Activities for Toddlers in San Diego

By Jane Rodda
The tunnel slide is always a hit.
The tunnel slide is always a hit.

With its coastal climate and population of 1,326,179, according to the 2011 U.S. Census estimate, San Diego has many options for toddlers. It is home to many attractions for tourists and residents with young children in mind. Whether you are just visiting with your toddler or you are considering a move, you will be pleased to find so many choices for your young one.

Parks and Playgrounds

Balboa Park ( brims with activity. Toddlers will enjoy the miniature railroad ride, the carousel or any one of the playgrounds within the park. Mission Bay Park (no website; Sea World Drive; 619-276-8200) has 4,235 acres of recreation including playgrounds, nature walks and beaches. Kellogg Park (no website; Camino del Oro; 619-235-1169) is a family friendly spot in the La Jolla beach area with playgrounds and green space for toddler play.


The New Children's Museum ( offers programs aimed to educate and build creativity. Young children will have the opportunity to create art projects using recycled materials. Some exhibits are specific to toddlers such as the Barn Dance. The San Diego Model Railroad Museum ( is 27,000 square feet of model train displays, including an interactive toy train display for toddlers to touch and operate. Toddlers will enjoy visiting the San Diego Air and Space Museum (, which features airplanes, spacecraft and a Kid's Aviation Action Hangar.

Theme Parks

Belmont Park ( has several rides and games with something for everyone. Toddlers can enjoy the submarine ride, boats and carousel. Some of the arcade games inside would be fun for young children as well. The San Diego Zoo ( provides a state-of-the-art experience with a children's petting zoo. The young children would enjoy feeling the sheep wool, petting the goats or feeding some of the animals. Other residents of the zoo include giraffes, elephants, zebras, monkeys, hippos, bears and snakes.

Gymnastics Classes

You can sign up toddlers for gymnastics classes. San Diego Gymnastics ( offers parent/child classes introducing tumbling skills, the balance beam, bars and trampoline. Gym Ventures ( provides a class called Mini Ventures, which is designed for toddlers. It uses fun stations and obstacle courses to teach the fundamentals. Gyminny Kids ( has a class for toddlers, helping them to develop attention span, hand-eye coordination, body awareness, social skills and basic gymnastics skills.

About the Author

Jane Rodda has been a writer since 2004, with articles featured in "Gameday Magazine" and "Urban Family Magazine." She is also the social media director and lead copywriter for a piano instruction website. Rodda holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University.