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Hairspray, Tornado Intercept Vehicle Rides, and Other Reasons to Bring the Kids

I don’t have to tell you that Balboa Park is family friendly. We’ve got swings, slides, cotton candy, and one of the most historic carousels in Southern California. But there’s even more to explore when you step inside the museums and theatres. Here are my picks for upcoming fun, educational, and inexpensive activities to enjoy with your kids.

Join the “Hairspray” Party

San Diego Junior Theatre actors have no problem stepping back several decades before they were born to perform “Hairspray: The Musical” at the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park. Recommended for people ages eight and older, the show runs Friday, July 29, through Sunday, August 14. Tickets are $8-14 and can be purchased online. 


Catch a Children’s Film Festival Flick

See live action, animation, and documentary films at the Museum of Photographic Arts this weekend when the museum hosts the 8th Annual San Diego International Children’s Film Festival. Free and open to the public, the films will be shown on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 10:30am.

See Penguins and Polar Bears (at half the cost)

Through September 5, the San Diego Natural History Museum is offering coupons for buy-one-get-one-free admission to the museum. Don’t forget to take a break from waddling like a penguin to see a showing of “Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D” (included with admission).

Climb inside a TIV

On Saturday, August 20, storm-chaser and IMAX filmmaker, Sean Casey and the Tornado Intercept Vehicle, a massive “armored tripod on wheels” used by Casey to film thrilling footage from inside a tornado, will be at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for a special appearance. Meet Sean, climb inside the TIV and take photos!
 Activities are free with admission to the Fleet.

Get Lost Inside a Fairy Tale

Also on August 20, the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet students are performing “Fairy Tales in the Park,” a show featuring narrated excerpts from “Sleeping Beauty,” “Peter and the Wolf,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” General admission tickets are $10.

Hairspray photo credit: Ken Jacques Photography