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Top 8 San Diego Summer Family Fun

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Summertime is a great time to be in San Diego, especially for families. There is no shortage of things to do for both parents and kids to enjoy, whether you're visiting from out of town or if you're an area resident. Here's our guide's Top Picks for San Diego Summer family amusement.

1. San Diego Zoo

OK, this is about as obvious as it gets, but rightfully so: the San Diego Zoo is arguably the greatest zoo in the world, and residents are proud of their world-famous zoo. And of course, the Zoo is the home to our famous giant pandas, Su Lin, Mei Sheng, Bai Yun and Gao Gao. Check out the new Monkey Trails exhibit area, too.

2. Sea World

Sea World is the other top gun of San Diego amusement parks. Famous for Shamu, the killer whale, and other entertaining animal shows, Sea World blends animal encounters with amusement park thrills. Take a ride on Shipwreck Rapids, encounter penguins, sharks and dolphins. And get drenched by Shamu and his friends with a new show.

3. Legoland

One of only four parks in the world, Legoland California is great family fun, especially for the younger set. A number of interactive activities at Fun Town will keep kids occupied, and thrill rides abound, including the Dragon Roller Coaster and the newest attraction, Bionicle Blaster. Pirate's Shore features Splash Battle and Soak and Sail.

4. San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park

The San Diego Zoo's sister facility, the Wild Animal Park is everything you never thought of in a zoo. For one, the animal enclosures are measured in *acres* - huge habitats emulating Asia and Africa where animals live together. Lion Camp is the newest attraction, and you can see a pride of lions closer than you think.

5. Birch Aquarium

The Birch Aquarium is like a living museum. Run by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, your family will learn everything about sea life and our precious ocean resources. It's a great place to get a sense of what San Diego's coastline is about.

6. Boomer's

You know, everyone has been to Boomer's (former Family Fun Centers) at one time or another, whether for a birthday or just a night out. And why not? Boomer's has go karts, batting cages, bumper boats, and of course, miniature golf. Even with kids in tow, there's gotta be something to make somone happy at Boomer's. Locations in Kearny Mesa and El Cajon.

7. Belmont Park

Forget those slick theme parks, Belmont Park, located on the Mission Beach boardwalk, is an old-time amusement park. The centerpiece, of course, is the restored and grand Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster. Younger tikes can take in more kid friendly rides, too. Shops, restaurants, the Mission Beach Plunge swimming pool are here, as well as the quintessential beach scenery. A San Diego landmark.

8. Knott's Soak City

Knott's Soak City U.S.A. is San Diego County's wildest water adventure park! Thirty-two water-logged acres packed with 22 of the most intense water rides imaginable -- all themed to the surf woodies and longboards of the 1950s San Diego coast. Perfect for those hot summer days.

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