September 2019: 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!

  1. Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon
    Join Del Mar dog lovers on Sunday, September 8th for the 14th annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon. People and pups come together for a day of fun in the sun benefiting the Helen Woodward Animal Center. On top of 70+ surfing canines, there will be a dog costume contest, live music, agility courses, and free activities for kids.
  2. Cardiff Greek Festival
    Experience Greece in your own backyard at the Cardiff Greek Festival! The weekend of September 7-8, there will be authentic Greek cuisine, traditional music, Greek dance lessons, free cooking and wine pairing classes, face painting and kid’s games. Bring the whole family on a Greek vacation, no ticket necessary.
  3. San Diego Bayfair
    San Diego Bayfair has offered a unique family festival experience at Mission Bay Park for more than 40 years. This year, the Grand Prix West powerboat race will take place during the Bayfair from September 13-15. The Bayfair offers spectators a breath-taking race schedule, incredible action sports, America’s Finest BBQ State Championships, a family-friendly beach party, and live music.
  4. Old Town San Diego Fiestas Patrias
    On September 14, 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.
  5. 26th 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 14 to witness this quintessential San Diego event, where all proceeds benefit the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation.
  6. Adams Avenue Street Fair
    SoCal’s largest free two-day music festival happens every September in Normal Heights. This year on September 21-22, the 38th 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.
  7. 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 supervision and invisibility, to protective armor and the ability to electrically shock their prey!
  8. 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 22 to go on a free guided, interactive family discovery walk. The walk focuses on fun, childhood enrichment, and capturing memorable moments in nature.
  9. MCAS Miramar Air Show
    From September 27-29, the largest military air show in the United States takes over MCAS Miramar! This year’s theme is A Salute To First Responders. 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!
  10. Latino Book & Family Festival
    Head on over to MiraCosta College in Oceanside on September 28 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.


For all the best family-friendly local happenings, check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.

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