Summer Sunset Activities for Kids

Summer is here! It’s time to grab those shades and sunblock and head for the beach. But as the summer sun heats up in San Diego, you may want to consider planning your outdoor activities at sunset –especially for children–to reduce the chances of sunburn.

Here are 7 sunset activities for kids that the whole family will love:

1. Picnic on the beach

Building sand castles and hunting for shells is a fun activity any time of day, but when the sun is no longer directly overhead, the earth’s atmosphere blocks some of the UV light, and there’s less chance of sunburn. Located at San Elijo State Beach, Cardiff-by-the-Sea with its two reefs may be excellent for surfing, but it is also a popular family-friendly spot to visit late in the day. Ocean Beach is also great for families. You can stroll the pier or even build a bonfire. Remember to bring your buckets and shovels!

2. Ride a bike along the Strand

The Bayshore Bikeway stretches from Coronado Island through Silver Strand State Beach where there is plenty of picnicking, fishing, swimming, and other sunset activities for kids to enjoy. This 24-mile path connects with Imperial Beach, the southernmost beach in the city. Any segment of this route is ideal for a late-afternoon cruise. You can take in the great views along the way and loop around to avoid the on-street bike lanes. You may even rent a bicycle built for two at a shop in Coronado or downtown!

3. Visit Waterfront Park

Located next to downtown’s charming Little Italy neighborhood, this beautifully landscaped park is perfect for children. Offering plenty of playground equipment, grassy areas and interactive fountains, it also has a reflecting pool, native plants and public art displays. As if that weren’t enough, it’s also smoke- and alcohol-free and open daily until 10 p.m.!

4. Watch the sunset at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Listen to the waves crashing against the rocks, watch the sea spray into the air and feel the breeze blowing in off the Pacific. With a few small parking lots nearby, the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is a great place to enjoy the fabled golden hour. Bring a blanket, sit back and appreciate the majesty of this unique vista.

5. Visit the San Diego Zoo

With more than 3,700 animals, seeing all of them isn’t easy to do in a single afternoon–but it’s worth a try! This world-famous destination, designed with particular animal habitats in mind, offers a window into some of the planet’s most magnificent creatures. Take the Skyfari Aerial Tram over the park to fully appreciate the lush landscaping and stunning views. Also great for a stroll is Balboa Park, which offers multiple gardens and a botanical building that houses more than 2,000 plant species.

6. La Jolla Cove Beach

Tucked between sandstone cliffs at Point La Jolla, this is a popular place for kids to learn paddle boarding because the water is so calm. Kellogg Park playground with grassy areas offers plenty of room for children to run and play. Located within the underwater park ecological reserve, you’re also likely to see seals and sea lions sunning themselves on the nearby rocks. Dogs are allowed after 4 p.m., so save this trip for sunset activities with kids and bring the whole family!

7. Watch hang gliders at Torrey Pines

A 20-minute drive north of the downtown San Diego, the Gliderport at Torrey Pines State Beach and Park is officially active until 5:30 p.m., but adventurous flyers will often launch later than that, soaring through the sky at sunset. From the cliffs, you can also see the surfers who come out to catch the late-day swells.


Check out other articles from Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups for other fun activity ideas in San Diego!

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