Photo: Kids Adventure Games

It’s Labor Day weekend, a.k.a the official end of summer–– and we have so many fun ways for you to bid adieu to the season. Head to the Kids Adventure Games at Big Bear Lake to compete on an epic obstacle course, watch booming cannons and fireworks at the last Bayside Summer Nights symphony, see amazing sand sculptures brought to life––all this and so much more awaits your family during this action-packed long weekend.

Big Bear Lake

Kids Adventure Games at Big Bear Lake
The Kids Adventure Games returns Sept. 2-14 to Big Bear Lake featuring a kid-sized adventure race where teams of two navigate a ‘natural terrain’ inspired obstacle course. Kids ages 6-14, can expect mountain biking, hiking, ziplines, a Tarzan rope swing, giant Slip N’ Slide, tubing, cargo nets, mud pits and more. The event invites parents and kids to unplug from technology for a fun-filled weekend where kids will strengthen physical and emotional bonds through a series of challenges centered on building grit and resilience and plain old-fashion fun. This is a fun and confidence building outdoor experience and a great day out for all the family… spectators are encouraged! Sat.-Mon. Event details.


1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular
As always, Bayside Summer Nights comes to a “Spectacular” end with the music of Tchaikovsky, the booming cannons, the blazing brass and a fireworks display for the whole family to remember! This year’s concert will also feature music by Piotr Tchaikovsky’s fellow Russian composers Modest Mussorgsky, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Serge Prokofiev. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge
Thousands of people across the U.S. attend this event where they see sculptors build beautiful 3-dimensional works of art. Check out the amazing sculptures while enjoying live music from a variety of bands. Activities for kiddos include art projects, sandbox, sand sculpture classes, Bubble Fun ride and European bungie. There will also be a dozen food trucks on hand offering over 100 menu items. Fri.-Mon. Event details.

Festival of Sail
The Maritime Museum of San Diego will transform the North Embarcadero into a nautical theme park for the largest Tall Ship festival on the west coast. More than 20 tall ships and other vessels from around the world will be visiting San Diego. In addition, there will be live entertainment, a kids’ zone, a petting zoo, vendors, food, cannon battles, pirates, sunset cruises on San Diego Bay and shopping for one of-a-kind items among more than 150 festival vendors. Fri.-Mon. Event details.

Little Italy

Stickball Comes to Little Italy
Grab your broom stick, table leg or any other kind of stick because the annual Labor Day Stick Ball Tournament is taking over the streets of Little Italy. The whole family will love watching this classic east coast game that brings out the kid in all of us. Not only will the kids enjoy seeing where the ball goes, but they’ll love running around the piazzas and seeing all the fun water features in the area. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Balboa Park

Hawaiian Plumeria Festival
Enjoy hundreds of gorgeous plumeria flowers and Hawaiian-themed entertainment at this flower show and plant sale. You’ll feel like you’re in Hawaii! Sat. & Sun. Event details.


47th Annual Barona Powwow
The Barona Band of Mission Indians invites San Diegans to experience Native American culture at the 47th Annual Barona Powwow which will be held on the Barona Indian Reservation at the Barona Sports Park over Labor Day Weekend. This three-day celebration kicks off on Friday, Sept. 1st with Gourd Dancing at 6 p.m. and a spectacular Grand Entry of dancers in colorful regalia at 7 p.m. and continues throughout the weekend on Saturday and Sunday starting at 1 p.m., making this a weekend of culture immersion. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Light Up the Lakes
Join in the fun of “ Light Up The Lakes “ throughout the campground at Santee Lakes over Labor Day weekend! Light up your campsite and the top 3 with the most festive decor will win gift cards. Judging begins Saturday evening around 8 p.m., but campers are encouraged to have their lights up all weekend. Prizes distributed Sunday morning. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Celebrate Labor Day at Pretend City
Hard work pays off! Labor Day is a great way to teach children about working hard and being a part of a community. Pretend City will be open all day on Labor Day and participating in activities that teach children about different jobs and careers. This also marks the last day of their Adventure Under the Sea Theme. Mon. Event details.

Where are you spending Labor Day weekend? Share in the comments.

––Beth Shea