When little natives are restless, there’s always the zoo. For more chilled-out diversion, explore the coast of North San Diego.
Celebrate the grand opening of the whimsical Hamilton Children’s Garden (Saturday, noon-4 p.m.; 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas; 760-436-3036). Ankle biters romp in an elephant tree forest, learn to tell time with a sundial, and climb the crow’s nest of a banyan tree house.
Joyriders-in-training brake for classic car nights in downtown Encinitas (every third Thursday, June 18-September 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; along South Coast Highway 101; 760-943-1950). In September, mini car buffs gawk over great old surfer-dude wagons during the annual Wavecrest Woodie Meet (Moonlight State Beach, 400b Street; 760-633-2740).
Home of the original fish taco, Las Olas (2655 South Coast Highway 101, Cardiff by Sea; 760-942-1860) is a must. Fuel up on omelet quesadillas and caffeine at E Street Cafe (130 West E Street, Encinitas; 760-230-2038), a family-friendly coffeehouse with live music and local artwork.
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Kids and grown-ups dream big at the breathtaking Lodge at Torrey Pines (11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla; 858-453-4420). Beginning in late June, the resort will host seasonal activities like Lincoln Log building, croquet, and cookie decorating.
Guaranteed to drive them wild.
What: An alfresco amphitheater hosts plays and concerts all summer long.
Why: Let them entertain you.
When: Thru Nov. Sun., 11 a.m.
Where: Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., b/t Oakwood Dr. N. & Nile Ct., Topanga Canyon (310-455-3723).
Schoolhouse Rock Live Too
What: Sing along with your brood to a live version of the 1970s educational cartoon series. Even if none of you was born yet.
Why: That ’70s show.
When: Thru July 26. Sat., 4 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.
Where: Greenway Arts Alliance, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., b/t Rosewood Ave. & Clinton St., West Hollywood (323-655-7679 ext. 100).
Super Why Toy Launch
What: Nippers enjoy reading, bingo, and being the first to test out toys based on the PBS Kids series.
Why: Why ask why?
When: Sat., noon-2 p.m.
Where: Locations online at toysrus.com.