Photo: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Celebrate Japanese culture at the two-day Obon Festival, play a game of giant checkers and eat delicious food at Food Truck Fridays in Balboa Park, or head to the Del Mar Racetrack where kids under 12 can score a free Webkinz plush horse before joining in the Family Fun Day festivities. All this and so much more awaits your clan this weekend. Read on for the details.

Balboa Park

Obon Festival
Learn all about Japanese tradition at the two-day Obon Festival. You’ll sample Japanese cuisine, enjoy a tea and dessert garden and a beer garden, experience cultural performances and play games and make crafts. On Friday you can make your own toro nagashi (paper lantern) to take home or send down the stream at the Japanese Friendship Garden. On Saturday everyone is invited to the Organ Pavilion to participate in the Bon Odori dance to Japanese folk tunes led by dance leaders in traditional kimono. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

Food Truck Fridays in Balboa Park
Enter the weekend with good food and fun by dining at gourmet food trucks in Balboa Park while enjoying live entertainment. You’ll find appetizers, main courses, desserts and specialty beverages all at this gathering. There will also be a different musical performer each Friday in the Plaza de Panama in the “living room” setup which boasts a large artificial lawn for kids to play on and a giant checkers set, oversized beanbags and hands-on activities hosted by various park venues. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket to sit in the lawn area in front of the Botanical Building, or enjoy craft beers, wine and cocktails inside the nearby Panama 66 and Prado restaurants. Click here to see the list of food trucks and free live entertainment scheduled for each Friday. Fri. Event details.


Summer Concert Series at SDCDM
The Summer Concert Series will feature a performance by Hullabaloo, crafts in the Outdoor Art Studio, food vendors, beer and wine bar and after hours access to all the educational hands-on exhibits in the Museum. Fri. Event details.

Summer Safari
Summer Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park features an extravaganza of drumming, acrobatics, dancing and more. Guests at the Safari Park will be immersed in world-themed festivities and up-close encounters with fascinating animals. During Summer Safari, visitors can “explore the world” with exciting entertainment from locales around the globe, including Africa, Thailand, India, the Pacific Islands and Mexico. Enjoy acrobatic feats, rhythmic drumming, colorful music and dance, a flag-filled, world-themed show and much more! Summer Safari is a “wild” party sure to be enjoyed by guests of all ages! Fri.-Sun. Event details.


A Short Walk Home
On August 5, hundreds are expected to join Father Joe’s Villages for A Short Walk Home – San Diego’s first-ever walk to end homelessness. The kid- and dog- friendly walk will follow a 2.1-mile route along the promenade at Embarcadero Marina Park South. At the finish line, participants will walk through an oversized front door to symbolize our homeless neighbors coming home. Sat. Event details.

San Diego Free to Breathe 5k Run/Walk
The lung cancer community is on a mission to make surviving lung cancer the expectation, not the exception. Hundreds of local residents will join in that mission by participating in the San Diego Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Walk. The day will also include a Survivors Area, kids’ activities including face painting and coloring, music from a local DJ, plenty of refreshments and fun for the whole family. Sun. Event details.

Del Mar

Family Fun Day & Webkinz Giveaway at Del Mar Racetrack
Come join the fun at Del Mar’s “super-sized” Family Fun Day & Webkinz Giveaway – with more activities than ever before! Round up the whole family to enjoy a variety of free attractions including pony rides, face painting and rock climbing – plus a free Webkinz Plush Horse for children under 12, while supplies last. The free Family Fun Day Activities also include: Giant Scramble Slide & Obstacle Course, Bungee Trampolines, Meet the Del Mar Mascot “Pony Boy”, Magic Show & GameZone, Caricature Artist, create & decorate your own hat with the Rad Hatter, Magic Shows & Game Zone, San Diego Gulls Hockey and Del Mar Golf Center activities & instructions. Sun. Event details.

San Diego

Guided Nature Walk on a Scenic Trail
Enjoy a free guided nature walk and learn about the history, geology, plants, animals and ecology of the park. These interpretive nature walks are offered to enhance your appreciation of the city’s open space and the unique beauty of San Diego’s natural environment. Walks are free, open to the public with no reservations required and will accommodate the physical or special needs of the group. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and bring along water. A hat and sunscreen are also recommended. Walk canceled if raining. Sun. Event details.

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

––Beth Shea