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Help me narrow our activities down.......

New York City, New...
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Help me narrow our activities down.......

We are headed to SD with our 7 and 5 yo daughters. We have 4 days to do different activities. We are New Yorkers and my girls love animals, nature, the beach and rides. I am thinking one day for each activity but there is so much to do!!! Please help me narrow my list down by picking your top 4 from this list:

Zoo

Safari

Sea world

LaJolla Covex

Legoland

Balboa Park

Something else I have not thought of?

Thanks so much!

Galveston, Texas
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1. Re: Help me narrow our activities down.......

The zoo definitely and La Jolla Cove.

Are they interested in Lego? -- I always saw it as a boy's thing.

I like SeaWorld, but is it worth the admisson cost for you?

The Safari Park in outside of San Diego, as is Legoland. I'd pick either the Safari Park or the zoo?

Balboa Park, you don't mention anything about museums.

A day at Colorado Island maybe??

Anaheim, California
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2. Re: Help me narrow our activities down.......

OK, the LEGOLAND Resort consists of three different "parks", the first one is a traditional Theme Park that is mainly designed for kids and pre-teens, focusing on rides and shows (a piece of trivia...America's Got Talent winner, and now Las Vegas Superstar used to have a show at LEGOLAND California). Good for both genders, I would say about equally, thought being a LEGO fan doesn't hurt. The second area is the SEA LIFE Aquarium, which is a themed Aquarium that does use some LEGO figures, but many focus is on the marine creatures. The third is a water park (only opened selected days). If you want to do all three, it is a 2 day experience. One day, I would just focus on the main Theme Park, especially if you are planning on visiting SeaWorld.

I also am presuming you will have a rental car.

So one day for LEGOLAND

A day at the beach, I would pick the Mission Beach area of San Diego, which has an area called Belmont Park that has a lot of rides, many designed for kids. This way, you can park (for free) in the area, and enjoy some rides along the oceanfront, and then head to the actual beach.

http://www.belmontpark.com/

So day 2 is the Beach/and a hour or two for rides.

Day 3, I would visit SeaWorld, lots of animal exhibits, plus some great kids areas, including some themed to Sesame Street.

And day 4, I would pick the San Diego Zoo.

Also, try to make sure and do some sightseeing, such as coming back from LEGOLAND (you always want to be at a Theme Park at opening) by the more scenic Coast Highway instead of Interstate 5. Also, checking out at least some of Balboa Park after visiting the Zoo (same area).

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Help me narrow our activities down.......

We are staying at the Coronado del mar so will have plenty of time there. They love rides and I was told it is fun even if they are not Lego obsessed. Would love to hear from people who have been with kids.

We have been to the Bronx Zoo many times. Is the San Diego zoo very different? Worth the trip?

San Diego
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4. Re: Help me narrow our activities down.......

Hi, Do you meant the Hotel del Coronado??

Your girls are just the right age for Legoland which has rides+building activities+the water park(on a nice day) and the small aquarium.

I am really a fan of seeing animals in their native environment so I'd certainly pick La Jolla Cove for at least part of a day! I was just there today and the seals were putting on a show that I don't think you'd see in a theme park!

I used to love the Bronx zoo but I haven't been there for a long time!

The atmosphere is certainly different and there may be some animals that are not there like the pandas and the koalas but I am not sure. The elephant exhibit takes you back in time to prehistoric San Diego which is also different. IF you did one of the behind the scenes activities that would CERTAINLY be different than just watching the animals. We love to just see everything they do!

As you can see Darkbeer and I have different ideas on what is fun sooo since everyone travels differently you'll have to decide for you and your family based on your own opinions.

Santa Monica...
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5. Re: Help me narrow our activities down.......

Not sure when you're going, but the beach can be cold and in May/June you get what is called, "June Gloom" which is overcast mornings. So, just keep that in mind and have a Plan B if you decide to leave the beach and move onto another activity.

I am probably in the minority, but I do not find Southern California beaches to be all that great. Hawaiian, Caribbean, Polynesian, Mexican, Southeast Asian beaches are fantastic. So my personal preference would be to do other things while in S.D.

The San Diego Zoo is world famous and not-to-be-missed. It's really fantastic. The Wild Animal Park (also part of the Zoo system, so you might look for a multi-park discount) -- that's what I'm assuming you mean by "Safari"? -- is nice and unique. I enjoy it alot, but it's quite a drive from Coronado. It's a lot of walking and then your 5 year old will fall asleep on the tram (from which you see the 'safari').

Sea World is fun, but there are other Sea Worlds around the country, so I would skip it if you've been to another.

A place I'd recommend for sealife is the Birch Aquarium http://www.aquarium.ucsd.edu/

It's at Scripps Oceanography research institute and it's the real deal. It's very close to La Jolla cove, so you can combine the two excursions.

Your kids will love Legoland. (But I don't ;-) As far as amusement parks go, they do have rides which are specifically geared for younger, smaller kids, so that's something nice for younger kids. Old Carlsbad is nearby and it's a quaint beach town.

Balboa Park is a beautiful place. The architecture is so representative of S.D.'s Spanish Colonial beginnings. There are some great and interesting museums there. Your kids will enjoy the R. H. Fleet Science Center with a theater and interactive exhibits. It's fun. And it's not that similar to the Rose Space Center. If you're into design, the Mingei Museum is interesting (but not to kids). There's a car museum and an Air & Space Museum. If your girls like trains, there's a huge model train exhibit. Don't bother with the Natural History Mus, your's in NYC blows it away.

Old Town is touristy, but cute. Maybe plan a dinner there, and go to the Mission beforehand. (I just went to find a link to the Mission and it's apparently part of some 4th graders' curriculums: www.missionsandiego.com/fourth_grade.htm, so maybe it'll be interesting to your older one.)

To answer your specific request, my Top 4 vote is:

1. Zoo

2. La Jolla Cove with Birch Aquarium

3. Balboa Park with Old Town

4. Legoland (and you can dine either in old downtown Carlsbad or the Outlet Mall, depending on your mood).

Anaheim, California
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6. Re: Help me narrow our activities down.......

FYI, the former San Diego Wild Animal Park was renamed the "San Diego Zoo Safari Park" last year.

http://www.sandiegozoo.org/park/index2010

L.A. 'burbs, CA
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7. Re: Help me narrow our activities down.......

OK, to complicate matters I'll throw in my 2 cents. :) We spend at least a few days every summer down in Coronado. We LOVE it.

We took my daughter to Legoland when she was 5 (she is now 7) and she enjoyed it, but it's definitely not loaded with things to do. We were done after a few hours. That being said, we are pass holders at Disneyland so our perspective may be a bit skewed. ; -) On the same trip we visited Sea World and that was a much bigger hit!

The beach in front of the Del is great for kids. The water stays shallow pretty far out so you don't have the drop off some beaches have. Get your kids a couple of boogie boards and they will probably be in the water all day. Mine certainly is. :) In fact, last year she spent most of one of the days boogie boarding with Felicity Huffman and her young daughter who happened to be staying there. Small world!

San Diego/Coronado is a great place to relax so give yourself a bit of time to soak it in and enjoy a bit of the beach.

Whatever you end up doing, have a great time!

L.A. 'burbs, CA
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8. Re: Help me narrow our activities down.......

Oh, and even if you don't have time in your schedule to spend a day in front of the Del, take a few minutes early in the morning to walk along the shoreline. Your kids will find a lot of shells and sand dollars. My daughter loves to do this on every trip. We bring back a lot of shells, too. :)

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Help me narrow our activities down.......

This is all great information! Thanks so much!!! LaJolla and birch Aquarium is sure to be their favorite day. We will also do the zoo and sea world. We will have time on the beach at the del. We are going to be there in the end of march. I know the water will probably be cold but my kids spend time on new England beaches and go in the water in June so they will be fine as long as there is sand, finding sand dollars would be a thrill!

10. Re: Help me narrow our activities down.......

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