Summer may be winding down but this weekend is full steam ahead with fabulous events your family will love. From HarborFest, TwainFest and Fairytales in the Park to Thomas the Train Family Day and a Polynesian Family party, read on for where to enjoy every last minute.

photo: Chula Vista HarborFest


Toddler Time: Make Friends
The New Children’s Museum hosts facilitated toddler programming every Friday morning beginning at 10 a.m. Their toddler program values the whole child and supports healthy bodies and minds, with music, movement and social play for young children. Toddler time is free with admission. Fri. Event details.

Rancho Peñasquitos

Polynesian Family Getaway
Escape the hustle bustle of the city for a relaxed island vibe at this fun event. Enjoy a Polynesian inspired meal, free live entertainment and an evening filled with rich heritage. Adult plates: $5; Kids plates: $3, Drinks: $1. Cash only. Fri. Event details.

La Jolla

Full Moon Pier Walk
A warm night lit by a full moon is the perfect time to explore one of La Jolla’s most prominent landmarks. The Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, normally closed to the public, is used by scientists, students and aquarium staff for a variety of research projects. During this program you will discover the 100-year history of pier-based data collection at Scripps while walking along the Scripps Pier on an exclusive moonlit tour. Collect plankton, learn about bioluminescent organisms and explore current research while engaging in hands-on activities. For kids ages 9 and older. Fri. Event details.

Balboa Park

Fairytales in the Park
Join the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet for the 11th Annual Fairy Tales in the Park!  This family-friendly dance performance merges the timeless beauty of ballet with four classic stories: Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Puss in Boots and sdcyb’s 2020 spring ballet The Firebird––all coming to life at the historic Casa del Prado Theater in Balboa Park. Directed by sdcyb’s Artistic Director Danika Pramik-Holdaway and featuring a professional storyteller leading an interactive experience that includes an enchanted forest in the lobby of the theater and sdcyb’s award-winning, sustainability-themed Fairy Tale Village directly outside the performance, it is perfect for families of all ages! Performances are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Junior Science Club
Students in grades 1–4 are invited to gather at the Fleet Science Center on the third Saturday of each month to investigate exciting science topics. Sessions will be filled with new challenges, hands-on activities and interaction with local scientists. Throughout the year, kids will explore an array of fields including biology, chemistry, engineering, environmental science, physics, robotics and much more. To register, contact Client Services at 619-238-1233 x806 or sign up online. Sat. Event details.

Thomas Family Day
Stop in the San Diego Model Railroad Museum on Saturday for a day full of games, crafts, and fun! They will also have music to sing and dance along to by local musicians and music teachers Shirean Williams and Louis Redford. So go celebrate all things trains and dress up like your favorite Thomas character––whether it’s a costume, shirt, or pajamas. This event is included with regular price of admission. Sat. Event details.

Liberty Station

Family Movie Night: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Enjoy a fun filled evening at Arts District Liberty Station’s Family Movie Night! Family activities begin at 6 p.m. followed by the movie screening of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World at 8 p.m. Grab a picnic, blanket, or low back chair and enjoy an evening of fun with family. Event is free and located on the grassy North Promenade between Stone Brewing and the Greetings Tour mural. Sat. Event details.

Old Town

TwainFest is a free family festival, perfect for all ages, celebrating the literature and culture of 19th Century America. Hear terrific music, listen to stories of real Californians as well as pieces by Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Paul Laurence Dunbar and others, read aloud by San Diego actors. Delight in puppets, vote in the election of 1872, play croquet with the Red Queen and play games to win prizes and free books. Lots of fun for everyone. Old Town State Historic Park is ADA accessible and is located across the street from the Old Town Trolley Station. Sat. Event details.

Chula Vista

Chula Vista HarborFest
Chula Vista is gearing up to bring you the summer celebration of a lifetime! Grab your friends, family, or furry companion to explore HarborFest’s most exciting features: three stages of music to dance the day away, water activities for the aqua lovers, pet parade to showcase the cutest lineup of furry models, green initiatives to save our planet, exotic automobile displays, Lucha Libre Wrestling to get rowdy, a food truck alley to quench your hunger, and a vibrant art exhibition with breathtaking ocean views as a backdrop. HarborFest was made for families. The Discovery Zone will keep the young (and young at heart) entertained all day with tons of interactive activities, arts and crafts, and even free kayaking and paddle board lessons. The Discovery Zone also provides an opportunity to learn about the seaside ecosystem with educational exhibits and live animals from The Living Coast Discovery Center. Sat. Event details.

Valley Center

Summer Food Truck Festival & Movie
Some of San Diego’s favorite food trucks will be on hand serving a variety of mobile cuisine. Participating in this year’s festival are many crowd favorites: Epic Eatz, Super Q, Mangia Mangia, Two for the Road, Mariposa Ice Cream, Lil’ Miss Shortcakes and more. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Enjoy live music from 4:30-7:30 p.m. by Calico Ridge, an inflatable slide, bounce house, pony rides, petting corral and face painting. This event is hosted in conjunction with Bates Nut Farm’s Camping Under the Stars and Movie in the Park showing. Experience a whole day of fun! Stay after dinner for a showing of Mary Poppins Returns, and spend the rest of the evening camping on the farm with family & friends (reservations required). Sat. Event details.

Del Mar

Family Weekends at Del Mar Racetrack
Race to the Del Mar Racetrack for Family Days this weekend. The spacious Infield will be lined with several free attractions for your family to enjoy including pony rides, a game zone, face painters, a giant obstacle course and more. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

––Beth Shea