Every October Kids Go Free in San Diego!

October is coming! That means kids go free in San Diego. Every October, so many San Diego theme parks, museums, attractions, restaurants, and hotels offer fabulous deals - even free admission for kids! It all began more than 30 years ago when the San Diego Zoo began celebrating the anniversary of the month it opened by allowing kids free entry for all children! Now, more than 100 places, in and around the county offer what popularly known as Kids Free San Diego. While we can't list all 100, there are quite a few we love to participate in every year. Of particular note is the San Diego Museum Council's 40+ museums participating in Kids Free October. The council has opened the doors to it's many museums and your kids are going to love it! There really is so much for kids to see and do. It's good to know that the October Kids Free San Diego program is for children ages 12 and under. You will want to visit each location's website to see their specific coupon, hours of operation, and any restrictions. This is such a fantastic community offering for the residents of Southern California. And because San Diego boasts one of the most temperate climates in the world, October is the perfect month to visit San Diego from anywhere in the world! Below is a list of our favorite San Diego attractions taking part in Kids Free San Diego.

Kids Free San Diego

The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

The world renown San Diego Zoo and Safari Park is offering kids free admission to the parks during the month of October. Your kids can feed a giraffe, watch a flamingo parade, catch tigers playing, and monkeys swinging all for free during the Month of October. We love the children's area of the San Diego Zoo and the Tiger exhibit at Safari Park. Children receive free admission to the park all month long. Children must be 11 and under.

Sea World San Diego

Kids play for free at SeaWorld San Diego all month long. See Clyde the Sea Lion, Seymore, and all of his animal friends. October is a super fun time to visit Sea World. They have trick-or-treating stations on the weekends, stellar halloween decor, delicious fall food, and so much more! Admission is free for kids with an accompanying adult admission. You don't want to miss out on the all new Deep Water themed area of SeaWorld -there are new rides and animal encounters. One of our favorite  encounters at Seaworld is the all new re-imagined Orca Encounter Experience that features animal behavior demonstrations and tons of educational information about Orcas . Admission to Seaworld San Diego is free for children in the month of October, with 1 paying adult. See here for Details and Info.

San Diego Botanic Gardens

Children 12 and under recieve free admission to the San Diego Botanic Garden with each paid adult during the Month of October. It's good to know there is a small parking fee and the garden is located in the North County coastal town of Encinitas. There is plenty for children to do at the San Diego Botanic Garden. Check out our post of visiting the San Diego Botanic Garden with kids here.

Belmont Park

Belmont Park is San Diego's Coastal Amusement Park. Kids 12 and under can "Ride, Eat, and Play" for free at Belmont Park during the month of October with the purchase of an adult ticket! Visit the Belmont Park Website for more info.

Birch Aquarium At Scripps

The Birth Aquarium is another fantastic experience for kids in San Diego. Located north of the city, in La Jolla. The aquarium is the public viewing space that is associated with the world famous Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UCSD. The aquarium sits high on a bluff overlooking the pacific ocean. Children can explore hundreds of species of ocean animals and there is even a hands-on touch pool, the kelp dive show, rotating one-of-a-kind exhibits and more. If you can be sure to schedule your visit on a tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday when they offer one of their many rotating feedings of the sea creatures. You don't want to miss it! During the month of October, kids 12 and under are free with the admission of at least one paying adult. Be sure to visit the San Diego Museum Council's website for the Kids Free San Diego Coupon for the Birch Aquarium! We love the Birch Aquarium!

The New Children's Museum

The New Children's Museum is located in downtown San Diego, and is such a great place to take the kids when exploring all that Kids Free San Diego has to offer.  You can think, play and creat your way through every inch of this epic space for kids! There are interactive art installations, think spaces, places spaces and studio art spaces for kids. Travers the Wonder Sound exhibit, take in the pantone mural where nature's fruits and veggies are matched to a pantone color square, races cars in the desert derby, and solo much more! Visit the San Diego Museum Council's website to download your Kids Free San Diego Museum coupon.

San Diego Museum of Art

The San Diego Museum of Art, locate in Balboa Park is actually free all year round for kids 17 and under. This makes for a fun and inexpensive outing for families. Things to do at the San Diego Museum of Art for kids include having a little mini art scavenger hunt with the "search and find activity book", seeing priceless works of art up close, and the teen art cafe! You can learn more about the San Diego Museum of Art here or by visiting the San Diego Museum Counsel to get your Kids Free San Diego coupon

Balboa Park Museums including Fleet Science Center, San Diego Natural History Museum

So many museums to see in Balboa Park as part of Kids Free October! I think the Fleet Science Center and The San Diego Natural History Museum might be doable in one day. YOu could even take a picnic lunch or grab a bite to eat with the kids in the Nat's new Backyard Cafe. The Fleet Science Center offers hands on science experiences, live science shows, as well as tons more. The Nat has multiple floors of dinosaur bones, and interactive exhibits. You won't want to miss the Backyard play space for children 5 and under on the bottom floor. Children 12 and under are admitted free in October with a paid adult. Be sure to download your Kids Free coupon from the San Diego Museum Council!

U.S.S. Midway

Steeped in history, The decommissioned Aircraft Carrier USS Midway is permanently stationed in San Diego and is open to the public for guided and self-guided tours. There are many docents who willingly impart their knowledge of the carrier, Navy history, and the military in general. The Midway is a floating museum that honors the legacy of the aircraft carriers service. There are different exhibits on each deck including 26 restored aircraft up on the flight deck, 7 pilot ready rooms to tour, and viewing the captain's quarters. One of our favorite spots was getting to sit in the conference room where decisions about Operation Desert Storm were being made in the early 90's. 
Kids will love the flight simulator on the hangar deck as well as the all of the aircraft on board.  Adults will love the on board cafe, rich history and stunning views. As we have mentioned above, be sure to visit the San Diego Museum Council's website to download your Kids Free San Diego coupon 

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Discount

The Pacific Surliner is the Amtrack railway that spans over 300 miles of California Coastline. Amtrak makes it easy to explore Southern California by train and takes the stress out of driving through traffic. In October and every month of the year, kids ages 6-12 are always 50% off of the adult fare and children 5 and under ride free. See PacificSurfliner.com for more details.

Know Before You Go

  • Be sure to check websites for each offers rules and restrictions, including children's age requirements, days available. etc.
  • Follow along on social media with the #KidsFreeSD hashtag
  • Check for hotel deals to get the most out of your stay. Some San Diego hotels offer deals in October to accompany the Kids Free San Diego promotion.
  • For a complete list of San Diego Attractions offering Deals For Kids Free San Diego visit SanDiego.org 
  • For a complete list of San Diego County Museums participating in Kids Free in San Diego visit the San Diego Museum Council


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