National Parks / Natural World in SAN DIEGO with kids

The world has some incredible natural wonders, and luckily for you, San Diego has some incredible places to visit with kids right on your doorstep….and you won’t want to forget your camera!

The national and state parks in and around San Diego, California offer an incredible variety of experiences for children.  Some parks protect a unique and diverse wilderness, teeming with wildlife which is always a thrill for kids!

Some parks protect incredible fascinating and significant historical sites, where the family can go back in time through American history…who says the learning as to stop on a family day out!

Even the city of San Diego itself has smaller parks perfect for a quick trip into nature.  You don’t even need to leave the city to have that park experience - and kids LOVE them!

Shut those televisions off and put those computer games away….the great outdoors is calling and it’s calling YOU!

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  • Whale Watching Excursions

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    (1 miles) San Diego

    Flagship Cruise & Events offer two types of whale watching experiences in San Diego that will give you an experience of a lifetime!

  • Japanese Friendship Garden

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    (1 miles) San Diego

    A beautiful Japanese garden in San Diego designed to inspire and educate on Japanese culture and community legacy.

  • San Diego Botanic Gardens

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    (24 miles) Encinitas

    Enormous series of globally themed gardens, plus 2 specific children's gardens which include interactive displays, several varying play options and a miniature railway.

  • The Living Desert

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    (82 miles) Indian Wells

    An enlightening tour, botanical gardens, wilderness park, nature preserve with more features and angle than one would expect.

  • Irvine Regional Park

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    (83 miles) Orange

    There's so much to do for all ages. Has an old-town feel. Nicely shaded. Stroller/wheel chair friendly. The park is huge and everything is nicely spread out. Friendly staff. This is a great ...

  • California Citrus State Historic Park

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    (83 miles) Riverside

    A great outdoor day out in California that preserves some of the vanishing cultural landscape of that iconic citrus industry.

  • Shipley Nature Center

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    (84 miles) Huntington Beach

    Shipley Nature Center is an 18-acre natural area located in Huntington Beach, California. Situated within Huntington Central Park, the nature center is not only a sanctuary for the local wildlife, ...

  • Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

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    (85 miles) Riverside

    An amazing family day out in nature at the 1,500 acres Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, with trails, wildlife, and a nature center.

  • Riverside Botanic Gardens

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    (87 miles) Riverside

    40 acres in the foothills of the Box Springs Mountains await, with scenic trails and beautiful gardens

  • Fairmont Park

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    (89 miles) Riverside

    A popular Riverside park with tennis courts, fishing, bowling, BBQS and pedal boats!

  • El Dorado Regional Park

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    (93 miles) Long Beach

    Outdoor fun in nature in Long Beach! With fishing lakes, archery, picnic areas, playgrounds, and a nature center!

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • The New Children's Museum

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    (1 miles) San Diego

    Unstructured play to encourage healthy bodies and active minds at this San Diego children's museum!

  • San Diego Air And Space Museum

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    (1 miles) San Diego

    Celebrate... Educate... Inspire! Celebrate aviation and space flight history through preservation of significant artifacts, presentation of dynamic exhibits, and commemoration of the men and women ...

  • San Diego Automotive Museum

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    (1 miles) San Diego

    An amazing collection of world-class automobiles, located at Balboa Park in San Diego.

  • Maritime Museum of San Diego

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    (1 miles) San Diego

    Visit one of the finest collections of historic ships, with exhibits and artifacts depicting the fascinating maritime history of San Diego!

  • USS Midway Museum

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    (1 miles) San Diego

    Come aboard and visit 40 different stops around Midway and learn how this immense ship operates.

  • The Reuben H Fleet Science Center

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    (1 miles) San Diego

    Over 100 interactive exhibits all about science in eight fun galleries, as well as always changing experiences! Science can be fun in San Diego!

  • San Diego Natural History Museum

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    (1 miles) San Diego

    Discover lost civilizations, come face to face with ancient fossils, and explore geology and nature at this fascinating San Diego museum of the natural world!

  • Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum

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    (12 miles) San Diego

    A one of a kind Marine Aviation museum, with the most complete and largest collection of vintage aircraft flown by Marine pilots - in the entire WORLD!

  • San Diego Toy and Doll Museum

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    (19 miles) Poway

    A fun museum in San Diego that encourages play, interaction and learning through very cool toys and dolls from various times!

  • Escondido Childrens Museum

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    (29 miles) Escondido

    Pack a lot of fun into 4,500 square feet in Downtown Escondido! We're all about lifelong learning, and not just for the kids! Great idea if you're looking for fun places for kids in California

  • San Diego Childrens Discovery Musum

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    (29 miles) Escondido

    Kids can explore, experiment, imagine, learn and play in this fun children's discovery museum in San Diego! Family fun filled with hands-on exhibits for all ages.

  • Orange Empire Railway Museum

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    (71 miles) Perris

    The Orange Empire Railway Museum (OERM) is a railroad museum founded in 1956 in Perris, California as the "Orange Empire Trolley Museum." The museum also operates a heritage railroad on the museum ...

  • Pretend City Childrens Museum

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    (72 miles) Irvine

    A children's museum in Irvine that's ALL about the imagination, with interactive exhibits and activities that inspire kids to create, learn, and make believe!

  • ExplorOcean

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    (75 miles) Newport Beach

    Kids can learn about the ocean with exciting hands-on activities at this Newport Beach experience, so roll up those sleeves and dive-in!

  • Marconi Automotive Museum

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    (77 miles) Newport Beach

    First opened in 1994 by Founder Dick Marconi, this Non-Profit Museum and Special Event Venue has an impressive 30 million-dollar collection of historical, exotic, and classic cars. Discover the ...

  • Catalina Island Life Museum

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    (81 miles) Avalon

    The Catalina Island Museum celebrates the Island\\\'s rich cultural heritage. Current exhibits include an award-winning exhibit featuring the romantic era of Catalina\\\'s steamships, Native ...

  • March Field Air Museum

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    (81 miles) Riverside

    A fascinating museum home to over 70 historic aircraft, a dedicated in-house theatre, and thousands of artefacts from 1918 to present day. There are plenty of daily take offs and landings from the ...

  • Bowers Kidseum

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    (83 miles) Santa Ana

    An interactive and hands-on children's museum where families can learn about art and culture. Great art activities too! Museum fun in Santa Ana

  • Childrens Discovery Museum of the Desert

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    (85 miles) Palm Springs

    We hope that by visiting the Museum and participating in its programs or special interest activities you will be provided with an opportunity to better understand your child's interests and discover ...

  • Palm Springs Air Museum

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    (85 miles) Palm Springs

    The Palm Springs Air Museum is dedicated to the restoration, preservation and operation of America's legendary fighters, bombers and trainers. It contains one of the world's largest collections of ...

  • Heritage House

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    (86 miles) Riverside

    An 1891 mansion that depicts Victorian life in Riverside.

  • Riverside Art Museum

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    (88 miles) Riverside

    Learn and be inspired by the art world at this Riverside Art Museum filled with exhibits from artists from all over the world.

  • Riverside Metropolitan Museum

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    (88 miles) Riverside

    Over 100,000 artefacts covering natural history, history, and anthropology relating to the amazing city of Riverside…with FREE entry!

  • Mission Inn Museum

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    (88 miles) Riverside

    An interesting local museum which tells the story of the Mission Inn Hotel, and the impacts it had on the Riverside community