When you want an adventure across the bay but don’t want to get in your car, what do you do? Get on your bike, head to the Ferry Landing and take the ferry across. We opted for this route with my three-year-old grandson Blake in tow in a bike trailer. Who doesn’t love to be out on the bay and see all the boats, especially right now with the Disney Wonder cruise ship in port? We also discovered an app that lets you see who owns all the ritzy yachts cruising or docked in the harbor.
We took the last commuter ferry at 8:30 am and after quickly arriving at Broadway Pier pedaled to Portside Coffee and Gelato, where we enjoyed sipping lattes and savoring pastries inside the geodesic glass dome with a clear water view. They open at 6 am and offer gelato later in the day. Many other coffee options are within biking distance of Broadway Pier, including Portal Coffee, Ryan Bros. Coffee, Starbucks, and a host of others, if you want to venture further up to Little Italy.
Next, it was a quick jaunt, of less than a mile, to The New Children’s Museum, which opens at 9 am and is the perfect discovery world for kids 12 and under. From the outside balance beam maze to the metal cars to drive, there is fun and learning around every corner in this three-level, 50,000-square-foot imagination center.
We started right in crawling through the missing link tunnel, checked out the rain house, and colored jelly fish in the sketch aquarium, where we were delighted to see our creations instantly come to life on the giant screen. The whammock, an interactive, three-dimensional textile environment looks like something from Dr. Seuss’s imagination. We sat in on Toddler Time, where we heard stories and danced with scarves. There are also Innovators lab workshops that offer a variety of creative projects. Our most nostalgic moment was when we wandered outside to the clay studio and were delighted to find the same ancient truck to paint as our children painted on 25 years ago. You can only imagine how many more layers it has on it now.
The New Children’s Museum, located at 200 W. Island Avenue, is currently open five days ~ Thursday through Monday with two sessions, from 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 4 pm, with cleaning in between. Masks are required for kids and kids at heart ages two and up inside the museum, but not in outside spaces. Admission is $15 for guests two and up, $10 with military ID and seniors 65 and over. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the door. For details, visit thinkplaycreate.org.
Lunch was our next stop at Seaport Village, which offers a variety of casual food options, as well as the lure of the 1895 historic Looff Carousel, and strolling opportunities along the waterfront. Some food selections we tried included Samburgers, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Spill the Beans, and Tuk Tuk Asian Eatery — and there many other choices. They have also recently opened several new stores and eateries. Get the latest scoop at seaportvillage.com.
Tons of fun can be had at Waterfront Park, located at 1600 Pacific Highway, in front of the County Administration Building, featuring interesting play equipment, as well as shallow pools with fountains perfect for splashing. Our little guy brought his bathing suit and waded his way through the fountains that operate Monday from 11 am to 9 pm and Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 9 pm. There were lots of families set up with canopies and picnics. www.sdparks.org/content/sdparks/en/park-pages/Waterfront.html.
The ferry leaves Coronado Ferry Landing for Broadway Pier every half hour from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm with extended hours on weekends. There are commuter times, if you are an early riser. In fact, if you take the last commuter ferry over at 8:30 am, your ride is free, and they give you a ticket for a free return trip. New ferry pricing, as of September 1, is $6 per passenger and three years and under are free. The ferry leaves Broadway Pier bound for Coronado on the top of the hour from 9 am to 9 pm. For the complete ferry schedule, check out www.flagshipsd.com/cruises/coronado-ferry.
Our little guy was tuckered out after his big day but asked if we could go again. We’ll take another trip and find new adventures.