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The San Diego Auto Show...with Kids: FREE Tickets, Parking, Tips & Where to Play Nearby (Dec. 29, 2023 - Jan. 1, 2024)

Monster Jam Trucks Petco Park San Diego Parent Tips for Kids

The San Diego Auto Show has zoomed back into town! ⚡️🏎️⚡️ (Click link here to watch Instagram reel video.) 

My car-obsessed boys have always loved going because they can climb into all the cars and get into the driver’s seat! They love seeing the character cars (Lightning McQueen, Scooby Doo van, etc.), old classics like Model-T’s and vintage Mustangs and suped-up low-riders too!

Check out all the new models, electric cars, mini-vans, accessible cars, off-roading, SUVs, trucks & even camper vans. Reps are there and can answer all of your questions about these; like the new Chevy electric that goes 400 miles on one charge!

Stop by @sandiegoautomuseum booth to win prizes like free tickets!


🥪 Food 

🤸🏻‍♂️ What's Nearby


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Car-loving kiddos will love climbing inside all the cars! The show is inside a large open space with lots of people milling about and most of the car doors are unlocked. It's easy to lose sight of kiddos here especially if they can open the doors by themselves and hop inside. So if you don't see your kids, look inside the nearby cars...but keep eyes on your kids at all times because there are a lot of cool cars to explore. ;) This is a stroller-friendly event, but with all the people it may be tricky to maneuver so I'd personally recommend to baby-wear the littles.

Sunday is a Family Day so kids 12 and under are FREE! If you're active duty or retired military, stop by select local Nissan dealerships for your free tickets (locations listed below).

Parking is easiest in the underground parking garage ($25 per car), but little legs won't have to walk as far if you park for cheaper in a nearby paid lot.

No food is allowed inside, but they do have lots of kid-friendly options for purchase. Try to fill them up with a big meal before you go inside to save on money and time waiting in lines and then go eat afterward.

There is a brand new playground that just opened up nearby, about a 10 minute walk across the street. It's right across from the New Children's Museum (info below). If kids/mama aren't into the auto show, they can walk over there and play at the playground or hit the museum while other car-loving family members check out the auto show.



San Diego Auto Show

San Diego Convention Center

111 E Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101


Backpacks and bags are allowed inside, subject to search. Bag policy - here 




Dec. 29, 2023 - Jan. 1, 2024


$18 Adults ages 13-61

$12 Kids ages 7-12

$15 Military/Seniors 62+

Free Kids 6 & under w/ adult


Sunday 12/31 is FAMILY DAY where Kids 12 & under get in FREE

Active & Retired military get FREE tickets at local Nissan Dealerships (Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, Kearny Mesa, National City, Oceanside & Poway)



$25 at the Convention Center underground parking garage. Enter on Harbor Dr. between 1st Ave. & 5th Ave. Directions, parking & transportation - here 


Take the Green Line to the Convention Center or Gaslamp and walk across the street



Eat BEFORE you go. It’s cheaper and no lines.

Outside food/drinks are not allowed. There is food for purchase inside: snack stands have pretzels & churros. Cafe Express has salads, sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs, burgers, chicken tenders, fruit, etc.



Yes strollers are allowed, but it’s tricky to maneuver around the people so imo it’d be better to baby-wear for this event.

Also, it’s easy to lose kiddos here because they’re climbing in and out of cars and running over to the next cool make sure you’ve got eyes on them.



The new playground just opened in front of the New Children’s Museum and it’s awesome! It's about a 10 minute walk from the Convention Center. 📍 W Island Ave. + First Ave.




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