The world is a big place and can get a little scary for the smallest of humans. But we’ve got a way to make the world feel a little bit smaller for your kiddos (or should we say bambinos). San Diego is home to museums, classes and attractions that celebrate the diverse cultures living together under the SoCal sun. Grab the chicos and chicas, and connect with some wonders from around the world in your own backyard.
Photo credit: San Diego Chinese History Museum via Facebook
A Trip To Historical Chinatown: San Diego Chinese History Museum
Head downtown and you’ll hit San Diego’s historic Chinatown and the Chinese History Museum. This little gem is dedicated to sharing San Diego’s Chinese-American history and culture. You’ll be able to go back in time and see scale models of old Chinatown homes and businesses, archaeological remains from historical San Diego buildings, and lots of Chinese art and antiques. Once you’ve gotten your cultural fix, head outside to find the Chuang garden. Your beansprouts can run through the serpentine stone path to explore exotic plants, a waterfall and koi pond.
Fact of the Day: Did you know San Diego’s Chinatown began in the 1860s and was settled by abalone fishermen?
San Diego Chinese History Museum
404 Third Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92101
Photo credit: Capoeria Brazil
A Taste Of Brazil: Capoeria
Get the kids limbered up and ready to have fun at Capoeira Brazil San Diego. Capoeria is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, music and acrobatics. It’s a perfect way to learn about a South American culture while getting a healthy dose of exercise. Classes run for both toddlers and kids at the Point Loma and soon-to-be-opened North County locations. And better yet, they offer free trial classes so there’s any easy way to start kicking, spinning, dipping and diving Capoeria style without any big commitment.
Move of the Day: The ginga — a move in which you rock back and forth in a triangular motion — is the fundamental footwork of Capoeira.
Capoeria Brazil San Diego
2590 Truxtun Rd.
San Diego, Ca 92106
Photo credit: Cook For Thought
A Continental Cook Off: Food For Though
Get ready to go on a culinary journey with Fernada, a mom and creative force behind Cook for Thought. This six-week cooking class is held at the Ocean Air Recreation Center and will give your junior master chefs a taste of globe with dishes from Mexico, the Caribbean, Brazil, Argentina, Hawaii and the United States. Kids 6 and over are welcome and will love the world wide culinary education, while mom and dad will appreciate the healthy dose of nutritional understanding that goes into how the course is structured. As Fernanda puts it: Junior chefs will learn to cook AND cook to learn!
Ingredient of the Day: Cumin — a peppery spice that can be used whole or grounded — is a staple of Mexican food.
Ocean Air Recreation Center
4770 Fairport Way
San Diego, Ca 92130
An Australian Outback Adventure: San Diego Zoo
Put on your akubra and say g’day to the Australian wildlife at San Diego Zoo’s Australian Outback. You’ll step into a piece of Down Under where you and your little vegemites can visit Australian animals like wombats, wallabies, kookaburras, cockatoos, and even the tasmanian devil. Shaded by a eucalyptus grove, you’ll also be able to visit Koalafornication, the San Diego Zoo’s koala colony. Here you can learn all about Australia’s sleepiest and cutest marsupial while you watch them sun, nap and eat.
San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92101
A Language Lesson: Italian Cultural Centre of San Diego
Want the kids to take on a second language? Like the sound of Italian? Say “Ciao bella” to the Italian Cultural Centre of San Diego. They offer Italian classes where your little bambinos can learn in a relaxed environment. Courses are split between kindergarteners, 1st – 5th grade, and kids in 6th – 8th grade. Classes are taught with a focus on speaking and listening in Italian. Through games, story time, singing songs and craft activities, lesson time will fly by in a flurry of fun.
Word of the Day: Imponente! This means awesome in Italian, as in “An Italian lesson would be imponente!”
1669 Columbia St.
San Diego, Ca 92101
How do you get cultural in San Diego? Tell us your go-to spots in the Comments!
— Lenya McGrath