Kids Free in San Diego in October

October in San Diego features great weather, lighter crowds & free activities for kids. Explore our guide of the best free things to do with kids this October.
Todd Sarouhan
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Best Free Kid-Friendly Activities in San Diego this October

Kids next to Gorilla Statue at the San Diego ZooBirch Aquarium Gray Whale Tail Statue

San Diego is an amazing city to visit with kids year-round, but October is a particularly great month to visit the area and take a family vacation!

Not only is the weather incredible in the fall, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures, but there are also plenty of free activities in San Diego to enjoy with kids at this time of year.

No matter what you and your family like to do, there’s going to be something for you to enjoy. Whether it’s getting active at the best beaches in San Diego for families or soaking up some culture at some of the area’s best museums for kids, it’s hard to go wrong in America’s Finest City.

While there are plenty of completely free activities for kids in October, some attractions offer discounted admission that still make them affordable and worth considering. To get the discounted admission prices, be sure to pick up a Go City San Diego Pass before your trip for maximum savings!

By bundling admission costs to San Diego’s top attractions, tours, and equipment rentals, you can enjoy everything this amazing city has to offer without breaking the bank. You can save even more when you use our exclusive discount code which can be used in addition to the already discounted prices offered by the Go City San Diego Pass!

Many of San Diego’s most popular attractions offer deals and free admission for children throughout the month of October. This is the perfect time for families to enjoy everything this city has to offer.

Many (but not all) of the free attractions and activities are located in Balboa Park. Read on to find the best deals in San Diego for traveling with kids this October!

Explore the winding pathways and gorgeous landscapes as you tour Balboa Park's Japanese Friendship Garden. With Todd as your guide, see what this scenic and relaxing Go City San Diego pass attraction has to offer.

Visit the Japanese Friendship Garden

The 10 Best Free Things to Do with Kids in October in San Diego

There are so many exciting things to do with kids during the month of October in San Diego. Here’s a look at some of the best attractions that are offering incredible deals for kids this month.

Closeup of a Baby Orangatang at the San Diego Zoo
Closeup of a Baby Orangatang at the San Diego Zoo

1) San Diego Zoo

San Diego Attractions: San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is widely regarded as one of the best zoos in the entire country, with hundreds of incredible animal species in beautiful exhibits. Many of the animals at this zoo are rare or endangered species that are hard to find elsewhere!

During the month of October, kids between the ages of 3 and 11 can enjoy free admission to the zoo! There are plenty of incredible kid-friendly activities throughout the zoo, including interactive encounters with the animals, character meet-and-greets, and live shows.

You’ll find plenty of delicious food and drinks throughout the zoo, and you can also enjoy a ride on the Skyfari Aerial Tram for incredible views of nearby Balboa Park and Downtown San Diego.

Be sure to grab Go City San Diego passes for the rest of the family to join as the San Diego Zoo is one of the featured attractions of the Go City San Diego pass and as such, they offer big discounts on admission for adults in your party.

Skip the Line 1 Day Ticket - San Diego Zoo
White Rhino San Diego Zoo Safari Park
White Rhino San Diego Zoo Safari Park

2) San Diego Safari Park

San Diego Attractions: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is located in Escondido and is run by the San Diego Zoo. At the safari park, you can see animals like giraffes, cheetahs, elephants, tigers, rhinos, and many more enjoying their natural habitat.

In October, kids between the ages of 3 and 11 will enjoy free admission all month long! It’s the perfect time to take a safari and feel transported to another country.

The safari park offers plenty of enrichment activities just for kids, including animal encounters and special presentations and is also full of fun activities for kids and adults of all ages.

Skip the Line 1 Day Ticket - San Diego Zoo Safari
Lego Figure at Legoland California
Lego Figure at Legoland California

3) LEGOLAND California

San Diego Attractions: LEGOLAND® California

Located in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND California is a very popular theme park that’s designed with kids in mind. You’ll find plenty of Lego-themed rides and attractions, including kid-friendly roller coasters and water rides.

During the month of October, LEGOLAND California offers free admission bundles for families with kids aged 2 to 12. They also host their annual Brick-or-Treat event every weekend in October, which includes trick-or-treating, spooky meet-and-greets, and much more.

Visitors can also enjoy the nearby sister park formally known as the SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND® California Resort which features live shows, Lego-themed shopping and more character meet-and-greets, perfect for your youngest visitors!

Skip the Line 1 Day Ticket - LEGOLAND California
Magellanic Penguins at Seaworld San Diego
Magellanic Penguins at Seaworld San Diego

4) SeaWorld San Diego

San Diego Attractions: SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is another one of San Diego’s most family-friendly attractions offering deals in October. Kids between the ages of 3 and 9 enjoy free admission with a full-priced adult ticket throughout the entire month!

At SeaWorld San Diego, kids can get up close with some of the world’s most exciting marine wildlife. The park offers live animal shows, interactive animal encounters, and more.

The park features rides for visitors of all ages, including heart-pounding roller coasters, water rides, and carousels. Depending on which day you visit, you can also enjoy live music, circus performers, light shows, and more.

Skip the Line 1 Day Ticket - SeaWorld San Diego
Rubin H Fleet Science Center
Rubin H Fleet Science Center

5) Fleet Science Center

Balboa Park Museums: Fleet Science Center

Most of San Diego’s museums offer free admission for kids through the entire month of October!

The Fleet Science Center offers free admission to two kids under the age of 12 throughout the entire month with the purchase of each adult ticket.

This science museum is located in Balboa Park and offers plenty of fun interactive activities designed just for kids. The center’s exhibitions are hands-on and give kids plenty of opportunities to burn off some steam and learn while doing it.

You can also enjoy immersive IMAX movies and other digital shows that take an inside look at some of the world’s most fascinating scientific concepts.

Free Admission with the Go City San Diego Pass
Beautiful Art at the San Diego Art Museum
Beautiful Art at the San Diego Art Museum

6) San Diego Museum of Art

Balboa Park Museums: The San Diego Museum of Art

The San Diego Museum of Art is another amazing Balboa Park museum that offers free admission for children in October!

The museum is housed in a stunning historic building and features a huge variety of art exhibits to explore. Their permanent exhibits feature art from Europe, Asia, the Americas, and more, and they also host rotating exhibits of both historic and modern art.

This museum has a wide variety of exhibits that are sure to capture your child’s imagination.

Free Admission with the Go City San Diego Pass
Entrance Air and Space Musuem at Balboa Park
Entrance Air and Space Musuem at Balboa Park

7) San Diego Air and Space Museum

Balboa Park Museums: San Diego Air & Space Museum

The San Diego Air and Space Museum, located in Balboa Park, offers free admission to children under 12 in the month of October.

At the Air and Space Museum, kids can see an incredible collection of historic airplanes and spacecraft, as well as other historic artifacts, a film archive, and more. Special exhibits offer a unique look at air and space technology from a different perspective.

Free Admission with the Go City San Diego Pass
Birch Aquarium Sea Horse Exhibit
Birch Aquarium Sea Horse Exhibit

8) Birch Aquarium at Scripps

San Diego Attractions: Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

The Birch Aquarium is part of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UCSD, and it’s home to more than 5,000 fish and marine animal species in stunning underwater exhibits.

The aquarium is located directly on the coast in beautiful La Jolla and has stunning views of the ocean. Kids enjoy free admission throughout the entire month of October at the aquarium and families can get heavily discounted admission for adults with a Go City San Diego pass, use discount code GVSD5OFF to save even more!

Free Admission with the Go City San Diego Pass
The Front of the USS Midway Museum As Seen from a Boat
The Front of the USS Midway Museum As Seen from a Boat

9) USS Midway Museum

San Diego Area Museums: USS Midway Museum San Diego

San Diego has a rich history as a naval base, and the USS Midway Museum is a great place to learn more about it.

Located in Embarcadero neighborhood just next to the San Diego Bay, its situated on a historic real aircraft carrier that was retired in 1992.

Throughout October, kids under the age of 12 enjoy free admission at the USS Midway Museum. The museum offers guided tours, flight simulators, interactive displays, and much more.

Skip the Line 1 Day Ticket - USS Midway Museum
Harbor Cruise Boat in San Diego Bay
Harbor Cruise Boat in San Diego Bay

10) Hornblower Cruises

San Diego Tours: 13 Best San Diego Harbor Cruises & Boat Tours

During the month of October, Hornblower Cruises offers free tours for kids under the age of 12 with the purchase of one adult ticket.

These tours take you around the entire San Diego Bay, giving you a look at all of San Diego’s beautiful landmarks from the ocean. Hornblower offers one or two-hour cruise options with various themes, including whale watching cruises and dinner cruises.

Skip the Line Ticket- San Diego Harbor Cruise
Bundle and SAVE!
Kids looking at knight at LEGOLAND California
Visit LEGOLAND California!
Create family memories at LEGOLAND California! Admission is included with your All-Inclusive Go City pass - enjoy over 60 rides and attractions! Bundle admission with Birch Aquarium at Scripps or the Safari Park for the ultimate day of savings!
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What attractions are included with a Go City San Diego pass?

Attractions that you can visit with a Go City San Diego pass include:

The San Diego Zoo, Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, Harbor Cruise, USS Midway Museum, the NAT Museum, Whaley House, PETCO Park Tour, iFLY San Diego and many, many more!

Want to save more? Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

Things to Know Before your October San Diego Vacation with Kids

With so many family-friendly events happening in October, it’s a great time to visit San Diego with kids!

In addition to the activities listed here, there are plenty of other businesses that offer free services or deals for families in October. When planning your itinerary, be sure to check in advance with each business to see if they are offering any kid-friendly specials as this has been a yearly event in San Diego for some time.

Kids Stay Free and Eat Free

Many of the best family-friendly hotels in San Diego will let kids stay for free or eat for free at their on-site restaurants during the month of October.

Some standalone restaurants also offer special deals for kids and families throughout October, with free meals or specialty menu items.

Kids Get Free Equipment Rentals in October

Many equipment rental companies also offer deals during this time, so kids can enjoy things like free bike rentals, surf lessons, kayak rentals, speedboat rides, and much more. This is a great way to take advantage of San Diego’s amazing weather at affordable prices.

An Adult Purchase may be Required for Each Free Kid

It’s important to note that you may need at least one paid adult ticket, meal, or rental at most of these attractions in order for kids to enjoy their free perks.

However, these attractions still offer plenty of fun things for adults to do as well, so don’t worry - you’ll still get plenty of great value while making family memories!

Getting to the Free Activities During your Visit

When visiting San Diego with kids, a car rental is often the best option, as there are some popular attractions that are not accessible by public transit. However, the San Diego Trolley does connect many popular neighborhoods, such as Downtown San Diego, Old Town, Little Italy, Pacific Beach, University City, Chula Vista, and more.

San Diego ride shares like Uber and Lyft can also provide an easy way to get around during your visit.

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Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Old Town / SeaWorld Area
Exterior Font at Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Old Town / SeaWorld Area
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Belmont Park Ride and Play Pass
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