The city of Temecula lies in the lovely Temecula Valley in California, between Los Angeles and San Diego. Temecula’s warm Mediterranean climate and its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, as well as other nearby attractions make it a popular family getaway destination. Visitors can go sightseeing, shopping, swimming, hiking, and cycling under the beautiful southern California sunshine. Nearby the city is a massive family fun center with multiple activities, an iconic amusement park, and an ecological preserve full of fascinating wildlife. Book a stay at one of many unforgettable Temecula vacation rentals today. Here are the top things to do with children in and around Temecula.

1. Explore Old Town

Old Town Temecula features a neighborhood of old buildings reminiscent of the classic west of the 1880s. You can stroll along the wooden sidewalks and take in the ambiance of the historic architecture as you explore its eclectic shops, galleries, museums, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Old Town also hosts frequent special events, such as the Art and Street Painting Festival, Old Town Live, Temecula Rod Run, western days, and various annual parades.

2. Visit the Museums

Don’t miss a visit to Pennypickle’s, the renowned Temecula Children’s Museum. It’s ostensibly the workshop of the fictional Professor Phineas T. Pennypickle, a scientist, inventor, and time traveler. Your kids can enjoy amazing educational exhibits that include machines, puzzles, gadgets, and secret passageways. The Temecula Valley Museum offers a fascinating look at local Native American and pioneer history and culture through artifacts, photos, artwork, and farming and ranching equipment. This museum also has a special hands-on interactive children’s discovery area.

3. Enjoy the Family Fun Center

Just a few miles from your Temecula vacation rental is the popular Mulligan Family Fun Center. Its attractions include two 18-hole miniature golf courses, a rookie go-kart course for young children, and a larger go-kart course for older children and adults. The Extreme Air Jumper simulates a bungee-jumping experience but without the risk. The Fort Mulligan Play Area is a multilevel plastic playground with multiple slides and tunnels for toddlers. The park also has water slides, batting cages, a climbing wall, laser tag, and an arcade full of video games.

4. Go Shopping

Temecula offers a number of unique and enthralling shopping experiences. For instance, the Promenade Mall features over 170 shops to browse through, including name-brand stores, specialty shops, tech shops, outdoor shops, and restaurants. Old Town Temecula offers boutiques, antique shops, and other small establishments selling handicrafts, artwork, and souvenirs. Don’t miss the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Old Town, where you can shop for fresh produce, flowers, organic toiletries, baked goods, and many other items to chow down on back at your vacation rental.

5. Fly High in a Hot Air Balloon

Several companies in and around Temecula provide thrilling tours that take you high up over the valley in hot air balloons. The balloon flights leave at sunrise all year round and offer spectacular views of the valley vineyards, the rolling hills, mountains, and the far-off Pacific Ocean. These companies offer a shared basket or private tours along with extras such as complimentary drinks, snacks, and photos. The annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival includes balloon flights, a food court, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and kids fair.

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6. Fish in the Lakes

The beautiful lakes nearby your Temecula vacation rental are great for boating and fishing. Lake Skinner Recreation Area has shelters, picnic areas, barbecues, and a splash pad. You can rent a boat at the marina and fish for trout, catfish, carp, striped bass, and largemouth bass. The marina at Diamond Valley Lake also rents boats, and the lake is renowned for the record-breaking size of its rainbow trout, catfish, sunfish, and black bass.

7. Follow the Trails

Lake Skinner Recreational Area has a relaxing walking and cycling path of a mile and a half where you can enjoy the scenery and observe owls, herons, hawks, and other bird species. The Diamond Valley Lake area has a trail system with one set of trails in the northern hills and another trail that circles the lake. These trails are ideal for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. Stop by the Diamond Valley Visitor’s Center and the Western Science Center to learn about the past and present ecology of the area.

8. Observe Wildlife

Just a few minutes away from your Temecula vacation rental is the spectacular Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, which is the perfect place to observe local wildlife. Its diverse ecosystems include wetlands, chaparral, coastal sage scrub, oak woodlands, and prairie. As you walk the trails, you can catch glimpses of mule deer, badgers, bobcats, western pond turtles, and perhaps even an occasional mountain lion. Among its 185 species of birds are golden eagles, red-shouldered eagles, Cooper’s hawks, barn owls, and great horned owls.

9. Head for the Beach

Temecula is close to some of the best beaches along the southern California coast, including the long stretches of white sand beach on the western edges of the cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad. You can swim, sunbathe, go beachcombing, and build sand castles. Popular sports include beach volleyball, body surfing, and boogie boarding. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a board and take surfing lessons.

10. Play at Legoland

California Legoland at Carlsbad is only a short drive away from your Temecula vacation rental. This unique family-friendly theme park is divided into diverse areas such as Explorer Island with a dinosaur theme, Fun Town, which features numerous role-playing environments, and Castle Hill with a medieval setting. Pirate Shores is a splash park for young kids, and Legoland Water Park has water slides and other aquatic rides for older children. Legoland also features a roller coaster, carousel, and other rides. Its aquarium offers a fascinating look at marine life.

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