Campouts, concerts, a festival celebrating the night sky, a wild animal show and so many more super fun family events prove that summer is still in full swing this first weekend of August. Read on for where to enjoy some bonding time with your brood.

photo: iStock

Balboa Park

Bon Odori Festival
Join the Japanese Friendship Garden and Buddhist Temple of San Diego for the 2019 Bon Odori Festival! They are proud to continue the tradition of celebrating the circle of life together, as done each summer in Japan for generations and welcome everyone to join! For two days, you will be able enjoy a variety of merchants, engage in family friendly activities, treat yourselves to Japanese festival foods, a beer garden, a tea & dessert garden and experience cultural performances throughout each day! On Friday, you’ll be able to make your own toro nagashi to either take home or set afloat at Japanese Friendship Garden and on Saturday, the festival extends out to the Organ Pavilion at 4 p.m. where everyone will be invited to participate in the Bon Odori dance. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

La Jolla

Wild Animal Show
Learn about amazing wild animals from all over the world and get up-close with the animal ambassadors from Wild Wonders. Fri. Event details.


Movie Night: Mary Poppins Returns
Bring a blanket or lawn chair and join the fun of a free summer movie night on the grass! Starting at 6:30 p.m., enjoy free hotdogs, bounce house, lawn games (giant Connect Four, giant Jenga, lawn bowling, cornhole, ping pong), music, & more. When the sun goes down, they’ll be serving up popcorn & candy and showing the hit movie musical, Mary Poppins Returns (PG), on a huge outdoor screen. Fri. Event details.


The Empire Strikes Back in Concert
Don’t miss one of the most popular science fiction films of all time shown on the big screen with John Williams’ unforgettable score—from the brassy and foreboding Imperial March to the noble “Yoda’s Theme”—performed by the orchestra and conducted by Larry Loh. Fri. Event details.


Hullabaloo & Kathryn the Grape
Enjoy the last concert of the summer at San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum in the Discovery Garden. Join Kathryn the Grape and Hullabaloo in their foot-stomping, uplifting music that’s fun for kids and parents alike! The event includes special crafts for kids, face painting, food by Go Go Truck, gelato by EscoGelato, wine and Jacked Up beer for adults and full access to the Museum’s hands-on exhibits. Sat. Event details.


Julian Natural Wonderfest
A day of fun, education, wildlife, science, wonder, preservation and dark sky appreciation for the whole family! This afternoon and evening gathering at Jess Martin Park will include a late night astronomy star party, wildlife ambassador encounters, games and activities for families, presentations of music and art, and outreach booths from land preservation and other local nature-focused organizations. Attendees will have access to parking at the event as well as in town with a free van shuttle. Sat. Event details.


Lake Poway Family Campout
New to camping but want to see what sleeping under the stars in nature is all about? Then don’t miss the Lake Poway Family Campout, where you’ll get to bask in outdoor fun with other families, go on a guided evening hike, sit around a campfire with s’mores, watch a family-friendly magic and comedy show and enjoy the peace and calm of the surroundings in nature. Kiwanis club will be offering a pancake breakfast. Cost is $5 per person. Don’t forget your camping and grilling supplies. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Movies in the Park: How to Train Your Dragon 3
The City of Poway presents free Summer Movies in the Park! Bring your inner tubes and rafts or borrow one of ours and enjoy a family-friendly movie under the stars. Movies will be shown on a giant, cinema-quality screen. Arrive early; guests will be allowed entrance to the pool until capacity is met. Bring your favorite snacks or a picnic dinner; food will not be available for purchase. Parking at Poway Community Park is free but can fill up fast. Sat. Event details.

Family Yoga
Join this donation based yoga class for the entire family offered every first Sunday of the month. Partner poses are emphasized, ensuring great bonding time. Families play yoga games, explore yoga postures, practice breathing exercises while sharing love with their own family and other families in the community. Sun. Event details.

––Beth Shea