It’s the first weekend of October and there’s no shortage of family fun to have! If you’ve been wanting to explore a San Diego museum or park, October is a great time to do it with Kids Free Month. You can also see Rapunzel, Snow White and friends in Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream at the Valley View Casino Center. Head to Balboa Park for the amazing Maker Faire where young scientists and engineers will have a blast. Celebrate Halloween and nature at the San Elijo Nature Center’s Not-So-Scary Estuary days. Or if you’re driving north, make time to check out the amazing Orange County Children’s Book Festival. Have a great weekend!


San Diego

Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream
Nothing can stop a princess from a celebration of royal proportions when Rapunzel, Tiana, Snow White and Cinderella star in the sensational ice skating production of Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream. Relive memorable moments from Tangled, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and The Princess and the Frog as a cast of world-class skaters brings the romance, humor and adventure of the films to life in this contemporary skating spectacular. Thurs. – Sun., times vary by day. Valley View Casino Center. $10-$60/person. All ages. Event details.

Miramar Air Show
Watch the Blue Angels, the Patriots Jet Team and other aerial performers conquer the skies, view static displays of military equipment, explore military aircraft, watch live musical performances and more. Fri.-Sun., gates open at 8:15 a.m., Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Free. All ages. Event details.

Imaginate Exhibition
Observe the way your heartbeat affects the behavior of a sculpture, and bring your own invention to life in a combination tinkerer’s workshop/artist’s studio. Immerse yourself in the methods of innovative thinking through hands-on, interactive exhibits that use unique materials, sounds and light. Imaginate will captivate both kids and adults and inspire creative thinking and actions. Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Reuben H Fleet Science Center, $16.95 to $19.95/Person. All ages. Event details.

Pacific Beachfest 5K
All participants in the kids race will receive a tank top, sunglasses and finisher’s medal as well! Pacific Beachfest will also be hosting a pro surf competition, pro volleyball competition, loads of food vendors, kids’ activities, and more. Sat., 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., Pacific Beach, $20- $50. All ages. Event details.

Maker Faire
Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth, a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. Together with the San Diego Makers Guild, over 200 local and regional makers will display their creations in Balboa Park, mostly inside participating museums. Sat. and Sun., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Balboa Park, $12.50 to $30/person. All ages. Event details.

East County

Museum Mash Up
This free artful event gives you the chance to experience many of San Diego’s best museums in one space for fun hands-on activities and entertainment such as a performance from Future Shock (Culture Shock’s high energy young dancers) and Ballet Folklorico. Among the institutions that will take over the Jacobs Center are The New Children’s Museum, San Diego History Center, San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, Tijuana Estuary, and many more. Sat., 1 – 4 p.m., Jacobs Center for Innovation, Free. All ages. Event details.

North County

Family Discovery Days: Not-So-Scary Estuary
Meet creepy, crawly, and hooting animals this Halloween at San Elijo Lagoon. Conservancy volunteers and nature center rangers will introduce guests to the not-so-scary wonders of wetlands. Kids activities include: Trick-or-Treating along the “Haunted Hike” nature trail, where clues help families look and listen for wildlife. Meet nocturnal animals in live presentations. Walk in a “spider web.” Make animal tracks in the sand, and more! Sat. and Sun., 1 – 4 p.m., San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, Free (donations are welcome). All ages. Event details.

Pumpkin Festival Arts ‘n Crafts Fair
More than 80 artisans will be selling a variety of handmade crafts and fine art at the annual “Pumpkin Festival” Arts ‘n Crafts Fair. See beautiful jewelry, woodworking, candles, toys, and many other handmade and one-of-a kind items. Get an early start on your holiday shopping! Bates’ famous Pumpkin Patch will also be open with a variety of family friendly activities including hay rides, a straw maze, pony rides, and numerous food vendors. Sat. and Sun., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Bates Nut Farm, Free. All ages. Event details.

Orange County

Orange County Children’s Book Festival
The Orange County Children’s Book Festival is in its 12th year. Join more than 130 authors, 25 illustrators, dozens of storytellers and great family-oriented entertainers. The Festival features over 135 booksellers, educational exhibitors and related vendors. There are also six interactive stages, lots of kids activities, food and entertainment. Come out and celebrate literacy! Sun., 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Orange Coast College, Free. All ages. Event details.

What are you doing this weekend? Tell us in the comments!

– Leah R. Singer

Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment