September 2018: 10 Family-Friendly Events in San Diego
Labor Day is over, marking the unofficial end of summer. But one of the best things about San Diego is that it never has any shortage of fun outdoor events, no matter what the calendar says.
Extend your summer fun into September with these fantastic, affordable events that will have your whole family jumping for joy!
- San Diego International Children’s Film Festival
If you missed the San Diego International Kids’ Film Festival in August, don’t worry — it continues this month on September 8 at the Chula Vista Library. Bring the kids to check out over 50 short films and animation from around the world! Films are suitable for all ages, and admission is free.
- San Diego Bayfair
San Diego Bayfair has offered a unique family festival experience at Mission Bay Park for more than 40 years. This year’s World Series of Powerboat Racing, which takes place on September 14-16, offers spectators a breath-taking race schedule, incredible action sports, America’s Finest BBQ State Championships, a family-friendly beach party, and live music.
- Old Town San Diego Fiestas Patrias
On September 15, Old Town State Park hosts an authentic Mexican Independence Day celebration. The annual Fiestas Patrias commemorates the rich, diverse culture of Mexican California by delighting families with a colorful parade, living history demonstrations, crafts, traditional music and dance groups, tasty food and drink, and piñatas for children.
- Latino Book & Family Festival
Head on over to MiraCosta College in Oceanside on September 15 to experience the largest gathering of authors in North San Diego County history. This educational, fun festival includes over 20 workshops, author panels and meet-and-greets, storytelling, Mexican folktales, a children’s stage with musicians and dancers, and tons of free activities for the kids.
- 25th Annual Classic Longboard Surfing Contest
Even if you don’t have the faintest idea how to surf, it’s still a ton of fun watching the pros — especially those that ride the waves atop their nostalgic, vintage longboards! Come down to Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach on September 15 to witness this quintessential San Diego event, where all proceeds benefit the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego (formerly San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation).
- Oddities Exhibit at the Birch Aquarium
ComiCon may be done for this year, but never fear — the Birch Aquarium’s got your back with its Oddities Exhibit! This unique, interactive, comic book-inspired exhibit explains how millions of sea specimens allow scientists to understand what goes on in our oceans’ depths. These creatures boast “superpowers” from super vision and invisibility, to protective armor and the ability to electrically shock their prey! Runs through December.
- Family Discovery Walk at Mission Trails
There’s nothing like the great outdoors. Take your family to Mission Trails Regional Park in San Carlos on September 23 to go on a free trail guide-hosted, interactive family discovery walk. The walk focuses on fun, childhood enrichment, and capturing memorable moments in nature.
- MCAS Miramar Air Show
From September 28-30, the largest military air show in the United States takes over MCAS Miramar! This year’s theme is Honoring 100 Years of Women in the Marine Corps. Enjoy the static aircraft displays, simulation rides, fun activities for kids, ride-and-drives, and a performance lineup of over 100 military and civilian aircraft — including the infamous Blue Angels. Parking and admission are both free!
- Subaru Kids Obstacle Challenge
This thrilling obstacle course tours cities across the U.S. to inspire and challenge kids, and forge family bonds, through adventure and obstacles. On September 29, it arrives in San Diego! Visit their website and register for the ultimate family experience, with 13-15 fun and challenging obstacles, plus lots of running, jumping, climbing, and mud. The best part is, it’s a family adventure — and parents get to run for free!
- Adams Avenue Street Fair
SoCal’s largest free two-day music festival happens every year during the last weekend in September in Normal Heights. This year on September 29-30, the 37th Annual Adams Avenue Street Fair hosts giant carnival rides, festival foods, and more than 300 arts and crafts booths, including plenty of free kids’ activities.