Bid adieu to summer with a long weekend that’s full of wow-worthy events. Behold amazing sand castle creations by land or take a kayak tour to watch breathtaking fireworks from the ocean. Spend the night on the Star of India or create art as a family. There’s an activity to please everyone, so read on for the details.

photo: Beth Shea


1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular
The summer season comes to a dazzling end with the crowd-pleasing annual Tchaikovsky concert led by conductor Christopher Dragon. Delight in the grand finale: the 1812 Overture complete with booming cannons and a sparkling fireworks display over San Diego Bay. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Family Overnight on the Star of India
Spend the night on the 1863 ship, the Star of India, and embark on an imaginary voyage to relive the Great Age of Sail. This adventure provides a rare opportunity to see parts of the ship that are normally closed to the public. You’ll leave knowing what it felt like to experience life at sea in the 19th century! Sat.-Sun. Event details.

U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge
Hailed as Best U.S. Labor Day Event in 2018 by CNN Travel, a Top 20 “Must See” seaside festival in the world by American Express and USA Today’s 10 Best, the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition will return to San Diego’s downtown waterfront for three days of fun, sun, and spectacular scenery. In addition to witnessing one of the most important sand sculpture competitions in the world, patrons will enjoy live entertainment from bands paying tribute to the Beatles, Beach Boys, and other greats. There will also be special appearances by Elvis on Saturday and Sunday nights. You can shop for more than 2,000 original works of art on the pier next to the majestic sand sculpture creations. Additionally, San Diego Seals lacrosse stars will make special appearances to take photos with fans and sign autographs. Enjoy the expanded Kid Zone features: sandcastle building lessons from Master Sculptors, and rides such as European Bungie, Bubble Fun, Bounce Houses and more. Families can picnic on the bay with food and drink from over a dozen gourmet food trucks and vendors. Sat.-Mon. Event details.

La Jolla

Free Family Art Day
Bring the whole family to experiment with high-quality paints, sketching materials and canvas sheets from US Art Supply. Come up with cool crafts like a lemonade stand, or a sculpture made from repurposed materials.  Have some laughs with loved ones while nurturing your inner creative spirit. No drop-off. All ages welcome. Sat. Event details.

Carmel Valley

SD Savers Kids Consignment Sale
The SD Savers Kids Consignment Sale is a well-organized consignment sales event for Children’s and small household items. Local families consign their new or gently used items and shoppers find great items at 50-90% off retail prices. You can find toys, clothing, baby gear, books, strollers, pack n plays, children’s furniture, games, play equipment and household items at a fraction of what you would pay in a retail store. This event only comes every 6 months, so don’t miss it! This is something you just have to see to believe! Sun. & Mon. Event details.

Dana Point

Kids Free Fishing Clinic in Dana Point
Dana Wharf Sportfishing invites all children to come to our dock side fishing clinic and learn hands on techniques on fishing from the experts. After the clinic Dana Wharf will be running a fishing trip from 12:45 – 5:45 p.m. Extra bonus is the chance of spotting whales, dolphins and other marine life! This trip includes equipment. Sun. Event details.


Fireworks Kayak Tour
Watch the Embarcadero fireworks show from the best seats in the house: a two-person kayak floating on the San Diego Bay. On the Summer Fireworks kayak tour, you and a boat buddy depart from the Coronado Ferry Landing and paddle beneath the Coronado Bridge at nighttime. As you glide along the calm ocean waters, you’ll witness the spectacular downtown skyline light up from the colorful sky-high explosions. You don’t even need previous kayaking experience for this majestic tour, though you are required to bring another person for the kayak — and that’s just fine because you’ll want to share the experience with someone special. Sun. Event details.

Balboa Park

Buggin’ Out Family Day at The Nat
Visit The Nat on Labor Day to creep, crawl, and flutter with the earth’s most numerous and varied creatures. Discover San Diego’s insect residents through buggy crafts, insect investigations, and some special guests. Mon. Event details.

––Beth Shea