What To Do In San Diego During The HDA Conference 2020

Brittany Buckner

HDA Conference

January 17, 2020

Picture of San Diego skyline with workd overlay and logo

With so much to do and see, San Diego, California is a paradise for tourists and locals alike. If you’re headed to San Diego in March 2020 for the HDA Conference and Expo, consider carving out time every day, or adding a few days to your stay, so that you might enjoy some of the many delights San Diego has to offer.

San Diego For The Young and Young At Heart

Family vacations and conferences sometimes coincide. There are so many places to go and things to see in San Diego that are entertaining for kids and adults of all ages. While you’re spending the day at the HDA conference, networking and learning, your partner and children definitely won’t be bored. There are loads of fun places in San Diego they can explore. 

Birch Aquarium at Scripps: Ticket are $15 for kids 3-17, $19.50 for adults under 60, and $16.50 for adults 60+. Skip the lines tickets are available for $19 and up. The aquarium is open daily from 9-5. Visit over 60 habitats and interact with the many hands-on exhibits. Learn about our earth, and how actions impact it. Expect to spend over 3 hours exploring Birch Aquarium at Scripps. 

Fleet Science Center: Tickets are $18.95 for ages 3-12, $21.95 for ages 13-65, and 65+ pay $19.95. All tickets come with a pass for the IMAX experience. Expect to spend at least 3 hours here. The Science Center is open Monday-Thursday 10-5 and Friday-Sunday 10-6. Exhibitions are interactive and science-based. Fun for all ages. 

Hop on-Hop off Trolley Tours: This tour costs $42 per adult and you can purchase a 1 or 2 day pass. Create your own itinerary, or go along with the trolley tour guide and visit 10 of the most popular San Diego attractions including Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Little Italy, and the Gaslamp Quarter. A fun way to sight-see in and around San Diego. 

San Diego Kids Surf Lessons: Kids ages 5-11 learn how to surf with a 90 minute lesson. These surf classes start at 10am and cost $75.50. The professional instructors are all certified in CPR and life-saving techniques. Students get a ‘surf diploma’ at the end of the class. 

San Diego Seal Tour: Tours depart every day from 10-5 and last 90 minutes. Reservations are required, and you should check in at least 30 minutes prior to your departure time. Your Seal Tour will spend 30 minutes taking you on a fully narrated land tour before heading into the water for a 60 minute maritime experience. Learn about the rich San Diego history, and visit the Seals and Sea Lions native to California. 

San Diego Zoo and Safari Park: To visit both parks, tickets start at $92.80. Sunday-Thursday 9-5, Friday-Saturday 9-8. Expect to spend 8+ hours exploring the 2 parks. Thousands of exotic animals from across the globe housed in both parks to learn about. Find out for yourself why the San Diego Zoo is voted the #1 zoo in the world. 

SeaWorld San Diego: Tickets start at $75.98. Monday-Wednesday 11-7:30, Thursday-Sunday 9-9. Dolphins and whales and sharks, oh my! See animal shows, ride all the rides, enjoy fine dining, and visit all the attractions. This SeaWorld is a must if you’re in San Diego for the HDA Conference. Expect to spend the entire day at SeaWorld San Diego. 

Sheriff’s Museum: $5 entry fee for visitors of all ages. This gem of a museum is located in Old Town. Learn about the history of San Diego law enforcement beginning from 1850 through modern day. Get a picture of your group behind bars in one of the real jail cells, sit in a Sheriff’s car or motorcycle, and learn about the rich history of San Diego. Open Wednesday through Sunday 11-4:30pm. 

The New Children’s Museum: $15.50 per ticket for anyone over the age of 1. Seniors 65+ pay $10. Members and infants are free. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9-5, and Sunday 11-5. Children of all ages will have their imaginations stimulated while using their minds and their energy to explore all the different displays. Expect to spend at least 3 hours at the New Children’s Museum.

Art and Culture

The Arts are everywhere in San Diego. Whether you enjoy galleries, plays, gardens, or architecture, you’re guaranteed to have your senses delighted. Below is just a teaser of all the art and culture San Diego offers. 

Spanish Village Art Center: Located in Balboa Park, The Spanish Village Art Center offers free admission allowing you to feast your eyes on the works of over 200 local artists. This art collective was established in 1936, and you can still visit art creators year round. The Spanish Village Art Center is open 7 days per week from 11am through 4pm. 

ARTS district Liberty Station: Eat, drink, and shop San Diego local. Once a naval training campus, this historic area is now considered San Diego’s Town Square. Take a self-guided walking tour and explore all the buildings and grounds. Expect to spend more than a couple of hours here. 

San Diego Museum of Art: Free for the kids 17 and under. Adults 18-65, tickets are $15, and $10 for adults ages 65+. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 10-5pm. Friday 10-8, Sunday 12-5, and closed Wednesday. Docent tours are included in your ticket price. Visit the San Diego Museum of Art website for information on current exhibitions and dates. 

San Diego Natural History Museum: Children under 2 are free. Youth ages 3-17, tickets are $11.95. Adults 18-62, tickets are $19.95. 62+, tickets are $16.95. Giant Screen Theater film tickets are $5. The San Diego Natural History Museum is open daily from 10-5. Visit all four floors of the Nat brimming with interactive exhibitions, specimens, fossils, and so much more. Expect to spend a minimum of 3 hours here.  

San Diego Botanic Garden: The park is closed through February for construction. Admission prices are $18 for adults, $10 for children 3-17, $12 for seniors. Enjoy four miles of trails over 37 acres winding their way through specimen gardens from all across the globe. The Botanic Gardens boast the Hamilton Children’s garden, the largest interactive garden on the West Coast. Once the San Diego Botanic Gardens have reopened, they’ll be open daily until 5 pm. 

Entertaining Clients

Taking prospective clients to dinner, or entertaining a group after the HDA conference? Woo and wow those potential partners with these fun ideas. There are so many great places to go and things to do in San Diego, whether you’re just looking to have a nice catered dinner and conversation, or you’re wanting to leave a lasting impression from an epic evening. 

Private Rooftop Movie Viewing: Located on the rooftop of the Manchester Grand Hyatt means unfiltered, panoramic views of San Diego. Movies and showtimes vary. The venue offers unlimited popcorn, candy, and other snacks. Credit cards only. Games such as Jenga, Uno, and Connect 4 are available. There is a full bar and food menu, as well. 

Hornblower Dinner Cruise: Wow clients and potential partners with dinner and drinks aboard a private yacht. Whether there are 12 guests or 1200, there’s a rentable yacht for every sized party. Enjoy the views of San Diego while sipping drinks on deck. Prices vary. 

Booze Cruise with Mai Thai Yacht Charter: Small groups or large events, there’s something available for all sized parties. Host a fully catered event aboard a fully staffed yacht. You’ll get a fully catered meal, bar service, and entertainment. Package prices vary depending on the yacht and size of event. 

Axe Ventures: Have fun and relieve stress by hosting an axe throwing event. Your guests will have a coach to teach the proper form. Outside food is encouraged so it’s a great space to cater your event. Contact the facility for prices and more information. 

San Diego Museum of Art: Entertain clients while surrounded by collections of art. The San Diego Museum of Art offers a variety of spaces to host your event. Prices and options vary. Call or contact the museum directly for more information. 

Whatever type of entertaining you’re hoping to do after the HDA Conference, or entertainment you’re wanting to experience, San Diego is home to every type of option you can dream up.

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