10 Unique & Fun Things To Do in Escondido!


10 Unique & Fun Things To Do in Escondido

While most are familiar with San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, many are surprised to learn about the unique and often thrilling entertainment opportunities that exist at these and other locations throughout the city. When asked what people think of when they hear the word Escondido, many will make mention of the incredible golf courses, the boutique wineries with amazing vistas and personal touches. Often people relate the City of Escondido to our vast and diverse parks and nature preserves that provide fantastic campgrounds, trails for hiking and biking, and of course our many lakes for boating and fishing. Of course most of our guests will have at some point enjoyed the variety of specialty shops, art galleries and gourmet dining in beautiful downtown. And who can forget the California Center for the Arts, Patio Playhouse and the Welk Resort theaters that provide us with outstanding musical and performing art talent. However, there are still a number of unique forms of entertainment that people either forget to consider, or have yet to discover. The following are some, in no particular order, that we hope we can encourage you to explore, experience and enjoy!

1.      Queen Califia’s Magical Circle – Apologies, this sculpture garden is currently closed for renovation.

Queen Califia's Magic CircleQueen Califia's Magic Circle

“The only American sculpture Garden and the last major international project created by the acclaimed artist Niki De Saint Phalle. Inspired by California’s mythic, historic and cultural roots, the garden consists of nine large-scale sculptures, a circular “name” wall and maze entryway, sculpturally integrated bench seating and native shrubs and trees planted within the interior plaza and along the outer perimeter.” – More on Queen Califia’s Magic Circle

2.      Trapeze High –

Flying High TrapezeFlying High Trapeze

“Trapeze High is the ONLY Flying Trapeze and circus arts school in San Diego. With classes for all levels you can bring your whole family to fly – no experience necessary! Plus, when you fly with us you help Trapeze High’s outreach division Circus Fund bring at-risk and low-income youth the joy of the circus!” – More on Trapeze High

3.      Geocaching in the San Dieguito River Park –

“What is a geocaching and how does it affect the park? I am glad you asked. Geocaching is an adventure game for people who use hand held global positioning satellite devices (GPS).

This device along with a set of coordinates enables the user to locate hidden caches around the world. The cache itself can come in many forms depending on the person who hides it. The one thing you will find in all caches is a logbook to write down the adventure you had getting there and to see what others had to say before you.” – More on Geocaching San Dieguito River Park

4.      Flightline Safari –

While most are familiar with San Diego Zoo Safari Park for its walking and tram tours of the many incredible wild animals enjoying natural habitats, many are surprised to learn that you can soar over the animal exhibits as well. “Flightline Safari is the ultimate recreational experience for those looking for excitement. Secure and comfortable in your harness, you will soar as high as 160 feet above the ground with rhinos, deer and more in the fields below you. The Flightline experience includes gear, an orientation, and a “fledgling” line to practice taking off from a platform and successfully landing.” –  More on Flightline Safari

If you’d rather leave the flying for the condors and the eagles at Safari Park and the flightline  experience sounds like too much for your heart to handle; and you’d rather stay closer to the ground , you can always enjoy a “Rolling Safari on a Segway”.

5.      Rolling Safari on a Segway!

“ROLL RIGHT NEXT TO WILDLIFE! Here’s a cool way for the adventurous to see the Park: on an off-road Segway® X2! This wildly unique tour takes you off the beaten path and up close to many of our Asian and African animals. First, we’ll teach you how to pilot your Segway X2, a two-wheeled electric personal transporter designed for off-road travel that’s easy and fun to ride. Then you’re off on an incredible adventure as a tour guide leads your small group on both paved and dirt paths around our huge field exhibits.

You’ll comfortably and quietly roll past herds of exotic wildlife, stopping at several scenic spots along the way to take photos and hear amazing stories about the animals in our care. Your adventure includes an introduction to the fun of riding on a Segway X2 and a chance to practice riding it in a safe, controlled area before heading out to see the animals. This is one wildlife adventure you won’t forget!” – More on Rolling Safari on a Segway!

6.      Cruisin’ Grand Escondido!

“Cruisin’ Grand has become not only the #1 car cruise in the nation, but more importantly, the heart of Escondido. Sure, it’s where high-end hotrods cruise and park, and Discovery Channel stars and Eric Clapton stroll, but more importantly it’s where local families come to spend a few hours, people meet up with friends, and neighbors run into each other. Cruisin’ Grand has given people a reason to come downtown every week, and in the process they have rediscovered all that downtown has to offer: restaurants, stores, performance venues and professional offices.” – More on Cruisin’ Grand

7.      Glow in the Park!

There’s a buzz in the air about this event and the buzz is growing quickly! This is a brand new event that has gained traction and momentum so fast that we’re expecting this to be very exciting in its first year, this year!

“Glow-in-the-Park is an innovative summer evening of installation art that will transform Grape Day Park into an Art Park featuring works of art illuminating the space with light installations, inflatable art, film as well as performance and environmental pieces.   Glow-in-the Park takes place Saturday August 4th from 7pm – 11pm.   Glow-in-the-Park will allow everyone to ‘play’ in the park as we transition from hot twilight to cool evening.  The event is being produced by the Escondido History Center and the Escondido Arts Partnership/Municipal Gallery.   The San Diego Foundation’s Arts and Culture Working Group is pleased to sponsor this wonderful free event which highlights the diversity of contemporary artists working in our region. ”

Glow in the Park Escondido

“Glow-in-the-Park will bring Grape Day Park to life for a special night, inviting visitors to interactive and investigate everything that is fun about summer in our region.  Art installations will feature light, sound, film, fluorescence, water, fiber and inflatable art.  “This innovative project, the first of its kind in Escondido, will bring new and returning people to our downtown community park.  The large scale art event will be a landmark event for the park and the city. “It’s sure to be a very fun event for all ages.” said Wendy Barker, Executive Director of the History Center.   “It’s hot in August, so it is a great time to enjoy the cool evening and be part of a one of a kind art happening”.  This event allows exposure to innovative participatory art and activities which widen the understanding of the power of art to enlighten and engage.” says Escondido Arts Partnership Director Wendy Wilson. “Artists will be collaborating and experimenting to create one of a kind installations.”

Sections of the park will be overseen by “curators” who will include local artists and educators.  The idea of constructing pieces that involve light, sound, sustainable materials and interaction with the public is quite a challenge.  It will be fascinating to see what comes about with the challenge.  Yarn bombers who deconstruct space through the use of fiber will be on hand as well as performance artists, filmmakers, and musicians who specialize in sculpting environments with sound.” –  More on Glow in the Park

8.      ICEOPLEX Escondido!

Ice Skating in July? In case you hadn’t noticed, it appears that just about anything is possible in Escondido! If the heat is getting to you and you’d like to cool off from the summer sun in Escondido, why not head over to the Iceoplex and enjoy some indoor ice skating?

“Come and enjoy a leisurely public skating session or take advantage of a FREE learn to skate class. Feeling adventurous? Try a beginner hockey class or sign up for a Learn to Curl clinic. If you find safety in numbers, reserve a broomball session for your group, and tear it up in your sneakers! No matter which Iceoplex experience you choose, we offer a safe, fun-filled environment that will keep you active and entertained. On those hot, rainy, or muggy days enjoy the comfort of an indoor facility where you will have a ton of fun! – More on Icoplex Escondido!

9.      Tours at Palomar Observatory

“The Palomar Observatory is located in north San Diego County, California, just a short drive from Escondido. It is a world-class center of astronomical research that is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology.  The observatory is home to five telescopes that are nightly used for a wide variety of astronomical research programs. The research is conducted by Caltech’s faculty, post-doctoral fellows and students, and by researchers at Caltech’s collaborating institutions.

The Palomar Observatory is open to the public daily (except December 24 and 25) for daytime visits.” –  More on Tours at Palomar Observatory

10.      Stone Brewing Late Night Movies

Although most are familiar with the annual “Movies and Music in the Park” taking place in Escondido’s Grape Day Park throughout the summer months, people are often surprised to hear about the Stone Brewing Late Night Movies taking place on Wednesday nights in the Stone Brewing Gardens.

“Every Wednesday throughout the summer, we show movies on a twelve-foot screen in our gorgeous gardens. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and settle down on the grass for a fabulous night of movie night munchies, great beer and great cinema! Remember to bring extra layers: even though we’re in SoCal, nights can still get pretty chilly.” – More on Stone Brewing Late Night Movies

We hope we’ve introduced you to one or more new things to do in Escondido that you weren’t already aware of. We know that many of the things that typically come to mind when people think of Escondido keep our guests returning to our hidden valley in San Diego County. However, as awareness of the many “unique things to do” in Escondido increases, we hear more and more that Escondido holds places, activities and events that are being added to many individuals’ bucket lists. Whatever brings you here, we appreciate your visit and we hope we can help you to enjoy experiences and create positive memories that will last you a lifetime.


Your Friends at Visit Escondido Convention and Visitors Bureau



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