As an adult, summer is the time for sun and relaxation, but for children, it’s about freedom and non-stop fun. Del Mar offers the perfect combination of exciting activities for kids and sophisticated fun in the sun for adults.
One of the best parts of our quaint, seaside community is that it’s extraordinarily safe for families with children. In general, Del Mar is extremely walkable, so you only have to worry about parking, unpacking, and packing up the car once. And when your teenagers get restless (it’s bound to happen), the area is safe enough for them to wander off on their own for the afternoon.
Teenager or adolescent, here are the 10 things your kids (and even you) will get excited for in Del Mar this summer:
1. Surf Lessons
Of course, one of the biggest draws of Southern California in the summer is the surf. The Fulcrum Surf School offers private, semi-private, and group lessons all summer long, So regardless of whether your child has never stepped foot in the ocean or just needs a little additional coaching on the board, they’ll leave Del Mar catching waves like a pro.
2. Beach Time
If you decide to forgo surf lessons, that’s no reason to skip the beach altogether. Stop by Rusty Del Mar to rent a soft surfboard or boogie board and let your child hit the waves on their own. Your kids also have the option to play in the sand while you soak up the sun, so the beach can be a win-win for the whole family.
3. Mini Golf
For a little more competitive entertainment, there’s Pelly’s Mini Golf. The attraction has two courses to choose from—Surfin’ Safari and Ocean Adventure—so your children can spend hours trying to perfect that hole in one.
4. San Diego County Fair
Every year, millions of people flock to Del Mar for the San Diego County Fair. When it rolls around every June through early July, you can treat your kids to a day of excitement while indulging in your inner child. Let them go crazy on the sweets and then join them in the petting zoo or on one of the fair’s thrilling rides.
5. Del Mar Race Track
When the fair clears, it’s time for race season (July through September). At the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, you can place your bets on the horses and then cheer alongside your kids as you watch the races from the stands.
6. Family Weekends
With a little planning you can “upgrade” your child’s experience at the races. Every Saturday and Sunday the Thoroughbred Club hosts Family Weekends with games, obstacle courses, and even pony rides in the infield.
7. Bike the Coast
For a little more of an active day, take the kids on a bike ride along the coast. You’ll have to come prepared with your own bike, unless you’re staying at L’Auberge Del Mar; there you can rent electric beach cruisers to take along on your adventure.
8. Take a Hike
No bike? No problem! Lace up your sneakers, grab some water, and go on a hike. The trails at the Torrey Pines State Reserve are easily accessible and the perfect place for you and your children to connect with nature.
9. Bird Sanctuary
Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary is a unique opportunity for kids to get in touch with wildlife. They’ll get a kick out of learning about and interacting with the birds and may even ask to adopt one at the end of the day.
Del Mar knows that one size doesn’t fit all–that’s why there’s a store every age! At Sandcastle Tales, your kiddo can peruse imaginative books, new toys, and fun crafts. For a mature age range, head over to Urban Girl Accessories or Durante’s Menswear to find an outfit that’s sure to impress.
11. Seagrove Tot Lot
No shoes, no dogs, but tons of fun: at Powerhouse Park, your little one will have a blast climbing the monkey bars and playing on the swings in the Seagrove Tot Lot. With an ocean view and rare Torrey pine trees, this is no ordinary playground.
12. L’Auberge Summer Movie Nights
Grab your favorite snacks and a comfy blanket and prepare to get cozy. L’Auberge’s Jim Watkins Amphitheatre is the place to be on Friday summer nights, where they show popular kid-friendly movies.
13. Del Mar Foundation Events
The Del Mar Foundation hosts various exciting events throughout the year in Del Mar for you and your kiddos. In October, listen to creepy tales and munch on s’mores at the Spooktacular Beach Bonfire. In April, your little one can hunt for Easter eggs and even meet the real-life Easter Bunny. In May, watch a movie with your toes in the sand at “Cinema By the Sea.” In July, join the Independence Day Parade festivities by helping decorate participating bikes, scooters, and strollers. All throughout summer, pack a picnic and settle at Powerhouse Park for the Summer Twilight Concerts, where you and your tot can dance the night away.
14. Lil Triton’s Club
You and your little one will have a very special morning on the Del Mar Plaza deck. From 11-11:45am, enjoy a performance by kid-folk musical act “Hullabaloo,” accompanied by complementary coloring pages and crayons. However, the fun doesn’t stop there—immediately after the event, kids eat free at Il Fornaio and Pacifica Del Mar, and parents can enjoy a 25% discount at Rendezvous Del Mar. Talk about a win-win! For more information and specific dates, check out the Del Mar Plaza website.
15. Darshan Bakery
Make your stay at Del Mar even sweeter! One thing that is sure to bring a smile to your kiddos face is a freshly baked pastry. Local Darshan Bakery offers a delicious selection, including wild blueberry scones, chocolate croissants, and apple turnovers.
No matter what activity or experience you and your kids decide to do, you’re going to want to eat at some point. Children are welcome at every restaurant in the Del Mar Village but tend to feel more comfortable at En Fuego, Del Mar Pizza, Board & Brew, and Seaside Yogurt. Dining in Del Mar can be just as exciting as any other activity and is essential when it comes to refueling for another adventure.
Almost any experience in Del Mar can turn into summer fun and a lasting memory for your kids. For more information on where to shop, dine, and stay this summer, visit the Del Mar Village Association online.