photo: San Diego Natural History Museum

A brand new play space opens at The Nat, snorkeling with sharks, a pirate adventure aboard a ship, an insect festival and more! Read on to see where to raise the roof this weekend.

Balboa Park

The Backyard
Living in a rather large metropolis, it’s easy to forget we are surrounded by nature every day—the intersection between people and wildlife is often overlooked. That’s why The Nat is building The Backyard, a new play space for young, curious minds up to the kindergarten age. This new exhibit will allow little learners to expand their horizons by exploring the natural world through play. Vibrant decor and rich experiences inspired by a quintessential San Diego backyard make The Backyard an inviting space where children five and under can develop essential process skills. Whether animals, minerals, or vegetables captivate your child, they are sure to find an exhibit element that piques their interest and curiosity. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

4S Ranch

Superhero Ceramic Figurine Painting
Channel your inner superhero and artist and go paint a superhero ceramic figurine to take home. There are enough figurines for the first 115 kids in attendance. Fri. Event details.


Shrek the Musical
Come join Young Actors’ Theatre as they bring all the beloved characters you know from the film Shrek, to life on stage and prove there’s more to the story than meets the ears. “Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek….” And thus begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand… and his name is Shrek. Irreverently fun for the whole family, Shrek proves that beauty is truly in the eye of the ogre. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Del Mar

Summertime Outdoor Roller Skating Rink
L’Auberge Del Mar is rolling into summer with a new outdoor summer skating rink! Roller rink experiences include fast-paced upbeat pop music from the 80s through today, with every 30-minute skate session ending with everybody’s favorite, “The Hokey Pokey.” The daily roller rink program includes Open Skate and Adult Only Happy Hour Skate times with skate rentals available. Daytime Roller Rink guests receive $5 off their food purchases from ocean view Coastline restaurant in July. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Family Saturdays at the Del Mar Races
Looking for something to do with the family this weekend? Join Del Mar Racetrack for Family Saturdays every Sat. from 1–6 p.m. The spacious Infield will be lined with several free attractions for your family to enjoy including pony rides, a game zone, face painters, a giant obstacle course and more! Sat. Event details.


Boarded! A New Pirate Adventure
This hilarious, 90-minute interactive show aboard the state’s Official Tall Ship Californian puts you right in the middle of the pirate action. After you’re sworn in as part of the crew you will be trained how to navigate, sword fight, bail water from a sinking ship, escape from the Kings Jail, swab the deck and other pirate skills. But beware… there be mutiny afoot, a lost crew and cursed treasure! Choose from two shows. Check-in times are 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Sat. Event details.

La Jolla

Snorkel with the Leopard Sharks
Join aquarium naturalists and visit leopard sharks in their underwater home off the La Jolla Coast. Pick up snorkel tips as you discover the abundant variety of animals that make their homes among the kelp, sandy bottom and rocks. Intermediate swimming ability is required and previous snorkeling experience is recommended. Participants must supply their own gear. Ages 10+ (minors must also be accompanied by a paid adult). Sat. & Sun. Event details.


San Diego Botanic Garden’s Insect and Ladybug Festival
Aspiring entomologists are invited to San Diego Botanic Garden’s Insect & Ladybug Festival. This one-of-a-kind festival is sure to intrigue bug-devotees of all ages featuring thousands of fascinating creepy-crawlies including live lizards, snakes and the famous Madagascar hissing cockroaches! Kids can practice bug collecting, hands-on insect arts and crafts and even taste cooked mealworm. Entomologists and other bug experts will be available for questions at several information booths that will teach and entertain children and adults alike. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Summer Movies in the Park: Coco
The City of Poway presents free Summer Movies in the Park! Bring a blanket and enjoy Coco under the stars. Movies will be shown on a giant, cinema-quality screen shortly after sunset. A free, family-fun recreation area opens 90 minutes before the movie begins. Food vendors will be selling concessions. Parking at Poway Community Park is free but can fill up fast; come early and get a good seat! Sat. Event details.

South Park

South Park Summer Walkabout
The South Park Walkabout is a quarterly fun-filled evening festival that showcases all the unique and independent businesses within South Park. Enjoy complimentary treats, live entertainment and special offers. Kid-friendly, kid’s activities and free to attend! Sat. Event details.

––Beth Shea