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10th annual ‘Kids Free San Diego’ returns in October

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

More than 100 San Diego hotels, restaurants, attractions, museums, tours, and transportation companies are offering great savings for families during the entire month of October during the 10th annual “Kids Free San Diego” month.

Kids Free San Diego
Photo courtesy of Visit San Diego

San Diego is consistently rated as one of the top family destinations in the United States, and October is the perfect time to take advantage of the city’s sunny weather, fun-filled activities, and world-class family attractions at reduced prices — not to mention no summer crowds.

“Kids Free San Diego” provides parents with a variety of special deals for kids, ranging from complimentary admission at local attractions to free meals at restaurants to welcome amenities and experiences at area hotels and much more.

“Kids Free San Diego” savings at attractions include:

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Photo courtesy of San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park – Free admission for kids ages 3-11 when accompanied by a paying adult. Families can get up close and personal with more than 300 species at this 1,800-acre wildlife sanctuary.
  • The San Diego Zoo – Free admission for kids ages 3-11 when accompanied by a paying adult. Families can learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts and see more than 4,000 animals representing more than 650 species from around the world.
  • SeaWorld San Diego – Free admission for kids ages 3-9 with one full-paid adult ticket. Families can check out the park’s Spooktacular Halloween event running through Oct. 31, 2021, with a trick-or-treating candy trail, fall-flavored food and beverages, amazing animals, thrilling coasters, and more.
  • Legoland California Resort – Free admission for kids ages 2-12 with one paid adult admission. Families can enjoy more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions (including the brand new Lego Movie World), plus Legoland Water Park and Sea Life aquarium.

“Kids Free San Diego” savings at hotels include:

Kids Free San Diego - Catamaran Hotel & Spa
Photo courtesy of Catamaran Hotel & Spa
  • Catamaran Hotel & Spa on the shores of Mission Bay is offering one free meal for kids ages 12 and under for each paid adult entrée at its Oceana Coastal Kitchen. Plus, Catamaran’s on-site partner Action Sport Rentals is offering a complimentary paddleboard rental with the purchase of an adult paddleboard session of one hour or longer.
  • Paradise Point Resort & Spa on Mission Bay is offering a special “island allowance” worth $50 so kids ages 12 and under can play, shop, or eat for free. The credit can be applied toward ice cream, a toy from the gift shop, bike rental, and more.
  • La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla is giving kids 12 and under an exclusive activity kit at check-in that includes a take-home bag, details for an exciting scavenger hunt, and an activity book.

Savings at family-friendly restaurants include:

Galaxy Taco
Photo courtesy of Galaxy Taco
  • Galaxy Taco in La Jolla Shores is offering free meals for two kids ages 12 and under per each paid adult meal.
  • Carnitas’ Snack Shack Embarcadero, located on the waterfront in downtown San Diego, is offering one free kid’s meal for kids 12 and under per paying adult.
  • Casa Guadalajara in historic Old Town San Diego is offering a free meal from the kid’s menu for up to three kids per one paid adult entrée.

“Kids Free San Diego” savings at arts and culture venues include:

Kids Free San Diego - USS Midway Museum
Photo courtesy of USS Midway Museum
  • USS Midway Museum, a historic aircraft carrier that features exciting flight simulators and more.
  • California Surf Museum in North County, where kids can learn about the history of surfboards and wave riding, including Bethany Hamilton’s shark-bitten board.
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla, where families can explore interactive exhibits and see marine creatures like a rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle, a Giant Pacific Octopus, and Leopard Sharks. New at Birch is its 600-gallon, cylindrical moon jelly experience and a touch tank with sharks and rays.
  • Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego in Balboa Park, a living work of Japanese art and culture.
  • San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park, where kids can discover fossils and dinosaur bones and get to know the natural history of Southern California.
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego in downtown San Diego, featuring a collection of historic sailing ships, steam-powered boats, and deep-diving submarines.
  • The New Children’s Museum that inspires kids to use imagination, creativity, and critical thinking through engaging encounters with contemporary art.

Cool ways for kids to explore San Diego for free during October include:

Speed Boat Adventures
Photo courtesy of Speed Boat Adventures
  • Speed Boat Adventures in San Diego Bay offers one free kid ride with two paid adults on a two-hour speedboat tour. Families can drive at their own speed while checking out Navy ships, the USS Midway, historic ships at the Maritime Museum, Seaport Village, the San Diego skyline, and the marine animals and wildlife that call San Diego Harbor home.
  • The Gondola Company takes families on a private gondola tour through the canals of Coronado Cays. A limit of four kids ages 12 and under ride free with a paid cruise (an adult must be present).
  • Murder n’ Mayhem’s Embarcadero Waterfront History Tour – Kids can discover the historical side of San Diego when accompanying a paid adult on this 1.5-mile, 1.5-hour walking tour that traces San Diego’s history from the days of the Kumeyaay to the region’s first sighting by Spanish explorers; through San Diego’s important aviation firsts; and the key role the city and bay played for the Navy, especially during World War II.

All “Kids Free San Diego” offers are valid Oct. 1-31, 2021. Click here for a complete listing.

Kids Free San Diego is Calling You Back. Time to Answer!

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