Summer vacation may be half-way over to many San Diego families. But for some with schools getting out this week, vacation is just beginning! San Diego and Orange County have lots of fun events to do this weekend, whether you’re kicking off vacation or wanting an outdoor adventure. Lake Poway invites families to an evening Family Campout. Learn all about bugs at the San Diego Botanic Garden’s annual Insect Festival. Have fun at Hot Summer Nites in Fallbrook. And if you’re heading north, be sure to stop by the Orange County Fair for tons of family fun and entertainment.

San Diego

Festival of the Bells
This family tradition celebrates the anniversary of the Mission San Diego de Alcala. The festival includes entertainment, food, and the traditional blessings of the animals and bells. Fri. – Sun., Times vary, San Diego Mission, Free. All ages. More info.

The Invention of Glory
Bring the kiddos to the San Diego Museum of Art and learn about the display art through creative art-making and kid-friendly museum tours. Sun., 1:00 pm, San Diego Museum of Art, Free with admission. Ages 6 – 12. More info.

North County

Insect Festival
Ready for a creepy-crawling adventure? Kids can practice bug collecting, make insect crafts and taste cooked mealworm larva! Little scientists can also meet live insects, lizards, snakes and the Madagascar hissing cockroach. Sat. & Sun., 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, San Diego Botanic Garden, Free with admission/membership. All ages. More info.

Family Campout
Enjoy a family night under the stars at Lake Poway. The evening includes nighttime hikes, s’mores, campfire activities and pedal boating. Bring up to five people per family. Sat., 5:00 pm, Lake Poway, $52 – $62. All ages. More info.

Hot Summer Nites
Bring the family to Fallbrook for rods, relics, food, and live music by Big Rye & The Mercenaries and Aunt Kizzy’s Boyz. Also enjoy a feast of culinary treats. Fri., 5:00 pm, Historic Downtown Main St. Fallbrook, Free. All ages. More info.

Pinkalicious: The Musical
This is the tale, based on the popular book by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, of Pinkalicious, who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this pink predicament. Sat. & Sun., 11:00 am, $14 – $18. All ages. More info.

Christmas in July Fair
Hey, it’s never too early to start thinking of the holidays! Join more than 150 artisans, live performances, a carnival and a kids zone for the annual “Christmas in July” Artisan Fair and Carnival. Sat., 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, Old Mission Montessori School, Free. All ages. More info.

Orange County

Orange County Fair 
The annual Orange County Fair is the premier family attraction in Southern California offering a wide variety of exhibits, foods, entertainment, rides and hands-on activities. There is something for everybody at the Fair including the summer headline concert series, working farm and petting zoos, thrill rides, contests, and games. Sun. – Aug. 12, times vary, Orange County Fairgrounds, All ages. Free. More info.

Wild Rescue
Attention OC families: Go wild for Wildlife! In this exhibit, guests will experience compelling stories of animal rescue from around the world, including how seabirds are saved from environmental disasters and what happens to orphaned baby elephants. Through interactive exhibits, you’ll step into the rescue efforts and experience and learn the innovative science involved in of wildlife rescue and experiment with techniques and tools used by rescuers through hands-on exhibits and multimedia experiences. Sun., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Discovery Science Center, $14.95 – $12.95. All ages. More info.

Peter Alsop’s Kids Koncerts
A consummate story-teller, songwriter and Theatricum actor, Topanga’s Mark Lewis plays with the families while he plays music for the kids! Sun., 11:00 am, Theatricum Botanicum, $8. All ages. More info.

— Leah R. Singer

Photo Credits: San Diego Mission, Creative Commons