Carlsbad: 25 Things To Do with Kids (other than Legoland)
Legoland? Who said anything about Legoland? Carlsbad may appear at first glance to be a one-trick town, but there are at least 25 reasons for this Southern California excursion, without ever using the word LEGO. The beach community's mild year-round temps, pristine beaches, and slow, laid-back approach to living offer families much more than just a famous amusement park.
Also know as the “Village By the Sea,” Carlsbad is just 87 miles south of Los Angeles, and 35 miles north of San Diego, making it a convenient weekend getaway, with charming, small-town appeal, world class golfing, inspiring cultural arts events, and inventive cuisine. And, yes, there is that amusement park, too.
Kayaking the lagoon feels like a long way from home.
- Explore music and rhythm at the Museum of Making Music.
- Go with the skateboarding flow at the Alga Norte Skate Park.
- Beat your own best time racing at the K1 Speed Go Kart Track.
- Enjoy a traditional shepherd’s pie, and some US colonial history, at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum.
- Take in the amazing aerial views in an Icon Helicopter Tour.
- Pretend you’re Jack Sparrow at the Aviara Community Park’s pirate-theme play area.
- Take an electric bike tour through the village with Pedego Electric Bike Rental.
- Fuel passion for engineering at the Miniature Engineering Craftmanship Museum.
- Take a bite out of Carlsbad’s culinary best on a Food Tour.
- See what life was like in the late 19th century at the Magee House.
- Learn to swing like a pro at the Aviara Golf Club.
- Take a walk back into Hollywood history at Leo Carrillo’s historic ranch.
- Start your own spring tradition at the Carlsbad Flower Fields.
The famous Flower Fields—taking wildflower walks up a notch
- Surf with the pros with So Cal Surf Lessons.
- Become a Junior Beach Ranger with Cape Rey Carlsbad.
- Practice your sun salutes in a Stand Up Paddleboard yoga class.
- Play hide and seek in the Hidden Canyon Community Park.
- Enjoy kid-friendly conservation talks at the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
- Escape the heat with some figure skating at Icetown Carlsbad.
- Taste Carlsbad’s best pizza at the Intergalactic Headquarters for the Pizza Port Empire.
- Kayak with the kids at Carlsbad Lagoon.
- Join in an immersive adventure at the School of Hard Locks.
- Surf while standing up with Two Guys Stand Up Paddleboard.
- Interact with the underwater creatures at the SEA LIFE Aquarium.
- Cool down at the LEGOLAND California Water Park.
All photos by the author