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5 Whale Watching Tips for Kids

a group of young men standing next to a body of water

Seeing wildlife in its natural habitat can be a great lifelong lesson for kids, especially if you prepare with the right educational tools and conversations. Not only does it help deepen their connection to the world around them, but it can also foster an interest in science with hands-on experience. Taking kids on a whale-watching tour can provide one of those experiences, but preparation is the key to a delightful outing.

1. Give Them Ginger Chews or Motion Sickness Tablets

Seasickness can ruin the experience for anyone, and kids tend to be especially susceptible to it. While not every child experiences equilibrium issues on the water, many do, and it never hurts to take an approach that favors prevention. If there are adults who need to gain experience to know how they will react in your group, this tip can be an excellent idea for all ages.

2. Pack the Right Clothes

Picking out the proper clothing for your excursion is an essential inclusion on every list of San Diego whale-watching tips for a good reason. While the area is generally warm, wind can make you chilly on the open water, and there is nothing out there to break it up or lessen its effects the way landscape features and buildings do on shore. Bring jackets or coats for everyone, but also layers that can be shed if things get too warm. It’s also a great idea to wear clothes that you can get wet without worrying about discomfort. You are going to be out on the water, after all.

3. Bring the Right Equipment

Almost everyone wants to capture the moment they see whales in their natural setting, so bringing a camera is practically a given. One of the smartest whale-watching tips is to buy one or two disposable cameras, especially if you can find waterproof ones. That lets you leave expensive equipment like your phone behind. It’s also a good idea to have sunscreen and sunglasses because the water acts like a giant reflector when it comes to light. It’s also a good idea to bring a towel if things get wet. Last but not least, carry water.

4. Educate Your Kids

This is a tip that starts before you ever leave land, but it extends throughout the tour. It’s a good idea to teach your kids about the specific types of whales you might see, including their history as endangered species and their comeback over the past few decades. Understanding these majestic animals can only deepen a child’s appreciation for the sight of one nearby. Use the tour as a chance to reinforce those lessons with additional information from your tour guides and turn the experience into an ongoing conversation about marine life.

a little girl wearing a hat

5. Make the Experience Into a Game

Finding whales on the horizon can be challenging sometimes, but they get easier to see as you get closer. You can help pass the time and keep your kids engaged by turning it into a game to see who can spot the first ones, who can spot the most, and so on. That way, you can keep kids engaged even in between sightings. Remember, whales travel in groups, so you’ll probably see a few separate sightings with some downtime in between. Remember these tips for going whale watching as you plan your trip.

Finding whale-watching excursions in San Diego is easy, but booking your spot ahead of time is still a good idea. Whales are only in season for a few months out of the year as they migrate, so the demand for tours is high. Check out your options today to ensure you get your first choice for times and dates.