Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to provide options for responsible outdoor recreation. Please remember to follow social distancing guidelines, wear masks when required and pack water, hand sanitizer and plenty of snacks when you head out. Public restrooms may not be available, and the majority of playgrounds are currently closed at all parks (at time of this story’s publication). Stay safe and healthy!

With the stay-at-home order gradually lifting, we’re here to help you get back out on the town in a safer manner with eight spontaneous outdoor activities for kids in San Diego. From renting a hydro-boat to pedal around Shelter Island and beholding a life-size T-Rex to picking sweet summer berries and catching air at a new(ish) bike park––these kid-friendly summer activities will put some pep in your step while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Read on for where to go first!

Bring your kite to ...

Bill Fairs via Unsplash

...Mission Bay Park. With lots of space (4,235 acres and 17 miles of beaches to be exact!) this local park makes social distancing easier. Mission Bay in San Diego topped USA Today’s list of Top Ten Places in the World to Fly a Kite. If your kiddo’s legs are too tired from chasing kites, there are plenty of awesome bike paths throughout the park to check out afterwards. As of the writing of this story, only family units are allowed together, so check for latest update before you head out. Here are additional awesome spots to fly a kite in San Diego.

Insider’s Tip: Mariners Point, Tecolote Shores North and Fiesta Island are all prime destinations for kite flying

2688 East Mission Bay Dr.
San Diego, CA 92109
Online: sandiego.gov

Bring your hiking boots to ...

Desmond F. via Yelp

San Elijo Loop trail. Clocking in at one mile, this trail is definitely family-friendly. Even more, pack binoculars to see all the birds up close. Plus, you’ll see jumping fish, crabs, lizards and more. When done, explore the inside nature center to cool down. Dogs are welcome too! Check out, our other kid-friendly San Diego hikes (be sure to check hours and whether trails are open before you go). The parking lot is open for parking.

2710 Manchester Ave.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007
Online: sanelijo.org

Bring your best dinosaur roar to...

Family Road Traveled

...Cabazon Dinosaurs in Palm Springs. We’ve got the 4-1-1 on family fun. Make a Cabazon pit stop and gaze at a giant T-Rex. View over 50 dinosaurs, stroll through a cool museum and even climb inside the T. Rex. It's dino-tastic! Even more, for a sweet treat check out the Wafflesaurus Truck open Fri.-Sun. from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. You’ll get out of the house and the kids will have tons of fun.

Museum Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Cost: $13/adult; $11/child; free for children under 3

50770 Seminole Dr.
Cabazon, CA 92230
Online: cabazondinosaurs.com

Bring your wonder to...

USS Midway Museum

...the USS Midway Museum. All aboard starting July 1st, 2020. Whether it’s climbing into a plane’s cockpit for a photo-op or going below deck to see how the crew lived, there’s plenty to see and do on the USS Midway. Then, it’s time to pop up deck and see all the planes. Even more, you can reserve a ticket for the re-opening online now!

910 N. Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: midway.org

Bring your camera to...

Nick L. via Yelp

...these 9 instagram-worthy spots. Make an online photo journal of your outdoor city adventure when you snap pics in front of cool San Diego murals. You'll have a blast striking a pose at whimsical backdrops found in beautiful neighborhoods including Carlsbad, Cardiff, La Jolla and North Park.

Bring your bike to…

Bonnie Taylor

...Sweetwater Bike Park and get your ride on. This bike park is a free, family-friendly bike skills park located in Bonita, and it's the only park of its kind in San Diego County. The park is open 7 days-a-week, from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. With Covid-19 restrictions, only 50 guests are admitted per two-hour time slot. Further, reservations are not needed, just check in with a ranger or volunteer. Bring a face mask. Good to know: the restrooms are open too! 

6057 San Miguel Rd.
Bonita, CA 91902
Online: sdparks.org

Bring your curiosity to...

Conrad R. via Yelp

...Point Loma Tide pools. As of now (be sure to check for updates) all outdoor areas (including the tide pools) and restrooms are open at Cabrillo National Monument from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Good to know, that the tide pools close for entry at 4:30 p.m. Not only will you find breathtaking views, but also, little adventurers will spot a diverse amount of sea critters in this multi-leveled tidal zone area. Timing is important, so watch for the low tides that occur during the day. To enter the park, cost is $10 per vehicle.

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr.
San Diego, CA 92106
Online: nps.gov/tidepools

Bring your sense of adventure to...

Eco Boat Rentals

...Eco Boat Rentals and explore Shelter Island. Eco-friendly and pet-friendly (yes, Fido can come too), this is a great way to get out and cruise around Shelter Island. You can reserve a hydro boat online and it will be ready (and waiting!) when you arrive. The hydro boats hold up to four people––perfect for the whole family.

2803 Emerson St.
San Diego, CA 92106
Online: ecoboatrentals.com

Featured Image: Eco Boat Rental via Yelp

–Nikki Walsh


Family Camping Adventures to Book Now

Guide to Visiting the USS Midway Museum with Kids

San Diego’s Most Beautiful, Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails

Your daily dose of joy and connection
Get the Tinybeans app