35 Pumpkin Recipes to Spice Up Your Fall

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Pumpkin isn’t just for lattes—at this time of year, we love incorporating the humble veggie (or is it a fruit?) into as many different recipes as we can, from savory pumpkin recipes like cheesy pasta dishes to indulgent desserts and even healthy pumpkin pie recipe. Keep reading to check out some of our favorite recipes to celebrate pumpkin season.

Iced Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Make your own PSL at home this year! We love this simple recipe from Boulder Locavore. The trick to really getting a good mix is to use cold brew. Grab the recipe here

photo: The View from Great Island

Pumpkin Pudding Cakes

If you and your crew like pumpkin pie then you'll love these warm pumpkin pudding cakes from The View from Great Island. Topped with pecans and whipped cream, these mini soufflés are a great way to branch out from your go-to pumpkin pie this holiday season. Get the recipe here

Pumpkin Butter

For the true pumpkin-heads out there, pumpkin butter is a dream come true. This version from Koti Beth is made with pumpkin puree, a little sweetener and spices, and tastes great spread on toast, swirled into yogurt or oatmeal, or dolloped on top of pancakes or ice cream. It also makes for a delicious edible gift around the holidays. To get the scoop on how it’s made, click here.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

Cheesecake meets pumpkin in this genius (and super easy) recipe from Erhardts Eat. Once the dip is whipped together, your whole crew can go to town dipping sliced apples, cookies, pretzels and graham crackers. Grab the recipe by clicking here.

Vegan Pumpkin Brownies

For a little something different, try these delish vegan brownies from Rhian’s Recipes. They’re naturally sweetened with dates and are gluten-free for sensitive tummies. To grab the recipe, click here.

Cranberry Pumpkin Banana Bread

This quick bread from Stress Baking is a total must for your autumn baking lineup. Pumpkin and banana make the bread extra moist, while cranberries add a nice tartness to balance it all out. Get the recipe by clicking here.

No-Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

Pumpkin bliss is just a few hours away, thanks to this recipe from Under the Willow Tree. It’s even vegan, so all you’ll really need is a can of coconut milk, pumpkin puree and a few spices from your pantry. Click here to get the recipe.

Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta Bake

Sunday dinner, here we come! This pasta bake from Pinch of Yum is filled with caramelized onions, plenty of pumpkin and a healthy sprinkling of cheese. It’s sure to have everyone asking for seconds. To see the recipe, click here.

The Best Pumpkin Bars

Ring in the season by making these amazing pumpkin bars from Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts. The bars are topped with a sweetened cream cheese mixture—delish! Click here to get the recipe.

An Autumnal Pasta

This awesome pasta dish from Cooktoria is sure to be an instant hit with your crew, thanks to its delicious sauce made with pumpkin, parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. If your kids aren’t into mushrooms, you can sub in Italian sausage. Get the recipe by clicking here.

BBQ Meatballs

The pumpkin in this barbecue meatball recipe from The Pretend Baker is actually quite subtle—it gives the barbecue sauce a hint of sweetness. The pumpkin-laced barbecue sauce is also added to the meatballs themselves. To get the recipe, click here.

Mac & Cheese, Please

We’ve discovered the ultimate in comfort food, thanks to Life Made Sweeter. This pumpkin macaroni & cheese is perfect for chilly fall nights, and it comes together in less than 30 minutes. Click here to grab the recipe.

Kicked-Up Oatmeal

You can’t beat a bowl of old-fashioned oats to fill hungry tummies on a crisp fall morning. This recipe from Damn Delicious will remind you how quick and easy oatmeal can be. Set toppings out the night before on the kitchen countertop and watch the breakfast magic begin as your little ones fill up on healthy fiber with a pumpkin kick. Get the recipe here.

Penne Piled with Pumpkin

Pumpkin isn’t just for sweet treats—we love incorporating it into savory dishes like this penne pasta recipe. The sweet pumpkin contrasts beautifully with the tangy goat cheese to make a drool-worthy meal. To grab the recipe, click here.

Pie for Breakfast

If you’ve got any leftover canned pumpkin on your hands, this smoothie recipe from Dishing Delish is the perfect way to use it up. It’s the next best thing to having a slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast. To get the recipe, click here.

A Super Soup

Let the kids help make this tasty Caribbean-inspired soup from Stir It Up by Ramin Ganeshram. It’s easy to throw together using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Click here to get the recipe.

Swoon-Worthy Gluten-Free Donuts

Gluten-free eating can be a challenge this time of year when all the baked goodies look and smell so tempting. Pop these easy-peasy pumpkin mini donuts from Knead to Cook in the oven and your clan will clamber to your side on Sunday mornings. Get the recipe here.

Your Autumn Munchies

After you carve your pumpkins, don’t throw out the seeds! It’s so easy to make roasted pumpkin seeds, and they’re sure to be a family favorite, whether they’re sprinkled on a salad or packed in lunches. To get all the details, click here.

Muffins for Your Minions

They’ll love a sweet muffin surprise in their snack bag. You’ll love that these beauties from Celebrating Sweets are filled with apples, carrots, pumpkin and flaxseed and topped with delicious cream cheese frosting if you please. Make a double batch and freeze half so kids can grab and go in a pinch as the busy holiday season arrives. Click here for the recipe.

photo: Jane Maynard

Pizza Night with a Twist

You’ll use a real pumpkin to pull this one-off, but no worries! Mom of three and food blogger Jane of This Week For Dinner always has busy parents in mind with her recipes. Try her great kitchen tricks to make the prep easy. Pizza night just got a whole lot more interesting! Get the recipe here.

Gooey Pumpkin Perfection

Haven't tried the pumpkin and chocolate combo craze yet? Go! Get in the kitchen ... now! We promise you'll be stuck on these Pumpkin Nutella Cookie Bars from Crazy for Crust this fall. Serve 'em warm and ooey-gooey with a tall glass of milk.  Get the how-to here and get baking!

We Love a Latte

Hosting a holiday party this year? You’ll love how this easy, delicious Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Thriving Home Blog fills your house with that I’ve-been-baking-all-day smell. All you need is a Crock Pot and a few ingredients, nothing artificial here. Get the recipe.

Pumpkin Cookies with a Healthy Twist

You don’t have to feel guilty about whipping up a batch of these cookies from This Healthy Table. Made with oats and whole wheat flour, they’re a little healthier than your average sweet treat. An optional powdered sugar drizzle gives them some extra oomph. Get the recipe by clicking here.

Take the Chill Out of Fall

Is there anything as easy and warming as a bowl of chili? This award-winning chili from Tatertots & Jello has a hint of pumpkin sweetness that sings in your mouth. Just brown the meat and onions, dump ingredients in the slow cooker and voila! Dinner is done! Try milder spices to please budding taste buds, or make this one when hosting. Football and chili anyone? Get the recipe here.

Yummy Pumpkin Blondies

We can’t resist a blondie, and this pumpkin version from Friday Is Cake Night is sure to be an instant hit with your crew. The one-bowl recipe is a breeze to make, and you can round up the kids to do the mixing. Click here to get the recipe.

Comfort Food in a Pinch

Start with a package of frozen ravioli. Stir together a few simple ingredients to make a decadent sauce. The smooth, rich flavors of this ravioli with pumpkin alfredo from Taste and Tell come together so quickly, you'll wish you'd invited company over for dinner. Get the recipe here.

The Nuttiest Treat of All

Peanut butter cup fans, take note. This fun twist on the classic from Anya’s Eats is surprisingly easy to make. And with a mix of almond butter, pumpkin and spices, it’s perfect for fall. To snag the recipe, click here.

Pancakes They'll Flip For

Everyone deserves dessert for breakfast sometimes! The yummy combo of pumpkin, cinnamon and icing will transform Saturday morning into a celebration. Serve Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes from Number 2 Pencil with warm maple syrup or drizzled cream cheese glaze. Yum! Click here to get the how-to and get flipping.

Skip the Crust

For an after-school snack that satisfies a sweet tooth without being unhealthy, you’ve got to try this pumpkin pie pudding from My Life Cookbook. It comes together in the blender in less than 10 minutes and tastes great topped with coconut cream or whipped cream. Find out how it’s made by clicking here.

photo: Tasty Kitchen

A Classic They'll Fall For

Breakfast time, lunchtime, or snack time—anytime is the right time to savor a perfect slice of pumpkin bread. Our freezer-friendly recipe serves up some zing with all the festive fall flavors of nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

One Minute, Pumpkin

You have all the ingredients in the house right now. Savor a sweet treat just for mom and dad after the kids go to bed, or have kitchen sidekicks help put these together for an after-school play date. Just a minute in the microwave and dessert is served! Click here to get the recipe from The Frugal Foodie Mama.

photo: Toddler Cafe

A Pocket Full of Pumpkin

What kid doesn't love pasta? These easy-to-make pasta pockets start with store-bought wonton wrappers and end with butter, parmesan and smiles. Try this recipe from The Playful Pantry as a unique way to use up that can of pumpkin and add a nutritious twist to their usual pasta plate.

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Pie

Nothing says fall quite like pumpkin pie, right? Thanks to Cathleen at A Taste of Madness, you're only 5 simple ingredients away from enjoying a slice of this delicious and super easy pumpkin pie. She breaks down the how-to here



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

These yummy muffins from Sara at Bitz N Giggles are pulling double-duty: you can enjoy them for breakfast or dessert! (Or both, we won't tell.) Check out the recipe and get the steps here



Pumpkin Bread

When you've had your fair share (and then some) of homemade banana bread, and you want to switch things up, check out Kristine's Kitchen for her awesome pumpkin bread recipe! The best part? It's sneakily healthy! Get the recipe here.




— Susie Foresman & Cherie Gough

Feature photo: Congerdesigns via Pixabay 



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13 Fabulous Fall Festivals to Put on Your Calendar

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As autumn arrives and the summer air cools, you and your little pumpkins can celebrate the season by enjoying one of San Diego’s many fall festivals and Oktoberfests. From chicken dances and Bavarian pretzels to hayrides, yodeling contests and fun zones for kids, read on for the best fall festival near you.

Fiestas Partias

Immerse yourself in Old Town San Diego this fall to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. Join the festivities that begin with the ringing of the bell at historic Casa de Estudillo at 11 a.m. Then let the dancing begin with historic and traditional music, crafts, games and information demonstrations that show what life was like for the early settlers in the 1800s. Then eat a taco or enchilada at famous Fiesta De Reyes and explore all the cool shops. One kid favorite is the Miner's Gems and Minerals shop where they can pan for precious stones for a fee. 

Date: Sat., Sep. 14
Time: 11 a.m.
Cost: Free admission. Bring money for food, drink, rides and vendors.

Old Town San Diego
4002 Wallace St.
San Diego, CA 92110

Pacific Islander Festival

Aloha! Experience the culture and customs of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia with entertainment, food, music and specialty crafts at the Pacific Islander Festival. From BBQ short ribs and chicken to giant slushies and banana donuts, you'll love the specialty food at this fun festival. 

Date: Sep. 21 & 22
Cost: Free admission. Bring money for food, drink and vendors.

Mission Bay's Ski Beach
Vacation Rd.
San Diego, CA 92109

Encinitas Oktoberfest

Dancing in the streets! Young movers and shakers can don their chicken hats and flap their wings to the sound of music. Even little wallflowers will join the merriment because everyone looks silly doing the Oktoberfest chicken dance. What's more, you'll find fall food like giant pretzels and German beer (for grownups of course!) with plenty of other eats. Also, there's face painting, crafts and a fun zone for half-pints and over 200 vendors selling their wares. Don't miss this fun festival!

Date: Sun., Sep. 29
Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Free admission, Bring money for food, drink and rides.

Mountain Vista Dr.
Encinitas, CA 92024

photo: El Cajon Oktoberfest

El Cajon Oktoberfest

Kick up your heels to the oom-pah music at this traditional fest where you’ll polka and waltz as well as do the chicken dance. Put on by the German American Societies of San Diego, this is the most traditional Oktoberfest in town. Enjoy classic fare like bratwurst, potato pancakes, and sauerkraut, alongside a large variety of German beers. Half-pints can nosh on pretzels, play festival games and create crafts in the Kid Zone. Sunday is chicken hat day. Wear your most outrageous chicken hat and join in the fun.

Dates: Sept. 27-29 & Oct. 4-6
Hours: Fri., 4-10 p.m.; Sat., noon-10 p.m.; Sun., noon-9 p.m.
Cost: Fri. & Sat., $10/adult; Sun., $5/adult; children are free

German American Societies Oktoberfest
1017 S. Mollison Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92020
Online: germanclubsandiego.org

La Mesa Oktoberfest

Let the good times roll! The largest San Diego Oktoberfest has a Kinder Karneval for little festival-goers with a giant Ferris wheel, rock climbing wall and an inflatable slide. Even more, you'll find a brat-eating contest and interactive art, a stein-holding contest and scavenger hunts to watch and play. For eats, there are over 50 food vendors including pizza, bratwurst, and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. Finally, visit Dachshund Village and watch the wiener dog races, a dog fashion show, howling contests and more.

Dates: Oct. 4-6
Times: Fri., 4-10 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Free admission. Bring money for food, drink, rides and other vendors.

8401 La Mesa Blvd.
La Mesa, CA 91942

Carlsbad Oktoberfest & Family Fall Festival

The Carlsbad Rotary Oktoberfest is a family tradition among locals. Join the revelry and eat apple strudel, visit the pumpkin patch, enter the yodeling contest and Halloween costume contest. You'll also enjoy face painting, a bounce house, fire engine and a stage dedicated to children's music.

Good to know: No pets allowed in the park.

Date: Sat., Oct. 5
Time: noon-9 p.m.
Cost: $15/person presale (includes meal); children 9 and under free admission (meal extra). Order presale tickets online. Price goes up the day of the event. 

Holiday Park
3400 Pio Pico Dr.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Online: rotaryoktoberfest.org

Pumpkin Festival

Fall fun! Head to Bates Nut Farm for handmade arts and crafts where up-cycled, recycled, restored, vintage, antique, and handmade wares will be offered with a large variety of jewelry, woodworking, candles, soaps, fine art, and more. Additionally, the famous Pumpkin Patch will be open so little ones can take a tractor hayride, run through the straw maze, hop on the pony rides, pet the animals, and eat up from the many choices of food. Even more, you can score fall decorations and food to take home with you.

Date: Oct. 5 & 6
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free admission. Parking $5. Bring money for food and vendors.

Bate's Nut Farm
15954 Woods Valley Road
Valley Center, CA 92082

Rendezvous in Poway

Stroll back in time to the 1800s as history comes alive at the annual Rendezvous at Old Poway Park. Cowboys and pioneers put on family-friendly reenactments of gun fights and train robberies. Pan for gold and ride the speeder train. An old time craft fair, the Nelson House and the Heritage Museum are open to explore as well. 

Dates: Oct. 5-6
Times: Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: Free, nominal fee to ride the train

Old Poway Park
14134 Midland Rd. 
Poway CA 92064
Online: poway.org

Harvest Festival

Are you a gift-giving diva? Find unique gifts and get your holiday shopping off to an early start at the Harvest Festival in Del Mar. Browse through hundreds of artisans selling jewelry, ceramics, toys and art. Strolling musicians, a cowboy on stilts and free crafts will entertain the kiddos. You’ll find lots of food options with shaded seating just outside the exhibit halls.

Dates: Oct. 11-13
Times: Fri. & Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: $9/adults; $4/kids (12-17 years); kids 12 and under free; There is a fee for parking.

Del Mar Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014
Online: harvestfestival.com

photo: Alta Vista Botanical Garden

Alta Vista Botanical Fall Fun Festival

Get the whole family into nature and share a day filled with art and music. Little ones will love relay races, bobbing for apples, a drum circle and face painting. A scarecrow decorating contest is a time honored tradition at this event. For $2, families can create their own unique scarecrow to add to the Garden’s fall ambience and win fun prizes. For the adults, there's live music, a huge plant sale and the Garden’s extensive art exhibits. Ample parking is available in the adjacent Moonlight Amphitheater parking lot.

Date: Sat., Oct. 12
Time: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Cost: Free

1270 Vale Terrace Dr.
Vista, CA 92084
Online: altavistabotanicalgardens.org

photo: Horse Heritage Festival

Horse Heritage Festival

Got a unicorn-obsessed little one at home? For a few dollars, you can enjoy a day outdoors horsing around with the next best thing—horses. San Marcos’ Horse Heritage Festival offers pony rides, a petting corral, and frontier games. There are also horsemanship demonstrations and a pumpkin patch. You’ll feel good knowing that funds raised during the event support the Horse Heritage Conservancy that connects people and horses year round and helps animals in times of emergency.

Date: Sun., Oct. 20
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: There is a cost for rides.

Walnut Grove Park
1950 Sycamore Dr.
San Marcos CA 92069
Online:  keepitequestrian.org

photo: Eder Escamilla

16th Annual Point Loma Fall Festival

Only in San Diego will you find a pumpkin patch with ocean views. Point Loma’s fall festival offers the best of autumn fun with wagon rides, a pumpkin patch, music from local musicians, and exhibit booths showcasing San Diego businesses, artisans, and nonprofit organizations. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. you can also sample food from local eateries at the Taste of Point Loma.

Good to know: The parking lot fills early, so look for the shuttle if you arrive and the structures are full.

Date: Sat. Oct. 26
Time: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Cost: Free

Point Loma Nazarene
3900 Lomaland Dr.
San Diego, CA 92106
Online: pointloma.edu

photo: Balboa Park Conservancy

Balboa Park’s Halloween Family Day

Can’t wait for Halloween to dress up? Don your costumes a few days early and join in a day of family fun in Balboa Park. Over two dozen participating museums and cultural attractions present free crafts for kids, costume parades and contests, Day of the Dead-themed activities, and tons of spooky surprises. Live music and dance performances, food trucks, and free candy round out the spooktacular day. 

Good to Know: Free admission for kids 12 and younger with each paying adult at participating museums during the event.

Date/Time: Oct. 26, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
Balboa Park
1549 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: balboaparkconservancy.org


––Cherie Gough & Nikki Walsh


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Dreaming of a Hawaiian getaway? We can’t promise you a trip to Waikiki Beach, but we can tell you about the best tropical experiences San Diego has to offer. From hula and fire dancers and fruity cocktails to shave ice and Hawaiian food served up with island flair, read on for a list of ways to channel Hawaiian vacation vibes without leaving town!

photo: Duke’s La Jolla 

Duke’s La Jolla
We love Duke’s La Jolla for its decor, ocean view and especially for being so kid-friendly. They make it super easy to dine with the keikis (kids) in tow. Duke’s awesome Keiki Bingo game serves up a scavenger hunt which awards kids with  special prizes. With the littles occupied, focus your attention on the gorgeous surroundings and enjoy a cocktail. Order delicious small bites to share like the poke tacos, Korean sticky ribs, or crab wontons or delight in some of San Diego’s finest, freshest seafood.

Insider Tip: Make a reservation, especially if you want to score an outside table.

Duke’s La Jolla
1216 Prospect St.
La Jolla, Ca 92037
Online: dukeslajolla.com

photo: Kelly Powell

Tiki Golf and Dole Whip Truck at Belmont Park
A trip to Belmont Park is always on the books for summertime fun. To add a bit of the tropics to this adventure, hit Tiki Town Adventure Golf. This 18-hole Polynesian-themed course features a talking Tiki and a volcano that erupts when someone gets a hole in one.

Read about more of our favorite miniature golf courses here.

3114 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92109
Online: tikitownadventuregolf.com

Make the day even sweeter by visiting the Dole Whip truck located directly under the Sky Ropes Adventure. The coveted Dole Whip used to only be found at the Dole Plantation in Oahu. Now this tasty, creamy treat can be yours during a trip to Mission Beach. Order an original Whip, or one swirled with vanilla soft serve, or even a float!

3146 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, Ca
Online: belmontpark.com/restaurants/dolewhip

photo: Mo H. via Yelp

Island Style Cafe
Owned and run by a Hawaiian family, this casual restaurant serves up authentic grindz in Tierrasanta. If you’re looking to eat mountains of food, relax in flip flops and plan your next trip to Hawaii, this is your spot. Enjoy huge portions plate lunch style served with mac salad. We love their Loco Moco, a hamburger smothered in gravy, and their crunchy, juicy Korean chicken. Their daily specials offer delicious variety. We recommend stopping in on a Wednesday for curry.

Insider Tips: If your favorite Hawaiian fare is traditional kalua pork, visit on a Friday, the only day it’s served. Don’t miss their homemade POG, a combination of passionfruit, orange and guava juices. Closed Mondays.

5950 Santo Rd., Ste K
San Diego Ca 92124
Online: islandstylecafe.com

photo: Shirley H. via Yelp

Wahine Kai Shave Ice
When you think of the North Shore, do you dream of light, fluffy shave ice? At this small shop, pile your shave ice high with authentic Hawaiian flavors like guava or lychee and add condensed milk or a scoop of coconut pineapple ice cream. You’ll also find great Kona coffee and an aloha spirit here, where the vibe and the tunes reflect laid-back Hawaiian culture.

10545 Scripps Poway Pkwy.
San Diego, Ca 92131
858- 831-0931
Online: wahinekaishaveice

photo: Catamaran Resort Hotel

Sunset Luaus at Catamaran Resort Hotel
For an unforgettable family outing this summer, we recommend this splurge-worthy affair. The Catamaran Hotel’s Sunset Luaus feature amazing entertainment including hula and fire dancers that create an authentic Hawaiian feel. Kids love the rhythms of the fast-paced music and interactive entertainment. Sunset Luaus have been known to call all the kiddos onto the stage to learn the hula.

Every guest receives a lei and is treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet and a mai tai for parents. Little ones will enjoy tasty choices just for them like Hawaiian chicken and pineapple and ham pizza. Luaus are held Fridays at 6 p.m. from June 22 -Aug. 31, and Tuesdays, from July 17-Aug. 21.

Insider Tip: Stick around after the luau ends to grab a photo on the lawn with the Polynesian performers.

3999 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, Ca
Online: catamaranresort.com/dining-entertainment/sunset-luaus

photo: Kara P. via Yelp

The Grass Skirt
Time for some adult conversation and a real date night? If your Hawaiian dreams are filled with tiki lounge fun and fruity drinks, head to The Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach. Its secret entrance through the freezer door of adjacent restaurant Good Time Poke starts the evening with adventure. Once inside, you’ll be immersed in a tiki world surrounded by hula girl lamps, a wall filled with glowing sculls and a tiki idol fire pit on the patio. The atmosphere is right for letting your hair down. Go ahead! Fill your glass with a tipsy tentacle made with black rum and several tropical liqueurs. Munch on their acclaimed pork belly bao buns or on an order of fresh, savory poke. The evening will have you proclaiming, “Ono!” (Delicious!)

910 Grand Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92109
Online: thegrassskirt.com

photo: Cee M. via Yelp 

Fairweather Rooftop Bar
You wouldn’t expect to find aloha vibes while watching a Padres game, but Fairweather Rooftop Bar, one of San Diego’s best rooftop locales, offers a super relaxed tropical atmosphere with a great view of the game. Succulent wall planters, tiki god beer handles and plentiful sunshine create an afternoon perfect for lounging with friends. Make it a girls’ day out and order up classic tiki cocktails complete with colorful umbrellas.

Insider Tip: The bar is upstairs from Rare Form Delicatessen.

795 J St., Fl. 2
San Diego, Ca 92101
Online: fairweatherbar.com

–Cherie Gough


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Leap into an epic day of dance, music, theatre, acrobatics, circus and puppetry performances and join in the fun via interactive workshops (acrobatic comedy, anyone?) at the San Diego International Fringe Festival’s Family Fringe Day. Your budding artists will be in their element and leave inspired after witnessing the talents of local and global performers. Read on for the details on this free event that will surely delight your kids.

What is the Family Fringe Festival?
The festival introduces kids of all ages to the joys of live performance and visual art. A network of talented Fringe artists from all over the world and within the community bring together families to celebrate the wonder of creativity. The free festival will be held in Starlight Bowl. By attending, you’ll be helping bring new life to this historic open-air amphitheater that used to host the symphony and opera. The amphitheater is undergoing a rebirth through the nonprofit Save Starlight. It hopes to host many more local arts programs in the future.

Workshops: Get Interactive
Get your bodies moving throughout the day by participating in interactive workshops in dance, acro theatre and creative movement. The Fringe Festival challenges people to go beyond their comfort zones and try something new.

  • Test your flexibility as you create interesting shapes with your bodies as a family by working with the artistic group “Flight.”
  • Rally your whole clan into roaring laughter as you create interactive acrobatic comedy with “The Bossy Flyer” from Long Beach.

Performances: Jugglers, Acrobats and Dancers!
Be inspired by talented kid performers Jam Fusion, a local, award-winning rock band. The festival will also host a railroad themed magic show, circus acrobats, hip hop dancers, theatre and puppetry. Click here to see the day’s lineup of talent.

Activity Booths: Get Creative
At Fringetivity booths, explore your artistic side as you paint a rock, make a mask and learn to face paint. Take outrageous pictures together in the family photo booth. Don’t miss: The Flying Fringelo where you catapult the festival’s mascot toward a target. Hosted by San Diego Guild Of Puppetry and local artists.

Not Just for the Kids
Family Fringe day is part of the larger San Diego International Fringe Festival, designed to help provide a platform for artists while also helping the community boost arts and culture. The festival, in its 6th year, runs from June 21 – July 1.  It features homegrown talent, artists from across the U.S. and around the world. If you love the arts, there’s so much to check out: from theatre to cabaret to comedy to dance, film and spoken word. You’ll love that 100% of ticket proceeds goes to the artists. Click here for more information and tickets.

When: June 24, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Where: Starlight Bowl, (Balboa Park, next to SD Air & Space Museum)
2005 Pan American Plaza
San Diego Ca
Cost: Family Fringe Day is free
Online: sdfringe.org/family-fringe

photos: Ron Logan

Have you been to the Fringe Festival? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

–Cherie Gough


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Before summer hits full throttle with camps, road trips and playdates at the park, reserve some time for just the two of you! This month it’s all about getting outdoors with your sweetie. From restaurants with a view, to food and beer tastings, to cooking together and an epic movie night, we’ve found what’s hot for a summer date night. Read on for where to sizzle!

photo: Rooftop Cinema Club

Rooftop Movies
Sit under a twilit sky and take in the majestic panoramic views of downtown at the new Rooftop Cinema Club. The roof of the Manchester Grand Hyatt has been transformed into an open-air movie theater with a large projection screen, deck chairs, comfy blankets and wireless headsets. Get ready to enjoy a terrific line-up of award-winning cult-classics and newer releases. Vintage concession stands add to the evening’s charm selling bites like tacos and poke nachos, local brews and California wines. Then cozy up and enjoy your film. You’ll be glad you took the time to put this memorable movie night on your calendar.

Good to know: You get free hotel garage parking with meal purchase.

Manchester Grand Hyatt
1 Market Pl.
San Diego, Ca 92101
Online: rooftopcinemaclub.com

photo: Museum of Man

International Beer Tasting at the Museum of Man
Get out of the house for a fun, relaxed evening at the Museum of Man’s event: Beer, Bir, Bjόr!  This adventure will take you on a journey to five stations in the Museum after hours. Fill your flight with five brews inspired by nations around the world, snack on savory sausages and salads and get artsy as you contribute to a beer-inspired mural.

June 7 , 6-8 p.m.
1350 El Prado
San Diego, Ca 92101
Online: museumofman.org

photo: Taste of Gaslamp

Taste of Gaslamp
Relish the delicious food of old favorites or discover a newly-established restaurant that piques your interest during the 24th annual Taste of Gaslamp. Starting in Gaslamp Square, make your way around the 24 stations, savoring bites from each participating restaurant and celebrating the great flavors of the historic quarter. A beer garden will quench your thirst in between stops. Your taste buds will thank you!

Saturday, June 16, 1-4 p.m.
Gaslamp Square (check-in)
538 L St.
San Diego, Ca 92101
Tickets online: tickets.sandiego.org/e/taste-of-gaslamp-2018

photo: Maverick’s Beach Club via Yelp

Cheers! Toast Summer’s Arrival
You’ll swoon over this airy, spacious, newly opened five-story bar and restaurant that’s the perfect spot to celebrate summer’s arrival. Maverick’s Beach Club breathes new life into what used to be PB Bar & Grill. Enjoy watching the Padres or a World Cup game on one of the many big screen TVs, meander onto one of the patios with cocktails and enjoy a lively game of corn hole, or just put your feet up while you lounge on a couch by the outdoor fireplace and take in a perfect San Diego sunset. Their food conjures Baja style: grilled shrimp, carne aside and ancho chicken fill tacos, bowls and tortas. Perfect with a margarita or beer (There are over 20 drafts).

860 Garnet Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92109
Online: http://maverickssd.com

photo: Pexels via pixabay

It’s Picnic Season
Nothing says summer like a picnic. Venissimo Cheese takes the work out of shopping and packing your goodies. Simply go online and order a “picnic pack.” A cool bag filled with two quarter-pound choices of cheese, sliced salami, crackers, fruit and a mini chocolate bar complete with napkins will be ready for you to pick up. Grab a great bottle of wine and you’re good to go. We like the idea of two beach chairs at sunset in Del Mar. Here are our fave places to put down our picnic blanket.

4 locations: Del Mar, Liberty Station, Mission Hills, N.Park
Online: venissimo.com

photo: Betty’s Fish House

Hello, Rooftop Sunsets
In Oceanside, grab a seat on the beautiful rooftop at Hello, Betty Fish House. Besides offering a stellar view of the pier at sunset, the fish house has some fun lined up for warm summer evenings. Listen to Tidal Tunes live music from 5-8 p.m. on Sundays and Tuesdays. Mondays are trivia night from 7–9 p.m. and on Wednesdays, reveal your inner wild thing with Karaoke starting at 7 p.m. Regulars love their salmon sliders, smoked fish tacos and showstopper desserts.

Good to know: Before you book a sitter, check their website to be sure the rooftop is not closed for a special event.

211 Mission Ave.
Oceanside, Ca 92054
Online: hellobettyoceanside.com

photo: Cucina Sorella via Yelp 

Get Pasta-tively Creative
Take a cooking class together and learn how to make stuffed pasta at Cucina SORELLA in Kensington. Chef Daniel Wolinsky leads these intimate workshops that accommodate only 12 people per class. For about 2.5 hours, pretend you’re in Italy living in the moment, enjoying only the freshest ingredients at your fingertips. In addition to class, you’ll savor a glass of wine and a delicious lunch. Take home the pasta you make as well as a recipe card with the perfect accompaniments.

Sun., June 24, Noon-2:30 p.m.
cucina SORELLA
4055 Adams Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92116
Book class online: urbankitchengroup.com

Where’s your favorite place to go on a summer date? Share in the comments!

––Cherie Gough


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No doubt, your kids are counting down the days ’til summer! If you’re looking for ways to fill all those unstructured days with meaningful and fun activities that stretch kids to learn something new and build confidence, we’ve got your guide to summer camps that offer unique experiences. From yoga or ninja warrior training to sewing, photography and science, read on for where to set up camp.

photo: DeLeon Dynamics

DeLeon Dynamics
If you’ve found yourself saying one too many times that the living room is not a trapeze area, then it’s time to book a camp that cashes in on your kids’ dynamic energy and teaches them some fun new skills. DeLeon Dynamics in Rancho Bernardo offers camps that feature instruction in aerial skills, tumbling, PARKOUR! and Ninja Warrior training. They’ll literally climb the walls using the gym’s silks, hoops and ropes with friendly, patient instructors to support them. Parents can rest assured that while kids are having a blast rolling, vaulting and flipping, their safety is always stressed and protected. “Safety is our number one concern. Our programs teach skills in safe progressions to increase confidence and strength – especially upper body and core,” states owner Nicole Flores. Camps consist of instruction, team-building activities, games, open gym time and craft time.

Dates: Week long camps from June 25 to Aug 10, except the week of July 4.
See website for day camp options the week of July 4.
Times: Full day 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; late pickup available at hourly rate.
Cost: $200/week, 10% sibling discount.

12335 World Trade Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92128
Enroll: deleondynamics.com

photo: Challenge Island 

Challenge Island at Rockin’ Jump
Challenge Island’s action-packed summer camps are focused around pop culture themes kids love. This year’s offerings include Super Hero, Slime Squad, Maui and Moana and Super Sleuth Camps. Parents love the activities grounded in STEAM concepts and the excellent teachers who build the all-important aspect of teamwork into each activity. Kids tackle science challenges with problem-solving, creativity and collaboration. Then, they blow off steam with new friends and get some exciting exercise on trampolines. Camps are located at Rockin’ Jump and offer kids an hour of jump time after two hours of science fun.

Dates: Week long camps starting the week of June 18 through the week of Aug. 13.
Times: Morning sessions: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. or afternoons 1-4 p.m.
Cost: $179/week

8190 Miralani Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92126
Email Director Rebecca Tanag: CISanDiego@challenge-island.com
Enroll: challenge-island.com

photo: Paintbox Studio

Paintbox Studio
Got a budding fashionista who wants to sharpen her sewing skills or a newbie who wants to try sewing for the first time? Paintbox Studio in Mission Hills offers camps that are sure to make them shine. In a small group setting (they only enroll between 7 and 15 kids each session) kids learn basic machine skills, machine threading and problem-solving. In the morning they work on a structured project: a duffle bag, a stuffed animal, or a piece of clothing. Afternoons are dedicated to “free sew” where kids can make whatever their hearts desire! Teacher Jaimee, a local mom and UC San Diego grad, has a background in clothing and swimwear design and has taught children’s art classes, sewing and needle-craft for 15 years to kids of all ages.

Dates: One week sessions beginning June 11 through Sept. 7.
Times: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost : $415/ week, 10% sibling discount, See website for extended day and early drop-off options.
Or, drop in for a day $85, or even a half day $43 to try it.

Paint Box Washington Place Studio
1101 Washington Pl.
San Diego, Ca 92103
Enroll: paintboxartstudio.com

photo: Yoga Rascals

Yoga Rascals
Do your kids thrive in a calm environment or need to practice self calming? Yoga Rascals’ campers embark on exciting yoga adventures each day in their week long camp. Students ages 5-10 learn about yoga throughout the world, practice numerous yoga poses, sun salutations, relaxation, breathing and mindfulness techniques. On the beautiful terrace and adjacent lawn, they take time for outdoor play, nature exploration, arts & crafts, yoga songs and even creating a summer camp journal.

Dates: Two weeks available: June 25-29, half day or full day; July 9-13, half day only
Times: Half day 9 a.m.-1p.m., full day 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Half day/$185; Full day/$310

La Mesa Community Center
4975 Memorial Dr.
La Mesa, Ca 91942
Enroll: yogarascals.com

 photo: San Diego Art Camp Facebook

San Diego Art Camp
Got a little Renaissance kiddo who thrives in a small group setting? San Diego Art Camp, sponsored by House of Czech and Slovak Republics at the International Cottages offers a full range of the arts in beautiful Balboa Park. Enrolling only 15 students per session, budding artists are sure to bloom as they receive the full attention of well-trained instructors.

During the week, campers discover a wide variety of art forms including photography, digital media, ceramics, music and dance. They’ll use the park as their muse taking great photos while learning about lighting and composition. Later, they’ll head to the computer lab and learn to retouch photos and create an online portfolio of their work. In addition, artists will try their hand at shaping and painting clay and they’ll enjoy world music and dance to exercise their mind and body.

Dates: 5 day camps offered the weeks of July 18, June 25, July 6 and August 13.
Times: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (Call to ask about before/after care rates)
Cost: $260/week

San Diego Art Camp
2170 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, Ca 92101-4792
Enroll: sandiegoartcamp.com

Do you know of a unique summer camp for kids? Share in the comments!

––Cherie Gough


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If your kid has food allergies, dining out can be both difficult and scary. Since 1 in 13 kids in the U.S. has a food allergy we’ve researched where your family can find safe and delicious accommodating meal options in San Diego. The following restaurants have well-labeled menus and well-trained staff that cater to diners who have food allergies. It’s wise to call ahead with questions, speak with the chef or manager when ordering, expect some variations between locations and realize menus may change. For now, read on to discover a new place to take your kids to have a yummy, worry-free meal! Allergy-friendly breakfasts, lunches, dinners and divine treats ahead!

photo: John C. via Yelp

The Cottage
Enjoy beautiful patio seating, a kids menu, exceptional service and an award-winning brunch where attention to detail and time spent to get allergy orders right is the norm. Go early and use the Yelp app to “reserve” a seat during the breakfast rush to minimize wait time.

Menu Highlights: Stuffed French toast, eggs Benedict, fresh muffins.
Allergy Friendly features: Gluten-free and Vegan “Exceptions” menu, highly-trained staff, celiac safe.

7702 Fay Ave.
La Jolla, Ca 92037
Phone: 858-454-8409
Online: cottagelajolla.com

The Trails Eatery
At this cozy neighborhood restaurant, rest assured food is delicious and safe to eat. We especially love breakfasts here. Produce is perfectly fresh. On busy weekend mornings, grab a free mug of coffee outside while you wait for a table.

Menu Highlight: “Sin”-namon Roll Pancakes are fluffy and covered in decadent swirl icing.
Allergy Friendly Features: Gluten-free menu, celiac safe, vegan substitutions, dedicated prep and storage area,  knowledgable wait staff. Nut allergies: Avoid fried foods.

7389 Jackson Dr.
San Diego Ca 92119
Phone: 619-667-2233
Online: thetrailseatery.com

photo: Lena Y. via Yelp

Plant Power Fast Food
When you want life to feel normal again, look to Plant Power Fast Food. They offer kid favorites like burgers, fries and shakes and adults rate them highly too–– for taste, efficiency and commitment to health. Their plant-based menu items contain no animal products , GMOs or preservatives. Grab a bite via the drive through to take home like any other family after baseball practice… without the worry.

Menu Highlights: The Big Zac (think McDonald’s counterpart), Voodoo fries smothered in chili chez goodness. Kids love the The ‘chicken’ tenders and root beer float.
Allergy Friendly features: Online link to allergen info including soy, nuts, and gluten.

2204 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92107

411 Santa Fe Dr.
Encinitas, Ca 92024
Online: plantpowerfastfood.com

Tender Greens
Count on Tender Greens for seasonal menu items using locally sourced produce. Choose a main and how you’d like it served: on a plate, sandwich or salad. Enjoy patio seating, fresh ingredients and affordable prices.

Menu highlights: Fresh roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, super fresh salads piled high.
Allergy Friendly Features: Find an online menu for each location with detailed allergen info, recommendations for salad dressings without allergens and warnings about items with possible cross-contamination.

4 locations: UTC, Mission Valley, Liberty Station and Downtown
Online: tendergreens.com

photo: Ryan H. via Yelp

Everything at this North County gem is made gluten-free. Nothing on the menu contains corn or soy either, so this is a haven for those with food allergies. They also boast vegan and dairy free items. Order at the counter and enjoy eating without a care in the bright, cheery dining area with friendly staff. You’ll love the freedom of being able to order anything from the menu filled with comfort food.

Menu Highlights: Baguettes, quiche, soups. Don’t miss the bakery counter brimming with apple and mixed berry pies and tons of cupcake choices: lemon, raspberry coconut, strawberry with divine icing.
Allergy Friendly Features: No gluten, corn or soy used. Many items can be made dairy free. Celiac safe.

2 locations: Encinitas and Rancho Bernardo (note, they are closed on Mondays)
Online: 2good2b.com

Phil’s BBQ
Sit down at a booth, enjoy the game on one of the many big screens and relax with a huge plate of ribs. Phil’s acclaimed BBQ can be safely enjoyed by those allergic to egg, nuts, dairy, fish and gluten. When ordering, let staff know of allergens and how you’d like food handled and plated.

Good to know: Phil’s sauce is too spicy for many kids. Ask for sauce on the side.

Menu Highlights: Ribs, slaw, pulled pork, Phil’s BBQ sauce
Allergy Friendly Features: They have a dedicated fryer that handles freshly cut fries only. Most items on the menu can be prepared to meet allergy needs. Review their allergy menu before heading to the restaurant.

Locations: Sports Arena, San Marcos, Santee, Rancho Bernardo
Online: philsbbq.net

True Food Kitchen
You’re in good hands when ordering at True Food Kitchen. The menu clearly notes gluten-free and vegan choices. Knowledgeable waitstaff help customize your meal to accommodate allergies. Watch chefs prepare fresh, delicious meals in their open floor plan and open kitchen.

Menu highlights: Several vegan pizzas served flatbread style (gluten-free crust may be subbed in for any pizza on the menu). Their kid menu includes burgers, pizzas and sandwich options.
Allergy Friendly Features: Peanut free restaurant, When alerted of an allergy, kitchen uses separate utensils and prep area. Menu clearly labeled.

2 locations: Mission Valley, UTC
Online: truefoodkitchen.com

photo: Helene S. via Yelp 

Starry Lane Bakery
This dedicated facility, free of all of the top 10 food allergens, is a big winner with families dealing with allergies. The bakery carries 10 different cupcake flavors daily as well as scones, fresh fruit tortes, cinnamon rolls and breads. If you have a kid with allergies, make a special day out and enjoy their warm, welcoming atmosphere and a children’s table filled with crayons, books and board games.

Menu highlights: Pretzel buns, specialty cupcakes, holiday-themed pies and cookies
Allergy Friendly Features: Strict policies against outside food or drink. Eat safely without cross contamination. Full ingredient list available online

3925 4th Ave.
San Diego Ca 92103
Phone: 619-328-0500
Online: starrylanebakery.com 

Photo: Christina W. via Yelp

Bricks Family Restaurant
We love that this restaurant, located in the LEGOLAND Hotel, takes on the responsibility to keep guests safe by asking each party as they arrive if anyone has a food allergy. If the answer is yes, the chef visits the table and gives a huge variety of options that will be prepared fresh. Breakfast is included with hotel reservations, but families can eat here without being registered hotel guests. Great for a special birthday celebration where your little one can eat anything and be surrounded by awesome LEGO decor!

Menu highlights from the regular buffet: Made-to-order omelette station and kid-sized buffet station. Allergen free muffins and pancakes.
Allergy Friendly Features: Well-trained wait staff and kitchen staff. Chef speaks directly to table to accommodate allergies. Food is made fresh to order to keep guests safe.

5885 The Crossings Dr.
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
Phone: 760-444-5623
Online: legoland.com/hoteldining

photo: Bean Sprouts

Bean Sprouts Cafe
Located within The New Children’s Museum downtown, this awesome cafe offers playful, healthful options with kids in mind. The cafe even won the Best Food Allergy Innovation Award! They cater to kiddos with food allergies or diet preferences by offering vegetarian and vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free, nut-free, egg-free, and soy-free menu items. Choose sandwiches cut into creative, enticing shapes with names like Flutterbite and Grilledzilla. Pizza, hummus and fun snacks and treats are available too.

Menu Highlights: Their Imaginnibbles menu is at kid height. The Sunbutter and organic jam sandwich is an instant crowd-pleaser.
Allergy Friendly features: Online access to allergen info.  Safe choices available for nut-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan and gluten-free.

200 W. Island Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92101
Online:  beansprouts.com/cafe

––Cherie Gough

Where do you take kiddos with food allergies to dine out in San Diego? Share with other parents in the comments.


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Is boho chic your signature style? Do you find midcentury modern decor dreamy? Having an affinity for and buying vintage items keeps the earth green and is a great way to support local businesses. Whether you’re a hippie or a hipster at heart, we’ve found the coolest places all over town to buy 80s toys, amazing vintage bags and home decor–– even some dress-up for your next themed party! Read on for where to score some sweet vintage finds from boutiques to flea markets.

Vintage Fashion

photo: Tracie M. via Yelp 

Bad Madge & Company
The owner of this beautiful shop has a background in fashion and it shows. Vintage lovers will find a carefully curated collection of fashion, accessories, shoes, hats, collectibles and home goods. You’ll be inspired at this creative boutique to finding that perfect, quirky gift. Shoppers love their reasonable prices and personable, helpful staff.

2205 Fern St.
San Diego, Ca 92104
Online: badmadge.com

Frock You Vintage Boutique
Frock You will rock your wardrobe with authentic vintage outfits in mint condition. They organize outfits by decade and have a terrific collection of items from the 60s and 70s. Don’t miss their outdoor discounted racks with clothing and jewelry bargains. Can’t get enough vintage? Follow them on social media to find out about their ‘Huge Frocking Sales’ to score a bargain.

4121 Park Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92103
Online: frockyouvintage.com

Toys From Yesteryear

photo: Replay Toys via Yelp

Replay Toys
There’s something magical about sharing the love of your favorite toys with your own kids. Go on a treasure hunt for Strawberry Shortcake, Lite-Brite or Cabbage Patch kids at Replay Toys. Take a trip down memory lane as you spy shelves loaded with old favorites you’ll you’ll love and remember from your own childhood.

Good to know: Got a Littlest Pet Shop fan in the house? You’ll find just what you’re looking for among the shop’s great collection.

2920 North Park Way
San Diego Ca 92104
Phone: 619-294-5904
Online: http://replaytoysboutique.com

Everything Under the Sun: Flea Markets

photo: San Diego Vintage Flea Market via Facebook

San Diego Vintage Flea Market
In hipster heaven, AKA North Park, on the first Sunday every two months, a parking lot transforms into the coolest vintage flea market in town. Looking for bell bottoms? An antique tea set? Some rockin’ furniture? You’re bound to find it here. Upcoming market dates this year: May 6, July 1, Sept. 2, and Nov. 4.

Good to know: Bring cash. Not all vendors accept credit. Unless you’ve got major parking karma, pay to park in the garage across the street to save yourself some hassle.

Location: In the parking lot behind The Observatory.

Read our guide to exploring North Park with your family here.

2891 University Ave.
San Diego, Ca
Online: sdvintagefleamarket.com

Lucky Street Productions & Marketplace 
Every Saturday and Sunday, a warehouse full of amazing vintage finds opens its doors to bargain seekers. This Oceanside gem is filled to the brim with estate sale fine jewelry, retro furniture, collectibles and more. The place is huge and can be overwhelming at first. (Just leaves more to explore next time). There’s something for everyone here. Keep this one in mind when you need a unique gift.

1722 South Coast Highway #3
Oceanside, Ca 92054
Online: luckystreetproductions.com

Country Chic

photo: The Local Mercantile via Facebook

The Local Mercantile
The owner of this East county gem has turned an old feed store barn into a beauty of a boutique lit with chandeliers. You’ll find fun home decor, kitchenware galore, jewelry and accessories here. In addition to vintage shabby chic, look for their collection of up-cycled, repurposed furniture and decor from local artisans. If you love to create a one-of-a-kind look, this is your store.

13277 Hwy. 8 Business
El Cajon, Ca 92021
Online: facebook.com/The-Local-Mercantile

Home Sweet Home Decor

photo: Love Seat Vintage Furniture via Yelp

Love Seat Vintage Furniture
Love online shopping but hate the regret when something isn’t just right? Loveseat Vintage’s no hassle shopping has solved this problem. Their eclectic collection has everything you need to express your unique home style: armchairs, ottomans, lamps and coastal decor.

Here’s how it works: Browse their inventory online (It’s organized by style and type of furniture), pay online, go to the warehouse and try it out in person, love it and take it home (or have it delivered), or leave it and get a full refund. If you prefer, show up at the store and browse. You’ll find clean, quality items that are well-organized, everything you need to furnish your unique home.

Good to know: Make an offer instead of paying full price for most items. Be sure you love it! Zero returns after furniture leaves the store.

5035 Shawline St
San Diego, Ca 92111
Online: loveseat.com

Retro Music

photo: Spin Records via Yelp

Re-Animated Records
Are you a DJ in disguise? If you remember spinning LPs on your parents’ record player, you might have your heart stolen by this record shop in La Mesa Village. The funky vibe mixes vinyl records and horror movies. You’ll find LPs, singles, tapes, posters and memorabilia. Go ahead, ride the wave of vinyl’s comeback, then spin some really cool tunes and impress your family.

8320 La Mesa Blvd.
La Mesa, Ca 91942
Online: instagram.com/reanimatedrecords

Spin Records
Add some flair to a Sunday morning in Carlsbad Village. Take your time browsing through the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling selection of box sets, collector vinyl albums and tons of CDs.

370 Grand Ave.
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
Online: facebook.com/SpinRecords

Upcoming Vintage Market Events

Don’t miss the Arts, Crafts and Vintage Market at Bates Nut Farm Apr. 21 & 22 and the San Diego Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market on Jul. 14 & 15 to find even more treasures.

Note on vintage shopping: Because it takes patience to treasure hunt and many of the shops listed herein aren’t made with aisles to accommodate Target-sized carts in mind, you may want to skip the stroller and make this adventure one for an afternoon with your girlfriends or a shopping day with your older kiddos.

Where do you find vintage treasures in San Diego? Let us know in the comments!

–Cherie Gough


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If there’s one day of the year the kiddos really need to listen to their mother, it’s Earth Day, April 22nd. If you’re looking for ways to teach your tiny tree huggers about recycling, going green and making a positive impact on the environment, check out these San Diego Earth Day events––each of which offers its own way to honor the planet. Read on for where to participate in earth saving events ranging from clean-ups to gardening classes to composting workshops and more!

South Bay Earth Day

Celebrate the joy of bike-riding, yoga, and upcycled art at this terrific festival. The day begins with a guided bike tour of the Bayshore Bikeway. Ditch the throw-away mentality by visiting the Fix It Clinic where you’ll learn how to repair or repurpose that small appliance or toy before tossing. Visit the many booths offering tips on living a healthy lifestyle while protecting Mother Earth. Test drive electric vehicles and ride electric bikes. There will be  games, art and a tie dye workshop for kids too. Take advantage of the beautiful venue with a picnic made easy by several organic food trucks on site.

Insider’s Tip: Take advantage of the Free Oil Change and Recycling Kits (while supplies last).

Date/time: Sat., Apr. 7, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
Chula Vista Marina at Bayside Park
999 Bayside Pkwy.
Chula Vista, Ca 91910
Online: chulavistaca.gov/departments/clean/south-bay-earth-day

photo: Alta Vista Botanical Gardens

Earth Day Festival at Alta Vista Gardens

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens is hosting a free family celebration of nature for Earth Day. Explore the beauty of this 14-acre garden that will be decked out with lots of family fun including planting, recycled art, hands-on worms, painting "Earth Day Rocks!" and games. Learn about how you can go green at the many booths sharing earth-friendly ideas. Get your own garden off to a healthy start with a plant and pottery sale featuring natives, flowers, veggies, rare plants and gardening advice. There will be live acoustic music and a BBQ lunch to make for a great picnic. Don’t miss the collection of towering sculptures and Children’s Garden.

Date: Apr. 21, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost: Free
Alta Vista Gardens
1270 Vale Terrace Dr.
Vista, Ca
Online: altavistabotanicalgardens.org

photo: Creek to Bay

16th Annual Creek to Bay Clean Up

I Love a Clean San Diego is hosting Earth Day clean ups in your neighborhood or at your family’s favorite natural spot. Show your appreciation for San Diego’s environment by volunteering. There are more than 100 sites throughout the county that need caring conservationists. Last year, volunteers cleaned up 150,000 pounds of trash at the event! Kids can join in a“Bling your Bucket” contest and win awards. Register for the event beginning April 1st. Don’t wait! This event fills up fast!

Date: April 21, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Online: http://www.creektobay.org/index.php

photo: Birch Aquarium

SEA Days: Science! Exploration! Adventure!

Offering the best views of the Pacific in town, Birch Aquarium is the perfect spot to remind your family that Earth Day is every day. With aquarium admission, you’ll get access to the touch pools, the massive kelp forest aquarium and many hands-on exhibits exploring climate change. Want to meet a real scientist? SEA Days offers the opportunity to talk with an oceanographer and learn about our impact on the watershed. Check out tools, photos and specimens from the field. Get hands-on with a model watershed and make a conservation based craft.

Date: Apr. 21, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost: $18.50/adult $14/child; Military $2 discount per ticket; SEA Days free with admission
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, Ca
Online: aquarium.ucsd.edu/events/2018/sea-days-earth-day

photo: Don Boomer

Oceanside Earth Day Festival

Join North County’s Earth Day Celebration in Oceanside loaded with fun and educational activities for all ages. Visit the Home Improvement Zone and learn how to make your home greener with sustainable landscaping and alternative energy. Get kids excited to save water, recycle right and enjoy the great outdoors in the Eco-Kids Zone through engaging hands-on activities.  Shop local in the Vintage Market and find unique upcycled fashion and home goods. Learn to speak for the trees in the Arbor Day area.

Insider’s Tip: Ride your bike to this Earth Day Festival and enjoy free bike valet parking with Bike/Walk Oceanside.

Date: Apr. 14, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost: Free
Downtown Oceanside
Corner of Pier View Way & Tremont St.
Oceanside, Ca
Online: http://visitoceanside.org/events/earth-day-festival/

photo: Ecology Center

Carlsbad Earth Day Celebration

Love innovation and forward-thinking? Orange County’s dynamic Ecology Center is hosting an event showcasing their creative ideas at The Cole Library. Enjoy a low-key day surrounded by arts, live music and environmental booths. Learn something new at a gardening class or at a free composting workshop. There’s even a time to Crop swap: bring your crops, herbs and plants to swap with other garden enthusiasts. Kids won’t want to miss the 32-foot double-decker bus featuring hands-on environmental education.

Insider’s Tip: You must preregister for the composting workshop.

Date/time: Apr. 21, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Cost: Free
Georgina Cole Library
1250 Carlsbad Village Dr.
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
Online: theecologycenter.org/resources/event/carlsbad-compost-workshop-2/

photo: San Elijo Lagoon

Lagoon Platoon at San Elijo Ecological Reserve

Get your hands dirty at San Elijo by helping with habitat restoration. Led by a Conservancy naturalist, you’ll receive a brief tour and reap the rewards of seed collecting, planting and invasive species removal. All the tools you’ll need to help out are provided. Love this activity? It takes place every 3rd Saturday of the month.

Insider's Tip: Minors need to sign a waiver and bring it before participating. Find the waiver here.

Date: April 21, 9 a.m.- noon
San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve
2710 Manchester Ave.
Encinitas, Ca

San Diego Earth Fair

Celebrate Mother Earth and learn how your family can better protect the planet at the world’s largest free environmental fair in Balboa Park. Don’t miss the Kid’s Earth Parade at 10:30 a.m. running along The Prado from theNAT to the Art Museum. Kids in groups of three or more can participate by dressing up and carrying signs with their message to protect the Earth. Consider doing this with a team, club, or scout troop. Or just cheer on kids who love the Earth! Family-friendly activities such as crafts, face painting, games and storytelling will take place in the children’s area just in front of the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater.

Insider’s Tip: Go green by taking public transit to the event. You’ll be glad to avoid the traffic. For information on transportation click here.

Date/times: Sun., April 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free
Balboa Park
Park Blvd. and President’s Way
San Diego, Ca
Online: earthdayweb.org

Where are you celebrating Earth Day with your kids? Share in the comments.

–Cherie Gough


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