Your kids will be up at the crack of dawn Christmas morning to tear open their presents in mere minutes! By 7 a.m. if you’re wondering how you should spend the rest of the day, we’ve got a gift for you: a list of 10 places that are open on Dec. 25th. Whether your holiday elves want to bask in nature, delve into science, set sail on a harbor cruise or gobble it up at a grand buffet, read on to see how to bring even more merriment to your Christmas Day.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Gas up the family van and grab the crew for a day stop at this wild animal park. Discover our faves. First, the baby animals like Taj the (one-horned) rhino, move on to growl with the Tiger Trail cats in the Sumatra rain forest. Bonus: the weather's cooler and the Park's less crowded around the holidays.

Christmas Day Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd.
San Diego, Ca


photo: Catamaran Hotel

Christmas Day Brunch at The Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa

Gobble it up at this Christmas Day buffet. Moreover, this one's fun for the kiddos too. From a special half-pint buffet to (an included) stern wheeler cruise, your fam can enjoy both beautiful views and bountiful food. Not to mention the piano playing during the festivities.

Brunch Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $56/adult; $25/kid (5-11 years); kids 4 and under free

3999 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, Ca

photo: Fleet Science Center

Fleet Science Center

Calling all mini game masters and science buffs to explore the Game Masters Exhibit at the science museum on Christmas Day. From the latest video games to old-school machines you can play (for free) til your heart's content. Even more, it's time to belt out songs in the (private) karaoke booth.

Christmas Day Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Fleet Science Center
1875 El Prado
San Diego, Ca

The Tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument

If you want to calm the crazy gift-opening energy, then drive out to the Cabrillo National Monument for serene sights and tide-pooling fun. Firstly, the drive itself has beautiful ocean and city views. Secondly, explore the Visitor Center and walk the trail (concrete) to see where the lighthouse keeper's family lived. Finally, spot sea urchins and starfish at the tide pools (at the bottom of the park). Your brood will come home refreshed and relaxed.

Good to Know: Check the tide chart for the lowest tide time of day.

Christmas Day Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (tide pools close at 4:30 p.m.)

Cabrillo National Monument
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr.
San Diego, Ca

photo: Cape Rey Hilton

Christmas Day Buffet at Chandler's Restaurant

Brunch is always a good idea (with the crew in tow). Chef Teri McIllwain highlights California cuisine with a locally-sourced farm-to-table flair. Not to mention, the kids' menu will be available with items like pizza and chicken nuggets. Above all, there'll be yummy desserts like chocolate peppermint bar and apple-cranberry cobbler.

Brunch Hours: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Cost: $69/adult: $24/child

Cape Rey Hilton
Chandler's Restaurant
1 Ponto Rd.
Carlsbad, Ca



Do you have a brick-lover in your house? LEGOLAND is a great option for Christmas Day activities. Whether you have an annual pass or just go for the day, you can walk around and have a merry old time. Plus, it could be a Christmas Day present for the whole fam. Check out our secrets to navigating this park like a pro.

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m

5885 The Crossings Dr.
Carlsbad, Ca

photo: Hotel Del Coronado

Ice Skating at Hotel Del Coronado

Even though it may be sunny on Christmas Day (in San Diego), your fam can still don those mittens and put on those scarves and ice skate (albeit seaside) at the iconic Hotel Del Coronado. What's more, when done you can roast s'mores on the beach, go for a walk, and if you have a wetsuit, take a dip in the ocean. Plenty of activities and plenty of fun.

Christmas Day Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Cost: $30/person includes rental

Hotel Del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave.
Coronado, Ca

San Diego Zoo

After the presents are opened and your little animals are howling like wildlife, it's time to get outside and move around. We love the zoo (it's world famous) and why not visit it on Christmas Day? You'll also be there to indulge in the Jungle Bell merriment. From twinkling lights and acrobatic trampoline elves to jazzy carols and festive food, you'll feel the joy of the holidays San Diego-style.

Christmas Day Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

The San Diego Zoo
Balboa Park
2920 Zoo Dr.
San Diego, Ca

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Just a short drive along the coast will lead you to this beautiful State Natural Reserve. For ease of use, the paid parking is best, or find a free spot (luck be with you!) along the coast. There are plenty of family hikes for all age and experience levels. The simplest route to explore is the Guy Fleming Trail which is perfectly-suited for little ones.

Good to Know: It will be crowded Christmas Day, so an earlier venture out is better.

Christmas Day Hours: 7:15 a.m.-Sunset
Holiday Parking Cost: $12-$20/vehicle

12600 North Torrey Pines Rd.
La Jolla, Ca

Seaport Village

We know you're tired of shopping. However, Seaport Village is fun for the whole family. Notably, you'll find interesting shops like Captain's Cove where little mateys can scope out the treasures. Plus, who doesn't love pretzels and lemonade, a walk by the seaside, lunch at the Harbor House or a ride on the carousel? When done, walk to the Embarcadero Park and watch the amazing assortment of kites flying.

Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Seaport Village
849 West Harbor Dr.
San Diego, Ca

Did we forget a place open on Christmas Day? Share it with us below.

—Nikki Walsh

Featured photo: Chris Benson via Unsplash.