As a long-time resident, mom of 6 and owner of Tristan Quigley Photography I am always asked to recommend the best things to do in Carlsbad by out-of-town clients. Carlsbad and the surrounding area have so much to offer when it comes to family activities. Between the beaches, parks, trails, and places like Legoland, you surely will find something for all ages. The list of things to do in Carlsbad with kids is long but here are a few suggestions.
Carlsbad’s popular theme park, LEGOLAND California offers guests about 60 rides, LEGO pits, and other interactive park experiences. It is mainly geared towards the 12 & under crowd, but offers a little something for LEGO enthusiasts of all ages. The park also features a water park for some added fun. Make sure to check their schedule, as the water park isn’t open year-round.
In 2018, LEGOLAND California also opened the LEGO Castle Hotel, which offers 250 premium LEGO Castle-themed rooms. Throughout the hotel you will find LEGO Castle décor featuring knights, princesses, dragons and more, as well as a pool area featuring fountains, slides and play features. A themed restaurant is also on the property. As an added perk, all guests get early admission to the park. Yay for shorter lines!
While you are visiting, LEGOLAND Sea Life Aquarium is another fun activity. Sea Life is designed to be a child’s guide to the life of the sea. There are some great interactive areas where you can feel sea stars at the touch pools and discover the sharks, stingrays and tropical fish of the Lost City of Atlantis. Sea Life Aquarium has plenty of interactive play zones and fun activities.
Test your balance on a standup paddleboard, ride a waverunner or kayak by renting a variety of watersports equipment at Carlsbad Lagoon. They also offer wakeboarding and waterskiing as well. The variety of rentals include speedboats, aqua cycles and much more.
Enjoy kid-friendly conservation talks, birding and hands-on events hosted by the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation or just head out on your own. The lagoon is one of the only remaining tidal wetlands in Southern California. There are also a few nice and easy walking trails that are stroller-friendly. Maps are available at the Nature Center.
Celebrate spring at the Carlsbad Flower Fields a famous Carlsbad attraction. The beautiful field opens in March for six-eight weeks, showcasing the brightly blooming Ranunculus flowers. Visitors can enjoy tractor rides, mazes, the orchid greenhouse, rose garden and much more over the 55 acres. It is also right down the street from the Carlsbad Outlet Mall if you want to enjoy some shopping after.
Not only is Carlsbad Tony Hawk’s home, but there are plenty of skateparks for all levels, including Alga Norte Skatepark. Alga Norte also features an aquatic center, dog park, sports fields and a great playground for children of all ages!
K1 Speed Go Kart Track is the largest indoor karting facility on the West Coast and located right here in Carlsbad. Adults and junior drivers (must be 48″ tall) can race an Italian electric Pro Kart (zero emissions).
One of the best places to improve your swing is at the Aviara Golf Club, located next to the beautiful Park Hyatt Aviara hotel. Kip Putterbaugh’s Aviara Golf Academy hosts junior clinics and lessons but they really can improve any level of player. It’s the longest-running golf school in the Western United States. Other local courses include The Crossings at Carlsbad & Omni La Costa.
Learning how to surf is one of the best things to do in Carlsbad with kids when on vacation here, in my opinion. In Carlsbad, the pros at Surfinfire will be glad to help you navigate the Socal waves.
A Carlsbad vacation isn’t complete without a visit to one of its beautiful beaches, whether you learn to surf or not. Most are very easily accessible. Visit Carlsbad has a list of most beaches including location and reasons why your family will love them.
Here for a vacation? Why not document these memorable moments with your family? As a long-time Carlsbad Family Photographer, I’d love to capture your family’s smiles on one of our gorgoues beaches at sunset. My sessions are fun, fast paced and capture what makes your family connection unique! Dads and toddlers alike will even have a great time!
Go home with proof of your amazing time in Carlsbad! Contact me to book your session.