Ask the Locals: Hidden Spots in San Diego for Families

Hidden Gems for Families
Everyone loves to discover little-known spots, especially in their own neighborhood. Plan a day to take the kids and explore hidden gems in San Diego. Tag us on Instagram @sandiegofamilymagazine and use #sdoutandabout.

Star Wars fans? Take a photo on Mark Hamill Drive in Clairemont Mesa, a nod to the actor’s childhood home of four years.

Reserve the Champs Ring for the best seats in the house at Luche Libre Taco Shop in North Park. www.luchalibretacoshop.com/locations

Explore Queen Califia’s Magical Sculpture Garden at Kit Carson Park in Escondido. Large-scale sculptures and the circular “snake wall” were created by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. www.queencalifia.org

Atypical Waffle (formerly Wow Wow Waffle) is a local favorite for artisan Belgian waffles, hidden between a house and a laundromat in North Park. www.atypicalwaffle.com

Run a stick along the rails of Song Rail Bridge to hear a tune. This unique work of public art was created by Roman de Salvo, and plays the same tune in both directions. Located at 25th St. Bridge, spanning SR 94 (Golden Hill). Bring a stick!

Built in 1912, the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge (a historic landmark) sways as you walk across and view the canyon below. Spruce St. & First Ave., between Hillcrest and downtown.

Get close to or directly interact with gorgeous exotic birds at the Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary on Jimmy Durante Blvd. in Del Mar. www.freeflightbirds.org

Potato Chip RockExplore eight restored jail cells at The Headquarters (the former site of San Diego’s Police Headquarters) and snap a family photo against the lineup wall. The exhibit also features historic photos and police memorabilia. www.theheadquarters.com/history

Strike a pose (if you dare!) at Potato Chip Rock, an iconic potato chip-shaped rock at the peak of Mt. Woodson in Ramona. Be prepared to wait in line and bring plenty of water!

Dr. Seuss fans love the 16-foot high character murals on display at the Denny Sanford Children’s Library inside the San Diego Central Library. Fun fact: it’s one of only two libraries in the U.S. with licensed Dr. Seuss murals. www.sandiego.gov/public-library/central-library  

Fans of the Wizard OZ look to Coronado to get your fix. Read 7 Must See Sites in Coronado for Fans of Wizard of OZ.

Find tons more family adventures in San Diego's Out & About with Kids, for local and visiting families.

Be sure to let us know if you find a kid-friendly hidden gem that's not on our list by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Put "San Diego hidden gem" in the subject line.

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