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San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

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Arlington Heights...
Level Contributor
3 posts
18 reviews
San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

We are heading out to San Diego (La Jolla actually) after Christmas and I am puzzled as to what would be of most interest to my two grandsons. I believe that LegoLand would be better once they are older, and that the San Diego Zoo is a given. SeaWorld and the Safari Park are possibilities (3 for 1 pass appears best) but that may be too much for a one week trip at that time of year? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Level Contributor
271 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

You are right - the zoo is a must. LEGOLAND interest probably peaks at the 4-10 age range, but I'd choose it over the Safari Park for kids that young, mainly because the animals at the Safari Park are usually not a close-up view that would be preferable for that age. You might see animals in a more natural environment, but they're often not close enough to have that WOW factor for little ones. SeaWorld isn't a bad choice - little ones might be fascinated. You also might consider the aquarium right in La Jolla and make sure to visit the seals at the 'Children's Pool'.

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
3,934 posts
57 reviews
2. Re: San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

just be aware that the zoo is very large. you'll need strollers for both. the 19 month old might get bored. i recommend you take the bus tour at the start of the day to decide if there are areas that you don't need to see. try to schedule in a show every couple of hours so you can just sit still for a bit.

the midway museum might interest the 3 year old. it's on the bay in downtown san diego.

as mentioned, the seals at the "children's pool".

if money isn't an issue, i love sea world and they would probably enjoy the shamue, dolphin shows and some of the exhibits. but they be too short i think to go on any of the rides.

go hand out around pacific and mission beach. they can play in the sand, you can walk along the board walk or rent bikes.

La Jolla, California
Level Contributor
658 posts
19 reviews
3. Re: San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

Hi GoJo18,

You're definately on the right track. Your grandkids will love the Zoo, but they are too young to fully appreciate Legoland. By the way, at the Zoo, study the schedule of daily activities and plan accordingly. At least once a day, there's a time when kids can feed giraffes ($5, I think) and another time when the keepers do the elephant pedicures (no charge).

Between SeaWorld and the Safari Park, I'd say SeaWorld, but the 19-month old is really too young.

My granddaughter loves the beach, even in winter. She digs holes and trenches in the sand and builds all sorts of things. At La Jolla Shores, there's a wonderful playground right next to the beach, so when your boys have had enough digging they can swing and slide. Trust me. They'll love it.

Perish the thought, but if it rains (or maybe even if it doesn't) keep in mind that the La Jolla Library on Eads Avenue has an amazing children's room with big pillow on the floor. You could easily hole up in there with them for a couple of hours. There's another great playground at the La Jolla Recreation Center near the Library.

Food-wise, most kids love pizza, and I recommend Sammy's on Pearl Street (within walking distance of the Library and Rec center). You also might want to stop in at Cups (as in cupcakes) on Girard Avenue. I've yet to meet a kid who doesn't love cupcakes.

Hope this helps.

Elizabeth Hansen


Arlington Heights...
Level Contributor
3 posts
18 reviews
4. Re: San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions!

La Jolla, California
Destination Expert
for La Jolla
Level Contributor
2,608 posts
109 reviews
5. Re: San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

I agree with ElizabethHansen that just playing in the sand on the beach will be a lot of fun for your kids. My grandchildren love going to the playground at La Jolla Shores as well as the playground at the recreation center on La Jolla Blvd. The rec center actually has more playground equipment for the very young than La Jolla Shores does. There is a large grassy area by the beach where they can run and play ball and have a picnic.

I took my grandkids to the zoo, but for the 22-month old two hours was almost too much. Her favorite part was the Children's Zoo with the goats and other farm animals. The zoo gets overwhelming for the little ones because of the large crowds.

Two years ago I took my other granddaughter to Legoland when she was 3 1/2 and just old enough (and tall enough) to start enjoying some of the rides. I think she would enjoy it much more now that she is 5. If I were you, I would hold off on Legoland for a few years.

I agree with the previous poster on the Birch aquarium. It is small but perfect for kids. They will enjoy the large kelp tank with the leopard sharks and other large fish, as well as the hands-on tide pool display on the terrace.

Arlington Heights...
Level Contributor
3 posts
18 reviews
6. Re: San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

Thanks for your comments! Happy Thanksgiving!

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
21,994 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

We took my just under 2 yr old and 4 yr old nieces to Seaworld and it was borderline. The thing that the 4 yr old enjoyed most was the playground area and some (approx 4) kiddie rides. She and her Dad also did one of the rides where they got wet and had to go to one of the paid dryers in the park to dry their clothes. The younger one, well, it didn't matter too much. I think the 4 yr old does / will remember something. I doubt the younger one will.

The thing that they enjoyed the most was the playground in the local neighborhood where they were visiting their Grandparents in Point Loma. They didn't visit the beach too much because 1) it was winter and 2) they live in Bali - so can't compare. But, I agree, that most kids love just playing in the sand which is what they do at home a lot.

Also, like said, the older one will probably be too short for any or some of the rides. I know our younger one got upset and cried when she saw her big sister go on a some of rides because she couldn't go too.

Chula Vista...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
2,608 posts
104 reviews
8. Re: San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

Hi and welcome,

There are a few other attractions that may be of interest to your grandsons:

The Children's Museum downtown:


And in Balboa Park near the Zoo are:

The Balboa Park Carousel


The Balboa Park Miniature Railroad:


And the San Diego Model Railroad Museum:



Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
24,271 posts
12 reviews
9. Re: San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

FYI, SeaWorld has some play areas for young ones that are themed to the Sesame Street Characters.


The kids can ride the Sky Cabin and the Sky Ride (with an adult).

Also the Rocking Eel, Sea Star Spin and Flying Fish rides allow any height with an adult rider.

10. Re: San Diego Over New Years With 19 Month and 3 Year Old Boys

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