Between the Lunar New Year and Groundhog Day, there’s not a shortage of things to do in Southern California this weekend. Teach your kids about Chinese New Year by attending one of several events to celebrate the holiday. Learn all about the groundhog at Pretend City and find out if we’re heading into an early spring or longer winter. Kids can also get a head-start on Valentine’s Day preparation at the New Children’s Museum. It’s also a weekend of singing, bands and sing-alongs. Have a great weekend!


San Diego

Tet Festival
Celebrate Tet Festival – the Vietnamese New Year celebration — with fun for whole the family including carnival rides, games, authentic Vietnamese food, lion dancing and firecrackers. The entertainment programs include Miss Vietnam of San Diego and a Cultural Village to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture. Fri. – Sun., 11 am – 5 pm, Mira Mesa Community Park, Free. All ages. Event details.

Lunar New Year Festival
This festival includes 16 carnival rides, games, contests, live entertainment and food from all over Asia is available for guests to enjoy. Fri. – Sun, times vary by day, Qualcomm Stadium, $4/kid; $5/adult. All ages. Event details.

Vons Handmade Holidays: DIY Valentines
Design a card for someone you love! Use re-purposed paper and fabric scraps to create a one of a kind note to show you care. Fri. – Sun., 10 am – 4 pm, The New Children’s Museum, Free with admission. All ages. Event details.

Classical Melodies Balboa Park
Every weekend the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory’s ensembles fill Casa del Prado with classical music. Visitors are invited to observe these rehearsals and share the musical journey of student musicians ages 8-25. This is a wonderful treat to enhance any visit to Balboa Park. Sat. and Sun., 8:45 am – 7:15 pm, Casa del Prado – Rooms 207 and 205, Free. All ages. Event details.

North County

1st Marine Division Bands Patriotic Show
Camp Pendleton’s finest musicians will return to entertain audiences during the 1st Marine Division Band’s free annual patriotic concert. While the primary mission of the band is to provide musical support for military parades and ceremonies, its musicians also perform at more than 300 commitments each year, including the annual concerts at the Center. Fri. ,7 – 8:30 pm, California Center for the Arts, Escondido, Free. All ages. Event details.

Silly Sing Along
Bring the kiddos to Java Mama and drink coffee, read the paper and relax while the young ones dance and sing to live children’s music.  Some of the kid’s favorite songs include Alice the Camel, You are My Sunshine, 5 Little Monkeys and more. Sat., 11 am, Java Mama Cafe, Free with $3.50 play pass. All ages. Event details.

Orange County

Shaolin Kungfu and Kids Kungfu Class
Introduce your kiddos to the Chinese culture and language through a beautiful martial arts presentation from Shaolin Kungfu. This demonstration will show the beauty of classic martial arts movements such as defense and wrestling. Kids will have the opportunity to experience and practice this movement through a demo KungFu for kids class. Fri., 11 am – 12:30 pm, Pretend City Children’s Museum, $12.50/person. All ages. Event details.

Celebrate Chinese New Year
Kids have never had so many reasons to learn some traditions associated with ringing in the new Chinese New Year. Understanding a variety of cultures and values becomes ever more essential to our next generation. Your kiddo will get a glimpse into the Chinese culture with activities like creating tangram magnets to lucky red wallets; participate in a Dragon Dance; and listen to story time followed by a custom and specialized handprint dragon activity. Fri. 10 am – 3 pm, Pretend City Children’s Museum, $12.50/person. All ages. Event details.

Celebrate Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day with Punxsutawney Phil has been a part of American History since 1887. Come learn more about the history of Groundhog Day while participating in fun activities throughout the museum to celebrate! Kids will enjoy the tale of Gregory’s Shadow; have poetry play with Little Groundhog; craft a Phil on the Hill groundhog to predict the weather; and learn about weather and seasons. Sun., 11 am – 4 pm, Pretend City Children’s Museum, $12.50/person. All ages. Event details.

What are you doing this weekend? 

–Leah R. Singer

Photo courtesy of CCK_mom via Creative Commons