If there’s one day of the year the kiddos really need to listen to their mother, it’s Earth Day, April 22nd. If you’re looking for ways to teach your tiny tree huggers about recycling, going green and making a positive impact on the environment, check out these San Diego Earth Day events––each of which offers its own way to honor the planet. Read on for where to participate in earth saving events ranging from clean-ups to gardening classes to composting workshops and more!

South Bay Earth Day

Celebrate the joy of bike-riding, yoga, and upcycled art at this terrific festival. The day begins with a guided bike tour of the Bayshore Bikeway. Ditch the throw-away mentality by visiting the Fix It Clinic where you’ll learn how to repair or repurpose that small appliance or toy before tossing. Visit the many booths offering tips on living a healthy lifestyle while protecting Mother Earth. Test drive electric vehicles and ride electric bikes. There will be  games, art and a tie dye workshop for kids too. Take advantage of the beautiful venue with a picnic made easy by several organic food trucks on site.

Insider’s Tip: Take advantage of the Free Oil Change and Recycling Kits (while supplies last).

Date/time: Sat., Apr. 7, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
Chula Vista Marina at Bayside Park
999 Bayside Pkwy.
Chula Vista, Ca 91910
Online: chulavistaca.gov/departments/clean/south-bay-earth-day

photo: Alta Vista Botanical Gardens

Earth Day Festival at Alta Vista Gardens

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens is hosting a free family celebration of nature for Earth Day. Explore the beauty of this 14-acre garden that will be decked out with lots of family fun including planting, recycled art, hands-on worms, painting "Earth Day Rocks!" and games. Learn about how you can go green at the many booths sharing earth-friendly ideas. Get your own garden off to a healthy start with a plant and pottery sale featuring natives, flowers, veggies, rare plants and gardening advice. There will be live acoustic music and a BBQ lunch to make for a great picnic. Don’t miss the collection of towering sculptures and Children’s Garden.

Date: Apr. 21, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost: Free
Alta Vista Gardens
1270 Vale Terrace Dr.
Vista, Ca
Online: altavistabotanicalgardens.org

photo: Creek to Bay

16th Annual Creek to Bay Clean Up

I Love a Clean San Diego is hosting Earth Day clean ups in your neighborhood or at your family’s favorite natural spot. Show your appreciation for San Diego’s environment by volunteering. There are more than 100 sites throughout the county that need caring conservationists. Last year, volunteers cleaned up 150,000 pounds of trash at the event! Kids can join in a“Bling your Bucket” contest and win awards. Register for the event beginning April 1st. Don’t wait! This event fills up fast!

Date: April 21, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Online: http://www.creektobay.org/index.php

photo: Birch Aquarium

SEA Days: Science! Exploration! Adventure!

Offering the best views of the Pacific in town, Birch Aquarium is the perfect spot to remind your family that Earth Day is every day. With aquarium admission, you’ll get access to the touch pools, the massive kelp forest aquarium and many hands-on exhibits exploring climate change. Want to meet a real scientist? SEA Days offers the opportunity to talk with an oceanographer and learn about our impact on the watershed. Check out tools, photos and specimens from the field. Get hands-on with a model watershed and make a conservation based craft.

Date: Apr. 21, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost: $18.50/adult $14/child; Military $2 discount per ticket; SEA Days free with admission
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, Ca
Online: aquarium.ucsd.edu/events/2018/sea-days-earth-day

photo: Don Boomer

Oceanside Earth Day Festival

Join North County’s Earth Day Celebration in Oceanside loaded with fun and educational activities for all ages. Visit the Home Improvement Zone and learn how to make your home greener with sustainable landscaping and alternative energy. Get kids excited to save water, recycle right and enjoy the great outdoors in the Eco-Kids Zone through engaging hands-on activities.  Shop local in the Vintage Market and find unique upcycled fashion and home goods. Learn to speak for the trees in the Arbor Day area.

Insider’s Tip: Ride your bike to this Earth Day Festival and enjoy free bike valet parking with Bike/Walk Oceanside.

Date: Apr. 14, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost: Free
Downtown Oceanside
Corner of Pier View Way & Tremont St.
Oceanside, Ca
Online: http://visitoceanside.org/events/earth-day-festival/

photo: Ecology Center

Carlsbad Earth Day Celebration

Love innovation and forward-thinking? Orange County’s dynamic Ecology Center is hosting an event showcasing their creative ideas at The Cole Library. Enjoy a low-key day surrounded by arts, live music and environmental booths. Learn something new at a gardening class or at a free composting workshop. There’s even a time to Crop swap: bring your crops, herbs and plants to swap with other garden enthusiasts. Kids won’t want to miss the 32-foot double-decker bus featuring hands-on environmental education.

Insider’s Tip: You must preregister for the composting workshop.

Date/time: Apr. 21, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Cost: Free
Georgina Cole Library
1250 Carlsbad Village Dr.
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
Online: theecologycenter.org/resources/event/carlsbad-compost-workshop-2/

photo: San Elijo Lagoon

Lagoon Platoon at San Elijo Ecological Reserve

Get your hands dirty at San Elijo by helping with habitat restoration. Led by a Conservancy naturalist, you’ll receive a brief tour and reap the rewards of seed collecting, planting and invasive species removal. All the tools you’ll need to help out are provided. Love this activity? It takes place every 3rd Saturday of the month.

Insider's Tip: Minors need to sign a waiver and bring it before participating. Find the waiver here.

Date: April 21, 9 a.m.- noon
San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve
2710 Manchester Ave.
Encinitas, Ca

San Diego Earth Fair

Celebrate Mother Earth and learn how your family can better protect the planet at the world’s largest free environmental fair in Balboa Park. Don’t miss the Kid’s Earth Parade at 10:30 a.m. running along The Prado from theNAT to the Art Museum. Kids in groups of three or more can participate by dressing up and carrying signs with their message to protect the Earth. Consider doing this with a team, club, or scout troop. Or just cheer on kids who love the Earth! Family-friendly activities such as crafts, face painting, games and storytelling will take place in the children’s area just in front of the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater.

Insider’s Tip: Go green by taking public transit to the event. You’ll be glad to avoid the traffic. For information on transportation click here.

Date/times: Sun., April 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free
Balboa Park
Park Blvd. and President’s Way
San Diego, Ca
Online: earthdayweb.org

Where are you celebrating Earth Day with your kids? Share in the comments.

–Cherie Gough


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