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Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones

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posts: 11
reviews: 1
Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones


I've been reading many of the reviews and everyone on here has been so helpful. But I wanted to ask some questions specific to my family.

We will be traveling with a crew of 9 (7 adults, a 3 year old, and an 18 month old) at the end of January. Like many of the other posters, we are staying at the Larence Welk Resort. What would you recommend we do that would entertain all of us (but specifically cater to the kids)? The Zoo, Animal Park, and Sea World all sound great. Any other recommendations? My 18 month old doesn't need much to entertain him, nor does the 3 year old, but we need to find things they're not too young to participate in.

Also, how is the weather in this area at the end of January. We were hoping for pool weather but it looks like it's in the 60s. Then again, we're all coming from below freezing weather so that will be pool weather to us!

Any thoughts are much appreciated!

9 replies to this topic
San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 46,647
reviews: 61
1. Re: Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones

The Welk Resort is in the NE part of San Diego county which has more extreme weather temps than at the coast. You will find sunny days will be warmer and nights will be colder than advertised temps you see for weather at the airport. or along the coastal strip.

It may/may not be sunny enough to swim in a heated pool during the day.

It may be cool and rainy so it is hard to tell for sure!

The Safari Park is closer to you than the other attractions you mention but we don't usually suggest it for young children as many of the animals(not all) are farther away roaming and harder for them to see.

You don't say how many days you have in our area??

I'd not spend them all going to animal /theme parks!

Depending on how much driving you'd like to do(hotel is about an hour from the airport and downtown)you can:

visit scenic coastal areas like the pier in Oceanside or our La Jolla neighborhood with its rocky cove beaches and seals/sea birds in their natural environment

visit the downtown bayfront with ships to visit like the USS Midway or the Maritime Museum

visit the zoo and Balboa Park in which it is located with its small museums/gardens playgrounds ,shops etc.

Visit the San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside(Calif. history)

I'd plan the trip for the adults and let the little ones have a time each day for playing in the sand/seeing animals/going to a playground etc.

posts: 11
reviews: 1
2. Re: Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones

Thanks so much for the feedback Riff! We are planning for one week (Sun-Sat) but some in our group will come for a shorter time (specific days are TBD). We figured we'll plan our trips into San Diego around incoming or outgoing flights. I'm definitely interested in visitin La Jolla. Particularly if there will be seals around at the end of January - the boys would love that!

Some in our group would LOVE to go to LA and see a show taping (Price is Right, Ellen, or something like that). Is that a ridiculous idea, given the distance? None of us have been to California before and may not return (given the distance and expense) so we'd like to see as much as we can.

You have a good point about planning trips around the adults. The boys are little and won't care about the theme parks as much as we would!! I just want to make sure it's fun for them too, which will make our lives easier. :)

Any other suggestions on things to do for a group of nine, would be much appreciated. And we're not opposed to breaking up since we'll be renting two cars to hold all of us! Maybe send the guys in one direction and the girls will go another way. :)

Destination Expert
for Scottsdale
posts: 3,766
reviews: 27
3. Re: Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones

Legoland is another consideration out on the coast in Carlsbad, that would be for the kids, but you are close enough to take the back road up to the small town of Julian for some apple pie and a look around their quaint town. There is a park for picnic or play (William Heise?) that would be a good place for kids to blow off some steam.

Love La Jolla and a stroll along the beach and a sand castle would be fun for all. Look at La Jolla Shores beach, great parking, bathrooms, lifeguards and a grassy area and park/playground. The beach is gentle, the water will be cold, so no swimming and feet will get cold, but a great way to spend a day with your family. Walking distance up to Jeff's Burgers on De La Playa Rd to bring back lunch for a beach picnic.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 46,647
reviews: 61
4. Re: Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones

There are a lot of old posts on the Los Angeles forum about getting tix for Ellen or The Price is Right. It is not ridiculous but it will take planning and a whole day. I'd go to that forum and put ellen in the search box at the top to see the old info about it. You can't just walk up and get in you need tix.

IF you split up and want more adult activities then don't forget we have lots of casinos and wine tasting near where you are staying.

The city of Temecula, which is a short drive north,has MANY wineries(over 30) which are fun. Right in Escondido there's also Stone Brewery which has a restaurant and brewery tour. San Diego has a rep as a place with lots of local micro brews.

Here is some winery info:


Here is the brewery:


Casinos nearby include: Pala,Harrahs Rincon,and Valley View. In Temecula there's also Pachanga . Both Pala and Harrahs have really nice pool areas so if it is a nice day one adult could take the kiddos to the pool while the others play at the casino if you like.

The seals LIVE at La Jolla cove so they will be there in winter although you won't see any babies as it won't be pupping season.

The playground at La Jolla Shores beach is nice for the little ones.The 2 areas (the cove and the shores) are only a few minutes apart by car.

Taking a trip out to the desert or up into our mts. is also possible but you'll have to check weather as it sometimes snows in the mts.

San Diego County has beach/mts./desert within a 2hr. drive so many different temp. zones and different sorts of scenery.

You may not be able to do it all during your trip but you can certainly have a fun time trying!!

posts: 141
reviews: 182
5. Re: Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones

RIff M has great suggestions, as is the Legoland idea for the little ones by AZFan - especially if any of your adults are into the Lego thing. It's pretty cool. Since your little guys are super little, they probably won't remember much from the theme parks, anyway. Although, at the Safari Park, they do have a petting area, that the little ones seem to LOVE. I personally, really enjoy the Safari Park (although not it's new name) and enjoy taking kids there, so it just depends on what your little guys like to do. The nice part of that, is the adults usually enjoy the park, too.

For heading up to LA, there are lots of websites that do TV tickets. You can Google the shows you like or "free tv show tickets", to find the websites for the shows you are interested in, but keep in mind, children are mostly not permitted to those, so if that is what you want to do, someone will need to babysit. Thought I'd mention that if this ends up being your plan, there is a children's museum with hands on entertainment in LA, that would probably be fun for your kids. That's the Zimmer Children's Museum ( http://www.zimmermuseum.org ). There is also a similar type place in San Diego as well as the Reuben S Fleet Science Museum in Balboa Park which has exhibits that are very kid friendly.

Also, since you'll be in Escondido, we have a ton of great restaurants and treat shops. If you're interested in suggestions, please feel free to message me with what you like and are interested in and I will be happy to make some suggestions of places close to the Welk Resort and further afield in San Diego or even LA.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!

posts: 11
reviews: 1
6. Re: Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones

AZFan and Riff, thanks so much for you tips! I truly appreciate it!

We are still sorting out a game plan (not everyone has booked flights yet) but once we have that figured out ill be on here again, bugging you all once more! :)

And Lady, thanks for the offer to message you. I will definitely do that soon as we'd love tips on great places to eat!!

Thanks again!

posts: 565
reviews: 17
7. Re: Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones

Ooo! We are doing a similar trip and would love to hear about somebo the great treat shops and restaurants please!

posts: 11
reviews: 1
8. Re: Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones

So we're thinking about adding a trip to a hot spring to our itinerary. Any thoughts/suggestions on this? One that I looked at was Agua Caliente County Park in Julian. From some of the messages (above or on another board) mentioned hiking trails and small towns to check out in that area. So we were thinking we could hit the hot springs in the morning and then check out some towns off the beaten path. I'd love to hear what you all think!

posts: 11
reviews: 1
9. Re: Escondido/San Diego with Little Ones

Also, can any of the locals recommend any of the following restaurants?

Sushi Yama

Sopranos Pizza

Rock 'n Jenny's Italian Subs

Winz Italian Bistro, Pizza and Deli

Old Mining Company - San Marcos

Mariscos Las Palmas - Vistas

Arashi Sushi Bar - Vista

I have vouchers from restaurant.com that can be used for any of these. If you think any are worth it, we'll definitely check them out.

Thanks again!

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