Category Archives: Race Car Parties

San Diego Public Parks: Perfect for a Child’s Birthday Party

Do you live in San Diego?  Are you planning a birthday party for your son or daughter? Lucky you!  Blessed with sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures, San Diego has the perfect climate for an outdoor children’s birthday party.

Whether you live in the city or San Diego’s North County, East County or South Bay, will bring the birthday party entertainment to you.  We can set-up the Best LEGO Party  or the Ultimate Race Car Party at your home—  in your front yard, back yard or patio— your neighborhood recreation center or your favorite park.

The City, County and Port of San Diego offer a number of pretty, kid-centric public parks with playgrounds, expansive lawns,  picnic areas and restrooms.  We’ve put together a list of parks that would make great settings for the Best LEGO Party or Ultimate Race Car Party.  Take a look.  One of these may be ideal for your child’s birthday celebration.

For information about park use permits, fees and rules, click on the park’s name.


Felicita County Park, Escondido.  Nestled in a small valley in southwest Escondido, Felicita County Park offers trails, playgrounds and seven reservable picnic sites on 53 acres of dense oak groves and grassy play areas. History buffs appreciate that Felicita was originally occupied by the Kumeyaay people and that it’s listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Felicita
San Dieguito County Park, Del Mar.  San Dieguito is a 125-acre County Park in Del Mar with four reservable picnic areas, barbecue grills, large open lawn areas, playgrounds and pavilions.  San Dieguito is proud to be the home of Miracle Field, a fully accessible baseball field that accommodates children and adults with special needs.  S Dieguito


Kellogg Park.  Kellogg is a large grassy park at La Jolla Shores beach. With a family-friendly atmosphere, Kellogg Park offers a playground, picnic table, and ample space for children to run and play.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery)
Kellogg Med


Considered one of the Best Parks in the World, Balboa Park features more than 1,000 lushly planted acres with gardens, museums, performing arts venues, the San Diego Zoo and other cultural and recreational attractions.  Truly, Balboa Park has something for everyone.  Any spot in the park is a great place for a picnic, but we suggest Pepper Grove and Redwood Circle as sites for your child’s birthday party.

Pepper Grove.  Pepper Grove was named for the trees that shade the picnic area.  With a large playground, grassy turf and 15 picnic tables, Pepper Grove is perfect for family events.  Pepper Gr
Redwood Circle.  A popular venue for picnics and weddings, Redwood Circle has a large lawn area with numerous shade trees and several picnic tables.  Redwood Cir


Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made aquatic park in the United States.  At 4,235 acres, the park is about half land and half water.  The park includes playgrounds and paths for walking or jogging.  It’s a wonderful place to picnic, fly a kite or sail a model yacht.  Fire rings enable visitors to cook out and stay warm.  The Park and Recreation Department boasts that Mission Bay Park has 14 “best sites for picnics”.    In this post, we highlight four locations–  Crown Point, Mission Point, Vacation Isle and Ventura Cove.

Crown Point.  Crown Point North has a picnic shelter, picnic tables, barbecue grills, fire rings, and an area for swimming.  Crown Point Middle is a large grassy park near the water with picnic tables, barbecue grills and fire rings.  Crown Point South features a large sandy beach with a smaller grass area; amenities include picnic tables, barbecue grills and fire rings.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery) Crown Pt Med
Mission Point.  Mission Point has picnic tables, park benches, a path for jogging or bike riding, a playground and fire rings.  A swimming area is also available.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery) Mission Pt Med
Vacation Isle.  Vacation Isle East and Vacation Isle West offer sandy beaches, grassy park areas, trees for shade, picnic tables and fire rings.  In addition, Vacation Isle East has a picnic gazebo.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery) Vacation Med
Ventura Cove.  Ventura Cove has picnic tables, benches and fire rings, as well as an area for swimming.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery) Ventura Med


Mission Hills Park also known as Pioneer Park.  Mission Hills Park dates back to the late 19th century when it was  one of the first cemeteries in San Diego.  Original tombstones still stand in a corner of the park and a plaque commemorates the pioneers buried there.  The park features a playground and a large grassy area.  Nowadays, it’s a lively and lovely spot where children play, friends picnic and neighbors walk their dogs.  Mission Hills


Coronado Tidelands Park.  Coronado Tidelands is a large family-friendly park on San Diego Bay.  It has a small sandy beach, a scenic bike path and plenty of open space for outdoor activities.  Amenities include a playground, a skate park, a fitness course, baseball and soccer fields, and picnic tables.  (Photo from San Diego Digital Photos) Coronado Tidelands


Dos Picos County Park, Ramona.  Surrounded by steep rocky mountain slopes, Dos Picos is a 78-acre County Park with three reservable picnic sites and large open play areas.  Oak groves provide shade and a nearby pond enhances the beauty of the park.  Dos Picos
El Monte County Park, Lakeside.  The dramatic face of El Cajon Mountain looks down on 88-acre El Monte County Park.  One of the original County parks, El Monte offers seven reservable picnic sites.  Amenities include playgrounds, horseshoe courts, a baseball field and an open area that’s perfect for flying kites.  El Monte
Flinn Springs County Park, El Cajon.  Flinn Springs, a 40-acre day-use County Park, has lawn areas and stands of old oak trees.  A stream flows through the middle of the park.  Flinn Springs can accommodate group picnics that range in size from small family gatherings to events with 500 participants.  Flinn


Chula Vista Bayfront Park, Chula Vista.  Beautifully landscaped and family-friendly, Chula Vista Bayfront Park features expansive views of San Diego Bay.  “Konoids”, the famous sculpture by Kenneth Capps, adorns the shoreline.  The park is the ideal spot for a walk, a nap or a picnic.  Amenities include a playground, bike paths and picnic tables.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery ) Chula Vista Med
Otay Lake County Park, Chula Vista.  Otay Lake County Park includes 78 acres and is long-time favorite of South Bay residents.  The park offers spectacular views of Otay Lake and the surrounding hills, and one reservable picnic site.  Four additional picnic areas are available for walk-in visitors.  Amenities include hiking trails, horseshoe courts, a playground, lawn areas and a garden featuring native plants.  (Photo from George C) Otay_Geo

Vroom Vroom… Refueling (Feeding) Kids at the Ultimate Race Car Birthday Party

There’s a lot going on at the Ultimate Race Car Birthday Party.  Toy cars speed down the Drag Strip, fly through the Roller Coaster and zip around the Giant Oval Track.

Amidst all the excitement, you might want to simplify the menu for your child’s birthday party.  Do what a lot of other busy parents do– order pizza to be delivered.

OR… you might want to put the pedal to the metal and offer refreshments with a race car theme.  Hot Rod Mama, we’re here to help!


Birthday in a Box  suggests serving hot dogs, nachos, soft pretzels and popcorn from a “concession stand”.

Cover a rectangular table with a red tablecloth.  Add a few race car decorations like black-and-white checkered flags, trophies or orange traffic cones.  Then post a cute home-made sign like this one from Scholastic.



If you’re an avid DIY’er and want a more substantial structure– something you could use on other occasions– see how Amy Lynn of Permanent Kisses and her “ever supportive” husband used PVC pipes and red nylon fabric to build this fabulous concession stand.

Hot Dog

Let’s talk about creative food presentations.  Kraft turns a hot dog into a “hot rod” with pickle wheels and ketchup-and-mustard racing stripes.




Veg DipSticksDusty of All Things G&D cut carrot and celery “dip sticks” and put them into individual plastic cups.  She filled the bottom of each cup with either ranch dressing or hummus.  The cups are a great idea– neat and easy for kids to handle.






Anti Freeze
Indy CarsRenee Roberts of Renee’s Soirees  served sports drink “Anti-Freeze” and “Indy Cars” made of apple slices and halved grapes.

Choc Treats

Renee also prepared several race car-theme treats including chocolate-covered pretzel “dip sticks”, “spare tire” doughnuts and brownies topped with red, green and yellow M&M “stop lights”.



We’ll close with two suggestions about birthday cakes.

1) If  you live near the Los Angeles South Bay area, consider ordering a custom cake from King’s Hawaiian Restaurant  in Torrance.  King’s makes yellow, chocolate, vanilla chiffon, chocolate chiffon and orange chiffon cakes in a variety of sizes.  The bakers are wizards at creating custom decorations based upon a photograph, a character or a theme— including race cars.


Cake2) We love how Arlee of My Small Potatoes took a store-bought cake and decorated it with toy cars from her son’s collection.  She propped up the cars on white chocolate “ramps”.

The birthday boy was thrilled to see his red truck “backed up” into the side of the cake.  He told Arlee, “That’s epic!”

Wouldn’t every mom’s heart melt to hear such praise from her child?