Summertime in San Diego means long days of fun in the sun. But on weeks when the sun gets too intense, you will need to find ways to beat the heat. There are plenty of things to do besides just lazing in front of the air conditioner, so don’t let the summertime heat keep you from having a good time.
Whether you are looking for kid-friendly activities or solo adventures, there are plenty of ways to stay cool this summer in San Diego. Let’s take a look at our top six activities to do when the summer sun is just too a bit too much.
1. Head to the Cinema
The sun might make you feel like you are melting outside, but as soon as you enter the cinema a frosty blast cools you down right away. Movie theaters are notorious for keeping the A/C on blast, so if you are burnt out from sunburn and all you crave is spending a few hours in a dark, cold room watching the hottest summer flicks, then head to the nearest movie theater.
Check out Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas, Hillcrest Cinemas, or ArcLight Cinemas. Or for a slightly more unusual movie event, check out the South Bay Drive-in, which shows nostalgic favorites and the latest releases from the comfort of your car, old-fashioned style.
Or for an extra cozy, customizable option, set up your own home cinema. Turn up the A/C and watch your favorite movie on cable or Pay Per View, or stream it from your internet-synced TV. If you have surround sound and a big-screen TV, all the better. Get your candies and ice cream sandwiches, pop some popcorn in the microwave (or do it old-fashioned style in a pot), and settle in for a unique cinematic experience.
2. Glide On the Ice
Ice cream is everyone’s favorite frozen treat during the hot summer months. But ice is not just for eating this summer- you can also take a break from the heat by gliding on the ice. Put on some skates, tie up your laces, and spend the afternoon spinning and zooming across the ice in an indoor ice rink.
The San Diego Ice Arena is a great choice for an afternoon on the ice, or try UTC Ice Sports Center. The Kroc Center’s ice rink is another great choice for both amateur skaters and advanced ice skaters alike. For a sportier choice, check out the local hockey league. An ice hockey game is another way to stay active, have fun, and keep your temperature comfortable.
3. Swim, Swim, Swim
There is nothing like a splash and a swim to cool you down when the sun shines high in the sky. And in San Diego, there are plenty of options, from spacious indoor swimming pools, elegant outdoor pools, or even water parks.
San Diego has no shortage of water parks on offer: check out the fun at Aquatica San Diego, Splish Splash, Inflatable World, or The Wave Waterpark. From water slides to wave pools and beyond, friends and family can cool off while you float down the lazy river, swing on a zip line, or zoom down a thrilling slide.
4. Hit the Mall and Local Shops
If retail is your favorite thing, the shopping in San Diego is always fun. Discovering the local indie and trendy boutique-style shops in North Park, South Park, and many other neighborhoods is always fun. Or, head over to a mall. This is a safe bet for a cool indoor activity- and by cool, yes, we do mean cold. Whether you are searching for the latest summer styles, spending pennies at the shopping mall arcade, or getting an early head start on your back-to-school shopping, the mall is a great place to cool down.
Fashion Valley is a great option with plenty of shops and an extensive dining court, or try Point Loma Plaza, close to the ocean.
5. Stop By A Museum
San Diego is known worldwide for its huge variety of museums. Whether you are interested in exploring and learning about science, natural history, human culture, or art, there is a great institution to welcome you into its air-conditioned atmosphere. The San Diego Natural History Museum, also known as “The Nat”, offers endless interesting exhibits, including the Living Lab and Hidden Gems exhibitions.
Plus you can learn about the local flora, fauna, culture, transportation, and history of San Diego at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the USS Midway Museum, and the Junipero Serra Museum. Or for a truly unique museum experience, you can check out the Museum of Us, which explores the entirety of the human experience from many different angles. It’s a great way to start a conversation that can last well into the night, once the sun has set.
6. Catch the Waves
No list of things to do during summer in San Diego can be complete without mentioning, of course, the beach. In fact, no list of things to do in San Diego at any time of year can be complete without mentioning the beach.
Although the beach is not out of the sun, once you slather on the sunscreen you will be ready to dive under the waves. And those Pacific Ocean waves provide an instant cool down, and one of the most beautiful ways to beat the heat. Spend the day diving under the swell, boogie boarding, or surfing and enjoy the best sunsets San Diego has to offer.
A Cool California Summer in San Diego
From movies to museums, from outdoor to indoor activities, there are tons of ways to stay entertained while staying cool this summer in San Diego. Don’t let the heat prevent you from enjoying all that San Diego has to offer.
Whether you are going out as a family, a single, or a group of friends, there is no end to the things you can do and enjoy here this year. Grab your sunscreen, wear a big floppy hat or baseball cap, and take advantage of the many options available for enjoying the summer season, even in spite of the heat.