especially ones that aren't free, but here's a list put together by the San Diego Tourism Board.

And, as it turns out, there are a bazillion (or at least dozens) of camps offered in San Diego. I guess the trick is knowing them, signing up for them, and applying for scholarships early enough if you can't dole out the insane cost-per-week of most camps. All I can say is good luck. And I hope I can do for Nova what camps would otherwise, because we are on the I'm sure we will still find a way to make it all amazing. 

San Diego Zoo Summer Camps
San Diego Zoo Safari Park Summer Camps

San Diego Humane Society Animal Adventure Camps
M-F, 9am-3pm, $250/wk, K-8
June 24-28
July 1-4 (no camp on 7/4)
July 8-12
July 15-19
July 22-26
July 29-August 2
August 5-9

Digital Gym 2019 Summer Camps
Summer Youth Media & Tech Camps 
Weekly (June 17 – August 23), 8:30am-3:00pm, Ages 6-14, $250/week

CAMP Mesa Rim Day Camps

Rock n' Roll Camp For Girls San Diego @ A.R.T.S. (A Reason to Survive)
July 22-26, Showcase Concert on July 27 at House of Blues
M-F, 9am-5pm, Ages 8-17, $375, (financial aid available)

Lux Art Institute
Camp and Day Options for Kids & Teens

Balboa Park Day & Week Camps (Various Locations/Pricing)
UC San Diego Youth Camps and Enrichment Programs (Various Ages/Locations/Pricing)
Summer Camp Programs at UC San Diego (Various Ages/Locations/Pricing)
Computer Science Summer Camps in San Diego - ThoughtSTEM
Aztec Science Camp (All Camps Sold Out- Various Ages/Locations/Pricing)

Pacific Magazine also compiled the free summer concerts here.

1 comment:

Melanie Rose said...

Love this list, Rosey!!! One thing I would add that's in our "Summer Fun Jar" is the La Playa path in Point Loma down at the end of Rosecrans/Shelter Island down to Kellogg Beach (perfect for a picnic).