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Holidays & Travel

Families can save big in San Diego this October with ‘Kids Free San Diego’

During the entire month of October, dozens of San Diego hotels, restaurants, attractions, museums, tours, and transportation companies will offer families the opportunity to unwind in San Diego while saving big. The 12th annual ‘Kids Free San Diego’ provides parents an opportunity to stretch their smile and wallet with a variety of unique deals for kids, ranging from complimentary admission at local attractions to free meals at restaurants to welcome amenities and experiences at hotels and much more.

With world-class family attractions, endless activities on land and water, a rich arts and culture scene, and a delicious cuisine, San Diego is consistently rated one of the top family destinations in the U.S. In October, after the U.S summer crowds diminish and the warm weather lingers, families can enjoy numerous fun-filled activities at reduced prices.

Below are highlights of ‘Kids Free San Diego’ month for an affordable family getaway.

Major savings at major attractions

Home to world-class attractions like the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Sesame Place San Diego and beachfront amusement park, Belmont Park, San Diego is offering families big savings this October with admission deals at its popular theme parks. 

  • The San Diego Zoo is offering free admission to kids 11 years old and younger when accompanied by a paying adult, providing the perfect opportunity for families to experience the zoo’s recently opened Denny Sanford Wildlife Explorers Basecamp. Guests can interact, climb, scramble, and jump in four innovative nature play areas and visit habitats from around the world, from desert dunes and wild woods to marsh meadows and rainforests. The same offer is also valid at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, a 1,800-acre wildlife sanctuary and home to more than 300 species. Families can get up close and personal with lions lounging in the grasslands, antelope and giraffes mingling, rhinos wallowing in waterholes, and storks and cranes on the march.

  • Children, ages 4 to 9, receive free admission to the all-new Sesame Place San Diego with one full-paid adult ticket from now until the end of October. Kids should pack their costumes so they can participate in The Count's Halloween Spooktacular Sept. 16 – Oct. 29. The park will be transformed into a family-friendly Halloween haven. Guests can enjoy trick-or-treating around the park, Halloween-themed shows, and parades, participating in the interactive Sesame Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt, and unique photo opportunities with everyone’s favourite furry friends dressed up in costume.

  • Belmont Park is offering free admission for kids 12 and under and/or under the height of 48" when buying 1 Belmont Park Combo Wristband (48" and taller). The combo wristband includes all-day access to over 20 different rides and attractions. Guests can also enjoy Belmont Park's Fall Festival, Sept. 9 – Oct. 31, with iconic amusement park rides, a Pumpkin Pop-Up, live music, specialty Fall treats and seasonal beer-on-tap for the adults.

Hotels roll out the welcome mat for kids

Hotels throughout San Diego, ranging from budget options to luxury escapes, are also offering free meals, special experiences, and welcome gifts for kids this October. 

  • Located on the shores of Mission Bay and steps from San Diego’s famous Mission Beach, Bahia Resort Hotel offers families an exciting getaway where parents can start off their trip with 25% off their stay and kids, ages 12 and under, get a free meal for each paid adult entrée at Dockside 1953, which offers up creative coastal cuisine and comfort food. After a delicious meal, kids can enjoy free admission aboard the Bahia Belle sightseeing cruise to explore the 4,200-acre aquatic park. Families can also experience an exciting paddleboard or kayak adventure with a complimentary rental from Bahia's on-site partner, Action Sport Rentals.

  • At the family friendly Paradise Point Resort & Spa on Mission Bay, kids ages 12 and under can play, shop or eat for free with a special “island allowance” worth $50. The credit can be applied toward ice cream, a toy from the gift shop, bike rental and more.

  • The all-new Kimpton Alma San Diego, neighbouring the historic Gaslamp District and Little Italy, is offering kids 12 and under a free house-made ice cream sandwich with the purchase of an entrée at Leave of Absence-- Kimpton Alma's new family-friendly rooftop restaurant featuring wood-fired pizza and globally inspired beverages. After a delicious meal, guests can enjoy an afternoon of family fun with patio games like Giant Jenga, Connect 4, foosball, and cornhole.

Kids can dig in with the deals at San Diego’s restaurants 

After spending a fun day around the city, parents can enjoy a taste of San Diego’s diverse culinary scene while kids eat free at participating family-friendly restaurants.

  • Featuring world-renowned celebrity chef Akira Back, Lumi is an energetic and upscale rooftop experience serving innovative Japanese fare and sushi accompanied by handcrafted libations in a vividly unique atmosphere. For the entire month of October, from Sunday-Thursday, kids under 12 and under eat free with an adult purchase.

  • Located inside the popular Little Italy Food Hall, at the much-buzzed Piazza della Famiglia, Samburgers offer families the opportunity to savour food-celebrity Sam the Cooking Guy’s fan favourite burgers. Kids 12 and under can enjoy one free kid’s meal with the purchase of one adult meal. 

  • After exploring the historical sites of Old Town San Diego, parents can unwind with a margarita and some traditional Mexican food at Casa Guadalajara, while up to three kids receive a free meal from the kids menu per one paid adult entrée.

Free and cool ways for kids to explore San Diego

During October, kids can take it to the land or sea and explore San Diego through a variety of unique tours and fun activities for free. 

  • Families can explore Mission Bay from a kayak with Ocean Connectors. Kids under 12 can observe coastal wildlife for free while learning about conservation and marine biology from local experts.

  • One kid under 17 years old rides free with a paid adult on a San Diego Whale Watch adventure. The on-staff Marine Biologists will have endless wildlife facts to share with passengers of all ages about the beautiful marine ecosystem San Diego has to offer. Each whale watching trip is a two-and-a-half-hour journey, with a chance to spot wildlife from the very beginning.

  • Kids can discover "America’s Finest City" on a two-hour, fully narrated, hop on-hop-off, historic city tour of San Diego and Coronado aboard a uniquely themed trolley. Old Town Trolley Tours covers approximately 25 miles and over 100 points of interest in a fast-paced two-hour narrative.

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