Big thanks to blogger and rookie mom, Kristin Helms, for sharing her favorite places to take a baby or toddler in San Diego.
As a first time mom to a now 16 month old, the words, “family vacation” stir up many feelings – mostly fear. Of course there’s always the hope for fun and family bonding time – the rose-colored visions of frolicking on the beach while you toss your baby into the air as the sun is setting providing the perfect photo opp and memories to last a lifetime. But more realistically, and here back on earth, it is daunting to pick a “vacation” spot and map out what to see and do with an unpredictable infant or a protesting toddler in tow – I get it! Sometimes we can barely navigate Target without a meltdown or a diaper blow out, so are we really expected to drive or (gasp) fly to an unknown destination and explore an entire city?
The answer is yes, but the right destination is key. And if the right destination is key, then San Diego will unlock the door to a happy and fun family vacation. I won’t lie to you; there WILL be crying and spit-up, and you’ll probably forget to pack a pacifier or a beloved “blanky”, but the sunny San Diego weather will make it all seem very mild and most of all, manageable.
While everyone knows about the large attractions like the famous San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, LEGOLAND, and SeaWorld, that all should still make your lists of what to see while in San Diego, I’m here to shed some light on the hidden gems that make this beautiful city a mecca for family fun, even for the fearful family with a baby or toddler in tow.
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Here are my favorite mom-approved places to have fun with a baby or toddler in San Diego for visitors or mamas on a “staycation”:
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
If your toddler is anything like mine; curious and wants to test everything out on her own, then the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park is a must. Filled with interactive, kid-friendly science exhibits, you can easily spend half a day here exploring. Kids 5 and under should set aside a good amount of time for the Center’s Kid City where toddlers can enjoy playing on fire trucks, shopping at a mini-grocery store, playing music and much, much more.The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is open daily at 10:00 a.m. and is open in the evenings during summer and on weekends. For more information: www.rhfleet.org. While you’re already in Balboa Park, check out some of the other great museums and traveling exhibits and enjoy a patio lunch at The Prado while sipping their fresh-made fruit sodas (they’re incredible!)