Not sure how to spend your next weekend in San Diego? If you’re looking for some family fun that’s just off the beaten path, spend a day at the famous Kobey’s Swap Meet. Swap meets are a fun way to treasure hunt with your cuties, and a great chance to teach about recycling, reusing and handling money (if they are old enough), all while feeling the thrill of a scavenger hunt and the score of a deal.

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Kobey’s Swap Meet
Kobey’s is the ultimate stop for swap meet swag. It has many pint-sized bargain-hunting treasures. Scour the tables and bins for LEGO, Polly Pocket dolls and accessories, Barbies and more. There are both swap meet and garage-sale style booths for your little ones to explore. Set an amount they can spend (let them learn to budget), then send the little pirates off to scour the terrain for their bountiful loot (with mom or dad’s supervision, of course).

Sweet Treats
If the little swashbucklers need a bite to eat, there are lots of places to take a bit. Traditional hamburgers and hot dogs are available (a little on the expensive and greasy side). But we recommend saving the money and appetites for the other treats. Popcorn is a hit with the pint-sized type and snow cones are big and fun to eat (especially on hot summer days). There’s also a mini-donut stand where kids can watch them make the sweet treats.

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Savvy Swap Meet Tips

  • Sunblock is key. Even on overcast days, be prepared to spray and wear a hate. Brining a bottle of water is also recommended.
  • Vendors don’t take credit cards. So bring cash. Smaller bills will be appreciated.
  • Bring your own canvas bag to stash all your goodies.
  • While the swap meet is open all weekend, Sunday is the best day to score treasures.
  • Go online and print a coupon for $1 off adult admission.
  • You can rent a single stroller ($6) or a double cool cart ($7) to wheel your little munchkins around.
  • The bathrooms are located at the back of the meet near the food stand. While they are porta-potties, there is an attendant on duty and a place to wash hands.
  • Parking is free!

Hours: Fri. – Sun., 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost: Fri.: $1/Adults; Sat. & Sun., $2/Adults; Free/Kids under 11

3500 Sports Arena Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92110
Online: Kobeys.com

— Monique Walsh (photos too)