In the casual, seaside village of Mission Beach, you’ll find so many great activities to do with young kids! While visiting Mission Beach, where technicolor sunsets set the tone and tacos can be found on nearly every corner, there isn’t a shortage of things to do – and many of them are free! Read on for our favorite free, local activities for families traveling with young kids.
Where To Stay
While visiting Mission Beach, you can’t do better on location, convenience, and design than Arrivls The Rockaway House and Makai. Both are located just steps from Mission Beach, making them the perfect home base for all of your San Diego adventures.
Makai Mission Beach
Makai is the Hawaiian word for “towards the sea,” and is a fantastic choice for your North Park trip to San Diego! You’ll love the 2nd-floor patio and ocean view from this beachy duplex home. With its laid-back charm, thoughtful amenities, and absolutely unbeatable location, you won’t regret staying at Makai. Makai North is a spacious one-bedroom, and Makai South is a two-bedroom. The home comfortably sleeps 8 if you rent the entire duplex making this a great option for a trip to San Diego. Makai offers garage parking and all of your beach essentials – towels, an umbrella, chairs, and sand toys. We look forward to hosting you soon at Makai!
The Rockaway House
This Mission Beach duplex can be rented as individual units (Rockaway North with 1 bedroom/1 bathroom, and Rockaway South with 2 bedrooms/1 bathroom) or in combination to sleep up to 8 guests, making it perfect for larger families. While staying at The Rockaway House you’ll be just steps away from the Mission Beach boardwalk. Rockaway South – a 1930s beach cottage – is full of charm and is perfect for your next beach getaway. Upstairs, Rockaway North is thoughtfully designed and inviting. Whichever space you choose you’ll love the bright interior and the coastal boho vibes that The Rockaway House offers. The Rockaway House is located on the ocean side of Mission Boulevard, just 4 houses from the sand!
Did you know that Makai and The Rockaway House are next-door neighbors? This makes them perfect for groups traveling with up to 16 guests. You can rent out both duplexes – perfect for multiple groups or families traveling together, as you’ll be close by but everyone still has their own space to relax and unwind at the end of the day.
Free Activities With Young Kids Near Mission Beach
Maruta Garden Playground
The Maruta Gardner Playground at Bonita Cove Park is an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G free activity near Mission Beach! This feature-packed playground will keep toddlers to tweens entertained while parents enjoy a bayside view. You’ll find large slides, a rope course, swings, spinners and more! Pack a lunch (or grab food to-go from one of our favorite restaurants in Mission Beach) to enjoy at one of the picnic tables or on the sand by the bay.
There is also a smaller play set for younger tots, with swings, slides, stairs, and interactive stations.
Maruta Garden Playground | 1100 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
Waterfront Park Splash Pad
Your kids can splish and splash until their hearts are content at the Waterfront Park Splash Pad. This family-friendly, 12-acre park is located along the Embarcadero in Little Italy, and is decked out with tons of fun ways to entertain kids including a splash pad and slide!
The star of the show, at the Waterfront Park Splash Pad, is the giant fountain, with many jets! The fountain floor is grippy so kids can run and play without moms worrying about them slipping. Parents can enjoy the city’s beautiful waterfront view or have a picnic in the grassy area next to the fountain.
Waterfront Park Splash Pad | 1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92101
Beach Day On Mission Beach
Right across the street from Arrivls The Rockaway House and Maikai you’ll find the beautiful Mission Beach. Is there a better way to spend a day than at the beach? No need to worry, both Arrivls rentals have everything you need for a day on the sand including toys for the kids, chairs, and umbrellas. Mission Beach also has nine permanent lifeguard stations that patrol the area, giving you peace of mind that an extra set of eyes is watching over your kids.
Families with younger kids may prefer the calm and protected waters of Mission Bay, making it perfect for tots to splash and play in the water. The bay side also tends to be quieter than the beach side, with less foot traffic on the boardwalk.
Kids love Mission Beach for boogie boarding, building sand castles, and searching for aquatic life!
Walk The Mission Beach Boardwalk
You can stroll, rollerblade, skateboard, or bicycle along the Mission Beach Boardwalk with the kids. This scenic 3-mile walkway, along picturesque Mission and Pacific Beaches, doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the beautiful coastline.
For a more relaxing evening, you also can just sit along the boardwalk’s sea wall as the kids play in the sand. This is also the best spot for sunset-watching (see below)!
Cabrillo National Monument Tide Pools
It might surprise you that Point Loma holds some of the greatest treasures of the San Diego area. These treasures include the Cabrillo National Monument Tide Pools. Beyond the famous tide pools, the park has an excellent visitor center, trails to explore, and two lighthouses to explore.
The Cabrillo Tide Pools are a great place for kids to learn about the delicate and beautiful marine life that becomes exposed when the ocean recedes. Make sure to consult the tide charts before heading out for the day!
Cabrillo National Monument | 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
Take In A Sunset + Have a Beach Bonfire
Southern California sunsets are epically beautiful! Take a stroll on the beach to enjoy the views of the sun going down as the kids play in the sand or run around. Once the sun sinks behind the horizon gather firewood for a cozy beach bonfire on Mission Beach. Don’t forget to bring the s’mores!
These free activities with young kids near Mission Beach are sure to keep your days filled during your visit to San Diego. You’ll have a comfortable and cozy place to relax after amazing days on the beach at Arrivls The Rockaway House and Maikai. What are you waiting for?