Calling All Kids: Hop Aboard to Explore! | The Hopper

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Calling All Kids: Hop Aboard to Explore!

Looking for the perfect day or weekend away with the kids? The Hopper is your one-stop-shop to every kid-tastic adventure around San Diego. From pirate ships and aircraft carriers to safari animals and waterfront parks, San Diego has something for the child in everyone.

Ditch the car and spend your day hopping on-and-off our comfortable, double-decker bus as we take you and your family on the exploration of a lifetime. Keep the whole gang fully-charged with onboard restrooms and concessions for the kids, and electrical outlets and Wifi for your devices. Our table-style seating is perfect for you and your family to kick-back, relax, and experience the best of America’s Finest City in ease.

Strollers? No problem. Store all of your gear and anything else you pick up along the way in one of our many luggage compartments. Our friendly and funny Tour Concierges will also be onboard to keep you and the kids energized, educated and entertained.

Check out our favorite kid-friendly attractions that you can access along your Hopper route.


Old Town

Old Town Market

Stroll through this open air market and visit one of the forty unique shops and restaurants. This vibrant village will dazzle your little ones! Shop for authentic souvenirs to remember your day in Old Town. All ages free.

San Diego Sheriff Museum

Sit behind the wheel of a sheriffs car! Learn all about the 150 year history of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department during your stop in Old Town. Kids can explore old police cars, motorcycles, and even step inside a real life jail cell. General Admission $5 ; Kids under 12 free.

The Whaley House

Take a tour of California’s most haunted house! The Whaley family built their home in 1857 and haven’t left since. Tours are self-guided but a helpful Whaley docent will be there to provide a sweeping history of one of San Diego’s oldest and most notorious homes. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera, who knows what you may catch. Adults $10 ; Ages 6-12 $8 ; Kids under 5 free.

Presidio Park

Grab your goodies from the market and head to this 40-acre public park that overlooks the San Diego River Valley and Pacific Ocean. This historic land was once home to the first European settlers in the Western United States. Relax under the palm trees while taking in the views – it’s the perfect place for a family picnic! All ages free.



USS Midway Museum

Want to learn more about San Diego’s deep naval history? Spend the day aboard the USS Midway, the longest serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century. The Midway Museum is one of San Diego’s top attractions and sees over 1 million visitors annually. Kids can expand their naval knowledge through the Junior Pilot Program, where they’ll have the opportunity to complete fun tasks, get special audio-tour narration, and earn their junior pilot wings! Midway tickets are FREE for Hopper Plus Guests ; Adults $21 ; Ages 6-12 $8, Kids under 5 free. 

Maritime Museum: Man-Of-War Exhibit

Travel back in time onboard the HMS Surprise and experience life on a war-ship. This new attraction at the Maritime Museum is perfect for your little skipper! Walk the length of the gun deck, explore the lodging quarters, and  pretend to be the captain of a British Royal Navy frigate. Entrance to the exhibit is included in purchase of a Maritime ticket. Maritime tickets are FREE for Hopper Plus Guests; Adults $18 ; Ages 3-12 $8 ; Kids under 2 free.

Hornblower Whale & Dolphin Tour

Take your tot out on the open ocean aboard a Hornblower whale or dolphin watching cruise. Experience breathtaking views of the city from the water while keeping your eye out for sea lions, dolphins, and whales! Cruises are 3.5 hours and feature live narration of the San Diego bay by a talented member of the San Diego Natural History Museum, as well as a full snack and beverage bar. Adults $55 ; Ages 4-12 $27.50 ; Kids under 3 free.

Just want a quick tour of the bay? Hop on a 1-Hour Hornblower Sightseeing Tour instead. 1-Hour Cruise Tickets are FREE for Hopper Plus Guests. Adults $27 ; Kids ages 4-12 $13.50 ; Kids under 3 free.

Waterfront Park

Cool off downtown at the beautiful Waterfront Park. Situated directly across from the San Diego Harbor, Waterfront Park is perfect for spending a day relaxing under the sun with your family. Kids will love the children’s play zone and the interactive splash fountain. Don’t forget your towel and sunscreen! All ages free.

Seaport Village


Shops and Restaurants

Spend the afternoon relaxing along this beautiful waterfront boardwalk where over 45 specialty stores are just steps away. From magic stores to safari animal collections, Seaport Village is your one-stop-shop for kid friendly shopping in San Diego. Grab a kite and some ice cream and head to the grassy park just next door for outdoor fun!  All ages free.

Antique Carousel

Go for a spin on this antique carousel that’s over 120 years old! This Seaport gem initially debuted in Dallas, Texas in 1904 before traveling for the next hundred years to Santa Monica, Portland, Washington, Columbus, and finally San Diego. Carousel ticket is FREE for Hopper Plus guests ; All ages $3 per rider.


The New Children’s Museum

Let your creativity soar at The New Children’s Museum located downtown near the Gaslamp Quarter. Kids of all ages will have the chance to stimulate their curiosities through “inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art.” With activities ranging from pottery-making, gadget creating and secret spy detecting, there is no shortage of fun at the NCM. Check out one of the museums many workshops, catered to ages 0 and up! All ages $14 ; Kids under 1 free.

Petco Park Tours

Feel like a pro on this behind-the-scenes tour of one of America’s finest ball parks! Hang out in a real MLB dugout and experience the views from the press box on this guided tour of the San Diego Padres stadium. Tickets to Petco Park Tours are FREE for Hopper Plus guests. Adults $20 ; Ages 12-under $17.

Balboa Park

San Diego Zoo

Kick it with the koalas, mingle with the monkeys and pal-around with the penguins! Continue your adventure at one of the most impressive zoo’s in the country. The San Diego zoo is home to nearly 3,700 rare and endangered animals, and over 700,000 types of vegetation. Aside from the animals, kids can enjoy themselves in one of the many play areas located throughout the park or catch a movie in 4-D to continue their wildlife education. 1-Day Pass: Adults ages 12+ $54 ; Kids ages 3-11 $44.

Fleet Science Center

Experience the awe-inspiring power of science as you and the kids explore over 100 interactive exhibits at the Fleet Science Center. Learn about pandas, aircraft carriers, and the great barrier reef on the really big screen! Imax movies are the perfect way to spark your child’s imagination while taking a break from the San Diego sun. Children 5 and under will love the Ball Wall and Little Learners Lab in Kid City! Adults ages 13-64 $21.95 ; Kids 3-12 $18.95.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

Calling all pilots! Check out one of the original Wright Brothers airplanes at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Have a future astronaut in your family? Head to the Apollo 9 exhibit where you’ll see the space module, nicknamed the “Gum Drop,” that spent 10 days in outer space and paved the way for the future of space exploration and the success of the Apollo 11 mission. Adults 12 and over $19.95 ; Kids ages 3-11 $10.95 ; Kids 2 and under free.

EthnoBotany Children’s Peace Garden

Get your hands dirty while learning about the importance of plants and sustainable gardening! Experience this unique herb, fruit, and veggie garden while exploring Balboa Park. All ages free.


Little Italy

Little Italy Mercato

Explore San Diego’s most impressive farmers market. Open every Saturday from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM, the Little Italy Mercato is the perfect place to teach your little one about food. Pick up some fresh pizza dough and sauce to make your own pie after your day on the bus! All ages free.

Piazza Della Famiglia

Grab some gelato or a slice of pizza and take a breather in the newly built Piazza Della Famiglia. Kids will love the beautiful tile fountain and views of the San Diego Bay. Be sure to check out the events schedule for live-music nights in the piazza! All ages free.

San Diego Firehouse Museum

Discover what it’s like inside a firehouse. Head to former Fire Station No. 6 to check out cool firefighting memorabilia including a horse drawn steamer and La Jolla’s very first fire engine! All ages free.