Parent's Guide to San Diego
Getting around with a child can be difficult, but in San Diego you have a few options. The Hilton San Diego Bayfront (1), where the Annual Conference is being held, is in the Downtown area and walkable to many restaurants and stores. If you need transport Downtown or to and from the airport, the best way is to hail a taxi or use a ride sharing service like Lyft or Uber. If you have a carseat those can be accommodated in taxis or Lyft vehicles. If you are without one, Uber has an option to request a car that has a car seat in it already, these are forward facing and meant for children 12-months or older and costs an additional US$10.
Within central San Diego there is a trolley system that can accommodate strollers or prams. There are platforms that can be used to lift strollers up, but probably easier to lift the stroller a couple steps into the trolley. The Green Line is the nearest line to the Hilton and the nearest stop is the Gaslamp Quarter Station.
Within walking distance of the hotel is a pharmacy, CVS Pharmacy (3), that you can get over-the-counter medicine as well as access to a pharmacist until 8:00PM every day. The Gaslamp Medical Center (2) is the nearest Urgent Care to the conference hotel and is for non-emergency doctor visits. In case of emergency, dial 911 on a telephone for emergency care and transport to a hospital.
ICA has partnered with KiddieCorp, a highly respected national company with a 31-year history of providing childcare for conferences and events. "ICA Kids" will be available for 10 hours each day, Friday through Monday, from 8am to 6pm for children 6 months to 12 years. As space is at a premium, we recommend you sign up early to reserve your child's space in the program. ICA is subsidizing the cost of childcare for this meeting; childcare is available to attendees' children for US$5 per hour, per child (this is a suggested donation to offset costs, it is not required).
Our goal is to provide your children with a comfortable, safe, and happy experience. KiddieCorp staff to child ratios are high to ensure that every child feels special. There are also legal requirements for ratios for child safety (1:2 for children ages 6 months through 11 months old; 1:3 for children ages 1 through 2 years old; 1:5 for children ages 3 through 5 years old; 1:7 for children ages 6 through 12 years old). Originally upon announcing this program, ICA wrote that a minimum of a $20 donation/per child (matching the 4 hour minimum) was required to secure your reservation. We have since learned that in effort to ensure the staff to child ratios can be adequately planned, we need to require parents who are registering their children in advance, to pay the minimum US$5 for each child, for each hour registered. This will help confirm an accurate count of how many children are expected each day during specific hours. We hope you can appreciate that our goal in setting this requirement is to preserve a safe environment for your children and to protect you from disappointment and inconvenience if you show up without a reservation and are turned away because the ratios have been met. If paying the advanced registration required fee of US$5 per child per hour would present a great financial hardship, please contact Laura Sawyer at email@example.com to discuss your specific circumstances.
To preregister (highly recommended - there are few spots left), or for more information, please visit: htttps://jotform.com/KiddieCorp/icakids
HILTON BAYFRONT HOTEL
The Hilton San Diego Bayfront (1) is a very child friendly hotel with a pool and a kids only section of the pool. The restaurants provide kids menus and high chairs. For the Memorial Day weekend - the weekend the conference is held - the hotel will be doing special kid friendly events. The hotel can provide cribs (limited quantity), high chairs, and children's video rentals.
SHOPPING AND SUPPLIES
There are plenty of places to stock up on supplies near the hotel. The closest is CVS Pharmacy (3), along with medicine, diapers, and other supplies it carries a wide variety of products from food to toys. For those looking for organic or chemical free supplies, Jimbo's (5) is a grocer that specializes in only natural products. And if you're looking for more selection, Target (4), a 15 minute car ride or 40 minutes by trolley, is a super store with a wide array of child and baby products and carries brands like, Honest, Babyganics, Pampers, and Earth's Best.
PARKS AND BEACHES
One of the best things about San Diego is enjoying the wonderful weather and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Just steps from the hotel are wonderful parks to relax, with plenty of room for children to play, like Embarcadero Marina Park South (17). Across the pedestrian bridge from the hotel by Petco Park (19) is Park at the Park (15) a green space with small baseball fields and free when the Padres baseball team is not in town - which they aren't during the bulk of the conference.
If you have little ones that you want to take to the beach, but away from the waves, head to Bonita Cove (30) near Mission Beach. It is a safe place to swim and and enjoy the the water with a playground nearby. A nice and quiet beach with some great sea shell collecting is Silver Strand State Beach (19) on Coronado.
Finding nearby restaurants in a mostly adult focused Gaslamp Quarter can be hard to come by. But there a few great selections, like Burger Lounge (7) that offers a "Kids Lounge Menu" for 12 years and under, the Broken Yolk Cafe (9) has a kids menu and high chairs, and The Old Spaghetti Factory (8) has kids menus (comes with ice cream!) and high chairs.
If you're looking to make a evening out, head over on the ferry to Coronado to Village Pizzeria (14) where kids eat free every Wednesday from 4PM to close. Or, to Waypoint Public (13) in the North Park neighborhood, where they focus on craft beer and comfort food with the bonus of having a play area for kids.
POINTS OF INTEREST
There is a considerable amount of activities and sites to see in San Diego. A few highlights are the San Diego Zoo (22) in Balboa Park (21). Balboa Park also hosts a handful of wonderful museums and cultural centers. Within walking distance of the hotel there is the New Children's Museum (18) that has interactive art exhibits and art based activities for kids. There is also the USS Midway Museum (20) that allows you walk on an actual aircraft carrier.
Further afield there are the Point Loma Tide Pools (26), that allows an up close look at intertidal sea life. Or you could head to La Jolla and the Birch Aquarium (27) and see the more than 5,000 fish, panaromic views of the Pacific and interactive activities. If you're adventurous you can head north to Carlsbad and check out LEGOLAND (28), because who doesn't love LEGOS?