photo: Helen Woodward Animal Center

A superhero-themed costume contest for dogs, master sandcastle builders create masterpieces on the beach, family sleepovers on not one, but two of San Diego’s most famous ships and The Lorax live on stage! Read on to see where to set sail into the weekend.

Imperial Beach

Sun and Sea Festival
Families will marvel at award-winning, master sandcastle builders creating amazing masterpieces on the beach at the Sun and Sea Festival. This year’s theme is Superheroes in the Sand. There will also be a Kids ‘n Kastles sandcastle competition, a parade, an activities filled Kid’s Zone and a pancake breakfast. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

Balboa Park

Nat at Night
Great weekends start at the San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) this summer. The Nat in Balboa Park is open until 8 p.m. on Fridays, with half-price admission after 5. The Museum is packed with immersive exhibitions and 3D nature documentaries. Plus, visit the all-ages rooftop bar for happy hour, trivia nights and one of the best sunset views of the park. Enjoy beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks as well as delicious bites from Sundara Indian Cuisine. Fri. Event details.

Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax
Take in a vibrant, thrilling theatrical production of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. This classic tale will stick with kids long after the curtain goes down, for its sentimental moral to take care of nature and the earth. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Star of India Family Overnight
Spend the night on the 1863 bark Star of India and embark on an imaginary voyage to relive the Great Age of Sail. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Family Overnight Adventure on the USS Midway
Spend the night onboard the USS Midway with the whole family by embarking on a Family Overnight Adventure. Walk in the footsteps of sailors who lived and served aboard and become an honorary crew member of the USS Midway.
This Overnight Adventure group will board as the museum closes and includes sleeping in the authentic Enlisted Berthing area that served the sailors when the USS Midway was deployed, dinner and breakfast served in the Forward Galley, guided tours through behind-the-scenes areas and much more. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Liberty Station/Point Loma

Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market
Come shop more than 100 vintage, antique and handmade vendors, creatively curated by Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market, at Ingram Plaza at Liberty Station. All things chippy, rusty, vintage and handmade will be on display in inspiring booths. Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market also features food trucks and infinite amounts of design inspiration. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Second Saturday Cinema: Wonder Woman
ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station welcomes back its free outdoor film series on the second Saturday of each month. Evenings feature surprise pop-up performances or activities along with curated shorts preceding the feature film. Movie lovers are encouraged to arrive early and visit the galleries, studios and museums. Grab a picnic, blanket, or low back chair and spend an evening underneath the stars with friends, family, and neighbors. Movies begin after sunset. All ages are invited and no alcohol can be brought into the venue. Sat. Event details.

Bay Park

California Citrus Chocolate Making Class
Sweet Petite Confections is celebrating the summer season with a “California Citrus!” themed chocolate making class. Secure your spot at this reservations-only class to learn the art of making fantastically flavored chocolates and bark over the course of two hours while creating nearly 1.5 pounds of confections. During this class, students will play with favorite flavors like salted caramel and peanut butter cup and select flavors for this month like citrus blossom ganache and Meyer lemon caramel made by chocolatier Michelle Lomelin. Students will also select from more than two dozen ingredients as they personalize a chocolate bark – with favorite flavors including freeze dried fruits and savory pretzels, potato chips and a wide selection nuts. Additionally, this month they’ll have candied orange peel, candied lemon peel, crushed Lemonheads and crystallized lime. Adult individuals and parent-child teams are welcome to attend! Sat. Event details.

National City

Day of Play at Olivewood Gardens
Join Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center for some free family-friendly fun! Enjoy hands-on cooking, gardening, crafts, nutrition, games and physical activities in a beautiful outdoor garden setting. The Day of Play promotes healthy living and environmental responsibility. Families with children of all ages are welcome to attend. Please register in advance here as space is limited. Sat. Event details.

Mission Valley

6th Annual PAWmicon Convention
Before Comic-Con is in town, head to PAWmicon! Put on your best paws-play and come get in the spirit of San Diego Comic-Con. Win comic-themed prizes, meet super adorable adoptable puppies, pick up doggie goodies and more. For a $10 donation, enter your pup in the costume contest. (Or don some spandex yourself and enter as a duo!). All proceeds benefit Helen Woodward Animal Center. Sun. Event details.

––Beth Shea