Escondido is family friendly on so many levels! Enjoy amazing museums with dinosaurs, live reptiles and super fun interactive exhibits, all with walking distance of each other. As well as wild animals in the Safari Park and the mosaic animals in Queen Califia's Magical Circle. There are also many events and festivals happen all year long for kids of all ages to enjoy.
EXPLORE! IMAGINE! EXPERIMENT! DISCOVER!
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum inspires children to learn about our world through exploration, imagination, and experimentation. The Museum remains the only hands-on educational children's museum in North San Diego County, serving children ages 0-10 with interactive exhibits and programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Experience daily activities, attend educational camps and special events, and book your child's next birthday party at the Museum!
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an expansive not-for-profit wildlife sanctuary located just 6 miles east of downtown Escondido. The Safari Park is home to more than 3,000 animals representing more than 300 species. Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.75 million specimens. Over half of the Park’s 1,800 acres (730 hectares) have been set aside as protected native species habitat.
Enjoy the fun with a day pass, which includes the awesome animal encounters, safari tram, and lots of play areas and cafes... or add on a special safari adventure like the Caravan Safari, Cheetah Safari, Jungle Ropes, Flightline, Behind the Scenes, and you can event spend the night at the Roar & Snore Safari!
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027
Day Trip Idea!
Enjoy your day at the Safari Park and combine it with local activities close by, such as wine tasting or strolling historic downtown Escondido with it's great eateries, arts and culture.
Kids of ALL ages love this park… bring your family, friends, imaginations and cameras! Docents will be on hand for questions.
The “snake wall” opens into a maze whose walls and floors are covered with black, white, and mirrored tiles. Once through the maze, visitors enter into the central courtyard. There are nine freestanding sculptures in the garden. The imposing mosaic sculpture of Queen Califia standing on the back of a five-legged eagle commands the center of the garden.
Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is the only American sculpture garden and the last major international project created by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002).
Inspired by California’s mythic, historic, and cultural roots, the garden consists of nine large-scale sculptures, a circular “snake wall” and maze entryway, sculpturally integrated bench seating and native shrubs and trees planted within the interior plaza and along the outer perimeter. The garden bears the brilliant, unique mosaic ornamentation that is an unmistakable part of de Saint Phalle’s later work.
The garden is open to the public, weather permitting*, with free entrance, on:
- Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am to Noon
- 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm
Kit Carson Park - click through for a map of the park
(In the Iris Sankey Arboretum)
3333 Bear Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92025
*Weather Permitting: After recent rain or heavy fog, there is chance that the sculpture garden will be closed, due to safety issues, usually 24-48 hours after a rain event, while it dries.
This amazing living reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods museum has over 200 Animal Ambassadors! On a tour through the museum, you have the chance to pet and hold 15-20 trained Animal Ambassadors with one of their awesome tour guides.
EcoVivarium is a 501c3 nonprofit Living Museum featuring reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods. They started in 2008 as a mobile education outreach program serving schools, community and special events as well as birthday and corporate parties. The Animal Ambassadors are primarily rescues (98%) with approximately 2% of our Ambassadors being donated to our organization.
Each animal goes through necessary rehabilitation (both for physical and behavioral issues) and then receives a minimum of 100 hours of specialized training to become a public Ambassador.
You can also book EcoVivarium for private parties and special events!
136 S Juniper St, Escondido, CA 92025
Parking in the free public lot at 202 East 2nd Avenue.
Wed - Fri
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Mon - Tue
Seniors & Military: $9
Children (3-17): $8