San Diegans and visitors alike can take advantage of special family-friendly deals at more than 100 local hotels, restaurants and attractions during the month of October as part of the San Diego Tourism Authority’s 2015 Kids Free San Diego promotion.
“Kids Free is yet another way that San Diegans benefit from living in one of the most desirable tourist destinations in North America,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “San Diego’s tourism economy not only provides thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue, it also creates opportunities for San Diegans to experience unique and special places like the San Diego Zoo, the USS Midway Museum and many other attractions. And with Kids Free, San Diegans can enjoy them for a lot less in October.”
In 2014, the city of San Diego collected more than $176 million in hotel tax revenue. To continue helping hotel tax revenue grow, the Tourism Authority has created a diverse advertising campaign for the Kids Free program. Digital and print advertising will run in key western U.S. markets, such as Los Angeles and Phoenix; the Tourism Authority is also extending the advertising program into Canadian markets for the first time this year. Custom promotional content was created for a variety of TV stations, including Univision’s Los Angeles and Phoenix stations, marking the first time that Kids Free San Diego will be promoted in both English and Spanish.
“Kids Free has been very successful in attracting visitors to San Diego during October, which is an off-peak month for tourism,” said Joe Terzi, President and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, the private non-profit that markets San Diego around the world as a visitor destination. “More visitors to San Diego means more hotel tax revenue, which the city uses to help fund essential city services like police, fire, parks and street resurfacing.”
Consistently rated as a top visitor destination, San Diego is home to world-class family attractions, a vibrant arts and culture scene, family-friendly eateries and hotels, and fun activities like surfing, whale watching and golf. In October, after the summer beach crowds subside, visitors to San Diego can rely on the region’s sunny weather and warm temperatures and enjoy a host of fun-filled fall activities for the whole family.
“The San Diego Museum Council (SDMC) is proud to partner with the Tourism Authority, our sponsor ScholarShare and our 42 participating museum destinations for Kids Free San Diego,” said Theresa Kosen, Executive Director of SDMC. “We’re thrilled to invite visitors from San Diego and beyond to see what’s new at our extraordinary line-up of museums. Vibrant, interactive, fun experiences are more accessible than ever with free admission for kids.”
Below are highlights of the 4th annual “Kids Free San Diego” promotion.
Kids Ride Free on Local Sightseeing Tours
Parents roam around San Diego without worrying about transportation expenses with the following money-saving offers:
- Hornblower Cruises & Events and Flagship Cruises & Events are offering kids, ages 12 and under, a free ride on their popular 1- and 2-hour harbor tours along picturesque San Diego Bay. Hornblower’s offer is good for two kids per each full-price paid adult admission, while Flagship offers one child per paid adult.
- One child, age 12 or under, rides free per one paid adult on the entertaining, on- and off-boarding Old Town Trolley Tours of America and the thrilling San Diego SEAL Tours Sea and Land Adventures.
Big Fun Savings at World-Class Family Attractions
The world-famous San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, SeaWorld San Diego, LEGOLAND® California Resort and the historic Belmont Park are all offering substantial savings this October with free kids’ admission to local attractions.
- All kids, ages 10 and younger, are admitted free into the San Diego Zoo, home to 3,700 rare and endangered birds, mammals and reptiles, and the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park, home to Tiger Trail, featuring a forested habitat for the Safari Park’s Sumatran tigers with up-close views of the critically endangered species.
- SeaWorld San Diego is offering one child, ages 3 to 9, free admission with one full-paid adult admission. The same offer is valid at Dine with Shamu, and kids, ages 10 to 13, can participate for free in SeaWorld’s Dolphin Encounter and Dolphin and Beluga Interaction Programs with one paid adult participation (kids must be at least 48” tall to participate).
- LEGOLAND® California Resort, featuring 128 acres of LEGO-themed fun and more than 50 interactive attractions, and SEA LIFE™ Carlsbad Aquarium, with 36,000 sq. ft. of play zones and marine exhibits, are offering a free one-day Child Hopper Ticket for one kid, ages 12 and under, with purchase of a full-price one-day Adult Hopper Ticket.
Hotels Roll Out the Welcome Mat for Kids
Located throughout San Diego, hotels ranging from budget options to luxury escapes are rolling out the welcome mat for kids this October. Kids can eat free at many hotels or receive special welcome gifts upon arrival at others.
- Kids can eat free at a variety of hotels in the heart of downtown San Diego, including the vintage Horton Grand Hotel in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, the luxurious Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina located along San Diego Bay and the Manchester Grand Hyatt, which offers some of the best views in San Diego alongside family-friendly amenities.
- At the family-friendly Paradise Point Resort & Spa on Mission Bay, kids will be able to play for free on land and sea with a special “island allowance” worth $50. The credit can be applied towards bike or paddleboard rentals, miniature golf, ice cream or any of the resort’s many other kid-approved amenities.
- Families staying at the Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa or the Bahia Resort Hotel along scenic Mission Bay can enjoy free rides for kids, ages 12 and under, aboard the Bahia Belle, an 1860s-era sternwheeler that tours the bay and offers transport between the two resorts. Kids must be accompanied by a paid adult hotel guest.
Kids Can Dig In on the Deals at San Diego’s Restaurants
During an enjoyable day around the city, parents can have a taste of San Diego’s emerging culinary scene while kids eat free at participating family-friendly restaurants.
- After exploring the historic sites of Old Town San Diego, parents can unwind with a margarita and some traditional Mexican fare at Barra Barra Saloon & Restaurant, while kids enjoy a free meal from the kids menu with every paid adult entrée.
- Mom and Dad can soak up the stunning bayside views from the Coronado Ferry Landing and savor fresh seafood at Peohe’s, while kids enjoy a complimentary meal with every paid adult entrée.
- Kids can select their favorite item from the kids menu while the adults dining at Union Kitchen + Tap in the Gaslamp Quarter can choose from the extensive list of local craft beers on tap; diners will receive one free kids entrée for every two paid adult entrées.
Kids Learn and Have a Blast at San Diego’s Diverse Arts and Culture Venues
Kids have endless options to learn while they have fun at more than three dozen San Diego museums countywide that are offering free admission to all kids, ages 12 and under, in October. Here are just a few of San Diego’s many kid-friendly museums to discover:
- Planes, trains and automobiles can all be enjoyed in the many museums of Balboa Park, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The San Diego Air & Space Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, presents aviation history from first flights to space travel, while the San Diego Automotive Museum displays classic automobiles and motorcycles from yesteryear. Lovers of toy trains can see the largest indoor model railroad display in the world at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
- Located in downtown, the New Children’s Museum is the place to stimulate a kid’s inquisitiveness and innovative thinking with hands-on exhibits and art making activities. Visitors of all ages can also sink their teeth into Feast, a unique, highly engaging, multi-sensory experience featuring 13 artist installations and 8 other projects that examine the relationship of food and eating in inventive and unexpected ways.
- Music comes alive at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, where kids can learn about the history of American Popular Music, get a glimpse into the music products industry, play on dozens of hands-on instruments in the museum’s unique Innovation Studio and explore music around the world on a state-of-the-art touch screen.
Free Unique and Cool Activities for Kids
During October, kids can enjoy a variety of unique free activities, from speeding around San Diego Bay to taking to the sky.
- Up to four kids can cruise for free with every paid adult couple with The Gondola Company in Coronado. Families will glide through the scenic canals and waterways of the Coronado Cays aboard an authentic and luxurious Venetian-style gondola.
- Visitors can discover San Diego from a new perspective when taking to the sky with Corporate Helicopters. For every paid adult 30-minute tour, one kid can ride for free, soaring over the tops of La Jolla Cove, Petco Park, Balboa Park, the Coronado Bridge and other famous San Diego landmarks.
- San Diego Speed Boat Adventures, Inc is offering kids a free guided and narrated San Diego Harbor Tour aboard their own mini speedboat, with a paid adult tour.
A complete listing of “Kids Free San Diego” participants and their special offers is available at SanDiego.org/KidsFree. All offers are valid Oct. 1-31, 2015, and age limits and other restrictions vary by venue and activity. Visitors should check for offer details and terms at SanDiego.org/KidsFree before visiting any attraction.
Happiness is calling in San Diego. For more information on San Diego’s offerings, including exciting vacation packages and valuable coupons for attractions, restaurants and more, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at www.sandiego.org.