Photo: Kel Casey

From Fairy Tale ballet performances and a Thomas the Train party to TwainFest and Summergrass Festival jams, read on for the best events in the city to enjoy with your family this weekend.

Balboa Park

Game Masters: The Exhibition
The Fleet Science Center’s Game Masters: The Exhibition showcases the world’s best video game designers, from the arcade era to today’s console and online games. And with 100+ playable games, it’s game on! (No quarters required.) This is the first large-scale exhibition to take visitors behind the scenes of how video games are made as well as spotlighting the people who actually make them. From Nintendo’s iconic worlds featuring Mario and Link, to the obsession that is Minecraft, to the immersive experiences of Blizzard Entertainment, this is a landmark collection of the most popular video games on the planet, as well as independent games with a cult-like following. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Fairy Tales in the Park
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet will perform their 9th Annual Fairy Tales in the Park in Balboa Park. You’ll wind your way through an enchanted forest and watch as the classic stories of Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast come to life on the historic Casa del Prado Theater stage. Before or after the show, be sure to visit Fairy Tale Village for fun interactive activities like face painting, crafts, play and more. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Thomas Family Day
Thomas & Friends Family Day is in full steam, huffing and puffing along. It’s totally Thomas at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Come in character whether it’s a costume, shirt, or pajamas to this Thomas Train Bash! Jump, wiggle and giggle to a musical performance from Hullabaloo at 11:30 a.m., create your own Thomas & Friends wind sock, or be the director of the railway like Sir Topham Hatt and operate the “G” scale train with Thomas and Percy on the tracks. This is a family day celebration not to miss! Sat. Event details.

Chula Vista

Chula Vista Harbor Fest
Chula Vista knows how to celebrate summertime right! This year’s Annual HarborFest will have everything you could possibly want at a free, family-friendly celebration, taking place in Bayside Park at the Chula Vista Marina. The kiddies will be entertained all day long with animal encounters, bungee jumping, an interactive inflatable zone, arts and crafts, and so much more. 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 Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Edgar Allan Poe and others, read aloud by San Diego actors. Delight in giant puppets, vote in the election of 1872, contribute to the Never-Ending story 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.


The One Love Movement’s 6th Annual Charity Yoga Event
The One Love Movement is hosting its 6th Annual Charity Yoga Event downtown. The event will feature yoga with live music followed by a wine and beer garden. All proceeds from the event will support under-served youth with a large portion staying locally in San Diego. Every year this event brings together over 600 people who enjoy the spirit of yoga both on and off the mat by practicing kindness and compassion. Five guest yoga instructors will lead the yoga session with live music from local group Dub Sutra. Participants are encouraged to enjoy the wine and beer garden and vendors like Kashi, Indo-Love, Suja Juice and Mush. Sat. Event details.

La Jolla

Sea Days: 100 Island Challenge
Discover science, exploration & adventure. Coral reefs are often referred to as the “rainforests of the sea” and like rainforests they face many challenges. Researchers at Scripps Oceanography are studying 100 islands to track over time. Learn more about what it takes to study coral reef diversity without having to don a wetsuit! Sat. Event details.


Summergrass San Diego
Head to Vista to enjoy the camaraderie and the jams of listening to Summergrass. All bands play on a rustic wooden stage that was hand-built in 2003. The festival audience area is partially shaded by the iconic green parachute that has come to signal the start of a great week of bluegrass. The Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum food court is close by and the aroma of real barbecue completes the experience. Come on down for a few hours, a day, or the weekend. See the stage schedule hereFri.-Sun. Event details.

Where are you having fun with the fam this weekend? Tell us in the comments!

––Beth Shea