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February 2020




’ s d l r You Choin n i a r B S G U H







There’s no camp like SeaWorld© San Diego Camp! Meet ocean animals up-close, learn from real animal experts and explore a park full of fun this summer. Spots fill up fast—register now!


SeaWorldSanDiego.com/Education or (619) 222-4SEA


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Lose Weight & Feel Great the easy way this year! Without Shots/Drugs, Surgery or Exercise

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Anselmo lost 33 pounds in 3 months, 4 belt loops and even stopped snoring.

Sandy lost 25 pounds in 2 months. She went from a size 14 to a size 10 and kept the weight off for 1 year.

“After being on Dr. Wong’s program for 2 months, I’ve lost almost 40 pounds. I was lethargic and couldn’t keep up with my kids but I’ve found an answer to my energy problems and I wake up with energy, I feel better, I’ve been eating healthier and I’ve been more active. Thank you Dr. Wong!”

“Before I came to see Dr. Wong, I had a lot of health concerns. I had extreme knee pain, I was overweight and I also had a lack of energy. After I had a consultation with Dr. Wong, he told me what was wrong. Everything we did involved no pain and in 8 weeks, I have lost 32 pounds without doing exercise! I am a lot more energetic and I feel like working out. I am stronger, more alert, more flexible and limber so I appreciate everything about Dr. Wong. If you’re ever in need of optimal health, come see Dr. Wong because he’ll make you strong!”

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• • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • •


•1 982 - 2019 •

Volume 38 • Number 11 • February 2020


in every issue

26 Play On!

12 Staff Page

San Diego teens turn their passions into professions 14 Short & Sweet News | Notes | Tips

Bryce Wettstein

28 February Calendar of Family Events

Marissa Grace McRoberts Photo courtesy of San Diego Children's Discovery Museum

30 Valentine’s Day Happenings

Photo credit: Piero Capannini Photo credit: Hale Productions 16 SEL Programs Social-emotional learning is key to student success

22 Your Child’s Brain on Hugs The power of unconditional love

34 The Marketplace

On the Cover: Five-year-old triplets Dell Jr., Timothy and Hazel of

DON’T MISS THESE ONLINE RESOURCES! Spring Education Dire ctor y


2020 Ar ts & Spor ts Gu id Visit SanDiegoFamily.co m

6 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020


Oceanside are all smiles this Valentine’s Day! Cover photo: Andy McRory Photography

Thrilling worlds await you

Choose your next VIRTUAL REALITY ADVENTURE at the new Viejas Game Zone. Plus, keep the great times rolling at VIEJAS BOWL, featuring 12 lanes, unbeatable specials, and Galactic Bowl on Friday & Saturday nights!



Find it all at

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*Based on game availability and cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. John Wick not included. Now–2.29.2020. Game Zone located across from the Skate Rink.

5005 Willows Road, Alpine, CA 91901 • Viejas.com • 619.659.2070 Viejas reserves all rights. Visit Shopper Services for details. © 2020 Viejas Casino & Resort, Alpine CA





on the web Get to know SanDiegoFamily.com, where you’ll discover a plethora of awesomeness for parents.

Parenting: Teen • 21 Ways to Tell Teens/Tweens “I Love You” • 8 Tips to Make the Most of College Tours

For the Kids: Crafts for Kids • Valentine’s Day Mailbox • Art with Alyssa: Tint & Shade Hearts



To enter these contests, visit SanDiegoFamily.com, go to “Contests”, then “This Month’s Contests.”

Casa de Pico, with its authentic cuisine, a festive atmosphere, strolling mariachis and world-famous birdbath margaritas, could become your family’s favorite spot to dine. The kids menu features favorites such as Cheese Quesadillas, Beef or Chicken Rolled Tacos, and Fish Sticks & Fries. Be sure to watch (and sample) fresh tortillas being made by hand. Enter to win a $100 gift card to Casa de Pico! Contest ends Feb. 27.

• Art with Alyssa: African Maasai Family

Photo credit: Brandon Colber t

The New Children’s Museum in dow ntown San Diego stimulates imagination, creativit y and critical thinking through hands-on experiences with contemporary art. With three floors of interactive inst allations, there’s always something “new” to discover! Ente r to win a year-long family membership or a 4-pack of tickets to The New Children’s Museum. Contest ends Feb. 27.

Can’t find what you’re looking for on our website? Enter key words in the search bar and browse our articles.

Follow Us: San Diego Family SDFamily

San Diego Family Magazine sandiegofamilymagazine

8 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

Run away with Circus Vargas for two unforgettable hours of action and adventure to thrill and enchant children of all ages! Join the fun from Feb 27–April 6 at four different stops around the county including San Diego, National City, Escondido and Temecula. Enter to win 4 tickets for your family. Contest ends Feb. 20.

Tony/Feb 2020/cr


CircusVargas.com Simply the Best

Photo by Dale Stokes


Come explore one of the largest seadragon habitats in the world.



Directors: Stevenfor and Elizabeth Wistrich Former Dance Register Fall Classes Now! Artists with Boston Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet

Ages 3 andNOW! up REGISTER

Nutcracker Auditions for ages 6 and up All Ages ~ All Levels Sat., Sept. 6

858.274.6058 Pacific Beach

www.cityballet.org February 2020 • SanDiegofamily.com •



Editorial Publisher/Editor in Chief Sharon Bay sharon@SanDiegoFamily.com Managing Editor Lisa Gipson editor@SanDiegoFamily.com Calendar Editor Jennifer A. Burman jenny@SanDiegoFamily.com

Design Art Design/Web Design Rik Thiesfeld rik@SanDiegoFamily.com Cover Photo Andy McRory Photography

Editorial Guidelines Find editorial guidelines at SanDiegoFamily.com (“Editorial” at the bottom of the home page). Submission does not guarantee publication. We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

Distribution Locations San Diego Family Magazine is distributed at more than 1,500 locations. Pick up a free copy at: Albertsons, select McDonald’s, Sombrero Mexican Food, Round Table Pizza, Wahoos, Fleet Science Center, schools, libraries, medical offices and more.

Subscriptions Receive 12 issues for $18, plus our annual publication, Out & About. Orders must include payment to SD Family Magazine. Mail to: SDFM, Subscriptions, 1475 Sixth Ave., #500, San Diego, CA 92101; pay by PayPal or call 619-685-6970 to use a credit card.

Member of

10 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

Distribution Audited by


Engaging pediatric dental care in fun family-friendly offices!


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Administrative Assistant Adrienne Sigeti family@SanDiegoFamily.com Accounting family@SanDiegoFamily.com


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Advertising/Marketing Representatives Tony Andrews 619-685-6977 • tony2018@SanDiegoFamily.com Point Loma, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, North County Coastal


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(844) 707-KIDS 5437

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Giovanni Baldan 619-685-6987 • giovanni@SanDiegoFamily.com South Bay, San Diego Downtown, Uptown Nicole Maggio 619-685-6971 • nicole@SanDiegoFamily.com North County Inland (includes Scripps Ranch) Crystal Grobner 619-685-5860 • crystal@SanDiegoFamily.com East County Randy Hahn 619-685-6986 • randy@SanDiegoFamily.com Clairemont, Linda Vista, Mission Valley North and C Mira Mesa M

San Diego Family Magazine is published monthly by San Diego Family Magazine LLC. CopyrightY 2020. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole CM or in part without permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed by contributors are not MY necessarily the opinions of this publication. CY CMY PRESENTS






San Diego

Out & About

with Kids!

February 2020 • SanDiegofamily.com •


Publisher’s Letter

Have a Great Valentine’s Day and Check Out Family Fun Fest Many teachers are finding that they not only need to teach academics, but also help students in the classroom with emotional and social regulation. Great attitudes lead to fewer behavior problems. If these work together, children have a better chance to learn. Social and emotional learning begins at home. Our SEL Programs article (page 16) also suggests parents talk with teachers to find out how to reinforce techniques learned in the classroom. Check out the list of SEL Programs in San Diego. Afterschool programs come in all different shapes and activities. Read about two San Diego County students who have turned their music and sports hobbies into real lifelong adventures. Read about Bryce Wettstein and Marissa Grace on page 26. Hugs, kisses and high fives are important every day of the year. Writer Jody Lee Cates helps explain how unconditional love is ongoing (see page 22). Your kids need to know they are loved even when you are disciplining them. Show your love to them everyday! Valentine’s Day is always a special day to celebrate love. Turn to Family Magazine’s Valentine’s Day Round-Up at www.sandiegofamily.com for ideas that can be used for Valentine’s Day (and any day). I am ready for Strawberry Sweethearts Cocoa. Come to San Diego Family’s Fun Fest on Sunday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Salvation Army Kroc Center Corner Zone. See you there for gobs of fun activities, prizes and resource booths, all for FREE (more info on page 28).

sharon@sandiegofamily.com Main Office: 1475 Sixth Avenue, Fifth Floor, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: 619-685-6970 Fax: 619-685-6978 E-mail: family@SanDiegoFamily.com Mission Statement To enhance the quality of life for San Diego County families by providing information and resources that support the importance and pleasure of parenting.

12 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

Our San Diego


What sports and/or art programs have your kids been involved in? Giovanni Baldan, marketing representative My kids played tennis, baseball, lacrosse and dance, but it was our experience with football where we really felt a difference. The coaches made all the kids feel like family, building confidence and strength in each individual. And the kids supported each other — both on and off the field. Lisa Gipson, managing editor My oldest daughter was involved in dance, singing and CYT from third through 12th grade. Then my husband and I made the switch from theater parents to sports parents because our other two daughters played basketball (one still does) — both were recruited to play in college. Tony Andrews, marketing representative Baseball, gymnastics and cheerleading have been excellent sports programs for our kids. They learned so much through discipline, commitment, practice and teamwork — important skills they continue to develop as young adults. Anne Malinoski, contributing writer My son (age 6) loves film workshops at Media Arts Center San Diego. His group recently produced two short films and treated parents to a premiere at the Digital Gym Cinema. The kids learned to write, storyboard, act, film and edit. They even used the green screen! Pick up the April issue to read Anne’s article highlighting more of her son’s experience.

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www.sombreromex.com February 2020 • SanDiegofamily.com •


Short & Sweet

Lisa Gipson A Night to Remember Prom — Time to Register Registration is now open for A Night to Remember Prom, an annual event for students ages 15­–22 with special needs, which is April 24 this year. Each “honored guest” is partnered with a student host (also age 15–22) who ensures their partner is having fun, staying hydrated, and if needed, taking breaks in the quiet room. Volunteer registration for adults and student hosts begins March 1. Positions fill quickly! Read more about this epic event at www.sandiegofamily.com/resourcesfor-families-with-special-needs/specialneeds-prom and register at www.anighttorememberprom.com.

FREE Family Fun! Get ready for nonstop play on Sunday, Feb. 9, 10 am–1 pm at San Diego Family Magazine’s Family Fun Fest! Have a blast with two bounce houses, an inflatable obstacle course, zipline, swings, double shot basketball and more. Dance along with the DJ, win cool raffle prizes and discover valuable family resources. This FREE event is at The Salvation Army Kroc Center (in the Corner Zone), 6845 University Ave.

We need your help! San Diego Family is compiling a referral list of mom-approved medical staff to help parents discover the best care for themselves and their little ones. Please give us your feedback! Visit www.sandiegofamily .com/parenting/baby to submit your favorite OB/GYNs, midwives and pediatricians (in San Diego County). Be sure to tell us why they are exceptional.

The kids will LOVE helping make these decadent, no-bake Oreo Truffle Balls (from local blogger, The Seaside Baker) for Valentine’s Day! Find these treats and much more in our Valentine’s Day Round-Up at www.sandiegofamily.com/ things-to-do/seasonal-happenings.

14 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

Give the Gift of Books this Valentine’s Day Karen’s Heart: The True Story of a Brave Baby Orangutan, by Georgeanne Irvine Karen is a guest favorite at the San Diego Zoo!

The Kids Book of Paper Love: Write. Craft. Play. Share., by Irene Smit and Astrid Van Der Hulst

Half the Sugar, All the Love: A family cookbook, by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH

New Digital Drawing Workshops in Poway You already know that Little Artists offers drawing and painting classes at five locations through the county, but did you know that the Poway location now offers innovative digital drawing workshops? Each student works on a computer to learn technique, objective and style. Learn more about this fusion of technology and art at www.mylittleartists.com.

Jewish Montessori Preschool in La Jolla • • • • • •

Children ages 9 months to 6 years Proven Montessori Method and Philosophy Learning through hands-on experience Integrated secular and Judaic curriculum Bilingual Program Skilled teachers, trained in early childhood development • Secured, state-of-the-art facilities

Classes are filling up quickly! For more information, contact us at

Parent Movie Morning & Baby’s Night Out


(858) 452-3030 or info@bethmontessori.com Beth Montessori adheres to the principles of Association Montessori International (AMI)

8660 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037

Tel (858) 452-3030 • Fax (858) 777-9199 •




San Diego

Brookfield Engineering Science & Technology

College and Career Pathways Credit Recovery Program (210 credits) WWW.BESTACADEMYCS.COM • 833-619-BEST(2378) INFO@BESTACADEMYCS.COM

A Chance for New Moms and Dads to bring baby along to the movies they want to see! Crying, feeding & diaper changing expected!

EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 10:30AM & 7PM ABOUT B.E.S.T. ACADEMY – We are a free public online charter school. You can graduate with Medical, Informational Tech., or Business certifications and begin earning income after high school. Visit our website for more information.


Brookfield Engineering Science Technology Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Early bird pricing applies to both showtimes.

UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center 7510 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego Box Office: 619 574 8684 For this week’s feature information visit:


Education Made Personal The Learning Choice Academy

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Chula Vista • San Diego • Scripps Ranch

Call now for our next orientation. 844 GO TO TLC (844-468-6852)

Visit www.learningchoice.org for more information.

ENROLLING NOW February 2020 • SanDiegofamily.com •


SEL Programs

A bridge to classroom learning If you’ve ever witnessed your child’s teacher struggling to control student behavior in the classroom, you’re certainly not alone. Kids calmly listening to lessons or working cooperatively in groups are too often replaced by a disorderly rumpus in which educators are so busy dealing with behavioral issues, they are hardpressed to find time to teach academics. Although there are many probable reasons why students (and teachers) are in this situation — including usual suspects like too much screen time and not enough sleep — perhaps the most important thing to understand is that when kids come into a classroom unable to control their emotions, make good decisions, or appropriately connect with others, it becomes extremely challenging for schools to provide the safe, caring environment needed for children to succeed in traditional subjects like math, science and reading. While support from home is paramount, local school administrators are making a commitment to implement high quality, district-wide programs that help address some of these concerns. SEL programs that intentionally focus on educating the whole child (socially, emotionally and academically) have become increasingly important in helping kids thrive at school and beyond. 16 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

What Is SEL? According to CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning), SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) is the process through which children and adults: • Understand and manage emotions • Set and achieve positive goals • Feel and show empathy for others • Establish and maintain positive relationships • Make responsible decisions Although many teachers are already instinctually aware that socialemotional learning is crucial to academic success, recent research has provided a greater understanding of its importance and is prompting schools to take further action. The California Department of Education (CDE) now recommends weaving SEL into the work of every teacher in every classroom and afterschool and summer learning program in order to prepare all students for college and careers. This is no small feat — but the future success of our kids is at stake. “Social and Emotional Learning is of critical importance in our schools, classrooms and school communities,” says Cindy Marten, superintendent of San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). “Youth and children need to

Lisa Pawlak

More Information on SEL Programs CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning): www.casel.org CA Department of Education  www.cde.ca.gov/eo/in/ socialemotionallearning.asp Social Emotional Learning Alliance of CA  www.sel4ca.org CA State PTA www.capta.org/resource/whatis-social-emotional-learning

SEL Programs in San Diego (partial list) Second Step www.secondstep.org/secondstep-social-emotional-learning Leader in Me www.leaderinme.org/blog/caselselect MindUP www.mindup.org Sanford Harmony www.sanfordharmony.org Pure Edge www.pureedgeinc.org Character Counts www.charactercounts.com





50th Anniversary Party June 14th, 4:00-7:00pm

WASC Accredited FREE Before and After school Tutoring FREE bus transportation from Chollas View and from City Heights to our locations. Dual-Pathway Program (International Studies and Engineering) for grades 9-12 Sports and Clubs for grades 9-12 Credit recovery program for grades 9-12

America’s Finest Charter School is eight years old! We are a STEM school! Our curriculum is cutting edge and provides hands-on learning and student collaboration in all subjects.

“A learning environment that balances the physical, emotional, cognitive, creative, social & emotional needs of your child.”

Del Mar Hills Nursery School Visit our website

Lic.# 376600498

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13692 Mango Drive, Del Mar

Scheduling Tours for 2020-2021 School Year Leaders in Early Childhood Education Since 1970

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TK–8th location: 730 45th St. San Diego, CA 92102 P: 619-694-4809

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Serving Allied Gardens, San Carlos, Del Cerro Easy Access for SDSU

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Schedule a tour now: (619) 287-6767



Personalized Learning  Tuition Free  Grades TK-12  Online Programs  WASC Accredited  Highly Qualified Teachers  Engaging Coursework SERVING LOS ANGELES, SAN DIEGO, YOLO & SURROUNDING AREAS

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February 2020 • SanDiegofamily.com •


Engaged to Learn. Empowered for Life.

be equipped for the challenges of the future by having the academic skills and social and emotional competencies needed to be successful not just in school, but in life. As students pursue their dreams and college/career aspirations, we need to ensure they are equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills.”

Benefits of SEL Programs We provide a carefully structured, warmly inviting and stimulating environment that encourages a positive attitude towards learning. • High-quality, authentic Montessori education accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS) • Degreed and experienced Montessori-certified teachers • Carefully structured and stimulating classroom environment • Enrichment through Spanish, Music, Art, Yoga and Cooking classes

As described by CASEL, the benefits of SEL include: • Greater motivation to learn • Deeper commitment to school • Better interactions with peers and adults • Improvement in positive learning dispositions

• Outdoor learning environment that includes gardens and a playground • For children ages 2 to 6 years old

• Self-efficacy

Schedule your tour today!

• Increased connection to school

NOW ENROLLING FOR ALL PROGRAMS Serving Bonita, Chula Vista, Eastlake and San Diego for over 30 years!

Giovanni/January 2020/cr

MONTESSORIAMERICAN.COM 619-633-2930 3604 Bonita Rd. Chula Vista, CA 91910

• Better attitudes about self and others • Positive social behavior • Increased emotional well-being • Improvement in overall student mental health and well-being “When students have positive attitudes, behaviors and relationships at school, they are able to learn more effectively,” says Molly Engblom, school counselor at Tierra Bonita Elementary School in the Poway Unified School District (PUSD). Engblom teaches an SEL program called Second Step and has seen firsthand how this type of support can help foster a school-wide climate of kindness, caring, respect and good citizenship.

SEL Programs in San Diego Parents may be familiar with Character Counts — a decades-old program still in use — but a number of newer SEL programs are also available in local schools including Second Step, Leader in Me, MindUP and Sanford Harmony. These mainstreamed programs are taught in a variety of ways; one method is through weekly lessons given by counselors (or specially trained educators) that are

18 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

Discover the World of Montessori

According to Dr. Maria Montessori, children learn best in an environment that demonstrates love, trust, understanding, patience and consistency. Students excel academically while experiencing cooperation, respect, self-confidence and the joy of learning. Contact these local Montessori schools for more information.

“A Montessori Student is a Future Citizen of the World” East County

North County Coastal


CENTRAL MONTESSORI SCHOOL Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten

10435 Campo Rd., Spring Valley 91978 Rancho San Diego

Encinitas, Cardiff, Carlsbad, La Costa

Lic. #376600356

Lic. #376700910





ENCINITAS COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL Preschool/Elementary/Middle


Lic. #372005943

Two Locations in Encinitas Encinitas

8121 Braddock Place, San Diego 92114 Lemon Grove

San Diego Central


MARIA MONTESSORI SCHOOL Preschool/Elementary/Middle

North County Inland

4544 Pocahontas Ave., San Diego 92117 Serving all of San Diego County from our central location

COUNTRY MONTESSORI SCHOOL Preschool/Kindergarten/Elementary

Lic. #376700980



San Diego Coastal

12642 Monte Vista Road, Poway, CA 92064 Poway, Rancho Bernardo, 4SRanch, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Penasquitos


South Bay MONTESSORI LEARNING ACADEMY Preschool / Kindergarten Imperial Beach, San Marcos


AMS Affiliated




Lic # 372006093



BETH MONTESSORI Infants/Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten Lic. # 376700496

8660 Gilman Dr., La Jolla 92037-2202 La Jolla


www.bethmontessori.com MISSION BAY MONTESSORI ACADEMY Preschool/Elementary Lic. #372005444 • AMS Affiliated School

2640 Soderblom Ave., San Diego 92122 La Jolla, Pacific Beach, University City



“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.” - Maria Montessori February 2020 • SanDiegofamily.com •


subsequently supported on a daily basis by classroom teachers. Although Marten supports ways to facilitate widespread social-emotional education programs within SDUSD, she explains that for the most successful outcomes, SEL programs need to be aligned with academic goals. This isn’t an easy process. “There is no one program or simple answer when it comes to this work,” says Marten. “SEL needs to live inside a comprehensive instructional approach that is culturally sustaining and responsive; it is not just a program. We are creating ways and systems in which social, emotional and academic outcomes can be aligned, integrated and supportive of the positive cultures we want to continuously nurture in all our schools.”

What Can Parents Do? Parents are key because social and emotional regulation and learning start at home. Watch the informational video SEL 101 for Parents (in English or Spanish), which includes insights into parenting practices that support a child’s social and emotional development. www .casel.org/homes-and-communities



Challenging Academics: experienced and credentialed teachers, WASC accreditation, ACSI member school Enriching Curriculum: art, band, music programs, Christian Education, Spanish language instruction, technology integration, organized athletics, community connections Personal Support: small class sizes, caring staff, extended day programs, resource assistance, vibrant parent/teacher organization

Full Immersion Spanish and Mandarin Enrichment Classes & Camps Now opening enrollment for

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All Levels Welcome!

Music, art, science, literature, cultural and communication dynamics, daily field trips to Balboa Park museums and much more. All activities will be conducted in target language of choice. Campers will be grouped by age and proficiency level. All levels welcomed. Hurry! Space is limited!

Now offering Spanish and Mandarin classes on Tues. & Thurs. at Balboa Park, plus Family Spanish classes on Sundays.

Saturdays! Mandarin language and culture at the Chinese Historical Museum.

Now offering ESL Summer Camps. • Tutoring Always Available! For more information, contact: 619-366-3098 • www.bilingualkids-sd.com • sharonz@bilingualkids-sd.com

20 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

Parents can also support students and teachers by learning which SEL programs are available in their schools, inquiring about specific curriculum, asking teachers which areas their child could work on, and learning how to appropriately apply techniques at home. When parents, teachers and school administrators use social-emotional skills to work together, there’s hope that kids can discover the full range of academic and life skills needed for a bright and successful future. SEL programs are an important aspect towards development of the whole child. v Lisa Pawlak is an award-winning contributing writer and Encinitas resident.

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Parenting with Purpose

Jody Lee Cates

Parents know from instinct and experience that love gives kids confidence and security and creates unbreakable bonds. It’s love that gets parents through sleepless nights with a newborn, exhausting days with a toddler and frustrating moments with a teenager. But unconditional love is much more than the fuel parents need to make it through the tough parts of raising kids. Unconditional Love What it’s not: Unconditional love is not about permissiveness or catering to a child’s every whim. It is not about how parents feel toward a child at any given moment. Unconditional love is about how children feel loved by parents, completely and without reservation. It comes without requirements to behave or perform a certain way, and it comes with a boatload of benefits that go well beyond positive feelings.

Benefits Backed by Science

Your Child’s Brain on Hugs The power of unconditional love

22 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

Oxytocin is a brain chemical released when a person feels love and connection. When oxytocin increases, growth hormones that support the development of the brain, body and immune system increase as well. That means unconditional love not only makes us feel good, but it’s also good for us. It supports cognitive development and the ability to form positive relationships, reduces stress and anxiety, raises confidence and selfesteem, and strengthens the immune system. Here are three ways to demonstrate unconditional love children need to thrive, along with compelling benefits.

1. Hugs

Studies show that hugs and nurturing touch provide positive stimulation young brains and bodies need to grow. Decades of research indicates that a lack of physical contact is detrimental to children, and those who receive adequate amounts of gentle physical touch score higher on developmental assessments. They also experience fewer emotional and behavioral problems.

Action point: Make hugs a frequent and regular way your family expresses love. Give hugs before and after school, at bedtime, and whenever your child needs a boost of encouragement. Be sure to give a hug or reassuring squeeze after disciplining a child to communicate that your love is unwavering, even when behavior needs to change. Important: Always respect how a child feels about hugs. Never force physical contact. Teach kids how to politely (but firmly) refuse unwanted touch.

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2. Verbal High Fives

Verbal encouragement helps kids learn language and social skills necessary for successful development. It helps children master language needed to express and process emotions. “Words of encouragement, affection and positive guidance nurture a child’s sense of worth and security for a lifetime,” according to Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, M.D. co-authors of the bestselling book The Five Love Languages of Children. When using verbal high fives to communicate unconditional love, put more focus on effort than outcome. You might say, “Great game! The way you and your team worked together was amazing!” or “I’m so proud of how hard you studied for that test. You learned so much!” When celebrating accomplishments, children need to understand that while receiving praise for performance feels great, it’s not a marker for earning more love. Words have staying power, so choose yours carefully. When discipline is necessary, take time to explain and communicate your belief in a child’s ability to change unwanted behavior. Kids often take a parent’s words and actions literally. Don’t assume they know you love them. Tell them — and tell them often.

3. Focused Attention

Studies show that focused attention increases a child’s sense of security and self-confidence, decreases incidents of emotional or behavioral disorders, reduces risky adolescent behavior, and may even lead to a reduced risk


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of obesity. Focused attention also helps children develop responsive communication, an essential building block of learning. Give children focused attention by being mindful of fractured attention common in today’s age of smartphones and constant distraction. Turning off technology during meals gives families a chance to connect, and it’s a great time to serve up a verbal high five or two. Make bedtime a quiet space to cuddle with little ones while reading a book or where older kids feel free to share thoughts, feelings, and questions. Be sure to get in one more hug or loving pat before turning off the lights. If mealtimes and bedtimes don’t work, think of other ways to connect with kids. Leave notes, create special routines, laugh and be silly together.

Unconditional Love Checkup How do you know if your child feels unconditionally loved? One way is to watch how he behaves when he makes a mistake. Does he come to you for help or does he hold back because he’s worried about your reaction? When kids believe parents are a source of unconditional support, they’re more likely to trust that a parent’s love is not dependent upon performance or behavior. Mistakes are an opportunity to grow and learn. Make sure kids know that — and that the door is always open for honest conversations. Do a self-check. Ask yourself if you withhold approval when faced with something you wish could be “fixed” or changed about your child. Remember that the path from childhood to adulthood is a steady climb. Accept that mistakes, missteps and childish behavior are normal parts of the journey. The best way for parents to encourage children along the way is by giving the unconditional love they need to grow into healthy, happy adults. No strings attached. v Jody Lee Cates is a local mom and award-winning writer who blogs about healthy relationships at www.jodyleecates.com


LITERACY FIRST CHARTER SCHOOLS Where Every Student is Known Literacy First Charter Schools has been serving students in kindergarten through twelfth grade since 2001 with a sharp focus on knowing each student personally in order to develop literate, life-long learners who are responsible citizens of character. We offer small class sizes with research-driven techniques, hands-on projects, longer school days, character training, technology integration, and vital parent collaboration. Literacy First Charter Schools is proud to report that not only do our students perform WELL ABOVE state averages AND local schools, but we continue to improve each year while representing students from all socio-economic backgrounds and diverse populations, which reflects the community where our schools are located.

At the high school level, we are equipped with a rigorous curriculum offering AP, Honors, and CP courses, career exploration and dual credit classes. Students have opportunities for international travel, community service, competitive sports teams with CIF championships, and involvement in a wide variety of clubs. The LCHS LeoDroids are a solid and competitive FIRST Robotics team where students design, build, and program robots in order to compete in what is a global movement. We have excellent adult mentors who teach the students to design, fabricate, and program a large robot each year. Along with developing critical thinking and STEM skills, students also learn soft skills such as leadership, teamwork, camaraderie, public speaking, project management, time management, marketing, and grant writing. Last year, nearly 90% of our senior class headed to a 2-year or 4-year college, receiving a combined total of close to four million dollars in scholarship awards, including merit-based and athletic-based scholarships. Our Freedom Academy is a TK-8 independent study program offering parents the flexibility of being responsible for their child’s academic instruction and learning experiences, while also receiving the benefits of being paired with the support of our credentialed teacher consultants.

At the core of everything we do at LFCS is a belief that when every student is known, we can successfully nurture the whole child from kindergarten through high school graduation by igniting a passion for comprehensive literacy and equipping each student to wholeheartedly participate in their community.

GET IN TOUCH To learn more about LFCS or tour one of its four campuses, please contact the registrar’s office. Ph: (619) 668-2134 Email: info@lfcsinc.org Website: www.lfcsinc.org

Tony/February 2020/cr

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February 2020 • SanDiegofamily.com •



Kristen Castillo

San Diego teens turn their passions into professions Playing sports or dabbling in the arts may spark a child’s longterm interests. But even if it doesn’t, there are many benefits to participating in extracurricular activities. Arts and sports support social and emotional growth, and help kids learn to focus and develop discipline. They’re also lots of fun! We interviewed two San Diego teens who are fulfilling childhood dreams by pursuing their passions in sports and the arts. Interesting — one is an athlete who also pursues music; the other is a musician who also pursues sports. Meet professional skateboarder Bryce Wettstein and singer/songwriter Marissa Grace McRoberts.

Photo credit: Elise Crigar

Bryce Wettstein Professional skateboarder and Encinitas native Bryce Wettstein is pursuing her goal of making the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team. The 15-year-old sophomore at San Dieguito Academy started skateboarding with her father at age 6. Soon she took up the sport and her father built a mini ramp in their yard, followed by a blue bowl (looks like an empty pool with curved surfaces for skateboarding). Bryce’s dad “spotted” her through new tricks until she gained confidence to do them on her own. “There’s no limit to what you can do in skateboarding,” Bryce says. “You end up seeing the world in a different way — seeing the world upside down.” Skateboarding has taken Bryce all

26 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

over the world. She started traveling internationally at age 12. She’s already been to five continents and many countries including Sweden, China, France and Brazil. Sometimes she misses school for competitions, but she takes homework along and journals about her travels. Bryce is currently on the first-ever USA Skateboarding National Team (along with several other North County residents) and is hoping to qualify for the upcoming Olympic games in Tokyo (qualifiers run through May). “My dream is to be in the Olympics so there’s definitely added pressure,” she says. “The more you want something, [the more] pressure you put on yourself.” Still, she’s taking one step at a time. “I treat it as another day of skateboarding; I continue doing my tricks and do the best I can,” she says. “And I have fun with it.” In the interim, Bryce plays high school and club volleyball. She’s also an avid surfer and is passionate about writing songs, playing ukulele, piano and guitar. She recently released the song “Flip the World (Upside Down),” which is streaming online. Bryce looks forward to releasing more music and playing for an audience. For now, her focus is on skating and encouraging other young people to follow their dreams. “When you dream and really follow your heart, you find happiness,” she says. Learn more at www.brycewettstein.com and follow her on Instagram @brycewettstein.

Marissa Grace McRoberts Marissa Grace McRoberts, a 17-yearold junior at Academy of Our Lady of Peace, says it seems like she’s been a singer/songwriter her whole life. That’s because she has. She started singing and creating songs before she learned to read! “It makes me happy — I can’t imagine my life without performing,” she says. “I’m having so much fun [singing] all the time. It’s the biggest part of me.” Marissa started piano lessons at age 3; followed later by vocal lessons, then guitar. She participated in CYT (Christian Youth Theater) from age 8 through high school, which helped her grow confidence and stage presence (before CYT, Marissa was very shy). Marissa says playing instruments has opened many doors and she encourages kids to pick up an instrument. She taught herself to play ukulele via YouTube tutorials. “Playing an instrument has helped me grow as a songwriter and performer,” she says.

Now Marissa has a music coach and her own band, The Marissa Grace Band. She incorporates many genres into her music, including pop, jazz, blues, rock and country. For the past five years, she’s performed at the San Diego County Fair. She has sung the national anthem at Petco Park, performed at the House of Blues and has had many other gigs around the county. She also shares her music with families of sick children at Ronald McDonald House every month. Another passion is soccer, which Marissa has played since kindergarten. Currently she is on a club soccer team in Point Loma. Marissa plans to attend college in Los Angeles, where she’ll study music. Learn more at www.marissagracemusic.com and follow her on Instagram @ marissagracemusic. v Kristen Castillo is a freelance writer who lives in San Diego’s South Bay with her husband and two sons.

“A community where every child is known.”

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Library Lovers Month • Black History Month • Bake for Family Fun Month

FEBRUARY Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices.

saturday | 1 SeaWorld’s Lunar New Year Celebration. Honoring the Year of the Rat, this cultural event features extraordinary Chinese acrobats, mouthwatering cuisine and traditional performances. Until tomorrow; visit website for hours and admission. Interstate 5, exit SeaWorld Dr., San Diego. www.seaworldsandiego.com FREE Lake Poway Youth Fishing Derby. A day of fishing, entertainment, games, prizes and barbecue lunch for ages 15 & under. 6 am-noon; awards ceremony, 1 pm. Participants must check in at the registration table before fishing. 14644 Lake Poway Rd. www.poway.org Miniatures Show & Sale. Marvel at all things tiny at this annual event for DIY crafters, artists and collectors of dollhousesize miniatures. Today, 10 am-5 pm & tomorrow, 11 am-4 pm. $2-$8. San Diego Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego. www.sdminiatureshow.com FREE Pop-Up Play Saturdays at My Yard Live. Climb up the treehouse and explore the playground. Enjoy sensory play, crafting and a rotation of activities each week. Saturdays, 11:30 am-2 pm. 288 Rancheros Dr., San Marcos. RSVP at www.sdpopup.com. Go, Gulls! The San Diego Gulls will play against Ontario Reign today at 4 pm. Other home games this month: Feb. 7 (vs. Tucson Roadrunners), Feb. 9 (vs. Bakersfield Condors), Feb. 19 (vs. Stockton Heat) & Feb. 22 (vs. San

Jennifer A. Burman

Still looking for last month’s events? Check out the digital edition of our January issue at SanDiegoFamily.com

Plan fun family adventures with Out & About with Kids! Access the digital edition at www.sandiegofamily.com. Jose Barracuda). Tickets start at $22. Pechanga Arena San Diego, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. For tickets, visit www.sandiegogulls.com. Growing Together Classes. Fun and interactive music, dance and storytelling for little ones (walking infants to 36 mos.) and their caregivers. Fri. or Sat., through Feb. 29, 9 am. Adult/child pair $22 per class. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, 320 N. Broadway, Escondido. To register, go to www.sdcdm.org/growingtogether.

sunday | 2 Super Bowl LIV in Miami Gardens, Florida Dragons: Exploring the Symbolism of China’s Most Revered Creature. San Diego Chinese Historical Museum’s family-friendly exhibit celebrates this mythical creature across centuries of Chinese history. Tues.-Sun.; visit website for hours. $5; under 12 free. Dr. Sun YatSen Memorial Extension Site, 328 J St., downtown San Diego. www.sdchm.org Living Lab. Come face to face with more than 30 creepy, crawly and slithery animals, from stinging scorpions to elusive nocturnal lizards, in this new exhibit.

Open daily, 10 am-5 pm. Included with admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. www.sdnat.org

monday | 3 Little Learners Club: Little Chefs. Learn how your little one can get involved in the kitchen as you make simple snacks together. Mondays, today until March 9, 9:30-10:30 am. Adult/child pair $160. Registration required. For children, ages 18 mos.-3 yrs., and their caregivers. The New Children’s Museum, 200 West Island Ave., downtown San Diego. www.thinkplaycreate.org

tuesday | 4 Dreamscapes: 14th Annual Juried Youth Exhibition. View the amazing work of K-12 students from San Diego and Tijuana in this exhibit that highlights the subconscious and the ways we perceive dreams. Through March 1. Tues.-Sun., 10 am-5 pm. Pay What You Wish admission. Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park. www.mopa.org

Editor’s Picks FREE San Diego Family Fun Fest

Nonstop play awaits! Check out exciting activities and resource booths, win cool prizes and get in on the action with an inflatable obstacle course, a zip line, bounce houses, double shot basketball, a giant Connect 4 game and more. Feb. 9, 10 am-1 pm. Online registration available at www.eventbrite.com/e/san-diego-family-fun-festtickets-85132013143. The Salvation Army Kroc Center Corner Zone, 6845 University Ave., San Diego. www.sandiegofamily.com

28 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

Calendar • February

San Diego Museum Month

Experience San Diego’s vibrant museum scene with half-off admission at more than 40 museums and cultural institutions throughout the county. Explore the San Diego Natural History Museum, The New Children’s Museum, Fleet Science Center and more. Pick up your discount pass at your local library, when you stay at a Hilton or at a participating Macy’s store. Feb. 1-29. Learn more at www.sandiegomuseumcouncil.org.

Photo courtesy of San Diego Children's Discovery Museum

SeaWorld Inside Look

Photo courtesy of SeaWorld

Meet the animals and the experts that make SeaWorld the incredible place that it is! Guests will receive special access and a behind-thescenes look at the inspiring day-to-day care SeaWorld’s animal experts provide. Talk to vets, rescuers and behaviorists, and ask the questions you’ve always wanted answered. Feb. 8-9, 15-17, 22-23 and 29-March 1; visit website for hours and admission. Interstate 5, exit SeaWorld Dr., San Diego. www.seaworldsandiego.com

February 2020 • SanDiegofamily.com •


wednesday | 5 Girls & Women in Sports Day

We {Heart} Having Fun! Celebrate the month of hearts with these 14 family events you’re sure to fall in love with. FREE Kids Workshop: Heart String Art. Children develop hands-on skills like sanding, nailing, painting and more as they piece together the symbol of Valentine’s Day. Feb. 1, 9 am-noon. For locations and to register, visit www.homedepot.com/workshops. Valentine’s Day Open Art Studio. Face painting, sensory art play and themed art projects. Feb. 6, 4:30-6:30 pm. $20. For ages 3 & up. Pachis Art Studio, Liberty Station, 2820 Roosevelt Rd., Ste. 102, Point Loma. Register at www.mypachis.com. Valentine Teas at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead. Feb. 8 & 9; seatings at 1 & 3 pm. $15. Visit website for reservations. 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido. www.sikesadobe.org FREE Annual Shopping in the Heart of IB. Find a unique gift for your sweetheart at this event featuring local businesses, raffles and more. Feb. 8, 11 am-4 pm. 829 Seacoast Dr., Imperial Beach. www .facebook.com/events/503403103776183 Coronado Valentine’s Day 10K, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run. Registered participants will receive a T-shirt, a finisher’s medal, continental breakfast and more. Feb. 9, 6:3011 am. Tidelands Park, 2000 Mullinex Dr. Register at www.valentinesday10k.com. Valentine’s Day Concert: “I Choose Love” presented by Mt. Carmel High School Choir Department. Feb. 13, 7-9 pm. $10. Mt. Carmel High School, 9550 Carmel Mountain Rd. www.mtcarmelchoir.eventbrite.com FREE Valentine’s Day Party at Mission Valley Library. Decorate cookies, make crafts and play silly games. Feb. 14, 3:30-5 pm. For preschool- and elementary-age children. 2123 Fenton Pkwy. www.sandiegolibrary.org The New Children’s Museum Pop-Up: We Heart Art. On Feb. 14, join Mingei at

30 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

Parent Movie Morning & Baby’s Night Out at UltraStar Cinemas. Bring your baby to watch a movie and take advantage of valet stroller parking, dimmed lights and changing facilities in the auditorium. Wednesdays, 10:30 am & 7 pm. UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center, 7510 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego. www.ultrastarmovies.com

thursday | 6 The New Children’s Museum in making a Latin American folk-inspired, heart-shaped tin milagro pin. 11 am, noon, 1 & 2 pm. Free with museum admission. 200 West Island Ave., downtown San Diego. www.mingei.org Rancho Peñasquitos Father-Daughter Dance. For girls, grades Pre-K to 12, and their loved ones. Feb. 14, 6:30-9 pm. $10. Tickets at the door (cash only). Black Mountain Multi-Purpose Center, 9353 Oviedo St., San Diego. Pre-registration available at www.sdrecconnect.com (enter code: 66431). Valentine’s Cruises by Hornblower Cruises & Events. Spectacular bay views, wonderful food and live music for dancing. Feb. 14 & 15, 7-10 pm. Pier 1, Hornblower Landing, 1800 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. For reservations, visit www.hornblower.com. Kid’s Night In! This Valentine’s Day-themed event includes a movie, crafts, STEM activities and more. Feb. 14, 6-9:30 pm. $25 per child. STEM Studio, 850 Main St., Ramona. www .facebook.com/events/608257686588724 Kid’s Kitchen: Be My Valentine. Kid chefs will create heartwarming dishes and decorate heart-shaped cookies. Feb. 14, 3:30-4:30 pm. $20-$25. For ages 5-9. Lazy Acres, 150 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas. Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/kids-kitchen-be-myvalentine-tickets-88719541537. FREE Fido Fest: My Furry Valentine. A look-alike contest, “arfs” and crafts, live entertainment, dog adoptions, the latest pet products, giveaways and amazing demonstrations. Feb. 15, noon-4 pm. Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Dr., Santee. www.cityofsanteeca.gov Sweetheart’s Ball. Light hors d’oeuvres, treats and refreshments, and dancing at this family event. Feb. 21, 6-8 pm. $8; family of four $30; under 2 free. Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Dr. www.encinitasparksandrec.com

Whale Watching Adventures. Through April 19; cruises at 9:30 am-1:15 pm & 1:30-5 pm. For reservations, visit www.flagshipsd.com/cruises/whalewatching-san-diego.

friday | 7 “Conquest of the Skies 3D.” Travel through time and discover how flying animals first appeared and then evolved into the huge variety of aeronauts that fill our skies today. Showing daily through Feb. 16. Included with admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. www.sdnat.org Go, Gulls! See Feb. 1.

saturday | 8 FREE Annual San Diego Chinese New Year Fair. Lion dances, cultural performances, arts and crafts, food and more. Today & tomorrow, 10 am-5 pm. Third Ave. & J St., downtown San Diego. www.sdcny.org  Kids in the Garden: Play with Your Food – Veggie Critters. 10 am-noon. $5. Pre-register by Feb. 6. For ages 3 through 6th grade. Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, 1270 Vale Terrace Dr., Vista. www.altavistabotanicalgardens.org Roots Series: Australia. Live performances, costumes, crafts and activities highlighting Australia’s art and history. 2-4 pm. Included with museum admission. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, 320 N. Broadway, Escondido. www.sdcdm.org

sunday | 9 FREE Nature Walks at Silver Strand State Beach. Sundays, 1:30-2:30 pm. Meet outside lifeguard headquarters. 5000 Hwy. 75, Coronado. www.parks.ca.gov/silverstrand Family Concert: “Beethoven the Music Genius.” Learn weird and wonderful facts

Best Kids’ Birthday Party four years in a row!

Best and Top Pick in multiple categories! • ••• •••









FREE San Diego Family Fun Fest. See page 28.


about the life of this temperamental genius as you listen to pieces of his most famous music played by the orchestra. 2 pm. Visit website for tickets. Copley Symphony Hall, Jacobs Music Center, 750 B St., downtown San Diego. www.sandiegosymphony.org



ER 2018 WINN

monday | 10 Whale & Dolphin Watching Cruises. Through April 19, 9:30 am-1 pm & 1:30-5 pm. Pier 2, 970 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. Make reservations at www.hornblower.com/san-diego/sandiego-winter-whale-watching-wkdy.

tuesday | 11 FREE Family Read & Play Day. Children, ages 5 & under, are sure to get excited about reading through story time, playtime with the imagination playground and a free book to take home. 10:30 am. Rolando Rm., The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 6845 University Ave., San Diego. www.sd.kroccenter.org

wednesday | 12 San Diego Sockers Home Games. Experience indoor soccer at its finest, and cheer for the San Diego Sockers as they play against the Baltimore Blast at 7:35 pm. Also, Feb. 29 (vs. Milwaukee Wave), 7:05 pm. Pechanga Arena San Diego, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego. For game times and tickets, visit www.sdsockers.com.

Ages 2 & Up

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friday | 14

Combination Class Tap • Ballet • Tumbling


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thursday | 13 Nature & Me Story Time: Mammals. 10:15 am. For ages 1-5 with adult. Included with museum admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. www.sdnat.org

Tutoring Tots In Tutus All Dance Since 1962 Wear F

Feeling clueless about choosing a new school for your child? Explore San Diego Family’s Spring Education Guide and uncover tons of education options in San Diego County www.sandiegofamily.com/resources/education-directory

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Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Jazz Evening at The Abbey on Fifth Avenue. Spend a romantic evening filled with mouthwatering appetizers and free-flowing champagne accompanied by live jazz entertainment. 8-10 pm. Reservations required. 2825 Fifth Ave., San Diego. www.hornblower.com/sandiego/valentines-day-at-the-abbey

More Valentine’s Day events on page 30.

Contact us to request specific times and dates for your next event. Puppy Party reservations fill up quickly, so don’t wait! Book your Puppy Party today!

Two locations, one phone:

National City & Escondido 619-743-3996

www.PuppyPartySanDiego.com February 2020 • SanDiegofamily.com •


Tony/Dec 2018

Unforgettable Birthday Experiences Happen Every Day at San Diego Ice Arena!

Your Child is the

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Giovanni/July 2019

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From baby bump to preschool prep, find ideas, answers and tips from local moms who care about you.

SanDiegoFamily.com/ parenting/baby

New digital issue! 32 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

saturday | 15 Parent’s Nite Out at Elite Gymnastics Academy: Mardi Gras. Kids, ages 4 & up, have a great time with gymnastics, games and lots of play. 6-10 pm. $20. Register online. 1817 John Towers Ave., El Cajon. www.elitegymnastics.com

• Personal Skate Host • Live DJ • Pizza, Cake, Ice Cream Sandwiches Exclusive Games and Award Medal • Decorate Your Own Cake • Free Group Skating Lesson

Obstacle Course

Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices.



FREE Studio by the Bay Family Days. Learn about the creative process in sculpture and design with professional artists. 10 am-2 pm. Seaport Village, 809 W. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. www.thinkplaycreate.org 5K Paw Walk in the Garden. Walk your pet through the garden and enjoy pet products, dog treats, displays for animal lovers, food (for people) and more. 8 am-noon. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. Register at http://rchumanesociety .org/events/5k-paw-walk-in-the-garden. Junior Science Club: Robotics and Coding. Find out how a circuit works and how it can power a robot capable of creating art. 11 am-12:30 pm. $15. Registration required. For grades 1-4. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park. www.fleetscience.org LEGO NINJAGO Days. See your favorite NINJAGO heroes in the 4D movie, NINJAGO, unleash your powers on NINJAGO The Ride, strike a pose with LEGO NINJAGO characters and participate in ninja-themed activities. Today, tomorrow, Feb. 22 & 23; visit website for hours and admission. LEGOLAND California Resort, Carlsbad. www.legoland.com

sunday | 16 Random Acts of Kindness Week, Feb. 16-23 FREE Family Sunday Pop Up. Craft your own no-sew quilt to celebrate Black History Month, and be part of an interactive story time. 12:30-5 pm. City Heights/Weingart Library, 3795 Fairmount Ave. www.mingei.org Endangered: Exploring California’s Changing Ecosystems. This interactive exhibition features artwork that address the wonder and destruction of local flora and fauna throughout California, and encourages the public to participate in finding and implementing positive solutions. Tues.-Sat., 10 am-5 pm; Sun., 1-5 pm. $6-$12; under 18 free. California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. www.artcenter.org

monday | 17 Presidents’ Day “Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D.” From the Permian through the Jurassic, travel to the south polar landscapes of Antarctica hundreds of millions of years ago courtesy of this new giant-screen film. Opens today; visit website for show times. Included with admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. www.sdnat.org FREE In the Park: Fiesta. Themed experiences for the family! 10 am-noon. Poway Community Park, 13094 Civic Center Dr. www.poway.org

tuesday | 18 Residents FREE Days. San Diego City and county residents, and active military and their dependents receive free admission on rotating Tuesdays at Balboa Park museums. For schedule, visit www.balboapark.org.

wednesday | 19 FREE Story Time, Sensory Play & Family Yoga. 10 am-noon. Complimentary snacks will be provided. RSVP online; adult supervision required. Eve Encinitas, 575 S. Coast Hwy. www.sdpopup.com Go, Gulls! See Feb. 1.

thursday | 20 African Museum Casa del Rey Moro. Explore 6,000 years of African world history with exhibits containing educational information in charts, timelines, graphics and artifacts. Open daily except Wed., 10:30 am-7 pm. 2741 Congress St., San Diego. www.africanmuseumsandiego.com

friday | 21 ScholarShare 529 Toddler Time. Music, movement and social play. Fridays, 10 am. Free with museum admission. The New Children’s Museum, 200 West Island Ave., downtown San Diego. www.thinkplaycreate.org

Now serving all San Diego 3-1 COMBO TO $140

2-1 COMBO TO $120

Includes: Pythons, Tree Frogs, Tortoises, Dragons, Skink and Bugs



saturday | 22 KPBS Kids Event: World Thinking Day. Join KPBS and Girl Scouts of San Diego to experience world cultures with hands-on activities, live performances and snacks. 10 am-1 pm. Included with admission. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, 320 N. Broadway, Escondido. Details at www.sdcdm.org.


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Readiscover Literacy • Grades 3-8 • Individual or small group Reserve your child’s spot and rediscover the joy of reading and writing. www.sandiegoreadiscoverliteracy.com (619) 838-3562

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Walk for Animals. Also includes entertainment, blessing of the animals, dog activities and a vendor village. 7-11 am. $5-$30. Kit Carson Park, 3333 Bear Valley Pkwy., Escondido. Register at www.sdhumane.org.

audiences in the electrifying culture of the island, and reveals why Cuba continues to stir the imagination of the world. Showing daily; visit website for show times and admission. Heikoff Giant Dome Theater, Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park. www.fleetscience.org

FREE Black Comix Day. Celebrate AfricanAmerican and African comic book creators at this annual event for the family. Today & tomorrow, 10 am-6 pm. WorldBeat Center, Balboa Park. http://events.worldbeatcenter .org/event/black-comix-day

thursday | 27

FREE Shark Party. Explore everything sharks with crafts, prizes and activities. 11 am-noon. La Mesa Branch Library, 8074 Allison Ave. www.sdcl.org

sunday | 23 “Growing Up Seahorse” Behind-theScenes Tour. Learn about the diversity and conservation status of these unique fish. Discover how Birch Aquarium’s experts care for and breed seahorses, then get the chance to see tiny baby seahorses in the breeding room. Daily tours starting at 10:30 am. $35 plus aquarium admission. 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. www.aquarium.ucsd.edu Visit the USS Midway Museum, a historic aircraft carrier with more than 60 exhibits, more than 30 restored aircraft and familyfriendly activities. Open daily, 10 am-5 pm. Visit website for admission. 910 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. www.midway.org

monday | 24

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34 • SanDiegofamily.com • February 2020

Insects Face to Face. This exhibit highlights more than 30 large-scale photos that uncover the unique morphology and adaptations of insects, especially details that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Open daily, 10 am-5 pm. Included with admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. www.sdnat.org

tuesday | 25 Mardi Gras Music from the Sound Up: The Creative Tools of Synthesis. Check out this interactive exhibition where you will explore and use a process called “synthesis” to create your own unique sound from the ground up. Tues.-Sun., 10 am-5 pm. $7-$10; ages 3 & under free. Museum of Making Music, 5790 Armada Dr., Carlsbad. www.museumofmakingmusic.org 

wednesday | 26 “CUBA: Journey to the Heart of the Caribbean.” This new IMAX film immerses

FREE Family Arts & Literacy Night: Giants of Jazz. Celebrate Black History Month and the African American legends who contributed to a truly American art form. 6:30-8 pm. Rolando Rm., The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 6845 University Ave. www.sd.kroccenter.org

friday | 28 “The Illusionists – Live from Broadway.” See the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage! Tonight, 7:30 pm; tomorrow, 2 & 7:30 pm; March 1, 1 & 6 pm. Visit website for tickets. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown San Diego. www.broadwaysd.com Carlsbad Community Theatre Presents “Frozen, Jr.” Tonight, 7 pm; tomorrow, 2 & 7 pm; March 1, 2 pm. $15. Avo Playhouse, 303 Main St., Vista. www.carlsbadcommunitytheatre.com

saturday | 29 Leap Day “Museum Alive 3D.” Watch this new giant-screen film and follow one lucky visitor who stays in the museum after dark, when the most fascinating extinct prehistoric creatures come back to life! Showing daily. Included with admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. www.sdnat.org FREE Crafts at the Lakeshore Learning Store. For ages 3 & up. Saturdays, 11 am-3 pm. 7510 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego & 702 Center Dr., San Marcos. www.lakeshorelearning.com San Diego Sockers Home Games. See Feb. 12.

Find more events at www.sandiegofamily.com. Want us to spread the news? Email jenny@sandiegofamily.com and include the name of the event or activity, a brief description, event address, date, time, cost, contact number and website. Submission does not guarantee publication. Deadline for the April issue: March 1.

are by the Unlimited fun with Rides, Attractions, and Escapology Escape Room packages available. Packages include arcade card credits, food, drinks and dessert plus a reserved table* *Reserved table not included in Escapology package.


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