We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Where to go with a 10 yr old...fun & inexpensive...

Level Contributor
1,066 posts
73 reviews
Save Topic
Where to go with a 10 yr old...fun & inexpensive...

Hello TA!!

I live in southern California, and I want to take a weekend mini vacation with my 10 yr old son somewhere within driving distance...

**where do you suggest??

we are looking for somewhere fun, where we can walk around, see some sights, shopping, etc...

**we don't want San Diego or Palm Springs as we have already done these many times**

* I was thinking Santa Barbara or something up the coast, but im not very familiar with these areas and not sure if there is enough to do??

I like the beach to walk around the boardwalk & maybe spend a few hrs in the sun, but we are not looking to be in the beach (sand) all day...

Thanks again for any insight you can give me!!


Laguna Hills...
Level Contributor
342 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Where to go with a 10 yr old...fun & inexpensive...

Santa Barbara is great. You can park right on Stearns Wharf & check out the little aquarium they have there. There's also the mission & I've heard that they have a really good zoo, too. There's tons of shopping & a lot of really good restaurants.

There's also whale watching & all of the same kinds of water activities that we have down here. You could also drive over to Solvang-it's not far from there.

santa barbara
Level Contributor
1,688 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Where to go with a 10 yr old...fun & inexpensive...

Hi yes,

There is SO much for a 10 year old to do here in SB that is not too expensive. If he likes to skateboard, we have a really neat skateboard park right in the beach area and it's free, just bring your gear including helmet.

The zoo, as redlady mentioned, is also a great place for a 10 yr old to spend the day, it even has a giraffe feeding station where you can stand on a platform and feed the giraffes.

The Museum of Natural History is a great place to spend a couple of hours. I think he would really enjoy the planetarium show and the butterfly exhibit that is here just for the summer. If you purchase a "Nature Pass" you will have unlimited admission for 2 consecutive days not only to the Museum but to the Ty Warner Sea Center on the wharf, which has a hands on marine science lab including touch tanks which children and adults love.

I think he would also really enjoy a ride on the Land Shark, an amphibious vehicle that first takes you on a narrated tour of the city and then enters the ocean at the yacht harbor for a tour of the harbor. It is really fun!

You can rent bikes and ride on the beach walk/bike path for miles.

Take a 25cent electric trolley uptown and explore the shops and eat at a fun restaurant.

Last but not least, a couple of hours playing and exploring the West beach area, you can walk quite a ways below the cliffs at low tide and explore the tide pools..

I would recommend staying in a hotel in the West beach area. There are lots of budget friendly hotels and you would be close to the beach and town.

I think you would both have a great time in SB!

3. Re: Where to go with a 10 yr old...fun & inexpensive...

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 06 October 2012, 19:18