Carlsbad is a haven for families seeking fun, relaxation, and adventure. This charming city in California exhibits the warmth of an ancient European city dominated by a tropical atmosphere.
Here is a list of my recommended things to do with the kids in Carlsbad.
1. South Carlsbad State Beach
South Carlsbad State Beach is a perfect escape for families to relax and bond. You will fall in love with this charming coastline stretch that has so many outdoor activities to offer. Its soft white sands, warm water, and coastal bluffs make it a perfect gem for tourists.
Some activities on this beach include snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, swimming, and fishing.
The beach is also an ideal spot for picnicking, so bring some snacks and drinks and have quality time with your family as you enjoy the serenity and beautiful views of this place.
Watch surfers and dolphins or lounge in the sun if you don’t feel like doing anything. There is also a campground onsite.
2. K1 Speed Go-Kart Track
Go-karting at the K1 Speed Go-Kart Track will pump your adrenaline as you race with the kids.
The facility features private function rooms, professionally-designed tracks, arcades, and modern safety barriers.
Compete with your loved ones to see who’s the fastest. Once done, enjoy some lunch at the facility’s onsite restaurant.
3. Carlsbad Village
Carlsbad Village is the city’s main street with a charming vibe that makes visitors flock to it.
This commercial area is easily accessible, so come ready to shop for jewellery, flowers, home furnishings, toys, clothes, and art pieces.
The street also features the weekly State Street Farmer’s market, where the best Californian fruits and vegetables are sold.
Treat your family to an early lunch at any of the many cafes and restaurants dominating the area or enjoy a massage or mineral spa treatment at the Alt Karlsbad Hanse House, a famous landmark in Carlsbad.
If you don’t feel like returning to your hotel early, hang around the street and enjoy the lively crowds that gather for entertainment in the evenings.
4. Sea Life Aquarium Carlsbad
Introduce your kids to a fun-filled marine adventure at the Sea Life Aquarium. This family-friendly aquarium is located at Legoland Drive, and it’s home to over 5,000 marine creatures, including rays, octopuses, clownfish, sharks, and sea horses.
Your kiddos will love touching the crabs and sea stars and feeding them. The aquarium also has live shows to experience the marine world through the screens.
5. Alga Norte Skate Park
When on a family vacation with the kids in Carlsbad, one of the best ways to keep them engaged is by visiting the Alga Norte Skate Park.
This 24,000-square-foot skate park was opened in 2014 and features a dog park, a vast playground, basketball fields, barbeque, and picnic areas.
The little ones can take some beginner lessons and perfect their skills here. The older kids can unleash their skating skills as well.
6. Cape Rey Resort
There are many places to stay in Carlsbad, but Cape Rey is one of the best.
This lovely resort is located on Carlsbad Beach and boasts comfortable and high-class rooms and suites equipped with mini-fridges, microwaves, televisions, and custom-designed beds. If you pick one of the upgraded rooms, you can enjoy stunning views of the Pacific Ocean from your balcony.
The resort has a restaurant serving local delicacies, so be sure to dine and enjoy some of the best Californian food. The other amenities in this resort include a fitness center, oceanfront swimming pool, spa, and firepits.
7. Leo Carrillo Historic Ranch
Your outdoor adventure in Carlsbad isn’t complete without a visit to the Leo Carrillo Historic Ranch. This 27-acre ranch is tucked away in Southeast Carlsbad and is among the city’s famous landmarks.
Leo Carrillo, an actor, lived on this ranch. During your visit, you can learn about what happened in his time.
The ranch boasts a beautiful landscape and historic structures such as a reflecting pool, hacienda, visitors’ center, cantina, cabana, and carriage house. You will also see many peacocks roaming around.
8. Museum of Making Music
Visit the Museum of Making Music if you want to create lasting memories with your family in an exciting way.
This museum celebrates and showcases products of the music industry. It was established in 2000 and hosts innovative and inspirational concerts and education programs with a cultural touch.
You will also find an array of exhibitions in this facility showcasing significant milestones, instruments from different years, and popular music.
9. LEGOLAND California
Every visitor in Carlsbad leaves the city with unforgettable memories of the LEGOLAND resort. I recommend this place for families because of the endless fun it offers for all ages.
The resort is a few minutes from northern San Diego, and it’s equipped with over 60 rides, a water park, and exciting and interactive attractions.
Take an imaginary journey in a terrifying crocodile swamp at the water park or float down the Build-A-Raft River.
LEGOLAND is also a shopping hub, so gift your kids with some toys, games, puzzles, and much more.
After a fun-filled day, treat your family to a dinner buffet at the resort’s restaurant.
10. Carlsbad Lagoon
Carlsbad Lagoon is a paradise of watersports, offering fun and safe activities on calm and uncrowded water. Paddle through the narrow channels, notice fish jumping around you, and enjoy being in a different world.
There are so many things to do with your family in Carlsbad Lagoon, including barbecuing, boating, and hanging out with loved ones, so take your time and have some fun!
11. Carlsbad Strawberry Company
The Carlsbad Strawberry Company offers an immersive and unique experience for families in Carlsbad.
Stock up on strawberries, traverse a corn maze, stroll through lavender fields, and don’t miss the huge play area for kids.
12. Pizza Port
Pass by the Pizza Port and enjoy the most delicious pizza in Carlsbad with the family.
Gluten-free pies are on the menu for anyone in your family with an intolerance!
13. Icon Helicopter Tour
See California from the skies by booking a tour with the Icon Helicopter Company. The helicopter tours can be customized to meet your needs.
The company’s pilots are professionals and know their stuff well, so you won’t have to worry about your family’s safety. The little ones will never forget seeing the famous Coronado Bridge and beautiful coastlines from this vantage point!
14. Aviara Community Park
Spend your day at Aviara Community Park and get lost in lots of fun with your loved ones. This massive park features a picnic area, fireplace, restrooms, a catering support room, and a gathering area.
The 24-acre park is ideal for various sports, including softball, soccer, and basketball.