Best After-Dark Family Activities in San Diego

The winter season means fun holidays, family time, and cozy weather; but unfortunately, winter also means shorter days. Just because it gets dark early doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Try these safe, family-friendly suggestions for what to do in San Diego after dark.


See a Movie

There are some great films out right now! Great after-dark family activities include taking in a family movie night away from the couch. Try one of San Diego’s coolest movie theaters, THE LOT, with locations in La Jolla and Liberty Station. They offer fully reclining leather seats, as well as food and beverage service (including a kids’ menu) throughout the entire movie!

Scripps AMG Tip: Be extra careful driving back at night—especially if it’s a long way home—and as always, don’t drink and drive.


Build a Bonfire

For a totally different beach experience, visit at night and build a bonfire to stay warm and toasty. For some wonderful after-dark family activities, go before sundown and bring a picnic so that you can eat dinner with a view of the sunset, and then build a fire as it gets dark. Don’t forget marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers, and roasting sticks for s’mores! You can find a complete list of San Diego beaches with fire rings here.

Scripps AMG Tip: Most fire rings are first-come, first-serve, so make sure that you get there early enough to grab one for your family.


Try Miniature Golf

Take your family for a round of golf! Pelly’s Mini Golf, part of the Del Mar Golf Center, is open until 10pm Friday-Saturday and 9pm Sunday-Thursday. Their two 18-hole courses, “Surfin Safari” and “Ocean Adventure,” both feature sea themes that kids will love. Pelly’s offers discounts for kids, seniors, and military.

Scripps AMG Tip: Del Mar is just off the coast and can get chilly, especially at night. Make sure to bring a jacket and bundle up.


Catch a Game

Experience the excitement of a live sporting event. Take your family to a San Diego Gulls game for a lively night of hockey, or root for the San Diego State Aztecs at a basketball game. You and your family will have fun expressing your San Diego pride!

Scripps AMG Tip: Be aware of your surroundings when you walk back to your car after the game. It’s always a good idea to stay together and make sure you’re with at least one other person.


Play Some Games

Parkway Bowl has everything you need for a full night of fun, and is open late every day of the week. Start out with a round or two of bowling and see who can score the most strikes. On Friday and Saturday nights you can splurge on Cosmic Bowling, a 2-hour session with special sound and lighting effects. After bowling, visit The Boardwalk for laser tag, arcade games, and rides.


Scripps AMG Tip: Flu season is upon us—between sharing bowling balls and using game controls, you’ll want to make sure you don’t pick up any germs. Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating.


No matter what nighttime activity you choose, you may want to start the night off with dinner out. Consider these Scripps AMG recommended restaurants, which are healthier for you and your family!


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