We know many spots are closed this upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. three-day weekend, but that doesn’t mean your family has to stay inside the house. We’ve got the inside scoop on places to go, where to play and educational ways to celebrate this great civil rights leader.

photo: San Diego Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

1. One of the biggest celebrations of its kind, catch the 37th Annual Martin Luther King Day Parade as it marches down Harbor Drive on Sunday, January 15 at 2 p.m. The parade promises dazzling floats, high school bands, exciting drill teams and more.

2. Celebrate San Diego’s rich cultural diversity at this fun Multicultural Festival at Rucco Park with music, dance, storytelling, kid’s activities and lots more.

3. Spend the day at Pretend City. Not only is this children’s museum open on this holiday, but the activities that day celebrate the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr.


photo: Amanda Freerksen

4. Learn about world culture at Chicano Park in South Bay, the Museum of Man in Balboa Park, or the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum in Escondido. Check out these awesome spots (and lots more) as you discover different cultures around San Diego.

5. Work on your family’s new year’s resolutions. Need ideas? From exploring San Diego’s outdoors to having more family dinners, here are six resolutions for a great new year.

6. Did you know San Diego is home to six amazing nature centers? Make it your goal to visit one every month and start this weekend using this guide to SoCal’s coolest places to explore nature.

7. Put on your cowboy boots and head to Ramona! This quiet, East County small town is the gateway to the inland mountains; its farms, parks, restaurants and other unique activities are all just part of its charm!


photo: Leah Singer

8. Want to know what life was like in San Diego during the 1850s? Spend a day in Old Town, the birthplace of California, and see the historic sites, ride a stagecoach and eat some homemade tortillas.

9. Did you know some of the best spots are hidden? Take some time during the three-day weekend with your kids to travel off the beaten path and discover the only cave in La Jolla only reachable by land and a topiary garden in the middle of Mission Hills.

10. Got a Thomas the Train enthusiast in your home? Go for a ride on one of these ten places to ride a train in San Diego.

11. Whether you’re building a snowman, sledding down our snow hill, roasting marshmallows by the campfire, or taking a spin around the synthetic skate rink, there’s something for everyone at the Poway Community Park’s Winter Festival happening this weekend.


photo: Leah Singer

12. Head out to breakfast during this long weekend. You’ll flip for one these spots to get tasty pancakes in a way you’ve never imagined.

13. Did you resolve to get outside and exercise as a family? Here are our favorite San Diego kid-friendly hikes filled with sights and sounds to keep things interesting and little ones moving.

14. Enjoy family Sunday at the Mingei International Museum. Kids will make an art project, complete a treasure hunt, talk to a docent, take home prizes and most of all, have fun.

15. Has tide pooling been on your San Diego bucket list? This weekend is your chance to visit a local tide pool with Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


photo: Aimee Della Bitta

16. Have you visited the Leo Carillo Ranch in Carlsbad yet? From prancing peacocks to authentic ranch and farming equipment, a trip to “Carlsbad’s Sleeping Beauty” is positively dreamy. Here’s your inside scoop on this hidden treasure.

17. Visit one of San Diego’s scenic miniature golf courses, complete with wacky windmills and crazy props. These favorite spots promise a “hole” lot of fun for the entire family.

18. Channel your inner Picasso or spend the day crafting at one of these favorite spots for arts and crafts. Whether your kiddo wants to paint, sculpt or bead, we’ve got you covered.

19. Go out to lunch or dinner with the family. From restaurants with a revolving sushi bar that comes to your table to the family-friendly craft breweries, we’ve got your pick for top eats and family fun.

20. If you haven’t yet visited Pennypickle’s Workshop in Old Town Temecula yet, this may be your weekend to go. Kids can do experiments with water and gravity, scavenger hunts and a gigantic interactive display of 464 LED lights. Here’s your guide to fun for this quirky science museum.

Still looking for more things to do this weekend? Check out our events calendar for the low-down on all the fun kids activities around town.

— Leah R. Singer