Of course, the first recommendation is to visit The New Children’s Museum! Besides the current exhibition, TRASH, at the museum, there are many things going on around the county. Check out this list to find a few we think are especially cool.
Healthy Heart Kick-Off Party — The New Children’s Museum will host this event on Saturday, Jan. 29, from noon until 4 p.m., marking the start of the two-month-long “Howe” Healthy is Your Heart Drawing Contest. For a second year, the Bill Howe Family of Companies has partnered with the American Heart Association to increase awareness of child obesity and encourage healthy habits at home.
“Obesity is a major health problem in the country and 1 out of 5 children are obese,” said Dr. David Ostrander, Ambassador for the American Heart Association. “This contest and the kick-off party are great ways of creating awareness for kids and their families.”
During the event, guests can draw an image of a healthy heart and have the chance to win great prizes. Children and their families also will be able to chat with doctors, take a turn at the prize wheel and enjoy a day at museum. Free tickets are limited and available on a first-come first-serve basis here.
The contest runs from Feb. 1 to March 30 and contestants have the chance to win one of the following prizes: a grand prize including a $300 gift card to Toys “R” Us and tickets for the winner and his/her parents to the American Heart Association’s Heart Beach Ball at the Hotel del Coronado where the winner and winning drawing will be recognized; three runners-up will each receive a $100 gift card to Toys “R” Us. Additionally, every participant will receive the “Heart Health at Home” guide filled with fun ways to stay active and healthy at home.
New Year’s Day Concert — You can head to Balboa Park today to help celebrate the 97th anniversary of this city treasure at 2 p.m. The festivities include a special birthday concert by Carol Williams, Civic Organist, along with the House of Scotland Pipe Band. For a detailed look at the program, click here.
Out and About — Come enjoy The New Children’s Museum for free on the second Sunday of every month. Target Free Second Sunday this month will be January 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special activities and performances are available throughout the day. This month there will be a special book reading at 2 p.m. by child author Josh Herz reading “Nimpentoad,” a story written by him and his father and brother that emphasizes teamwork, creativity and leadership. For museum hours, admission and more information, click here.
Whale Watching — You know it’s winter when it’s time for the annual whale-watching trips, offered by many organizations in San Diego. Birch Aquarium is one that offers trips out on the water twice daily between now and April 15 to locate gray whales on their round-trip migration from their Alaska feeding grounds to Baja California. Cost is $17.50–$40 for the adventure, run several times daily. For all the local offerings, just search Google for whale watching in San Diego and find the one that is best for your family. RSVP to Flagship Cruises & Events at (619) 234-4111 or online.
Roots of Reeds — Centuries before oboes, clarinets, and saxophones came to America, cultures in the Middle East, Persia, Central and East Asia were inventing and playing a wide variety of reed instruments. As they traveled, they brought along these instruments and many of our modern instruments are descendants of these early folk instruments. The exhibition, on display at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, presents an overview of the entire reed instrument family and highlights rare and unique examples of instruments from Asia and the Middle East comparing and contrasting them with modern day instruments made in Europe and the U.S. One highlight is a collection of Asian free reeds or mouth organs that are displayed side by side with commercially produced, colorful examples of European free reeds including the harmonica, concertina, bandonion, accordion, and reed organettes, dating back to the 1800s. Additional activities include a series of concerts, educational workshops, and demonstrations showcasing some of the rare instruments in action. Click here for details.
Hush, Hush, Somebody’s Calling My Name — This free event, scheduled for 2–3 p.m. on January 14 at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park, features the Black Storytellers of San Diego. They will provide a musical presentation, oral history stories and a documentary about the stories of others who remember growing up in San Diego County after Black Americans first moved West. As early as the mid-1800s, with the promise of freedom and opportunity to reinvent one’s life, some settled in the Julian Mountains, while others called Coronado and La Jolla home. The migration West has continued through the years bringing families from east of the Mississippi. For more information, click here.
Ballroom with a Twist — This Winter Pops Concert by the San Diego Symphony is more of a mom-and-dad date night than a family affair. On January 20–21, at 8 p.m., Matthew Garbutt conducts as the stage is filled with dancers doing the tango, cha-ha, samba, rumba, waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, jive … and then some. Conceived and choreographed by Dancing with the Stars’ Emmy-nominated Louis van Amstel, “Ballroom with a Twist” promises an evening of grace, athleticism and passion, featuring a cast of international dancers and several American Idol finalists. Tickets range from $20–$85. For more information, click here. For a sneak peek, watch this video.
Wildlife Walk — The South Bay Salt Works has more than 20 salt ponds used to extract salt from sea water by evaporation. This area is part of San Diego National Wildlife Refuge and is normally closed to the public because of migrating, wintering, and nesting birds. The Salt Works is open for once-per-month guided walks led by San Diego Audubon docents during fall and winter months. This month’s free event is January 14, beginning at 11 a.m. You are likely to see Brants, eight to 10 species of ducks, Peregrine Falcon, Belding’s Savannah Sparrow and, perhaps, 30 other species. Birders will have a choice of walks on flat terrain. One walk is 2½ miles and will retrace its route. The other is approximately 5 miles and will walk the perimeter of the levees. For more information, including directions, click here.
Underwater Adventures — Underwater Parks Day at SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium at Legoland is part of the third annual such celebration by Southern California aquariums to explain the need for Marine Protected Areas that replenish fish populations and restore the health of coastal waters. So, on January 21, young ocean enthusiasts at SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium will learn about Marine Protected Areas or “Underwater Parks.” SEA LIFE will host fun, kid-friendly activities including prize giveaways, a special underwater dive show, an educational craft event, a conservation expo with hands-on exhibits and more. Cost is $15 for children ages 3 to 12 and $20 for adults. Parking is $5. For more information, go here. For more locations celebrating Underwater Parks day, click here.
Will Writing Workshop — It’s not something you want to think about but it’s something you must plan for. What happens to your children if something happens to you? Every parent should have, at the very least, a will, designating who will be guardian of your children if something happens to you. Find out how at this informative workshop, sponsored by Parent Connection and scheduled for Monday, January 23, from 7–9 p.m., in the Walker Room at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla’s Schaetzel Center. Attorneys from the estate planning firm DenHerder & Associates will teach you the ins and outs of wills vs. living trusts and by the end of the evening you will have completed your own holographic will, with guardianship designations. This event is free for Parent Connection members and $10 for nonmembers. Register here.
Family Arts and Literacy Connection Night — On January 26, join Young Audiences of San Diego and The Salvation Army Kroc Center for an evening with theater artist Jerry Hager and students from San Diego State University known as the SDSU Performing Arts Troupe. “Quest” combines music, storytelling, theater and help from the audience to tell the story of nine characters who come together in search of a treasure. The audience is taken to the magical land of “Quest” where each character tells his or her story of what happens when you follow your heart to find your dream. The program takes place in the multipurpose room located at 6605 University Avenue at 6:30 p.m. and is designed to inspire the reluctant reader. Free evening programs throughout the year foster a cooperative spirit and enable parents and children to create and learn together – for free. The evening has a specific social science theme and includes a 30-minute performance, a 50-minute “hands-on” activity, and at the end of the evening each family receives a new book. Click here for more information.
If you have events you’d like us to consider for the calendar, please e-mail them to: email@example.com by the 20th of the month for us to include in the following month’s calendar. Also, please send any artwork that we can use with your listing.