Kids are FREE for October Only: Sea World, Belmont Park, and 100+ More San Diego Attractions

la jolla attractions

 

If you have little ones, October is an awesome month for everyone – enjoy Kids Free San Diego all through October! During the month-long celebration your kids will get free admission to attractions, meals on the house, and tons of other great perks throughout the city. With over 100 different offers and warm fall weather (without the summer crowds), this is a great opportunity to get out there and see some new San Diego sights.

Kids Free Admission

Note: exact ages included in the promotion may vary for each attraction; check website for details before you go.

  • La Jolla Historical Society
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps
  • Belmont Park (play and ride for free)
  • Empress Hotel (free Kids’ Welcome Gift, $25 value)
  • Bike & Kayak Tours of La Jolla (ride for free)
  • Balboa Park Museums:
    • San Diego Automotive Museum
    • Air & Space Museum
    • Museum of Photographic Arts
    • San Diego History Center
    • San Diego Model Railroad Museum
    • San Diego Museum of Man
    • Timken Museum of Art
    • Mingei International Museum
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego
  • San Diego SEAL Tours (ride free)
  • San Diego Fly Rides (ride free)

Kids Eat Free:

  • The Shores Restaurant (La Jolla Shores Hotel)
  • Sheraton La Jolla
  • Embassy Suites San Diego/La Jolla
  • Torreyana Grille (Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines)
  • Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa

SeaWorld Specials

  • Free single-day admission kids ages 3-9
  • Eat for free at breakfast and at Dine with Orcas
  • Free Dolphin & Beluga interaction programs

San Diego Zoo Specials

Children ages 11 and younger free admission (when accompanied by an adult with a valid form of entry). There are special activities happening both on weekdays and weekends throughout the month, as well; you can upgrade your day with a 1-Day Pass Child Upgrade for only $12 – which includes the Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Bus, and Skyfari Aerial Tram.

HalGLOWeen on October 27, 28, and 29: The Zoo will stay open until 8pm, so families can listen to DJs, enjoy bubble fun and special entertainment, and give the glowing “Boolahoops” a try. Dr. Zoolittle has a special “creepy” show, and there is plenty of other festive family fun in store. HalGLOWeen entertainment runs from 6pm-9pm. For more information head to their website.

There are tons of other spots throughout San Diego that are offering special deals and activities in October, so be sure to keep checking the website for updated information!

 

 

La Jolla Cove 4th of July Fireworks: Things to Know Before You Go

 

The annual fireworks show in La Jolla has been a beloved attraction for locals and visitors for more than 25 years. Each year, friends and family gather to watch the awesome display over the picturesque La Jolla Cove. The 30-minute display begins at 9pm sharp and is best viewed from Ellen Browning Scripps Park at the bottom of Coast Boulevard overlooking the La Jolla Cove.

The best places to watch the display are Ellen Browning Scripps Park, Coast Walk, and La Jolla Shores (especially Kellogg Park, where the grassy area is). Parking will be difficult and most street parking is timed to two or three hours – so do be aware of all parking signs once you arrive.

The fireworks have, sadly, been faced with their share of adversity throughout the years. In 2014, the display almost didn’t happen at all for lack of funding; a last-minute donation saved the day, and thankfully the show has gone on without a hitch ever since!

Day-of Tips:

  • Get there early! Parking will be extremely difficult all over La Jolla on the 4th, as this is an extremely popular spot. Some parking will be blocked off directly in front of the Park, but most street parking will be available. There are also a few underground garages with pay-per-hour rates along Herschel Ave. and Prospect Street.
  • Bring a blanket to sit on. If you get there early, you’ll have a chance to relax on the grass at the park while you wait. It makes for a beautiful place to watch the sunset!
  • Bring a small flashlight if you feel you might need to walk around before or during the display – it gets very dark in the area when they dim the streetlights.

After the fireworks, plan on hanging out at a restaurant or bar for a while – getting out of the village will be nearly impossible for at least an hour! For other information on activities and restaurants, visit our complete Guide to La Jolla Cove.

Feel like enjoying some dinner before the fireworks? Head to George’s at the Cove for a luxe 3-course meal.

George’s Ocean Terrace and Level2 are the perfect place to enjoy the La Jolla fireworks – their on-the-water location provides some of the best views of the 2017 fireworks show over La Jolla Cove. The cost of each table includes a 3-course dinner on July 4, 2017. Dinner begins at 6:30pm, and this year’s menu includes some incredible options including an Herbed Alaskan Halibut, Grilled Filet Mignon, and a Watermelon Salad; to name a few!

You must book a reservation in advance. Visit their website for more information.

Beaumont Avenue 4th of July Parade

The 38th Annual Beaumont Avenue 4th of July Parade is happening this year! The Bird Rock Parade Committee, led by Russell and Scott Murfey, is organizing the event. The 0.3 mile Beaumont Ave. parade route starts at 10am at the corner of Camino de la Costa and Beaumont Avenue, and ends at Mira Monte. Watch the neighborhood children in their special Independence Day attire as they walk, trike, bike, scooter, or ride on a float down the parade route.

After the parade, there will be a 4th of July celebration and party behind the La Jolla Methodist Church. There will be food, entertainment, and plenty of activities for the whole family.

This is solely volunteer-run event, and donations are always appreciated. Please visit their donations website for more information.

Family Fun in La Jolla

Between the waves crashing dramatically against jagged cliffs and the intrigue of secret caves, the La Jolla shore certainly brings a level a mystery and majesty to the San Diego portfolio. So, it’s no surprise that La Jolla is a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike. From superb dining opportunities to outdoor adventures, you’ll never have a hard time filling your itinerary. If anything, you may be left scratching your noggin about how to narrow down the top things to do.

Whether you’re visiting La Jolla with small children or your about-to-fly-the-nest teenagers, you can build a dreamy itinerary. Expedia.com has partnered with La Jolla Tourism to bring you the best ways to enjoy some family fun in San Diego, no matter the makeup of your gang.

family fun in la jolla

Kids

Do you have a grommet on your hands? That’s what San Diegans call kids who surf. Your little fish can learn the ropes at the Menehune Surf School if they’ve not yet mastered riding waves or duck diving; a 4-hour kids’ surf camp is the perfect way for them to get their feet wet. They’ll revel in the success of standing on the board, and you’ll get lots of cool photos from the shore.

Once you towel off, take the gang to the Children’s Pool. The name of this landmark misleads just a bit; it was supposed to be a swimming area for kids, but over time it filled with sand and lured in seals during pupping season. You can stand on the boardwalk nearby to watch the seals from December to May. Grab a picnic lunch and head to Kellogg Park, where a play set for young kids is open to the public, and lots of green open space lets you relax near La Jolla Shores Beach.

family fun in la jolla

Teens

Teens can be difficult to please. Somewhere between being satisfied with a trip to the park and relishing a tour of a museum lies the perfect activity to let them feel as cool as they’ll never admit wanting to be. La Jolla offers a wealth of activities that fall right into this elusive niche. A spearfishing trip off the coast gives teenagers the chance to snorkel out with a spear in hand, catching dinner in dramatic fashion using their primitive tool. Back on dry land, the Torrey Pines Gliderport offers a cool excursion for older teens and adults. Take a quick lesson, and soon you’re flying off the cliff under a brightly colored canopy.

family fun in la jolla

All Ages

A family that explores together stays together, so it’s a good thing La Jolla has activities that work for an all-ages group. If you’re traveling with kids, teens, and adults alike, the outdoors are the easiest way to strike a good balance. Climb into kayaks and go on a guided sea cave tour. You’ll glide along the coast and spot marine life before paddling your way into exclusive caves only accessible by kayak. If larger vessels float your boat, get aboard a whale watching boat. Back on dry land, La Jolla day tours and afternoons at Windansea Beach will bring everyone together.

No matter how you spend your time in the Jewel of San Diego, you’ll walk away with plenty of vitamin D and stories to last a life time. How will you create your memories in La Jolla?

Schools in La Jolla, CA

By Allison E. Gower Feb 26, 2015

If you have children or know you may one day, you know how important schooling is or will be. With such variance in education, you naturally want to make sure your child is getting the right experience, the best one for helping them to grow and succeed. La Jolla has numerous public and private schools that makes picking hard…only because there are many great options! That’s why we’ve put together this page, to break down the most critical information for top, local La Jolla schools, from pre-school to 12th grade.

Academic Standing Overall

Education here is highly ranked not just by parents and teachers, but by test scores. La Jolla scores a 9 out of 10 on GreatSchools.com for its academic standing, a good many points above the average school in the U.S.

Public Elementary Schools

There are 3 public elementary schools: Bird RockLa Jolla & Torrey Pines – each one located further north than the next. These are predominantly based on where you reside. For example, if you’re looking to buy a home near the Southern end of La Jolla, you’re child will most likely attend Bird Rock Elementary. All three schools are much loved by those that attend, and the PTA (Parent Teacher Associations) are definitely not short of members. Involvement is huge.

Public Middle School

Children graduate from elementary school and enter this transitional few years before hitting the SAT-filled halls of high schools. Because there is so much change during this time of kids’ lives, we know how important selecting the right middle school is.

Muirlands Middle School, a very highly rated public institution and has 1,090 students and has about 22 students to the teacher. It has very competitive test scores and leads students smoothly into their next chapter.

Public High School

Once children have made it up the ladder to high schools; congratulations! They’re almost there. The main public school for the city is an easy name to remember, La Jolla High School. Known for its sports teams and high rating, it hosts about 1600 students. And though it has a large school body, there are only about 22 students to the teacher.

Private & Niche Schools

The private schools are a large draw in this city, whether its kindergarteners diving into the world in a safe, mind-engaging environment or high school students gearing up for higher education through college prep, SATs, AP classes and more. Some of these schools aren’t simply elementary or middle school either, they include many grades that is ideal for people with children of various ages. Check out some of the top options!

The Bishop’s School
Middle School through High school (6-12)

This elite, highly regarded schools is an independent school designed as a college-prep education; its roots in the Episcopalian church have been here since its founding in 1909.

La Jolla Country Day
Toddler/Pre-K – High School

This top notch, 24 acre school is part of a nationwide private school system that even accepts international applicants for high school. Not only are the academics and extracurriculars top of the line, but your children, whether they’re 4 or 14, can all head to the same spot!

The Children’s School
Toddler/Pre-K – 8th

This progressive school is all about its students being 21st century learners, emphasizing outreach projects that go outside the classroom walls. This school believe strongly in academic, social and environmental curriculum.

Stella Maris Academy
K – 8th

This is the school associated with the Parochial School for Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic, located right in the heart of the La Jolla Village. It’s proud to intertwine faith and tradition with positive growth and learning.

The Evans School
K – 6th

This education institution, hosted up on Mt. Soledad, is known for a focus on education that’s not only academically nurturing, but about respect, kindness and being faith-centered. They also have a focus on small class sizes and parental involvement.

The Gillispie School
Pre-K – Elementary

From ages 2 to grade 6, this schools is all seeing learning as a journey, using their skills, resources and facilities to not only teach children, but create a love of learning.

San Diego French American School
Pre-K through 8th grade

Mais oui! Whether your children uttered their first words in French or don’t have the best grasp of the language yet, this bi-lingual, multi-cultural school is a great place to foster language learning and development. They seek to pick the best of both the French and American school systems to create a powerful learning environment.

Montessori School of La Jolla
Pre-K & Kindergarten

Montessori seeks to activate and stimulate all the senses to create a learning environment that’s inquiring and cooperative, where students are not simply taught. They grow through self and teacher-initiated activities, in a classroom with children of different ages, not simply their own.

Southern California Yeshiva High School
High-school

This is an all-boys high school known for its highly advanced college preparatory design and its strong roots in Torah-rooted Judaism. Its reputation is proven by the numbers of students it’s sent to top of the line and Ivy League universities.

The Preuss School
College-preparatory charter school

This is a charter-school that has a top priority of sending kids to college who will be their first in their family to graduate from university. Located on the UCSD campus, it truly encompasses a culture of higher education and learning.

Beth Montessori At Bethel
Pre-K through Kindergarten

This is another Montessori School option, the main difference being that it integrates both secular Montessori philosophy and Judaism. This program also provides a unique bi-lingual experience in both English and Spanish.

All Hallows Academy
K – 8th 

This Christian-based school has a strong emphasis on integrating faith and academic excellence, which is demonstrated through their motto: “Where Faith and Education Meet”.

If you’re looking strictly at preschools? We’ve got those narrowed down for you here:

Outside the Classroom

By getting the basic facts, we hope you can narrow down some of the options that most jump out at you! Once they’re enrolled and need a break from schooling, there’s plenty else for them to explore in La Jolla, which you can learn about at our blog: Children’s Events.

Great Activities for Children in La Jolla

Children’s Events

If you’re visiting or living in La Jolla with little ones, there’s a plethora of children-centered, family-friendly events happening year round. Here are some, just to name a few!

Holiday Events

No one gets more excited for holidays and the treats they produce than children. This is why La Jolla has put together such kid-centered events, festivals and parades for each year’s main holidays. Learn more about the trick-or-treating opportunities at Halloween and eye-popping parades of 4th of July and Christmas at our Holidays Page.

The Open-Aire Market

This market, hosted by one of the local elementary schools, puts on events weekly, monthly and annually. All of their events are family-friendly and proceeds go to local children’s and educational programs. What are some of the events to expect?

Sundays, come here to find a farmer’s market full of fresh fruit, vegetables and goods from local farmers and suppliers. There’s live music too, so your kids can get a chance to see musicians rather than just hearing them on the radio!

Each year, big crowds come out for the Art & Wine Festival, Harvest Festival & Market Anniversary and Spring Egg Hunt. All of these events are family-friendly, though the Spring Egg Hunt may be more exciting to kids than the paintings and merlots of the Art & Wine Festival! (Don’t worry though, there are plenty of kids activities going on while you sip your Chardonnay at the Art & Wine Festival.)

During the year, there’s also a family event hosted on the 3rd Sunday of each month. This exact activity varies, but stick with us and we’ll make sure to keep you updated!

Art & Painting Class

Is your child ready to be the next Monet? Let them pick up a paintbrush and get on-hands experience at a children’s painting class. “My Art Shed” offers classes led by painters trained in teaching children proper techniques, while making it fun at the same time.

Visit the Birch Aquarium

Let your future marine biologists explore the ocean floor, from the safety of the ground. At the Birch Aquarium, kids can see everything from Finding Nemo-inspired fish to seahorses. With its vast range of aquatic animals and paired learning activities, it’s no wonder over 40,000 school children are brought to visit here every year!

The Grunion Run

This late night run is a complete blast for children and parents alike. Each year in Southern California, grunion (a breed of silvery fish) ride waves to the coast in order to spawn. Many thousands appear at the shoreline at random, specific dates from early spring to early fall.

What happens exactly? People camp out on the shore, often around bonfire pits, on the dates the grunion are expected to come. Between midnight and 3 am, these fish appear by thousands on the beach, flailing and jumping. People run (hence the name) with buckets and grab as many of them as they can. It is quite the sight to behold and something you and your kids will never forget!

Visit Children’s Pool

This beach was made just for kids, although sea lions have taken quite a fancy to it, as well! Learn more about this beach and it’s amenities at our Children’s Pool Page.

Learn an Aquatic Sport

La Jolla, being right along the Pacific Ocean, is a prime spot for water sports. There are many organizations and trainers offering classes in water sports like surfing, sailing and kayaking. This is a great way to let your kid try these sports out safely and under supervision!

Del Mar’s San Diego County Fair

Del Mar’s San Diego County Fair

Summertime in Southern California is the epitome of a beachside Hollywood film. After you’ve soaked in plenty of sun at the beach, next stop? Hitting the Del Mar County Fair. From breathtaking gardens and wine tasting to deep fried Oreos and amusement park rides, it is a phenomenal event that truly has something for everyone.

1605_v1_delmarFerriswheel

Entertainment

There’s a lot to do at this fair; it’s why so many people come back multiple times each summer. They want to make sure they see it all! Here’s our outline of the most major, must-see fair points.

la-jolla-del-mar-fair-ferris-wheel

Competitive Exhibits:

Walking through the best of art, gardens, wine, photographs, livestock and other exhibits is very eye-opening. You get to see the talents of many people from all walks of life. If you have your own homemade cheese or art that could be prize-worthy, enter your selection! With a large number of prizes, you never know what you could win.

The Animals:

A county fair simply isn’t a county fair without animals! Wave to horses, meet bunny rabbits, pet goats and so much more at the many animal exhibits here.

Concerts:

This county fair is full of a variety of live music. There are great local artists at many of the small stages, and there are large concerts hosted throughout the season. Some of the bands are big names, so look out to make sure you don’t miss your favorite group.

Amusement Rides & Arcade Games:

Bumper cars. Flying swings. Haunted mansions. Need we say more?

The Food

The beauty of this fair is that you can cater the experience to your own taste, literally. You can take a day off your heart-healthy regime and go for the stereotypical fair food. Try items like deep fried Oreos, deep fried candy bars, chocolate covered bacon, massive barbecued turkey legs and more.

If those items sound a little much, don’t worry; the fair offers lighter options and upscale dining, as well. If you’re of drinking age, add onto to either meal type with an extra special kick!

For those Over 21

Perhaps you adore merlots. Maybe you love Stone IPAs. Whether you’re a wine or beer person, or hey, maybe are a fan of both, there are two specific events we want to draw your attention to.

The Toast of the Coast Wine Festival: A ticket in here covers unlimited samplings, the opportunity for some truly VIP dining and your admission into the fair.

San Diego International Beer Festival: Featuring beers that are local and from across the globe, this festival has become the largest beer festival on the entire West Coast. If you love beer, it’s something you don’t want to miss.