For many San Diego families, the summer months mean less time wrapped up in structured school settings, and more time to pursue out-of-the-box learning opportunities. During the summer, art-related activities abound in San Diego, providing affordable fun for the entire family. The best part is that through arts learning, kids can combat the summer slide without even realizing they are learning.
Take a break from the iPads and smartphones, pack some snacks, and check out some of these art-inspired activities in San Diego this summer.
Hullabaloo on the Waterfront
1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego
Kicked off on May 29, this popular free concert series will happen five times during the summer of 2016. Street parking is free, and the area offers a play structure and fountains to be enjoyed by all. Families are encouraged to pack food to enjoy as the sun sets and the music of the kid-friendly, award-winning, two-man band plays on. Listen to some of Hullabaloo’s songs before attending, and encourage your kids to sing along with their favorite tunes live.
Passport to the Pacific
Chula Vista, Living Coast Discovery Center, 1000 Gunpowder Point Drive, San Diego
Running through September 5, this free event at the Living Coast Discovery Center allows families to explore and learn about the habitats surrounding the Pacific Ocean – one of those habitat zones happens to be in our very own home region. The event features an excursion to Turtle Lagoon, where you’ll discover the world of Eastern Pacific green sea turtles. Continue the lessons at home by asking your kids to paint, sketch, or write about what they learned at the Discovery Center.
Free Craft Saturday
Lakeshore Learning, 7510 Hazard Center Drive, San Diego
No reservations are required for this event for children age 3 and up that runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday. Your kids can spend their Saturday morning creating something unique that they’ll be proud to bring home and show the family. Some of the summer crafts planned for 2016 include a crafty bird feeder, a paper rocket ship, and a crab headband. Incorporate small lessons here and there as you craft, teaching your child about the birds that your new feeder will attract, or the various planets that your artsy rocket ship could visit.
Coronado Summer Concert Series
Spreckels Park, 601 Orange Avenue, Coronado
These free concerts are held on Sunday nights during the summer, and this year promises a variety of musical talents, including a community band, a soul group, a piano rock cover band, and more. Ask your kids to name which instruments are being played up on the stage, and see if they can recognize the different sounds that come from each one. You might find a sparked interest in your child to try music lessons for a particular favored instrument. The entire Coronado Summer Concert Series runs from May 29 to September 11, 2016.
Guided Nature Walk
Mission Trails Regional Park, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego
Learn more about San Diego’s natural beauty at this free event that runs from 9:30 a.m. to 11 every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday morning. The walk winds along the Oak Grove Loop, where you’ll see rare oak trees and several woodland habitats. Closed-toe shoes are recommended, and the walks are canceled if it’s raining. Gather leaves and other natural craft supplies as you go (check with the guide first, to make sure it’s okay), and then create something artistic with it at home.
Gazin’ with the Experts
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, San Diego
Hosted by the San Diego Astronomy Association, this free event on the first Wednesday of every month features sky viewing with large telescopes and expert commentary. Let your little astronomers get their first glimpses of the cosmos, and learn about our solar system. Telescopes are set up on the north side of the center’s main building, near the Balboa Park fountain, and attendees can usually spot planets and the moon.
Family Days at the San Diego Museum of Art
1450 El Prado, San Diego
Take advantage of this free opportunity to interact with art in fun, hands-on ways. Family Drop-In Days at The San Diego Museum of Art take place on the first Sunday of the month from 1 to 3 p.m. You and your little tykes can participate in activities inspired by the works on display. Go on a family-friendly tour, a hunt to find specific items in the museum, or even make some art yourself. Your kids will have fun touching, creating, and learning as they go.
Get Artsy This Summer
The summer months offer a fantastic opportunity for your kids to try out some new activities without a school-year-long commitment. Take advantage of the schedule-free days to delve into the wealth of arts options in San Diego – and see what your kids take a liking to. Whether it’s through music lessons, theater camp, art classes, or poetry seminars, the arts offer a great way to combine fun and learning. Plus, your child may find a new hobby or passion to continue exploring in the fall.