Ah, the dog days of summer. The days are long, the weather is fab, and all your kiddoswant is to go out and play. We’ve got you covered this weekend for energizing kid-friendly activities for the entire family. From a classic car night to a library sleepover to a variety of outdoor concerts, your little ones will be able to have the most fun during these always awesome San Diego summers.

Encinitas

Classic Car Night

With the recent release of the hit movie Cars 2, the only thing on any little kid’s mind lately is cars, cars, cars! Don’t miss this exciting event in Downtown Encinitas where your little tyke can get up close and personal with tons of vintage and classic cars. The event is popular so get there early to snag a coveted parking spot for your own family vehicle. Thurs., 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Imperial Beach

U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition

This jaw-dropping sandcastle competition takes place on Saturday and Sunday this year down at Imperial Beach. Your little ones will be bowled over by the creations of the professional sand castle architects who are all competing for $21,000 in cash prizes. If your tyke wants to get involved, register your little builder in the Kidz ‘N Kastles competition where they can get down and dirty in the sand and make prize-worthy creations of their own. Sat. and Sun., 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Carlsbad

Jazz in the Parks

TGIF! Celebrate Friday at Poinsettia Community Park in Carlsbad and groove to some tunes by the Soul of John Black band. Pack up the entire fam to enjoy this night of music under the stars, which has provided the Carlsbad community with live Friday jazz since 1986. Be sure to pack a blanket, some munchies, and dress in layers. Fri., 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Bring your kiddos to watch the third movie in the Harry Potter series. The Georgina Cole Library is hosting a fun movie night complete with pizza! Just remember to sign up ahead of time because seating is limited. Fri., 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Free. Age 6 through Grade 6. Event details.

Carlsbad Lagoon Day

Strap on those walking shoes and head down to the Agua Hedionda Lagoon for a morning of outdoor fun. There are several mapped out routes and your entry cost ($5-$50) will go to preserving the natural ecosystem for the birds, fish, and other wildlife at the lagoon. After the walk, there’s also a costume contest for kids, music, barbecue lunch, and special celeb and athlete appearances. Sun., 8:00 am. Entry $5 – $50. Ages 5 and up. Event details.

San Diego

Pirate Party

Ahoy, little mateys!  Break out those eye patches and outfit your little one in their favorite pirate garb for Paul’s Pirate Party at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre. Your kiddos will become enchanted as they witness Paul the Pirate’s amazing journey as his ship sinks and he is rescued underwater by a beautiful mermaid. If your fam misses the first show 11:00 am, worry not because there are further showings of Paul’s adventure at 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm. Sat., 11:00 am. All ages. Event details.

Wacky Science Sundays

Science is fun and yes, a bit wacky sometimes. Ms. Frizzle, a wacky one herself, leads kids on a fun-filled adventure to explore the wild and wacky worlds of mysterious creatures, fascinating habitats, and phenomenal science hands-on! Join Ms. Frizzle at her first show at 12:15 pm or at her later wacky one at 2:15 pm. Sun., 12:15 pm. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details.

Family Day at the Racetrack

Del Mar Racetrack is kicking off this summer with a fun day especially for families! Kids can enjoy free admission to the track and tons of activities and games going on all day. Decorate a hat with “The Rad Hatter,” go on a pony ride, get your face painted, and see a magic show. Plan a trip this summer and spend a day at the races! Sun., 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Under 17 free. All ages. Event details.

Did we miss any fun family-friendly weekend activities? If so, feel free to give us the heads up and submit an event that will appear on our San Diego weekend calendar!

– Erin Lem