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There comes a time in all great family vacations when parents need to get out of the car and stretch their legs and children need to let loose and do what they love to do best – play! For some kids that involves swing on monkey bars and race down slides and there’s now better place than a San Diego playground.
Everyone’s welcome at these quintessential San Diego playgrounds where you’re never far from the cool ocean breeze and warm sand between your toes and there is fun and respite for the whole family.
San Diego | 1600 Pacific Coast Highway | 92101
Your kids will love it here. This harborfront oasis in downtown San Diego offers a modern play zone with unique climbing equipment, slides, swings and an old-fashioned seesaw. To cool off, children can splash around in the massive interactive water fountains.
San Diego | 1549 El Prado | 92101
This 1200-acre oasis, the largest urban park in America, is home to three playgrounds that offer a combination of slides, swings and jungle gyms suitable for children of all ages - Morley Field, Pepper Grove and Sixth Avenue. Start at the Visitor Center at 1549 El Prado (in the hospitality building) to map out your route and include a trip to the San Diego Zoo, one of the many beautiful gardens, or a cultural or recreational activity in the park.
San Diego | 1344 East Mission Bay Drive | 92109
With views of Mission Bay, the park is nestled between the bay and a large grassy area for families to relax. It has age-specific climbing structures, swings and tons of sand. There are also walk-bike paths for family members who have outgrown the jungle gym.
San Diego | 1100 West Mission Bay Drive | 92109
This waterfront park offers a playground with sandy areas for toddlers. With lots of grassy areas, children have ample space to run around.
San Diego | 4000 Fanuel Street | 92109
This quaint, picturesque park is located right on Mission Bay and a popular go-to for the locals in the neighborhood. There are fun climbing structures and swings, and a boardwalk nearby for walking.
La Jolla | 8200 Camino Del Oro | 92037
Located at La Jolla Shores beach, the spacious park offers children a variety of cool things to do - from climbing on various jungle gym equipment to hanging on monkey bars to enjoying the cool sensation of swinging high in the sky while overlooking the ocean.
Del Mar | 1628 Lomas Santa Fe Drive | 92014
This 125-acre park offers five playgrounds (soon to be renovated) in the upper area. The lower area is ideal for picnics. A trail leads you to Activity Hill where your family can enjoy two suspension bridges, an obstacle course with wooden ladders, balance beams and lookout towers with great views.
Ramona | 626 East Street | 92065
This preschool playground is ADA-compliant and offers interactive adventures for children of all abilities and skill levels. It features a series of educational, musical play panels and a hopscotch-like surface game “Hop, Shuffle and Roll” for children to be active and play together.
Encinitas | 425 Santa Fe Drive | 92024
The two-year-old park is an easy exit off the five freeway and offers a quick road trip break for fresh air and some exercise with swings, teeter totters and spring rockers as well as a few small trails nearby. There’s also a dog park for four-legged family members.
Encinitas | 95 North Vulcan Avenue | 92024
The park is designed for 5 to 12-year-old children with a medium-sized rock climbing wall and an expanded play area with swings (includes bucket seats for toddlers), a teeter totter, several slides and the always popular fire pole. A creek runs around the park with bridges and there are picnic areas with beautiful California Coast Live Oaks and California Sycamores.
Encinitas | 400 B Street | 92024
You are steps away from the beach at this park and in perfect view of the breathtaking San Diego sunset if you time your visit right. The park area features small climbing structures, three slides, a fire pole and swings with toddler bucket swings. There is a confession stand onsite.
Escondido | 742 Clarence Lane | 92029
Tucked away in a small Escondido valley, the park features two playgrounds, 2.5 miles of multi-use trails, spring-fed creeks and a small museum. Mature trees provide shade over picnic areas. The park’s Native American and pioneer history puts it on the National Register of Historic Places list.
Escondido | 3333 Bear Valley Parkway | 92025
The park is a great resting spot for families with both toddlers and older children. There is a tot lot with a slide and crawl-throughs and a magical sculpture garden Queen Califia's Magical Circle designed by acclaimed artist Niki de Saint (check the park calendar for Magical Circle operating hours). The area has beautiful trails, ponds and an arboretum.
Escondido | 321 North Broadway | 92025
This is Escondido's oldest park. The newly-renovated treehouse-like play structure is intended for children of all ages and abilities. It incorporates lots of climbing, swings, slides and the challenge of a rock climbing wall.
Coronado | 2000 Mullinex Drive | 92118
Just over the San Diego-Coronado Bridge from downtown you’ll find Coronado Tidelands Park. Or, for a fun outing, catch the ferry across San Diego Bay. The ADA-accessible playground includes a "fun path" made of red rubberized surfacing, climbing features and a variety of slides - and all with the beautiful views of the bridge, bay and downtown skyline.
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For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.
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