The kids were getting a little restless today, so I threw them in the car and we headed off to Mission Trails Regional Park in San Diego.
Mission Trails is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, encompassing nearly 5,800 acres of terrain. With relatively easy trails, this is a great spot for a hike with kids.
Even if hiking isn’t your thing, the visitor center has great interactive exhibits for guests of all ages. The visitor’s center is really lovely and features an elaborate rock wall the kids have fun trying to scale, a permanent museum, an outdoor amphitheater and spectacular views of the park.
Today’s activities consisted making a rubbing of indigenous animal tracks and creating handprints to hang on the “humanitree” to demonstrate our commitment to environmental conservation.
Displays include local wildlife (and appropriate precautions when living and hiking in their habitat); native Kumeyaay history, culture and artifacts; and regional geology. Activity packets are available for kids on a couple of topics, including the water cycle, and you can even pick up a scavenger hunt form at the Visitor’s Center desk to complete during your visit. There are great opportunities here to learn about the area.
Free walking tours are available throughout the week, and regular kids and family events are hosted throughout the year. Check out their online calendar here to plan your visit.
Water fountains (and water bowls for dogs) are available around the center, but no food is available for purchase. Bring snacks and drinks – especially if you’ll be hiking the trails. There is very little shade on the hiking routes, so plan accordingly, especially if you have kids with you.
Enjoy the adventure!