If you’re in San Diego with a baby, consider this your personal guide for the most fun you can have around town while pushing a stroller or baby wearing
Trust us—eventually you’re going to get stir-crazy with a new baby at home. And if you’re ready to make the leap to the outside world, you may be wondering, what are the best places to go with a baby in tow around San Diego? Thankfully, we’ve compiled a fantastic list of the best things to do in San Diego with a baby that will keep you and your little bundle entertained. Add to that? The best hikes in San Diego, which swim lessons are worth your time and money, and of course, when to visit those Instagram-worthy flower fields in Carlsbad for the quintessential photo-op.
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The Best Things to Do Baby in San Diego with a Baby
1. Visit Cabrillo National Monument
From the ocean to the bay, here you see stunning San Diego views. Walk the stroller-friendly path to the historic lighthouse. If you have the time, you can read all about how a family used to live here as well as explore the ranger station.
2. Must-Visit Kid-Friendly Museums in San Diego
There’s no shortage of kid-friendly museums in San Diego but if you want to head there for free, you gotta know where to go. Head to Balboa Park on a Tuesday and take advantage of the free resident admission to select museums—specifically, The Model Railroad Museum has model trains that are sure to delight your baby. Afterward, you can even take them on the miniature train ride located right outside the zoo entrance. The New Children’s Museum offers endless engaging sights and sounds and best of all, it’s free for babies under 12 months.
Good to Know: In Oct., kids 12 and under receive free admission with a paid adult to more than 50 of San Diego County’s favorite museums, historic sites, aquariums, gardens and more—some are even free for the whole family. And then in Feb., you can explore San Diego Museums thanks to San Diego Museums Month with 50% off admission to more than 60 San Diego County museums, historic sites, gardens, zoo/aquariums and more.
3. Head to Westfield UTC
Do you like to shop? Then Westfield UTC is a great spot to take baby. You'll find many baby-friendly amenities like the Family Lounge where you can sit and take a breather. Inside there's a private nursing area, baby changing stations, a large family restroom, books, and videos. Even more, you'll find a food court and two play areas for older siblings.
4. Exercise Classes for New Moms in San Diego
Feel like exercising? There are many baby-friendly fitness classes and local gyms with childcare to choose from. GroovaRoo lets you wear baby in a soft carrier while you move to popular music. It’s a low-impact aerobic workout, perfect for emphasizing safety and comfort for baby. It’s also a great way to meet friends! Fit4Mom classes, such as the popular Stroller Strides, are offered all over the city and throughout the county.
5. Eat in a Restaurant Where Kids Can Be Kids
We love San Diego restaurants that cater to families, especially the ones that make babies happy. That’s why we’ve found a bunch of restaurants with entertainment where kids can play and get their wiggles out from drinks to dessert. So go ahead and enjoy a meal with your kids—without any stink eyes from other customers.
6. Go on a San Diego-Themed Scavenger Hunt
Teach your little one about the coolest sights in America's Finest City with out printable scavenger hunt. Bonus points for racing against the other parents in your baby group.
7. How to Get Baby Water Safe
Getting baby used to the water early is one of the best things you can do—especially in a town where water reigns. Good to Know: Noonan Family Swim School starts babies swimming as early as 3 months-old with their Splash Babies program. If you prefer to be in the water with your baby, check out Aqua Pros and spend some fun, quality time while building critical water safety skills.
8. Practice Your Yoga & Namaste with Mommy and Me Yoga
Take a Mommy and Me yoga class from a studio with friendly staff, hourly childcare, and quality equipment. In addition to the Mommy and Me fitness classes, there's also prenatal yoga and even a tots yoga class for when your baby gets a little older.
9. Learn Baby Sign Language in San Diego
Want to communicate with your baby better? Baby Sign Language Basics offers American Sign Language instructions to parents in order to help them communicate with their babies. They specialize in workshops, sign, play and learn classes for parents and their kids.
10. Visit Baby-Friendly Beaches around San Diego
It’s a no-brainer that a San Diego baby needs a trip (or ten) to the beach. Want a less crowded beach in San Diego? Try Kellogg Beach, at the end of Point Loma, for a calmer, less crowded experience. Glorietta Bay Beach in Coronado is also a good choice, with calm waves, facilities and open grass areas. Here's our full roundup of the best family beaches in San Diego.
11. Attend a Breastfeeding Class in San Diego
For new moms struggling with breastfeeding, La Leche League is a great place to turn. Moms can ask questions and find answers via forums on their website in addition to getting information and resources. It also helps connect moms to groups in their area and lactation consultants. Groups meet monthly and parents are always welcome to call when they need breastfeeding help between meetings.
12. Nurture a Love of Reading
No matter what neighborhood you live in, chances are there is a library nearby. Our local libraries are chock full of fun, baby story time classes. Throw down a blanket, grab a pile of books and join in the singing, reading aloud and playing with your baby.
13. Take Baby for Their First Haircut
The time will eventually come for baby to get their first haircut nearby. To make it a memorable experience, some salons offer special packages. Pigtails and Crewcuts offers one that includes a keepsake card, photo, and lock of hair. Kids Hair Salon and Little Locks offer similar packages.
14. Shop the Farmers Market
Get baby used to a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables by visiting a local farmers market. They’re colorful, smell delicious and many vendors offer samples, and these San Diego family-favorite farmer's markets also offer even more perks for kids.
15. Meet New Parents
If you can’t get out because of the weather (rare but true) or are still recovering from childbirth, connect with local, San Diego parents on Facebook. Groups like San Diego Moms clubs and San Diego New Moms Network have large followings where local parents connect and help one another out.
16. Get a Baby Coach
Parenting a newborn can be scary. At Move Play Grow, you can hire a baby coach, who will address your questions and concerns and teach valuable skills when it comes to handling, playing and connecting with your baby. Or if your prefer, you can take one of their classes such as the popular Happy Tummy Timers and join in on their playdates.
17. Explore the San Diego Botanic Garden
A cool baby hangout is the San Diego Botanic Garden. Walk the Children's Garden and dig up the dinos in the sand. Next, stroll over to hear the choo-choo of the toy train going through the mountain. Head down to the Hamilton Garden (it's stroller-friendly) to splash in the small stream and climb around the treehouse.
18. Go on a Baby-Friendly Hike
\With our practically perfect weather, you can pretty much hike in San Diego all year round. Torrey Pines Natural Reserve has many beautiful, short hikes your family can enjoy. Just be sure to put baby in a carrier. If you prefer stroller-friendly walks, head for Mission Beach boardwalk, where you can people watch for 3.5 miles along the sandy shores of Mission Beach.
19. Take a Baby Class Together
Join up with other parents and their babies to sing, dance and play. Check out our top picks for the best San Diego classes for babies and toddlers.
20. Visit the Flower Fields in Carlsbad
Take pictures among endless rainbow blooms at this glorious locale. The Flower Fields reopen for the season March 1, 2023.
22. Explore La Jolla Cove
You'll find miles of stroller-friendly ocean views and baby-friendly beaches in La Jolla Cove down to the Children's Pool. Even more, there are birds, twisty trees, green grass, seals and seal pups to check-out. If you want to bring a picnic, there's a large grass area to set up your blanket—or you can head up to Cody's restaurant for a bite to eat with a view of the Cove.