It’s the middle of August, which means back-to-school is just around the corner. But before you start cleaning backpacks and making lunches, there are plenty of events happening in Southern California where you can still enjoy the outdoors, warm weather, and the days of summer. Bring the family to the circus, take the furry friends to the Cardiff Dog Days of Summer, or have your little scientist learn all about fossils with Little Naturalists. Happy Summer Weekend!


San Diego

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Present Built to Amaze
Families will love this new circus act from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. The new show – Built To Amaze! — is an extraordinarily engineered circus experience custom-built for family fun with amazing blueprints assembled imagination and spectacular performances. The show also features the  high-wire acrobats, daredevil stunts on The Steel Vortex, the youngest female Human Cannonball, remarkable hand-balancing duos, the always hilarious Clown Alley. Thurs. – Sun., times vary, Valley View Casino Center, Prices vary. All ages. Event details.

Desserts in a Jar Cooking Adventure
Little chefs are invited to A Desserts in Jars Adventure where they will make Campfire Bars in a Jar. The event includes the dessert in jar activity, a copy of the Desserts in Jars book for each girl to take home, and a chance to learn more about nutrition and food industry careers from Chef Bridget. Reservations required. Sat., 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Fixtures Living, $21.50 per kid. All ages. Event details.

Target Free Second Sunday
Enjoy The NEW Children’s Museum for free on the second Sunday of each month, thanks to Target! Sun., 12:00 – 4:00 pm, The NEW Children’s Museum, Free. All ages. Event details.

North County

Cardiff Dog Days of Summer
Get ready for some dog-centric fun! The Dog Days of Summer is the largest dog event in SoCal! Look for an expanded dog contest this year, plus live music, a kid’s zone, and more. Sat., 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Free. All ages. Event details.

East County

Family Art Day
Enjoy a day of art for the entire family with the Center for Community & Cultural Arts at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. Free Family Art Day is a great chance for kids and families to explore this unique  exhibition and learn more about Mexican folk art and art-making. Two art projects presented by the Mingei International Museum will provide an opportunity to make art that is both fun and educational for kids and families. Sat., 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Joe & Vi Jacobs Center, Free. All ages. Event details.

Orange County

Little Naturalists: Fun Fossils
Little Naturalist programs are outdoor experiential education classes designed for little explorers! Activities are designed to encourage exploration and discovery and to enrich a kid’s emerging physical and cognitive skills. We’ll explore the Nature Center trails, stop in the shade for story time, make a craft, and visit the butterfly house! Reservations required. Fri., 10:00 – 11:30 am, Newport Beach, Environmental Nature Center, $6 ($5 for members). Ages 3 – 5. Event details.

San Clemente Street Fair
The San Clemente Street Fair and Fiesta is a unique family-friendly event with entertainment on three stages, food booths, contests and games provided by non-profit organizations. Lots of fun for the kiddos and adults! Sun., 9:00 am – 7:00 pm, San Clemente, Free. All ages. Event details.

What are you doing this weekend? Enjoying a festival, playing at the park, or getting crafty indoors?

–Leah R. Singer

Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment.