Summer Break in San Diego with Toddlers

This summer we were on the hunt for fun activities to do with kids! We are coming out of a global pandemic, and slowly starting to return to normalcy. We are eager for fun and to get out and experience new things. In an effort to keep my 3 ½ year old stimulated and occupied over the summer, I wanted to make the most of the summer vacation and fill it with a healthy balance of structure and learning, but also laid back and play in the yard or play at home kind of summer. We are just at the start of August, which for us is the start of the final month of summer. Carli starts back up at preschool, this year going 3 mornings a week instead of 2 and I will start back up with online classes at that time too. SO for now, as we enjoy these last few weeks of summer, I can gladly say we have had a ton of really awesome experiences, but at the same time, Carli got a lot of down time, time to explore, time to create, time to roam, time to BE BORED and find something to do… and also screen time, movies and TV shows to fill the gaps of a very fun and stimulating summer vacation.

Butterfly Garden

Carli’s preschool recommended this as a summer vacation activity. I didn’t;t even now about it until then. Im so glad they did because it was a cute morning activity to do with Memaw and Papa at the start of summer! It was really warm so it wasn’t a very long activity. It was a great activity for little kids because they are contained in there!

Zoo or Safari Park

Here in San Diego, we get ‘May grey, June gloom’ weather. It is cooler and mostly overcast in spring. It is the perfect time to get in some ZOO or Safari Park Days! It can start to really heat up in late summer and into fall and when that happens, it isn’t always ideal to be walking around the zoo. Thank goodness for the splash pads for when we do get those heat waves and we still want a Zoo day. 

Splash Pads

I am so glad we gave this place a try this year! We have been to a few splash pads before, with Carli, but never to the Alga Norte Aquatics Center Splash Pad. It was only around $4/ person and it was loads of fun for both the 3 1/2 year old and the 1 year old! To find an activity where I am not constantly chasing at least one of them around, is amazing. I went with a few mom friends and with two kids each, we could all sit around and relax for a few minutes at a time and all of the kids were entertained and having a good time!


A lot of kids do summer camps, soccer camps, or other day camps in the summer time. These can for sure be costly and aren’t for everyone – which is why I hope this list of various activities can help to find ways to entertain your kids during the summer when you are without some structure for them with some type of camp. Though we did not enroll Carli in any camps because I am home with them full time, we don’t want to pay for anything at the moment AND mainly her age she is still only 3 1/2 and the many camps start at age 5 – we DID continue to do soccer, one day a week, throughout the summer. This was a nice constant for her as well as something for the family to do together every weekend. We have in-laws, Memaw and Papa who have recently moved from Oregon, to live here with us in Oceanside. They are retired, and love getting to spend time with their grandkids. Having soccer on Saturday mornings has been great and they love coming each week. Carli is learning so much each week. Learning to be a part of a team, listen to their coach, and follow directions are important developmental milestones. 


The beach, solo, with two kids is for sure challenging. I have done it and I have tips and tricks to making that at least some what enjoyable for you. I will cover this in a separate post you can find here

Living here in San Diego, we have been lucky to have beach and parks available to us year round. While they did close down during the height of the pandemic, they eventually opened up – and while everything else stayed closed down, we had something to do with the kids. Still as we make our way out of this pandemic, our family has enjoyed the beach as a weekend activity. Figuring out how to bring as little as possible while having everything you need for the babies is tricky and for sure take a lot of trial and error to figure out what will work out the best. My husband likes to bring a big bucket and a shovel and he occupies the 3 year old by digging a giant hole. She is so entertained by this really just because Dad is there and doing something WITH her! Jordan works full time, and though he is home a lot of the time working from home and spends so much time with them, it is extra special on the weekends when Jordan gets all day with them. The giant hole at the beach also helps to contain toddlers who like to chase after pigeons, run into the water or just wander/run away constantly. With a giant hole to play in you get hours of contained fun! 

The New Children's Museum

I would call this a Pop Up. I wanted to bring Carli to something like the Children’s Museum in Boston that I went to as a kid. This was super cute and a fun unique experience, but it was rather small and more of a pop-up. Definitely worth checking out! 

Park, Playground, Scooter/Bike

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