If you go
Legoland California Resort: Carlsbad, Calif. (legoland.com/california).
Hotels: Lodging at the resort’s entrance consists of Legoland Castle Hotel and the older Legoland Hotel, where we stayed. The slight shabbiness that comes with six years’ worth of family stays didn’t detract from the magic. A daily treasure hunt required tracking down clues for a code to our room’s safe, stocked with a Lego surprise daily. Package offerings vary. Ours came with free park admittance.
Breakfast tip: Breakfast Republic is a local chain that debuted in 2015. The menu is well rounded, with savory, sweet and vegan options. The pancake flight (buttermilk, Oreo cookie and churro, the favorite) was served on a plate that ran the length of the table. A fight almost broke out over attempting to share the Breakfast Jambalaya. Apparently people often wait two hours for a table on weekends. We dined at the location in Liberty Station, a historic neighborhood worth exploring (breakfastrepublic.com).
October special: During Kids Free San Diego, more than 100 area attractions and restaurants offer deals for families, all October long. Legoland, SeaWorld and Fleet Science Center generally participate. Promotions vary, and may require coupons. Sandiego.org will post this year’s deal roundup in August.