top of page

Rain or Shine! 45+ INSIDE Places for Kids to Play in San Diego

(Feb 2022: This is in the middle of an update. Original info posted is from 2018, but you can still use this as a general guide since most places are still around. Check hours, prices, etc. before you go.)


Indoor places to go with kids when it's raining or too hot in San Diego

Things are always looking up in San Diego, RAIN or SHINE!


45+ INSIDE Places for Kids to Play in San Diego

Sure we've got perfect weather year round to run and play outside...but sometimes we want a break from the SUMMER HEAT or when it RAINS once or twice a year. Here are some of San Diego's finest INSIDE play areas for kids!


Contents


 

🏛 BALBOA PARK INDOOR MUSEUMS

*(Info may be incorrect. It's from my original post in 2018. I'll update soon for 2022).


There are SO many museums at Balboa Park that my kids love. But beware on extra hot summer days or rainy days, everyone else thinks of going there too...especially on the FREE Resident Tuesdays. That's a double whammy! So we actually avoid Balboa Park on a hot or rainy Tuesday.

PARKING TIP: Get there by 9:30am to grab a parking spot. Check out the museum you want to see and look at the map online to find the nearest parking lot. You don't want to be trekking across Balboa Park in the scorching heat with toddlers or in the rain because you parked at the opposite end. ;)

Our favorite Kid-Friendly INDOOR Museums at Balboa Park:

(Remember, these are FREE on Resident Tuesdays!)


 

🦕 NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

Features: This museum was made for toddlers! It's amazing. They can touch and open everything without having to worry if it's ok. It is! Let them touch everything. This is one of our favorites!!

Food: There's an onsite cafe, The Flying Squirrel, inside the museum. There are tables & chairs inside as well. They have coffee and kid-friendly food.

Parking: Uncovered parking lot is right outside just to the East of the building, so it's a short run in the rain if you get there early. If not, there's more parking a little bit north next to the carousel and it's not too far of a walk either, but maybe bring an umbrella if it's pouring.


💻 website




 

🔭 FLEET SCIENCE CENTER

Features: KidCity is an awesome playroom upstairs for kids 5 & under. The rest of the exhibits usually hold interest for my toddlers too. We also love the little playroom tucked behind the elevator and conveniently next to the lesser known bathrooms. Their IMAX shows are usually 25-40 minutes long and are just long enough for my kids to sit still through them. Currently we love their rotating exhibits upstairs (sometimes they're an extra fee).

Food: There is an onsite cafe, Craveology, that serves up some pretty good & kid-friendly foods, coffee too. The only seating is outside though, so find one in the shade or take your food to-go and find a covered shady spots nearby. If it's raining you may need to run over to the nearest covered hallway and grab a bench or sit on the ground to eat.

Parking: Uncovered parking is just south of the building. If you get there early you could snag an upper lot parking spot or else you can find some in the lower lots. Bring an umbrella if it's raining out.


💻 website



 

🚂 SAN DIEGO MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUM

Features: Mac's Kids Corner is now downstairs (it used to be upstairs). Once you enter the museum, turn right and it's down at the end of the hallway. It has a train table with lots of tracks, trains and books about trains! My kids can play here for a solid hour without even realizing I'm still there.

Food: There is a cafe nearby called Cafe in the Park and is one of our favorite places to eat at Balboa Park. It's in the same building so you don't have to go outside to get there. Once you exit the museum, walk up the stairs or take the elevator down the hallway if you have a stroller. You'll find it at the top of the stairs. The food is great and they have coffee, smoothies & kid-friendly options too. There are tables & chairs inside there too.

Parking: Uncovered parking lot. There's a small parking lot that's usually filled up, but it's the closest to the Train Museum. Go to the end of Space Theater Way to find it, and you walk up the back trail next to the Zoro Garden. It's usually filled up, so you'll have to park in one of the other lots off of Space Theater Way. You can still walk over there up through Zoro Garden if you like. Bring an umbrella if it's raining.


💻 website



 

🏺 THE MUSEUM OF US

Features: Lots of different exhibits that are kid-friendly. There's an Egyptian play room upstairs that kids like.

Food: There's no cafe onsite here.

Parking: Uncovered parking. The closest parking spot is off of Balboa Drive or Sixth Ave. just west of Cabrillo bridge. Watch the parking signs to make sure you can park there at that time due to street sweeping or some don't allow parking before 10am, etc. It's a bit of a walk so bring the stroller and your umbrella.


💻 website



 

🛩 SAN DIEGO AIR & SPACE MUSEUM (pictured above)

Features: There's a kids Action Aviation Hanger playroom for kids (I believe it's closed on the Free Tuesday), there's an interactive flight simulator and a 3D/4D Theater that plays short films continuously during the day. These films are about 10-20 minutes long and they usually have a really cool kids film. Most of the planes are roped off for "no touching", but some have stairs that you can walk up and see inside the cockpit. There is 1 helicopter that kids can climb inside and you can take a really cute picture of them "flying the helicopter".

Food: There is an onsite cafe, The Flight Path Grill (check hours before you go in you're planning on this), and it is outside. But get your food to-go and find the large covered rotunda in between the two Air & Space buildings. There's lots of seating and tables there so it's the perfect spot to eat.

Parking: Uncovered parking lot, but it's right in front of the building so it's a short walk if it's raining.

Tip: The Auto Museum is right next door and makes for a good visit if you check out both of these at the same time. We can usually see both of them in about 2 hours.


💻 website



 

🚗 SAN DIEGO AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM

Features: Most of the cars and motorcycles are roped off and they have strict "no touching" rule. Sometimes it's hard to keep my kids' hands to themselves unless they're contained in a baby carrier or a stroller (which they don't allow inside on a Free Resident Day). Since my kids love cars, we come here on occasion, but not often because it's not very "toddler friendly".

Food: There is no food onsite here.

Parking: Uncovered parking lot, but it's right in front of the building so it's a short walk if it's raining.

Tip: The Air & Space Museum is right next door and makes for a good visit if you check out both of these at the same time. We can usually see both of them in about 2 hours.


💻 website



 

🎳 BOWLING

*(Info may be incorrect. It's from my original post in 2018. I'll update soon for 2022).


If you're going during Spring or Summer, sign your kids up for the Kids Bowl Free Program! This is a nationwide program across the USA and Canada. You’ll have to pay for shoe rentals and you may need to bring cash for this. (check status of this program during pandemic times)

Beyond the ball ramps & bumpers, do you know what size ball to use? Or which lane would be best for stroller access? Check out my 13 Tips for Bowling with Toddlers to make it a successful outing.

Local Bowling Alleys


 

📽 MOVIE THEATERS

*(Info may be incorrect. It's from my original post in 2018. I'll update soon for 2022).


Check your local movie theaters to see what's playing for some entertainment and respite from the heat or rain.


$1 SUMMER MOVIES

Go ahead and let the kids eat popcorn for breakfast while you relax and enjoy some AC for the morning! These are usually first thing in the morning either every weekday or select weekdays. Theaters often have a kids pack for a reduce price that include a drink, popcorn and a snack or candy. Get there early to get a good seat!

Here are the local $1 Summer Movie Theaters:

(Links are from 2018! I'll update for summer 2022 soon.)

 

🤸🏻‍♀️ INDOOR PLAY AREAS

*(Info may be incorrect. It's from my original post in 2018. I'll update soon for 2022).


These are set up just for little kids and vary in their offerings. Some have onsite cafes, jumpies, super slides, obstacle courses, climbing walls and more. Prices can be a little steep, so you'll want to make the most of it and spend as much time there as you can.


DEALS: Check to see if they have a punch card or a limited membership, like a monthly pass or a 3 month pass, that you can use during the rainy months or hot summer time.


TIP: Some require a waiver so try to fill it out online before you go, that way you're not trying to manage the kids while doing paperwork...


TIP: Socks are usually required, so make sure you have them with you. I like to bring a 2nd pair of clean socks to put on afterward and throw all the dirty socks into a plastic bag for washing. ;)


Indoor Play Areas

(Info, prices, hours, etc. noted below are from 2018! I'll update this info soon for 2022 so check current info on their websites before you go. But you could use it as a general guide for what to expect.)

  • FUNBelievable, Lakeside

  • Gymboree, Clairemont, Poway, Carlsbad

  • Play City, Chula Vista

  • Play Kingdom, Oceanside

  • The Playground at Grossmont Mall, La Mesa


  • Kidsville, Carlsbad (permanently closed)

  • Kid Ventures, (all 3 sites converted into preschools)

  • Play Town, El Cajon (permanently closed 2/2018)

  • Urban Jungle, Santee (permanently closed)


 

🤸🏻‍♀️ FUNBELIEVABLE (Lakeside)

Indoor play spot for kids 12 & under, with toddler area, cafe & party facilities; sock-feet only.


(*INFO is from 2018! I'll update soon for 2022.)


HOURS:

Mon-Thur 9a-6p, Fri 9a-8p, Sat/Sun 10a-6p (weekend hours may vary)

COST:

$12/kid, $10/sibling. NO Same Day Re-Entry. $6/non-walking babies or FREE w/ paid sibling. Adults are always FREE w/ paid child's admission.

DEALS:

-Punchcard 5 for $45 or 10 for $85 (never expire)

-$1 off Military everyday

-Hero Mondays are $6 for children of active duty police, firefighters & military (not valid during school breaks or holidays).

MEMBERSHIPS:

$90/3 months 1 kid, $50/3 months sibling. $140/6 months 1 kid, $80/6 months sibling. $225/12 months 1 kid, $125/12 months sibling


GOOD TO KNOW:

AGES: 12 and under

SOCKS: Required



📍 11655 Riverside Dr., Ste 155, Lakeside, 92040 💻 website




 

🤸🏻‍♀️ GYMBOREE (Clairemont, Poway, Carlsbad)

Weekly indoor play gym for toddlers. These are membership based so you'll sign up for a set number of classes or months. Hours & Cost vary. We personally loved our Gymboree days! 💻 website


 

🤸🏻‍♀️ PLAY CITY (Chula Vista)

Bouncies and indoor play area. Toddler Zone for kids 0-3yrs. OK to BYO food & drinks. Socks are required.


(*INFO is from 2018! I'll update soon for 2022.)


HOURS:

Sun-Thur 10a-8pm, Fri & Sat 10a-9pm.

COST:

$5 for 0-11 months, $12 for 1 yo, $16 for 2-6 yo, $17 for 7-12 yo. Parents are free. SAME Day Re-Entry Mon-Thur only.

DEALS:

Punchcard 5 for $60 or 10 for $90 (never expires). 10% off for military, law enforcement, DOD, fire fighters.

MEMBERSHIP:

Monthly: $30 for 1 month Mon-Thur only. $55 for 2 kids, $75 for 3 kids, $95 for 4 kids.

Monthly VIP: $50 for 1 month Mon-Thur only. $50 off birthday package.

Yearly: $500 for 1 year Mon-Sat.

GOOD TO KNOW:

AGES: 1-12yrs

SOCKS: Required



📍 871 Showroom Pl, Ste 105, Chula Vista (Eastlake), 91914 💻 website




 

🤸🏻‍♀️ PLAY KINGDOM (Oceanside)

Play Kingdom is an indoor playground for kids ages 1-11; where kids can have fun playing, climbing, sliding and much, much more in a safe environment. We’ve created a place for you to bring your kids to be creative, stimulated, get exercise, and just plain have fun! (Be sure to bring socks!)


We didn’t forget about you adults. Play Kingdom offers a coffee café with high-grade coffee, and specialty coffees to satisfy your taste buds. We also provide free WI-FI in our comfy seating area. Come relax, have a delicious cup of coffee, work, read, etc. while your kids have a blast!


(*INFO UPDATED 3/1/2022)


HOURS:

Monday, Friday, Saturday from 9-5

Sunday from 1-5

COST:

$13/child, $11/sibling

DEALS:

Sunday Special: $10/child flat rate on Sundays

Military 10% off


MEMBERSHIPS:

$45/mo for one child

$90/mo for two children

$120/mo for three children


GOOD TO KNOW:

AGES: 1-11yrs

SOCKS: Required, available for purchase if you forget.



📍 3985 Mission Ave., Oceanside, 92058 (behind New Song Church) 📞 760-309-5916 💻 website




 

🤸🏻‍♀️ THE PLAYGROUND (La Mesa, Grossmont Center Mall)

(*INFO is from 2018! I'll update soon for 2022.)


HOURS:

Mon-Thur 10a-6pm, Fri & Sat 10a-8p, Sun 11a-6p

COST:

$15/child, $12/sibling. SAME Day Re-Entry. 2 adults per child are free, $5 for 3+ adults per child. Infants 0-6 months are free w/ paid admission; Non-walking babies 6+ months are $11.

DEALS:

-Mon & Wed $11/child

-10 visits for $100, never expires

MEMBERSHIPS:

$56/mo 1 child, $50/mo sibling

GOOD TO KNOW:

SOCKS: Required for kids & adults

Onsite snack bar

Outside Food is allowed


📍 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., #125, (Grossmont Mall) La Mesa 91942 💻 website




 

🤸🏻‍♂️ TRAMPOLINE & 🤼‍♀️ TUMBLING CENTERS

*(Info may be incorrect. It's from my original post in 2018. I'll update soon for 2022).


Most of these trampoline centers have either Toddler Jump times or a Toddler Zone so they're not jumping with the big kids. Waivers are usually required, so try to fill it out online before you go if possible, that way you're not trying to manage the kids while doing paperwork... They all require Grippy Socks and they all sell them for $2-3/pair if you don't have them. (Mamas...a word to the wise...sports bras & pads...that's all I'll say. ;)


Trampoline & Tumbling Centers


 

🤸🏻‍♂️ ROCKIN' JUMP (Mira Mesa)

We love this place!

TODDLER JUMP TIMES: Tues & Wed from 9-11am and Sat from 8-10am.

COST: $7 for and 1 adult & 1 child and add $3 per sibling if you have any other kids.

*You do have to wear their neon green grippy socks so you don't slip on the trampoline. They're $3 (I think), but you get to keep them and bring them back to use again.


 

🤸🏻‍♂️ PUMP IT UP (Poway, Chula Vista)

HOURS: Open daily, but check their calendar online for Open Jump times as they may vary.

COST: $12/child. Parents can jump for FREE if under 150lb weight limit.

*Socks are required.

 

🤸🏻‍♂️ GET AIR (Poway, East County tba, Vista, Temecula)

TODDLER JUMP TIMES (under 46" only): Tues & Thur from 8-10am

COST for Toddlers: $10/1 hour, $16/2 hours

*Grippy socks are required and they sell them for $3 if you don't have them already.

WHAT: Little Air jumpers are allowed in Little Air, foam pits, basketball, slacklines, fidget ladders and other one-at-a-time obstacles.

 

🤸🏻‍♂️ SKY ZONE (Chula Vista, San Marcos)

TODDLER JUMP TIMES: Tue 10am-12pm, Sun 9-11am

COST: $10/toddlers, $5/adult during toddler time

 

🤸🏻‍♂️ HOUSE OF AIR (Carlsbad)

HOURS: 10am-6pm daily

COST: $10/1 hr

*Grippy socks are required and they sell them for $2 if you don't have them already.

WHAT: While they don't have a specific Toddler Time, their Air Jr Access includes: The Arena Trampoline Court (for 3-6 years), basketball dunk area, trampolines to airbag zone, joust, climbing wall and bounce house. Minimum weight for climbing wall access is 40 lbs & harness must fit.

 

🤸🏻‍♂️ ALTITUDE TRAMPOLINE PARK (Vista)

TODDLER JUMP TIMES (ages 5 & under): <returns Monday August 13th, 2018>. Each weekday from 10:00am – 1:00pm

COST: Toddler Jump Times have a discounted rate of $8.95/hr. Parents can jump for an additional $2.95!

*Grippy socks required, they sell them for $2.

 

🤸🏻‍♂️ JUMP AROUND NOW (Chula Vista)

HOURS: Call for hours

COST: Mon-Fri General access is $12/hr, all access is $18/hr. Sat/Sun All Access is $18/hr

WHAT: There is no specific Toddler Time, but they do have a separate area for kids 5 and under.

 

COST:

for ages 23 months and under: $10/one hour; $15/two hours

for ages 2-12: $15/one hour; $20/two hours


871 Showroom Pl STE 106, Chula Vista, CA 91914

619-271-6171


 

"San Diego's First American Ninja Warrior Gym". "Through fun and challenging activities such as American Ninja Warrior, Gymnastics, Pre-K Prep, After-school, Camps and more, KidWonder focuses on active learning curriculum to increase the confidence and potential in the next generation.


Memberships, weekly, monthly & hourly options available. Highly skilled and trained coaches and teachers will provide children and parents the best possible care."


4735 Point Loma Ave., Ocean Beach, CA 92107

619-228-9766


<thanks for sharing this cool place @kandal456>

 

🤼‍♀️ G3 KIDS (Pacific Beach, UTC, Pt. Loma)

 

🤼‍♀️ MYGYM (Poway, La Jolla, Vista, Temecula)

 

🤼‍♀️ GYMBOREE PLAY & MUSIC (Clairemont)





 

🤸🏻‍♂️ CHILDREN’S MUSEUMS

*(Info may be incorrect. It's from my original post in 2018. I'll update soon for 2022).



🤸🏻‍♂️ THE NEW CHILDREN'S MUSEUM (Downtown & Del Mar)

Features: 3-4 floors of F-U-N! Some installations are permanent, but most change every few months so there's always something new to discover. There's also a nursing station next to the cafe if you want to sit down and feed your babes.

Food: There is an onsite cafe, Bean Sprouts Cafe, that serves up healthy and good kid-friendly foods, coffee drinks too. The kid's food is usually shaped into a butterfly or flower or fish of some sort.

Parking: There is limited underground PAID parking if you get there early. You will still have to walk outside down the street and around the corner to the entrance, so you may need to bring an umbrella or walk fast if it's raining.

Underground parking $10/car weekdays, $15/car weekends, 50% off for members. Garage opens at 9:30am and closes at 4:30pm, Sundays it opens at 10:30am.

Otherwise, we'll park in the pay lot at 1st Ave. & Island Ave. and walk 2 blocks.

ABM Parking on 450 2nd Ave. gives a 2 hours parking discount when attending the children's museum; (use parking discount code: 8792).

Tip: Word to the Wise...This is a very large museum so if you have multiple kids that are all walking it can be tricky if they want to go in all different directions. When my 2nd started walking, I only went here if I had another adult with me just to keep up with the kids. One almost went inside the elevator by himself and I jumped inside just before the doors closed. And there's a large open concrete stairway to make sure kids don't fall down it.


COST:

$14 for adults & kids ages 1+, $10/military every day, Free for babies under 1

HOURS:

Mon-Sat 9:30a-4p; Sun 11:30a-4p (hours may vary, check online first or call)

*They are OPEN on Tuesdays in the summer! After Labor Day, they will be closed on Tuesdays.

DEALS:

Participates in Museums for All using your EBT for $1 admission up to 4 people.

Participates in Blue Star Museums offering FREE admission for military from Memorial Day-Labor Day!

Get the FREE library pass and it's valid for 2 weeks

MEMBERSHIPS:

$85/year for 2 people, $125/year for 4 people, $165/year for 6 people. $10 off military.

 

🤸🏻‍♂️ SAN DIEGO CHILDREN'S DISCOVERY MUSEUM (Escondido)

This is a really fun museum for kids to run around safely in an enclosed space. Half of it is indoors and half is outdoors. The key difference between the one above is that this one is only on ONE LEVEL; you don't have to worry about multiple levels so it's much easier to manage multiple kiddos here. ;)

COST:

$8/pp for ages 1+, Free for babies under 1. $5/military.

HOURS:

9:30am-4:30pm daily Mon-Sun

DEALS:

Participates in Museums for All using your EBT for $1 admission up to 4 people.

FREE admission for military families from Memorial Day-Labor Day!

MEMBERSHIPS:

$95/family (2 adults and all kids in household), $75/discounted (for military, grandparents, special needs, adult students), $35/access for those who qualify


 

🎨 POTTERY PAINTING

Go paint a special vase, cup, plate or figurine with your kiddos. It'll be something sweet to remember this time when they're still little that you'll cherish forever. Find a pottery painting spot near you, they're all over. Here are some from a Google Map search, so I haven't checked these all out for "kid-friendliness" yet. ;)


Just a few of the many Pottery Painting Spots


 

🆓 FREE PLACES

*(Info may be incorrect. It's from my original post in 2018. I'll update soon for 2022).


Free Places


 

🏛 BALBOA PARK MUSEUMS

See above. They're free if you're a San Diego County resident or active military and you go on a FREE Resident Tuesday. Beware that it's usually pretty crowded, especially on rainy days, and parking fills up fast.


 

🎳 BOWLING

See above. It's free during the summertime if you sign your kids up for the Kids Bowl Free Program.


 

🪑 IKEA

It's free unless you buy a couch or eat in the cafeteria ;) but honestly even the cafeteria, which serves up some pretty good food, is basically free because it's so cheap. Kids have so much fun "testing" out the furniture and kids area activities.


 

🛍 INDOOR MALLS

Yes, we have some in San Diego. Lots, actually! Most of them have a fun indoor kid's play space and some even have ride-on trains and an aquarium. Don't forget to stop into See's Candies for your FREE chocolate sample to everyone who walks in the door. See below for list.


 

🦜 PET STORES

These are super fun for kids to wander around and see the animals. The fish section is usually the biggest hit, especially for kiddos in strollers because they don't have to get out to see them.


 

📚 LIBRARIES

Check the online Events Calendar (this link is for SDPL) to find your local library and what they have going on for kiddos. There's usually a story time for babies & toddlers, as well as arts & crafts, songs, some have toddler yoga or even PAWS for Reading where kids can read books to therapy dogs. We love their Summer Reading Program Events - magic shows, concerts, juggling, ice cream parties and more! Check out some new or "holiday" books to take home as long as you're there.


 

📚 STORY TIMES

Check your local LIBRARY - click for schedules

BARNES & NOBLE, various locations

every Saturday at 11am most locations have a special story time and you'll get a coupon for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4!...summer only??

Mission Valley: Wednesdays at 10:30am

Grossmont Mall: Mondays at 10:30am

Mira Mesa: Fridays at 10:30am

Santee: Fridays at 7:30pm (wear your pj's)

Oceanside: Wednesdays at 10:30am

POTTERY BARN Kids Storytime (UTC Mall), Tuesdays at 11am



 

🍕 RESTAURANTS with INDOOR PLAY AREAS

*(Info may be incorrect. It's from my original post in 2018. I'll update soon for 2022).


There are lots of kid-friendly dining in San Diego, but a lot of them have outside play areas. If you want to avoid the heat or rain, grab a bite at one of these kid's favorite restaurants with indoor play areas.

Restaurants with INDOOR Play Areas

  • Chuck E. Cheese

  • Corvette Diner, Pt. Loma/Liberty Station

  • Dave & Buster's, Mission Valley

  • Ice Rink at the UTC Mall, La Jolla/UTC, inside the food court

  • IKEA, Mission Valley

  • Landon's Gourmet Kitchen (San Marcos

  • Punchbowl Social, downtown

  • Mountain Mike's Pizza, Clairemont, La Mesa

  • Waypoint Public Brewery, North Park


 

(Oceanside, Vista, Escondido, La Mesa, College, Sports Arena, National City)


Corvette Diner (Pt. Loma/Liberty Station)

Really fun and loud atmosphere so it's okay for your kids to be loud too! There's a live DJ that takes song requests, waiters sing, dance and make messes on your table, arcade room in the back.


Dave & Buster's (Mission Valley, Carlsbad)


Ice Rink at the UCT Mall (La Jolla/UTC, inside the food court)

There's no play area inside this food court, but you can watch the ice skaters on the ice rink down below. My kids especially love watching the Zamboni.

IKEA (Mission Valley)

Upstairs is the kid's section with a fun "play" area, you konw, to test out what you might buy. Plus the cafeteria has really yummy (and super cheap!) food. Check your kids into the kids only play area, certain age restrictions apply.


Mountain Mike's Pizza (Clairemont, La Mesa)

Good pizza & salad bar w/ a separate kid's play area.


Farm to table restaurant with casual dining and ONSITE CHILDCARE in a separate kid's SUPERVISED PLAYROOM!

Summer Playroom Hours: Wed-Thur 5-9pm (open for lunch 11am-2pm but no playroom hours during this time), Sat/Sun 10am-3pm, 5-9pm, Mon/Tue Closed.

Playroom ages: 12months-6yrs, older siblings may be permitted. Parent's must remain on premises for dining while children are in the playroom.

Playroom Cost: $8/hr 1 child, $12/hr 2 kids, $16/hr 3 kids, $20/hr 4+ kids. (Cost is pro-rated in 15 minutes).

Bathroom policy: They will come and get parents to take their kids to the restaurant bathroom.


Punchbowl Social (downtown + 13 other cities)

Games, karaoke, food, drinks and other events! Mostly geared toward adults as an updated and fun place for craft drinks and scratch kitchen food for sharing. Check out their great selection on non-alcoholic craft drinks, gluten-free menu and kid's menu. They've got old school games like shuffle board, bowling, skee ball, foosball, pinball & arcade. Might be better for kids earlier in the day to avoid the after work happy hour crowd. ;) Hrs: Mon-Fri 11am-2am, Sat 9am-2am, Sun 9am-12am.

Waypoint Public Brewery (North Park)

Separate kid's play area with books, games & movies.



 

🛍 INDOOR MALLS

*(Info may be incorrect. It's from my original post in 2018. I'll update soon for 2022).


Some malls have covered parking if you know where those are and it seems like most malls have valet parking nowadays; which might come in handy if it's pouring outside and there's no covered parking available.

Kids will love riding in the Smarte Cartes with tablets built into them or that look like race cars or fire trucks, so bring a few bucks to rent these if you don't bring your stroller.

Other malls might have a little kids play area in the middle of the mall, and you also might find a family lounge area with private nursing rooms, miniature trains, carousels, movie theaters, grocery shopping (Wal-Mart or Target) and one even has a little aquarium inside!

If you find a Disney Store, they usually have a kids play area with coloring sheets and Disney cartoons on repeat on a large screen TV.

Tip: Check the mall's website before you go for any deals or coupons, like for a Free pretzel, a BOGO item or 25% off your purchase!


INDOOR Malls

  • Parkway Plaza, El Cajon

  • The Shoppes at Carlsbad

  • Westfield Bonita, National City

  • -->kids play area has a cool aquarium inside it + mini train ride around the mall!

  • Westfield North County, Escondido

  • Southcoast Plaza, Costa Mesa


 

🛍 PARKWAY PLAZA (El Cajon)

Features: Le Funland indoor soft play area (kids must be 50" or less). Wal-Mart with a grocery store. MallStars Kids Club is the last Tuesday of each month and is a FREE event held at the JCPenney Portrait Studio. Teachers from Children's Choice spend an hour packed with activities just for the kids!


As of 3/4/22 Parkway Plaza informed me about this:

FREE kids crafting nights on the 2nd & 4th Friday of each month from 4:30-6pm

Kid Stores: Disney Store, The Children's Place, Claire's, Cotton On, Motherhood Maternity

Parking: covered parking structure on the south side

 

🛍 THE SHOPPES AT CARLSBAD


 

🛍 WESTFIELD BONITA (National City)

Features: Aquarium! inside the ocean-themed play space; Smarte Carte Stroller rental ($8/single, $10/double all day); Family Lounges with toys, kids TV, private nursing areas; AMC Movies

Kid Stores: Target, Disney Store, The Children