photo: Dominic Nepomuceno

Take time to stop and smell the cherry blossom flowers this weekend, celebrate San Diego’s Mexican heritage through Mariachi music, immerse yourself in a Butterfly Jungle and watch the American Girl Fashion Show. Read on for the scoop on where to soak up the fun all over the city!

Balboa Park

13th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival
Take time to stop and behold the cherry trees at The Cherry Blossom Festival, or Sakura Matsuri. Celebrate the beauty of cherry blossom flowers, enjoy the Japanese custom of hanami, various food vendors, cultural performances and family-friendly activities. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Newport Beach

Toshiba Classic
For one week each year, the international spotlight shines brightly on Orange County’s only PGA TOUR sanctioned event. Hosted at Newport Beach Country Club, the Toshiba Classic showcases golf legends like Fred Couples, John Daly and Bernhard Langer as they compete for the title. On Sunday, March 11, kids up to age 18 will receive free admission on Student Day and can enjoy a Kids Zone with golf and other activities, as well as a putting contest for the chance to win scholarships, golf equipment, tickets to local attractions and more. For more information on tickets and the Championship Weekend featuring Military Appreciation Day and Student Day, visit ToshibaClassic.com. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

San Diego

River Kids Discovery Days
Join the San Diego River Park Foundation for two days of free, fun activities along the San Diego River! River Kids Discovery Days is an annual event that takes place all along the River, from Julian to Ocean Beach. Kids, classes, groups and families are invited to take part in community and nature education opportunities such as: painting signs, meeting animals, planting trees, exploring a nature preserve, conducing citizen science and much more! This is a chance for youth to take a leading role in protecting our natural resources and creating green spaces for the community. Learn more or sign up: riverdiscoverydays.org Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Butterfly Jungle
Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park features 30 different species of thousands of beautiful butterflies. Stroll through the Butterfly Jungle to mingle among butterflies of all colors, shapes and sizes, take photos and learn more about these remarkable winged creatures. Wear bright colors so you will attract the butterflies. They may land on your shoulder or your head! Note: Priority butterfly viewing is available for a nominal fee. Inquire at the Lorikeet Landing ticket booth. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

11th Annual American Girl Fashion Show
Fun and engaging, the American Girl Fashion Show showcases historical and contemporary fashions for girls and their dolls. Proceeds from the event benefit Isabella’s Giraffe Club, a non-profit that supports the infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UCSD Medical Center. This year’s show will feature American girls and their friends ages 6-14. The show format will include an inspiring new narration modeling the qualities for happiness and success inspired by the stories of favorite dolls. Also featured will be dancers from the Scripps Ballet Theatre, who will perform complementing repertoire. Sun. Event details.

San Marcos

Super Stem Saturday
Explore interactive demonstrations and hands-on science activities at Super STEM Saturday, including rocket launches, build-a-robot stations, model displays, scientist chats and a obstacle course. Sat. Event details.

Ramona

Oasis Camel Dairy Open Farm Day
Stop by Oasis Camel Dairy for the Open Farm Tour where you’ll enjoy meeting our herd of camels along with other exotic and domestic livestock, enjoy an animal show and shop the camel dairy milk product shop. Check out the animal show featuring the entertaining Camel Dairy residents, then walk to the pasture where there is time for lots of camel petting and pictures. You will also enjoy the taste of Julian apples and can check out the apple feed with the camels. Sat. Event details.

Escondido

Bill the Big Guy: The Amazing Insect Kingdom Up Close
Explore the world of insects with Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve docent Bill Burkhardt. These monthly presentations include an amazing slideshow, microscope viewing and answers to all your insect-related questions. Bill’s presentations are suited for children four years-old to adults. Your view of “bugs” will surely change after spending some time with Bill the Bug Guy! Sat. Event details.

National City

The 6th Annual International Mariachi Festival and Competition
The National City Chamber of Commerce and The United Port of San Diego are proud to present the 6th Annual International Mariachi Festival & Competition. This day-long, community-friendly event attracts thousands each year, giving families an opportunity to come together and celebrate San Diego’s Mexican heritage through Mariachi music, colorful traditional ballet folkloric dancing and a grand celebration of the arts, culture and culinary delights. Sun. Event details.

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Where are you spending the weekend with your family? Share in the comments!

––Beth Shea