“Kids Free San Diego” Returns this October with Big Savings for Families

by • August 28, 2017 • Cover Story, Current Issue, Entertainment, Home

For the 6th Year in a Row, Families Can Enjoy Special Deals at San Diego Hotels, Attractions, Restaurants, Arts and Culture Venues and More

During the entire month of October, more than 100 San Diego hotels, restaurants, attractions, museums and transportation companies will offer families with children money-saving deals, so they can enjoy San Diego without emptying their wallets. “Kids Free San Diego” provides families an opportunity to save during budget-conscious times with a variety of unique “kids free” incentives, ranging from complimentary attraction admission to meals, welcome amenities at area hotels and much more.

Consistently rated one of the top family destinations in North America, San Diego is home to world-class family attractions, a rich arts and culture scene, delicious Cali-Baja cuisine and popular activities like whale watching, golfing, surfing and kayaking. In October, after the summer beach crowds diminish, visitors to San Diego can relish in the region’s sunny weather and warm temperatures and enjoy a number of fun-filled fall activities for the whole family. Below are highlights of the 6th annual “Kids Free San Diego” month.

Big Savings at World-Class Family Attractions

Home to the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, SeaWorld San Diego and more, San Diego is offering substantial savings this October with free kids’ admission to local attractions.

Courtesy of San Diego Zoo Global

♦ Kids, ages 11 and younger, are admitted free into the San Diego Zoo where families can explore Africa Rocks, the zoo’s newest exhibit highlighting Africa’s biodiversity. The offer is also valid at the zoo’s sister attraction, the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where guests can get up-close views of rare wildlife through safari-like experiences.

♦ Offering one child, ages 3 to 9, free admission with one full-paid adult admission, SeaWorld San Diego lets kids dive into Ocean Explorer, a new attraction featuring five rides, which opened May 2017. The same offer is valid at Dine with Orcas, and kids, ages 10 to 12, can participate for free in SeaWorld’s Dolphin Encounter and Dolphin and Beluga Interaction Programs with one paid adult participation (kids must be at least 48” tall to participate).

♦ Kids can have a true Southern Californian experience at Belmont Park in Mission Beach, San Diego’s only beachfront amusement center where families can ride the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster, play mini golf or compete in a laser tag game. Children, ages 12 or under, receive one free child wristband with the purchase of each full-priced adult wristband (height and safety restrictions apply).

Hotels Roll Out the Welcome Mat for Kids

Located throughout San Diego, hotels ranging from budget options to luxury escapes are rolling out the welcome mat for kids this October. Kids can eat free at many hotels or receive special welcome gifts upon arrival at others.

♦ With views of Point Loma and Shelter Island, Kona Kai Resort & Spa will offer kids a special welcome gift and a free meal at the hotel’s Vessel Restaurant and Bar with the purchase of an adult meal.

♦  Opened in February 2017 in the center of downtown’s vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, The Pendry offers families a modern luxury getaway where kids ages 12 and under can enjoy a sleepover party with in-room movies (limit of two), snacks and candy and Kid’s Sleepy Time Spray from Spa Pendry. The “Kids Party Free in their PJ’s” package is available for every night booked in October.

♦ At the family friendly Paradise Point Resort & Spa on Mission Bay, kids will be able to play for free on land and sea with a special “island allowance” worth $50. The credit can be applied towards the resort’s kid-approved activities including bike or paddleboard rentals, miniature golf, and more.

Kids Can Dig In on the Deals at San Diego Restaurants

After an enjoyable day around the city, parents can have a taste of San Diego’s emerging culinary scene while kids eat free at participating family friendly restaurants.

♦ Located on the waterfront in downtown San Diego close to popular family attractions like the USS Midway Museum and Seaport Village, Carnitas’ Snack Shack at the Embarcadero offers kids, ages 12 or under, one free “Kid’s Combo” with the purchase of an adult meal. Maximum of two kids per paying adult, the offer is valid at the Embarcadero location only.

♦ With locations in Pacific Beach and Mission Hills, The Patio restaurant offers families a place to sit down and have a taste of San Diego’s seasonal cuisine. Children, ages 12 or under, can enjoy one free meal with every paid adult entrée.

♦ Whether breakfast, lunch or dinner, families can enjoy a relaxed meal overlooking the waterfront at Buster’s Beach House in Seaport Village. While parents sip on a beer or specialty cocktails, kids can select any entrée, free with the purchase of an adult entrée.

Kids Learn and Have a Blast at San Diego’s Diverse Arts and Culture Venues

Kids have endless options to learn while they have fun at more than three dozen San Diego museums countywide that are offering free admission to all kids, ages 12 and under, in October. Here are just a few of San Diego’s many kid-friendly museums to discover:

Courtesy of Annie Pearson,

♦ Kids can get hands on with interactive activities, see a tank feeding and explore the wonders of the ocean at Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla, featuring more than 60 colorful habitats that include marine life, coral reefs, sharks, jellyfish and outdoor living tide pools. This interactive museum showcases cutting edge research discoveries on climate, earth and ocean science from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

♦ Boasting great views of San Diego, Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma is the perfect setting for families to explore the natural, historical and cultural history of the region. The best place to start is at the Visitor Center, which offers exhibits, films and ranger-guided programs that offer insights into the history of Cabrillo. A short walk leads to the 1880’s restored Old Point Loma Lighthouse and a historic military building that exhibits the history of Fort Rosecrans. On the west side of the Point Loma peninsula, tidepools form during periods of low tide, exposing San Diego’s diverse ocean ecosystem.

♦ Located in Carlsbad, the Museum of Making Music tells the story of American popular music and the people, historical events and innovations that influenced music making and musical instruments. Kids can travel back in time through galleries showcasing the evolution of musical instruments, hear familiar tunes in audio and video clips, get their hands on and play a variety of instruments and discover the innovative ways that the music industry has grown over the years.

Free Unique and Cool Ways for Kids to Explore San Diego

During October, kids can cruise, ride or cross into San Diego for free. From utilizing a unique pedestrian bridge connecting Tijuana and San Diego to sailing the San Diego Bay, children have many ways to explore San Diego.

Courtesy of Paradise Point

♦ Families traveling across the U.S.-Mexico border can now save time and money with the Cross Border Xpress (CBX), a unique pedestrian bridge connecting the Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) with San Diego. When flying into TIJ, children 12 or under can get a free single trip ticket via Tijuana to San Diego with purchase of an adult ticket. The offer is not available online and must be purchased at CBX counters at the Tijuana airport and applies with proof of hotel reservation or activity from other Kids Free San Diego participating partners.

♦ Kids can cruise around the San Diego Bay in style with San Diego Sailing Tours. The company offers a variety of packages for groups, individuals or private sailboat charters. Kids sail free with a full priced adult reservation.

♦ San Diego Fly Rides offers kids the opportunity to discover San Diego on an electric bike. Families can either explore on their own or join one of the many guided tours offered. One child, age 12 and under, can ride for free with minimum of two paid adults per rental or tour.

A complete listing of “Kids Free San Diego” participants and their special offers are available at All offers are valid Oct. 1-31, 2017, and age limits and other restrictions vary by venue and activity. Visitors should check for complete offer details and terms at before visiting any attraction.

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