photo: Pexels via Pixabay

Kick off the first weekend of 2019 at a fantastic family event! From attending Minefaire or seeing The Sound of Music on the big screen, to learning about hawks or exploring the science of Harry Potter, read on for where to have a magical time.

Balboa Park

Jungle Bells
Go wild at the San Diego Zoo’s annual celebration, Jungle Bells! Jungle Bells guests will be treated to seasonal decorations, animal experiences, costumed characters, lighted displays, live entertainment and more including the zany Dr. Zoolittle. The Zoo will be aglow with holiday cheer and activities to keep the whole family jolly. Guests can watch as animals enjoy unique enrichment treats and guests can sample treats of their own offered at many of the Zoo’s restaurants and food stands. Don’t miss out the holiday happy hour at Albert’s Restaurant—Happy Holidays Happens—with discounted drinks and appetizers available from 3-5 p.m. each day of Jungle Bells. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Meet Huxley the Harris’s Hawk
Visit The Nat to see all of their awesome exhibits from Hidden Gems to The Backyard to Unshelved! While you’re there, be sure to go meet Huxley the Harris’s Hawk and his handler, Canyoneer Bob Gordon. You’ll find them in Water: A California Story at 10 a.m. Sat. Event details.


The Gliadkovsky Family of Russian Pianists Performs
A family of Russian pianists (parents and their two daughters, ages 9 and 19) perform solos and duets and the works of Mozart, Bach, Piazzola, Rachmaninoff’s Suite No. 1 and 3 Romances, selections from Carnivale of the Animals and Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and more on two Grand pianos. Don’t miss this musical delight! Sun. Event details.


Minefaire: Official Minecraft Community Event
Minefaire: Official Minecraft Community Event holds a Guinness World Record for largest convention for a single video game, and is coming to San Diego for two days only. Plunge into the Minecraft Mixed Reality Experience and step inside the Minecraft Escape Room. Meet your favorite YouTube creators, join parent-child build challenges, win a Minecraft costume contest, witness nonstop mega-stage shows, meet and learn from Minecraft Education Global Mentors and discover the World’s Largest Official Minecraft Merch Store. Minefaire is an official Minecraft Community event. Free for kids ages two and younger. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Carmel Mountain Ranch

The Sound of Music: Family Flashback Films
Watch this beloved, family-friendly classic film come to life on the big screen. The hills come alive once again in this five-time Oscar winning musical. Roger and Hammerstein’s gorgeous lyrics and unforgettable melodies tell the joyous story of the Von Trapp family in Pre-World War II Austria. Starring the brilliant Julie Andrews and the dashing Christopher Plummer, this musical masterpiece is sure to be one of your Favorite Things. Sat. Event details.

Rancho Peñasquitos

Exploring the Science of Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books feature an abundance of science, making the magic in each story seem real. Now you can explore the science and magic of the world of Harry Potter through video clips, presentations, discussions, activities and artwork at this fun event. Topics include genetics and trait prediction (parseltongue, giants, squibs), acid/base chemistry (Marauder’s Map), fantastic beasts and herbology. Wands not required! Sat. Event details.

Chula Vista

Free Composting Workshop
Head to the Living Coast Discovery Center to learn about composting from their Horticulturist. You’ll learn what composting is, how it affects the environment and how you can do it at home! Meet at the front entrance of the Living Coast at 1 p.m. Sun. Event details.

––Beth Shea