Southern California weekends are warming up! And with the kiddos home on summer vacation, temperatures may be really rising in your house. Luckily San Diego has lots to do this weekend. Balboa Park has a variety of activities taking place. The Lantern Festival is a must-see event in City Heights. TwainFest is debuting in Old Town. Head up to Orange County for Watermelon Tours.

San Diego

Lantern Festival
What’s more fun than 6,000 lanterns at the San Diego Lantern Festival 2012? This amazing festival features the 2nd Annual MISS ASIA SAN DIEGO PAGEANT, cultural entertainment, lion dances, street performers, and an amazing display of lanterns in the evening. There is also lots of food, games and carnival rides for the kiddos, a talent show, and a lantern parade. Fri. – Sun., times vary, Hoover High School, Prices vary. All ages. Event Details.

Celebrate the works of Mark Twain and other 19th century writers as their written works are read aloud by local actors. Enjoy puppet performances by Punch and Judy, and participate in a Spelling Bee. Kids can also play literary games and much more. Sat., 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Old Town, Free. All ages. Event Details.

Nickelodeon Day of Play
Bring the family to Petco Park for Nickelodeon Play Ball Day featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Get to the park early and meet the Ninja Turtles before the Padres take on the Giants at 5:35 pm. Sat., 4:00 pm, Petco Park, Free with baseball ticket. All ages. Event Details.

Balboa Park

Paper Helicopter Day
It’s Family Day at the San Diego Air & Space Museum with a paper helicopter theme. Kids will make their own paper helicopter and learn how to spin it and stay in the air. Sat., 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm,  San Diego Air & Space Museum, Free with admission, All ages. Event Details.

Family Sunday
Bring the family to the Mingei International Museum for a hands-on craft activity and participate in the Discover Mingei! Treasure Hunt. Kids and families can explore their colorful exhibitions of folk art, craft and design, and win a prize for completing the Treasure Hunt! Sun., 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Mingei International Museum, $5/family, $3/individual, All ages. Event Details.

German Expressionism Art
It’s Family Drop-in Day at the San Diego Museum of Art. Learn about the art of German Expressionism while taking a very kid-friendly tour of the museum. Sun., 1:00 pm, San Diego Museum of Art, $4.50 – $12, Ages 6 – 12. Event Details.

Reptile Walk
Ready to walk with the reptiles? Visit the new reptile and amphibian exhibit at the San Diego Zoo. Enjoy geckos, snakes, turtles, lizards and the endangered Chinese alligators. Sun., 9:00 am, San Diego Zoo, Free with admission, All ages. Event Details.

North County

Summergrass Festival
Bring the family to the annual bluegrass festival with live bands, music workshops, a bluegrass camp for kids age 6 – 16, instrument raffles, foods and lots more. Fri. – Sun., times vary, Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, $16 – $25 (kids 10 and under free), All ages. Event Details.

Orange County

Watermelon Tours
Enjoy an amazing watermelon tour of Tanaka Farms. Take a wagon ride around the farm, taste various vegetables and fruits that we grow, learn some great information, and then taste some delicious watermelon. Finally walk out through the watermelon patch and at the end pick out a watermelon to take home. Sun., 9:30 am – 2:30 pm, Tanaka Farms, All ages. Event Details.

— Leah R. Singer

Image Sources: Leah R. Singer and Creative Commons