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20 Fun And Free Activities This Summer In San Diego

All Summer Long..

Summer Concerts in the Park

Whether you and the kids share the same taste in music, outdoor summer concerts throughout San Diego County offer an experience the whole family will enjoy. Beginning in June and continuing through the summer months, San Diegans gather in nearly every corner of the county to experience a wide variety of local musicians and artists.

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County of San Diego Summer Movies in the Park Series

Instead of staying in for a family movie night this summer or paying for movie tickets, experience the magic of viewing your favorite flicks under the stars! Neighborhoods throughout the county are presenting free, family-appropriate movies that range from recent blockbusters to timeless classics. Some of the feature presentations include “The Princess Bride” and “Toy Story 3.”

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Balboa Park’s Residents Free Tuesdays

On the first four Tuesdays of the month, park organizations on a rotating basis offer free admission to San Diego City and County residents, active military and their families. Participating organizations include the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Natural History Museum, and many more.

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The New Children’s Museum

The New Children’s Museum “environmentally sustainable” facility in downtown San Diego is a perfect place to visit on summer weekends with your kids. The museum offers free admission on the second Sunday of each month from 10 a.m to 4 p.m, sponsored by Target. Special performances and activities are also available throughout the day.

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Apple Youth Programs

While this activity may seem untraditional, to say the least, working with your kids to improve computer skills (for free!) is an incredible opportunity. Apple Retail Stores have started to offer various workshops and classes for families who want to “hone their Mac skills” this summer. Youth workshops offer families with kids (ages 6-13) a chance to collaborate on projects while simultaneously learning basic skills and Mac programs.

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House of Pacific Relations International Cottages at Balboa Park

Every Sunday in Balboa Park, open houses and lawn programs are available to the public and feature music, dance, arts, crafts and ethnic foods from nations around the globe. Each Sunday, a different nation organizes a program or performance on the lawn of the International Cottages.

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Old Town San Diego

“The Birthplace of San Diego” is home to a variety of historic buildings that are open to the public, including the blacksmith shop and the oldest schoolhouse in the city. In addition, Old Town features free events like the “Old Town Saturday Market,” San Diego’s largest weekly artisan market, or the Latin American Festival in early August.

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Mission Trails Regional Park

With nearly 6,000 acres, Mission Trails Regional Park offers over 40 miles of trails and various guided nature walks. During the summer months, the park leads summer twilight walks and “Nature Club,” a free program designed for children ages 8 to 12 that includes hiking and other nature related activities. Space is limited.

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San Diego Public Libraries

While your kids may initially resist the idea of going to the library during their summer vacation, rest assured that they will find the hundreds of free programs very enjoyable. Programs range from film screenings to story time for kids of all ages. In addition, many classes for adults, such as free yoga are available. Each branch offers different activities and events, so check your local branch.

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Lake Murray Fly-Fishing

Every Sunday, the San Diego Fly Fishers invite San Diegans to participate in a free flycasting clinic at Lake Murray. You can opt to use your own equipment or borrow a rod from one of the instructors.

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Explore the San Diego Tide Pools

Most of our Coastline is lined with sandy beaches. But there are also many tide pools that are ready to be explored! Ocean Beach and Cardiff State Beach are considered among the best tide pools in the county and make your family trip to the beach a little more exciting. The best time to visit is when the tide is low, so check the conditions before you go.

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Lawn Bowling

Instead of bowling indoors this summer, enjoy the more unconventional lawn bowling. Lawn bowling is a team game and is appropriate for all ages. The San Diego Lawn Bowling Club, located in Balboa park, offers free lessons for any San Diego County resident.

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59-Mile Scenic Drive

San Diego’s famous 59-mile scenic drive is a wonderful way to spend the day with your kids and still be back by dinnertime. The three-hour drive takes you through the city’s outstanding attractions including Cabrillo National Monument and the La Jolla Cove. While you may have visited these attractions in the past, your kids will love the road-trip feel of this drive The scenic drive is marked by blue and yellow signs posted every quarter-mile along the route.

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Seaport Village

This June, Seaport Village is hosting a variety of musical talent of multiple genres including jazz, blues, rock, folk and more. Conveniently located in downtown San Diego, Seaport Village is the perfect setting for a picnic with your family and the opportunity to enjoy quality entertainment.

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Mark Your Calendars..

7th Annual Switchfoot Bro-am (June 18th)

The Switchfoot Bro-am was designed by the Grammy award-winning rock band Switchfoot. They wanted to give back to the community and raise money for the San Diego and Oceanside chapters of “StandUp for Kids.” It’s a nonprofit dedicated to helping at-risk, homeless and street kids. While many events throughout the weekend require tickets, Saturday is free to the public and will feature a surf contest, concert, vendors and more. Spend your Saturday listening to great live music and simultaneously supporting a great cause.

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Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Flow Jam at the Wave House (June 18th)

Go to the Wave House in Belmont Park for a free day of live music, sand-sculpting and wave riding, featuring 2AM Club, Archisand and World-Class Flowriding. This unique event will also feature new Pop-Tarts flavors and Create-Your-Own S’more Stations.

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32nd Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair (June 25th)

Each summer, thousands of San Diegans make their way to OB’s Newport Avenue and surrounding blocks for a variety of music and entertainment, vendors, rides and artists. Performances on the five stages range from kids and acoustic music to jazz and blues.

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Coronado 63rd Annual Independence Day Parade (July 4th)

This Coronado tradition features floats, marching bands, horses and more with the 2011 theme of “An American Pageant.” Be sure to wake up early and get your spot along Orange Avenue for the best view of the parade.

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U.S Open Sandcastle Competition (July 23rd&24th)

The street festival begins in Imperial Beach on Saturday and is filled with entertainment, food and fun. Also on Saturday is the Kids-N-Kastles Competition which gives kids 12 and under the opportunity to construct their own sculptures. On Sunday, the main competition is held in which professional and amateur sand carvers compete with more than $21,000 in cash prizes. Sand castle building begins at 9 a.m and the festivities conclude when teams are presented with their titles and prizes at the Awards ceremony.

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27th Annual CityFest (August 14th)

More than 150,000 attendees are expected to gather in the heart of Hillcrest for this summer’s Cityfest, which offers games and activities for children, plus live headliner music for the whole family.

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