Few things can excite kids like a romp through their favorite park. While we’re thankful that it’s a whole lot less sandy than the beach, we love the fact that it’s one of the few things that can tire our little rascals out. Luckily, with amazing weather all year long, there’s always a good excuse for San Diego families to pack up the kids and head to the nearest park for a few hours of fun. Whether your kiddos want to dig in the sand, climb a rock wall, feed the ducks, or simply head down the slide, there’s a park that fits the bill.

cottonwoodPhoto credit: Neilgh via Yelp

Cottonwood Creek Park
If you don’t live in the neighborhood, you’ll still want to drive up to Encinitas to visit Cottonwood Creek Park. This park has a great play area, but also much more. It includes a creek that runs the length of the park with cool bridges to cross, along with an awesome rock scaling wall. There’s also a play house and trail to walk around. It’s also super close to the Encinitas public library. And with the playground set away from the road, the trees make you feel tucked away and secure.

95 N Vulcan Ave.
Encinitas, Ca

sprecklesPhoto credit: Kristin B. via Yelp

Spreckels Park
Located smack in the center of charming Coronado, Spreckels Park almost looks too pretty. But don’t worry — your kids can get sweaty and dirty (and tired — nap time, anyone?) on the awesome playground with two huge play structures, one for the 5 and under set and one of the bigger kids. This two-section playground keeps your tiniest tots from being trampled while giving older kids a chance to have a fun, unrestricted time. While the restroom facilities are most definitely park-like (bring hand sanitizer), they are generally clean and hey, the stalls have doors! During the summer, enjoy a Sunday evening concert that attracts hundreds of locals who gather for music, food and fun.

600 Orange Ave.
Coronado, Ca

parkPhoto credit: Leah Singer

Kit Carson Park
Kit Carson Park has a cool history — worth reading on the website — but we know you’re most interested in whether it’s a cool place for your kids. The answer is yes! With over 100 acres of developed land, this San Diego park has it all: Walking and hiking trails, a 5-acre arboretum, three ponds, a tot lot and sweet playground, picnic areas and a whole lot more. Note that dogs are allowed in the park, but not near the any of the kids’ areas.

3333 Bear Valley Parkway South
Escondido, Ca

POWAY MIDLAND RR SPEEDER TRAINPhoto credit: Christina Q. Cross

Old Poway Park
Old Poway Park is great for families with kids of all ages, Super clean and open, it’s less of a play structure park (even though there is a playground) and more of a run, explore and see park. There’s an area with old trains to view and one to ride, a creek, great walking trails and scenery that provides amazing backgrounds for photos (attention, mamas who snap pics of your kids as though you’re the paparazzi). There are several options for lunch in the area as well.

14134 Midland Road
Poway, Ca

Photo credit: Leah Singer

Webb Park
Webb Park is a hidden gem and a place many San Diego residents aren’t aware even exists. The main “attraction” at Webb Park is the duck pond, which is home to ducks, exotic birds and turtles. If your little ones love to feed the ducks, bring bread because this is the place to do it. The pond is surrounded by a paved path for riding bikes or walking and you can see your kids from any angle.

Avena Place and Bernardo Center Drive
San Diego, Ca

kelloggPhoto credit: Elena A. via Yelp

Kellogg Park
If you want to hang out in a grassy San Diego park right by the beach, Kellogg Park in La Jolla is the place to go. It has a great playground for kids, tons of green grass, restroom facilities and a no-alcohol rule, unlike many beach area parks. Parking can be difficult during busy times, so plan to drop by at off hours or leave time for a walk.

8200 Camino Del Oro
La Jolla, Ca

swingPhoto credit: Leah Singer

Presidio Park (a.k.a Pioneer Park)
Want to take your kids to a cemetery for playtime? Presidio Park it is. Also known as Pioneer Park, this San Diego park was actually one of the first cemeteries in town. While it’s no longer used for that purpose (we hope), you’ll still find tombstones in a portion of the park. The kids’ play area is a favorite among locals and the park is very clean. Note that the restrooms aren’t the best, so if you can take care of potty breaks before and after your trip, you’ll be glad.

521 Washington Place
San Diego, Ca

What’s your favorite San Diego park? Tell us in the comments!

– Leah R. Singer