Now that the school year is in full swing, you may find yourself reminiscing about the good old college days. Your little Einsteins may still be in elementary or preschool, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stroll through a local college campus together. San Diego State University (SDSU) offers many family-friendly things to do outside the classroom. Keep the back-to-school celebrations going as you make new memories with your kiddos and introduce them to a whole new world.

Pond SDSU

Photo Credit: SDSU Facebook Page

Turtle and Koi Pond
For a bit of peace and tranquil scenery, visit the turtle pond near Scripps Cottage. This lush, green spot has a quaint footbridge, outdoor patio and picnic area — the perfect setting for an afternoon snack or light lunch. Of course the main attraction is the pond itself, with its many turtles and koi fish. Have some educational fun with your little ones and ask them how many fish and turtles they can count. Or point out to your older kiddos the surrounding trees, which were planted in memory of SDSU students who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

Insider’s Tip: Across the street from Scripps Cottage is a geocache! Take the kiddos on a treasure hunt and see if you can find it.

Online: sdsu.edu/virtualtour

Aztec Bowling

Photo Credit: Marissa Mullen

Aztec Lanes
In the middle of the campus is Aztec Student Union, where you’ll find a brand new state of the art bowling alley. Parents will appreciate the fact that Aztec Lanes is a clean, non-smoking and no alcohol facility. The bowling alley features twelve lanes and big screen TVs, plus the fees are extremely reasonable. Prepare for busy weekends by booking a lane ahead of time using the handy online form. You can also book a birthday party for your kiddo here! Don’t feel like bowling? The facility also offers billiards and tennis tables for your enjoyment.

Insider’s Tip: Hungry kids? Just grab some pizza to go at Oggi’s Pizza Express directly across from the bowling alley.

Online: arc.sdsu.edu/azteclanes/

med_garden

Photo Credit: San Diego State University

Mediterranean Garden
You’ll find the Mediterranean Garden near the Life Science buildings. This is a quaint area that showcases many plants from the around the world. The plants represent the Earth’s five major Mediterranean ecosystems. Relax on the benches and see how many plants your kids can identify. And what kid can resist the soothing sounds of a water fountain? This fountain centerpiece of was donated to the university by the class of 1997. Don’t forget to make a wish!

Insider’s Tip: Check out the representation of the original Jessop sundial, which was SDSU’s oldest statue, located at the north end of the garden.

Online: sdsu.edu/virtualtour

aztec-aquaplex

Photo credit: Aztec Recreation Center on Yelp

Aztec Aquaplex
Beat the San Diego autumn heat waves with a visit to the Aztec Aquaplex! Open to everyone at an affordable price, there are two huge pools to check out, plus a jacuzzi. The recreation pool has a floating area with faux beach entry, and is perfect for kiddos of all ages. And with two spray jets, there can be plenty of splash and play time! Kickboards and pull buoys are available to borrow, and there are lounge chairs to relax in. Register your little ones for summertime swim lessons at this awesome pool, and you can spend all summer here.

Insider’s Tip: Bring your own towels!

Online: aztecaquaplex.sdsu.edu

curious george

Photo Credit: Leah Singer

KPBS
Who knew that KPBS is located right on the SDSU campus? Take a stroll over to the public broadcasting station so your kiddos can see where Curious George, Daniel Tiger and all their favorite television shows are broadcast from! For even more fun, plan on attending the free Explore SDSU Open House on March 19, 2016. KPBS will offer tours for all ages, along with PBS Kids characters appearances, photo ops and giveaways. Come enjoy dozens of other family activities, workshops, tours and open houses all over campus!

Insider’s Tip: KPBS also does tours throughout the year, but there is minimum age requirement of 13-years-old.

Online: kpbs.org/tours

Have you visited SDSU campus before? What are your favorite spots to visit with kids?

— Marissa Mullen