Every kid wants to be in the driver’s seat (proverbially and literally), so taking your petite pit crew to Touch A Truck will really get their motors runnin’. Put them behind the wheel of dozens of different types of vehicles from race cars to military trucks, watch an emergency helicopter take off and land, play laser tag and order lunch from food trucks. The best part? 100% of the ticket price funds kids cancer research. Read on for everything you “auto” know about this stellar event!

The Meaning Behind Touch A Truck
Touch A Truck San Diego was started by Andy and Melissa Mikulak to honor the life of their son, Max, who was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma at age 3. Max lost his battle with cancer at age 7 and his parents celebrate his life with their efforts to raise funds and awareness about childhood cancer. Since the first Touch A Truck San Diego event in 2009, they have raised over $330,000 to deliver lifesaving therapies for kids fighting cancer.

Get Up Close and Personal with Vehicles Galore
Touch A Truck is dubbed California’s original kid-friendly car show. 2017 marks the event’s 9th year and aspiring drivers are granted a green light to get behind the wheel, honk the horn, touch and explore dozens of modes of transport they may otherwise never have a chance to see. The vehicle options range from construction, emergency, off-road, delivery, hot rods and military to motorcycles and a stage coach.

Insider’s tip: For those with sound sensitivities, horn-free hour is from 11 a.m. – noon. Most airhorns will be disabled but event organizers recommend bringing earplugs.

Trying on Dreams for Size
If your littles want to work on the police force or grow up to be a fireman, they’ll get a firsthand look at what riding in the vehicles is like, while meeting some real heroes and emergency responders. Emergency vehicles scheduled to be at the event include:

  • Mercy Air Ambulance
  • Ambulance
  • Fire Engine
  • CHP Police Motorcycle
  • CHP Patrol Vehicle (Ford Explorer)
  • CHP Rapid Response Vehicle (Chevy Tahoe)
  • SDPD Mobile Command
  • Del Mar Life Guards Rescue Truck

A Trip Down Memory Lane
Grandparents, parents and kids alike will enjoy a visit to yesteryear as they experience hot rods, a 1967 Shelby Cobra, 1957 Chevy Bel Air, 1950 Ford Woodie, a 1955 Chevy 210 and more. Show ’em how you and your parents used to roll back in the day.


Off Road Fun
In addition to all of the vehicle interaction, there’s plenty more fun to be had at Touch A Truck. The Mercy Air ambulance will land at 11:45 a.m. and offer tours of the helicopter. At noon there will be a performance by Pacific Motion Dance Center Performers. Hullabaloo will be performing a concert at 1:30 p.m. and at 2:45 p.m. the Mercy Air ambulance will take off. Characters from Star Wars and Marvel will be walking around the event all day for conversations and photo ops. Laser tag and a scavenger hunt round out the adrenaline-fueled fun.

Photo: Touch A Truck

Fuel Up
Bring cash because there will be delicious options from the food trucks that will be open at the event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The hot dog shaped Oscar-Mayer Wienermobile will be on hand as a feast for the eyes, Max’s Incredible Lemonade Stand will serve refreshing old-fashioned or pink lemonade in the new keepsake cup for 2017, complete with a color changing straw. Brett’s BBQ, ShakaGuac (chips & guac), Dang Brother’s Pizza (cooking pizza in the back of a fire engine) and Perky Beans Coffee will all be on hand to serve up good eats and they’ll all be donating to children’s cancer research too.

Insider’s tip: Be sure to slather on the sunscreen and wear hats because the sun will be shining (with little to no shade in sight) on this outdoor event.

Touch A Truck San Diego takes place Saturday, May 13th from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $15/person; Children under twelve months old get free entry.
Buy your tickets in advance here.
Parking is free.

Pacific Trails Middle School
5975 Village Center Loop Rd.
San Diego, Ca 92130
Online: touchatrucksd.com

All photos by Beth Shea unless otherwise noted.

Have you taken your kids to Touch A Truck in previous years? What was their favorite vehicle?

–– Beth Shea