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35 198

2 - 2017

Volume 36 • Number 10 • January 2018


12 14

Staff Page


January Calendar of Family Events

Short & Sweet News | Notes | Tips

Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

34 Meet “This Is Us” Star, Mackenzie Hancsicsak

in every issue

Mackenzie plays young Kate Pearson


Snow Play! Six winter wonderland destinations


Family Playtime 12 ways to get healthy together


Confessions of a Weekday Vegan A semi-vegan approach for healthy kids



When a Parent Has Cancer The do’s and don’ts of supporting kids


Kids Share New Year’s Resolutions San Diego’s youth reveal their goals


Indoor Fun for Chilly Winter Days Great ways to spend the day together

The Marketplace/Classifieds

On the Cover: Bryant (8) of Santee misses his San Diego Chargers, but loves playing flag football with friends

special advertising section

after school.


Health & Wellness Guide

Cover photo:


Head of the Class: School Administrators

All Colors Photography

Winner 6 • • January 2018 on the web Get to know, where you’ll discover a plethora of awesomeness for parents.

Resources: Family Health & Home • Understanding Eating Disorders in Kids



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

Kids can enjoy the outdoors, cruising around the neighborhood on this super-powered scooter. Enter to win a Razor Spider-Man Electric Hub Motor Scooter. Contest ends Jan. 11.

• 5 Asthma Superfoods • How to Lower Your Child’s BMI • Just Say No to E-Cigarettes • How Digital Devices Affect Eyes: What you need to know about Computer Vision Syndrome

Things to Do: Family Travel • Tips for Traveling Abroad with Children • Discover California National Parks • Ski Mammoth Mountain

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

Follow Us: San Diego Family /SDFamily

San Diego Family Magazine eNewsletter

8 • • January 2018


The Sockers, San Diego’s most successful professional sports franchise, is on a quest to win it’s 15th championship! Take the family to watch exciting indoor soccer, where every seat in the house feels close to the non-stop action. Enter to win a 4-pack of tickets to the Feb. 22, 7:35 p.m. game against Rio Grande Valley Barracudas. Contest period Jan. 11–25. In celebration of Scripps Performing Arts Academy’s 11th annual American Girl Fashion Show, we’re giving away Nanea, an American Girl BeForever doll. The fashion show features girls ages 6-14 in American Girl fashions, modeling the qualities of their favorite dolls that inspire a happy and gentle world. Enter to win this BeForever doll by American Girl. Contest period Jan. 5-19. Visit ScrippsPerformingArtsAcademy .com for info about the fashion show.

Teen Parties! Friday Nights

Birthday PartyTime!


Editorial Publisher/Editor in Chief Sharon Bay Managing Editor Lisa Gipson Calendar Editor Jennifer A. Burman Proofreading Gina Petrone



Art Design/Web Design Rik Thiesfeld







••••• the host & entertain •• Party includes: Skate Heroes to al on rs pe s ou m BEST OF • One of our fa end. m beginning to FAMILY n. entire party fro so les e -ic d on FUN! rty. ctor y of f-ice an pa e du E th ro of Int ar in. st m e D • 15 B Y PA R E ard medal for th aw d an wl Bo ey 2 0 1 • Exclusive Turk 5 T OP PICK . games on the ice ll. Ha • Over 8 exciting rty Pa ub Cl e Ice Qub Disco • 1 1/2 hrs. in th d paper goods. • Decorations an n cake. ow • Decorate your lian Salad. on & e Giant Ita • Pizza, Punch ches. Cream Sandwi • Cake and Ice Swirly Pop. with collectable • Goodie Bags ey Skates. • Figure or Hock D.J. e • Energetic Liv b. Where we make your first it from the Ice Qu vis ial • And a spec

ice skating experience FUN! Saturdays & Sundays from 11:30 AM to 3 PM or 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Check out the party pictures Facebook/San Diego Ice Arena 11048 Ice Skate Place, Mira Mesa (858) 530-1825

Cover Photo All Colors Photography

Editorial Submission Guidelines

Would you like to write for San Diego Family Magazine? For editorial guidelines, visit and see Editorial Guidelines at the bottom of the home page. A submission does not guarantee publication. We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

Distribution Locations

San Diego Family Magazine is distributed at more than 1,700 locations. Pick up your free copy at: Vons Supermarkets, McDonald’s, Sombrero’s Mexican Food, Round Table Pizza, Wahoos, Fleet Science Center, schools, libraries, medical offices and more.


Receive 12 issues for $18. Subscription includes our annual publication, Out & About. Orders must include check or money order made out to: San Diego Family Magazine. Mail payment to: SDFM, Subscription Request, P.O. Box 23960, San Diego, CA 92193.

Member of “SUPERHERO” Parent’s Nite Out 1/20 6-10PM $20 per child PNO

10 • • January 2018

Distribution Audited by Business Business Manager Larry Bay Marketing Coordinator Michele Hancock Administrative Assistant Adrienne Sigeti Accounting Circulation Linda Bay Printing California Offset Printers

Advertising/Marketing Advertising/Marketing Representatives Tony Andrews 619-685-6977 • Point Loma, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, North County Coastal Giovanni Baldan 619-685-6987 • South Bay, San Diego Downtown, Uptown Ramona Warner 619-685-5860 • East County Nicole Maggio 619-685-6971 • North County Inland (includes Scripps Ranch) 619-685-6970 • Clairemont, Linda Vista, Mission Valley North, Mira Mesa San Diego Family Magazine is published monthly by San Diego Family Magazine LLC. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily the opinions of this publication.


A Family Adventure Guide to San Diego County

The Parent Resource Guide for Children with Special Needs

Welcome Home 5 Campuses Across San Diego County •

January 2018 • •


Our San Diego

Publisher’s Letter


Welcome to 2018! Time has flown by—what happened to 2017?

We have so much to be thankful for: We have our health, our family and we live in San Diego where the weather is warm—sometimes hot during winter. Our health, or that of others close to us, is not always perfect. We might be focusing on the person who is ill and forget about their family, who also needs support. What can you do? Read on page 30 and find great tips to help your loved ones. Eating healthy is hard at times, but it should be a top priority. How can you eat healthier when you like meat, bread and sweets? Writer Anne Malinoski explains that it’s OK to not eat healthy once in a while. See page 28. I have tried to stay away from gluten. I do pretty well, even though a heel of crispy bread finds its way to my mouth occasionally. It tastes good and I enjoy that little bite—then I am good again. Ready to experience a white winter? Leave the warm weather behind and head to one of the ski areas not far from San Diego. Enjoy the time spent with your family. Find information about six destinations on page 16. Remember: families that play together, stay together (p. 22). Main Office: 1475 Sixth Avenue, Fifth Floor, San Diego, CA 92101 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 23960, San Diego, CA 92193-3960 Phone: 619-685-6970 Fax: 619-685-6978 E-mail: 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 • • January 2018

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Anne Malinoski, freelance writer I don’t make resolutions in the first few years after giving birth. Lack of sleep is a huge goal-killer for me, so I take it one day at a time, forgiving myself for every missed workout, lazy dinner and grumpy outburst. Maybe that’s the resolution: Relax! Giovanni Baldan marketing representative I don’t make resolutions. If I want to do something, I just do it (any time of year) and continue. It shouldn’t be a one-day thing because of New Year’s hype. I feel the same about Valentine’s Day. People should recognize their love always: bring flowers in July, go on picnics in October, etc. Lisa Gipson, managing editor I’m starting a new tradition: I’m writing the worst things that happened this year on lemons (in Sharpie), thanking God for seeing me through those adversities, and then using the lemons to make lemonade or lemon bars. It’s a “sweet” way to start a new year. Kristen Castillo, freelance writer My resolution this year: I want to walk more throughout the day; and I’m using my Fitbit to track my steps.

Turn to page 38 to read resolutions made by San Diego kids!

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Short & Sweet San Diego Family Gives Back San Diego Family donated toys to many nonprofit organizations in 2017, including Jagger and Kristi’s Christmas Wish, Becky’s Gift, Chula Vista Community Collaborative, Koinonia Family Services, North County Mothers of Multiples, San Diego POPS - Paternal Opportunities Programs & Services, SDUSD Deaf/Hard of Hearing Infant Program, Toys for Joy and more.

Lisa Gipson Beware of Carbon Monoxide Danger Did you know that California homeowners and rental property owners are required by law to install carbon monoxide detectors in their home or rental properties? It’s important to check the safety of heaters, fireplaces and furnaces that haven’t been used for a while. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room and over 4,000 are hospitalized annually as a result of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning (not linked to fires). “Children and the elderly are especially at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning,” says Dr. Keith Yablonicky, an emergency physician at Sharp Memorial Hospital. Early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include: • Headache • Unexplained nausea

Jagger, Sharon & Kristi

• Unexplained drowsiness • Mental confusion

New! California’s Paid Family Leave New in 2018, California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program will offer eligible Californians up to 70 percent of their pay (higher than any other state) while on leave. California’s PFL provides up to six weeks of partial wage replacement benefits to bond with a new child (biological, foster or adopted children) or to care for a seriously ill relative. Leave can be taken all at once or split over a 12-month period. To learn more about the program, visit

• Flu-like symptoms For more information—including what to do if you suspect a carbon monoxide leak—visit turning-up-the-heat.cfm.

This Is Girl Scouts

• Planning/scheduling • Mobility and transportation • Personal safety • Finances and budgeting • Work readiness For questions about enrollment, email Katie Serbian at or call 619-388-1821.

Even Mackenzie Hancsicsak, who plays young Kate Pearson on the hit TV show “This Is Us” will start selling Girl Scout cookies on Sunday, Jan. 28. Why? She’s a Girl Scout in real life! To read more about Mackenzie, turn to page 34 for our exclusive interview. Want cookies? Contact your neighborhood troop, or visit

Photo courtesy of Hancsicsak family

San Diego Continuing Education (CE) Disability Support Programs & Services is offering a Community Living Skills course at the new CE location in Miramar. The course meets twice weekly from February to June. Students learn:

Mackenzie with on-screen dad, Milo Ventimiglia

Enter our Cover Kids Search by midnight on Jan. 31 for a chance to have your child featured on a future cover of San Diego Family Magazine or our annual publication, Out & About. Visit contests/cover-kids-search for information about the contest and to enter online.

14 • • January 2018

LAST CHANCE! SDFM is looking for six children ages 2-11 and one multiples combo to appear on the cover of a future issue of San Diego Family Magazine or our annual Out & About family adventure publication.

Do you want your child to appear on the

cover of San Diego Family Magazine?

2018 Cover Kids Search Cheryl was one of our 2017 Cover Kids Winners!

Enter online at: Visit our website for complete rules and more information, or call 619-685-6970.

Thank you to our sponsors:

2018 Search Ends: JANUARY 31, 2018

(Online entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on this date. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by this date.)

Contest open to all San Diego County residents. Visit our website to enter contest online or print out the mail-in registration form. A $25 registration fee per entry ($35 for multiples category) must accompany a recent high quality photo, used to determine finalists (photo will not be returned). Submitted photos of 25 finalists from each category (100 total) will be displayed at: Category finalists will be invited to a judging event to help determine contest winners. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps and the Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego.

photo credit- Big Bear Mountain Resort

16 • • January 2018

: y a l P w o Sn

Lisa Pawlak


Last year’s record-breaking snowfall beckoned winter sports and snow play enthusiasts well into the summer months. This year, hopes are high for another epic season. The whole family can enjoy a snowy, active vacation with adventures like skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snow tubing, ice skating, snow people building, bobsledding, snowshoeing, winter ziplining, snow ball fights and more. So, pack up the car and head to the mountains for some good old-fashioned, frosty fun! Here are six winter wonderlands—all within a day’s drive of San Diego. Big Bear Region Nestled within the San Bernardino Mountains and accessible for a day trip or weekend getaway, this popular area hosts a range of family-friendly activities. Big Bear Mountain Resort includes sister ski areas Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Bear Mountain is home to Southern California’s largest learning area, with the highest acreage of beginner terrain and a

h t o m m a M

Skill Builder Park, which contains safer, smaller versions of the mountain’s famous freestyle features that attract professional skiers and boarders. Recent renovations feature two new Magic Carpets—a conveyer-belt style ski lift (at the level of the snow) that safely transport learners to the top of beginning ski runs. Nearby Snow Summit also offers night skiing and a tube park. Both have recently upgraded base area facilities, including new locker rooms. Additional opportunities for winter fun include Big Bear Snow Play’s evening glow tubing sessions, and Alpine Slide’s authentic bobsliding experiences. You’ll also find snowshoeing, zipline, off-road Jeep tours and the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. Average annual snowfall is 100 inches. About 20-30 minutes southwest of Big Bear Lake, Snow Valley also has skiing and snowboarding, along with a snow play area and downhill sledding.

Learn more about Big Bear:

Brian Head Resort, UT A doable 8-9 hour drive from San Diego, Utah’s highest elevation ski resort boasts a base elevation of 9,600 feet and an average snowfall of 360 inches. Offering terrain for all ability levels, Brian Head has two connected mountains: Navajo Peak for beginner/ intermediate, and Brian Head Peak for a mix of intermediate and advanced runs. The resort is generally priced

18 • • January 2018

lower than many California ski areas, particularly in late season. Other activities include snow tubing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and more; adults might also enjoy the full service day spa at Cedar Breaks Lodge & Spa. Learn more at Nearby Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are gorgeous after a dusting of snow. Read my articles about family travel to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks at www.SanDiegoFamily .com/things-to-do/travel.

skiing, gondola rides, snowshoeing, and an abundance of sledding hills and tubing parks. There’s also excellent nightlife, dining and entertainment. For those seeking something more calming, there’s even “snow-ga”— yoga specially designed for pre-slope stretching and post-ski recovery. Visit and www

Lake Tahoe Area

Mammoth and June Mountains

With its crystalline lake waters surrounded by one of the largest concentrations of ski resorts in the world, Tahoe is a true mélange of majestic scenery and never-ending adventure. Drivable in a day, the area is also served by Reno-Tahoe airport. The region has 15 separate downhill ski areas, an average annual snowfall of 400 inches, over 300 days of sunshine, and more than 22,000 acres of worldclass skiing and snowboarding. Resorts include Squaw ValleyAlpine Meadows’ rare mountain-top beginners area; Northstar’s high-end luxury accommodations; Heavenly’s unparalleled scenic views and après-ski scene; and Kirkwood’s off-the-beatenpath, small town atmosphere. A full range of winter activities awaits, including ice skating, sleighrides, dog sled tours, cross country

One of California’s premier winter sports recreational resorts, Mammoth Mountain, is located in the eastern Sierras, approximately 400 miles from San Diego, and served by MammothYosemite airport. Mammoth Mountain is best known for world-class skiing and snowboarding, with California’s highest ski summit of 11,053 ft., over 400 inches of average annual snowfall, and clear blue skies 300+ days each year. Several base lodge areas serve the expansive ski area. The town of Mammoth Lakes offers a variety of winter activities, including snow play areas, electric tubing, scenic gondola rides, high-speed snowmobile tours, ice skating, luxury snowcat tours, dog sled rides and more. Perhaps time your trip to include a guided full-moon snowshoe or cross-country tour.

photo credit- Lisa


continued on p. 20


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Nearby June Mountain, about 30-minutes from Mammoth, is smaller and less crowded, with an average snowfall of 250 inches. Kids 12 and under ski/ride free.

Learn more about Mammoth: travel

San Gabriel Mountains Several ski areas are easily accessible for day trips, just east of Los Angeles. The largest resort, Mountain High, is divided into West, East and North resorts. The North Resort has familyfriendly, beginner terrain and is home to the North Pole Tubing Park. Kids 6 and under ski free with a paying adult; visitors receive a free lift or tubing ticket on their birthday with valid photo I.D. Visit for more information. Mount Baldy has several vintagestyle chair lifts and a tube park. Nearby Mount Waterman ski area and Buckhorn Ski/Snowboard Club are quite small, but cozy.

Yosemite National Park


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20 • • January 2018

The beauty and serenity of snowcovered Yosemite will remain with you for a lifetime. Beyond that, this winter paradise is home to a large range of snow-filled activities, including Yosemite (formerly Badger Pass) Ski & Snowboard Area’s ski lifts, 300 inches of annual snowfall, snow tubing/ sledding areas and cross-country skiing. Ranger-led snowshoe walks are offered December through March, conditions permitting; and an outdoor ice skating rink operates seasonally in Yosemite Valley. Find more information at wintersports.htm. v Lisa Pawlak is an award-winning freelance writer and winter sports enthusiast.








Music is a passport that can take our imagination to a certain time and place. From swingin’ jazz, to the “Habanera” from Carmen, to dances and Classical Symphonies, we’ll explore how these beats came to be, and how distinctive rhythms transport us to cities like Seville, Paris and our very own San Diego. All aboard! *Ticket price valid for children ages 12 and younger.



American Girls & Their Friends

Sunday March 11, 2018 at 2pm at The Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall 5775 Morehouse Dr. San Diego, CA 92121

To Benefit Isabella’s Giraffe Club

Stretching and Growing to Support Infants to Teens Hosted by




Auditions begin this month for Models, Dancers and Actors for Master of Ceremonies! Ages 6-18 years old welcome. All Registering for 2nd Semester Classes! Call today for your appointment!

Call the Scripps Performing Arts Academy at (858) 586-7834 to Schedule an Audition Today! Isabella’s Giraffe Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization


www.ScrippsPer formingAr January 2018 • •


Pam Molnar

FAMILY PLAYTIME 12 ways to get healthy together Trampoline Arena

Children are being raised in a

world much busier than the one we grew up in. Schedules are so full that multi-tasking is normal. Kids eat dinner in the car on the way to practice and memorize spelling words while emptying the dishwasher. Family time has been reduced to winding down in front of the TV at the end of a long day. It’s time to put our multi-tasking skills to better use and bring back an interactive family time. Get off the couch, shut off the screens and enjoy some family time fitness. Can’t think of anything to do? Keep reading for a little inspiration.

Family Fun Runs Sign up the family for one of San Diego’s 5K walk/run events. These family-friendly courses lead participants through colored foam, glow paint, mud and even obstacle courses. While many events are connected to charity fundraising, some of them are just for fun. Find a list of San Diego’s fun run and 5K events at www.SanDiegoFamily .com/things-to-do/out-about.

22 • • January 2018

Hiking Local forest preserves and state parks offer trails with various levels of difficulty. Park district jogging paths often include fitness stations along the pathway. Pack some water, a snack and the dog for an afternoon of family fun. Discover San Diego’s favorite hiking trails at things-to-do/out-about/1073.

Laser Tag This adrenaline raising activity makes a great rainy day plan for families. Players wear lightweight targeted vests and carry a laser gun. Played in a semidark room with plenty of places to hide, teams try to hit the opponents target and get points for each hit.

Pull Out the Bikes Many local trails are set up for bikes. Let the kids ride their own bicycle or bring younger children along in a bike trailer. Cycling 10-12 mph burns 30-45 calories per mile, depending on your weight.

Not only tons of fun, but jumping on a trampoline uses a lot of energy. In addition to trampoline jumping, many arenas include dodgeball courts and specialty classes. There are many trampoline parks in San Diego County, including two new ones in north county.

Explore the City On a recent trip to the city, our family spent the day exploring on foot. We walked six miles while sightseeing, shopping and snapping pictures. Although the city is filled with transportation options, we didn’t want to miss anything. Walking burns approximately 100 calories per mile, leaving room for a guilt-free dinner.

Pick-Up Games Even the busiest families can find time for a 30-minute pick-up game. Challenge a neighboring family to a quick game of soccer at the park or basketball in the driveway. Other family games include volleyball, kickball or Frisbee golf.

Get on the Water Rent a kayak, rowboat or paddleboard for a little exercise and inexpensive fun. Did you know that paddling uses seven muscle groups including arms, shoulders and core?

5 Free Fitness Apps for Busy Families Fun on the Ice Head to the ice rink for a “cool” family outing! Call ahead for open skate times. Rady Children’s Ice Rink at Liberty Station is open until Jan. 7. Don’t miss Teen Meltdown on Friday nights at San Diego Ice Arena in Mira Mesa. If you prefer wheels over blades, check out a roller rink instead.

Stair Climb Stair climb fundraising events are held nationwide by firefighter organizations, the American Lung Association and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Participants climb stairs and collect donations for a cause. These are great fitness events for families. Or, create your own stair climb challenge at home!

Indoor Skydiving Would you like to try skydiving but don’t like the idea of jumping out of a plane? Indoor skydiving facilities like iFly Oceanside give guests a true freefall experience for children as young as 3 and their adult companions. Visit for more information.

Video Games Yes, you read it right. I am encouraging family fitness in the form of a video game. Try Wii Just Dance, Wii Fit Plus, Kinect Sports for Xbox or Sports Champion for PS3. Kids love the opportunity to play their game systems (and often beat their parents)—and these games get everyone off the couch. v Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three busy teens. She has a multi-tasking family who combines fitness and family time whenever possible.


MapMyRun – Choose different categories such as walk, run or bike and let the app record your route, time, speed and calories burned. Fitness Buddy – This app’s free version contains over 400 exercises with descriptions and workouts. The paid version offers over 1,700 exercises – wow! Instant Heart Rate – Place your index finger on your iPhone camera to get your heart rate reading in less than 10 seconds. 7 Minute Workout – This app by Wahoo Fitness is the number one fitness app in 127 countries. It offers twelve 30-second exercises (with 10-second intervals). Get a complete workout in seven minutes – great for families on the run. Simply Yoga – Wind down at the end of a busy day with your own personal yoga instructor. Videos demonstrate poses and offer 20-, 40- or 60-minute workouts.

Tony/Nov 2017



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Special Advertising Section

Here’s to Your

Health! 2018 guide to family health, wellness and fitness Make your family’s health a priority this new year with our 2018 Health and Welllness Guide. Search for pediatricians, family spa and massage services, gymnastics classes, dentists and more.

Health & Wellness Children’s Physicians Medical Group San Diego, 877-276-4543 Children’s Physicians Medical Group (CPMG) provides the region’s only integrated pediatric network of primary care, specialty care and hospital services, as part of Rady Children’s Health Network. No matter what kind of healthcare needs your child has, our doctors are working together to ensure your child gets the best care possible, from birth through age 18. See pgs. 2, 31 Greater Life/ Dr. Henry Wong, D.C. San Diego, 619-333-8782 Safe and easy weight loss management system is proven to help you lose weight. Lose 1-2 pounds of fat per day, naturally. Dr. Wong is here for you every step of the way and will explain this safe and effective method that all of San Diego County is talking about. See p. 4

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Our Family Spa La Mesa, 619-724-6000 We care about your entire family. Let us watch your kids in our fabulous playroom while you get the pampering you deserve. We offer family massage, sports pedicures, teen facials, Mommy and Me spa dates and more. See p. 27 Pigtails & Crewcuts San Diego County We offer lice prevention and removal products. See p. 27

Dental Health Children’s Choice Pediatric Dental San Diego, 619-996-9543 Our office exclusively employs highly skilled Board Certified Pediatric Specialists because we understand concerns for quality care. We provide mercury-free fillings, in-office IV Sedation, and use digital X-rays reducing radiation by 90%. Our homelike atmosphere creates positive experiences, making us the pediatric dental choice that has everyone smiling! See p. 31

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Special Advertising Section Children’s Primary Dental San Marcos and Chula Vista, 619-425-9930 We are dedicated to teaching children proper dental hygiene that will help their teeth remain healthy and strong well into adulthood. For your convenience, we offer care for both children and adults. See p. 13

City Ballet of San Diego Pacific Beach, 858-274-6058 Whether it’s through our open classes, traditional kids’ programs, pre-professional and adult programs or summer camps, you will gain health and wellness benefits for 2018 through San Diego’s finest ballet school. See p. 32

Jean Chan, DDS El Cajon, 619-579-2363 Our office has a multilingual and experienced team. Experience is what sets us apart. Along with providing the highest quality of care with the latest technology, we offer nitrous oxide, general anesthesia and orthodontics. We are the only pediatric dentists in San Diego that specialize in laser frenectomies. See p. 29

Elite Gymnastics Academy El Cajon, 619-441-5900 At Elite Gymnastics Academy it’s our mission to provide high quality gymnastics instruction to students of all ages and abilities in a safe, supportive, challenging and fun environment! From toddler gymnastics to competitive teams, let your child experience the thrill of flying, stretching and tumbling. See p. 10

The Super Dentists 5 locations, 858-609-8576 The Super Dentists provide pediatric dentistry and orthodontics in one magical place. We look forward to seeing you in our offices to show how the superheroes of pediatric dentistry and orthodontics are saving the world one smile at a time. Explore our website or join us on Facebook. See p. 7

FUNBelievable Play Lakeside, 619-456-2474 FUNBelievable’s 6,000-square-foot play center is designed with healthy, active kids in mind. Our play environment stimulates the imagination, encourages physical and mental development and is suitable for children of all ages and abilities. It’s a great way to work up a sweat and add fun physical activity to their day. See p. 53

University Dental Rolando,619-319-9640 Patients from all over San Diego County come to University Dental for general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics and more. See p. 25

LionHeart Fencing Academy El Cajon, 619-462-2027 Is your child looking for a unique sport? Try the fast action sport of fencing, the reserved sport of archery or historical medieval sword fighting. Each of these sports teaches discipline and coordination, and engages the mind for success. Homeschool PE programs also available. See p. 33

Fitness Aqua Pros Swim School Clairemont, 619-209-2990 With over 34 years of experience, Aqua Pros Swim School offers a year-round, learn-toswim program for all ages in our warm, indoor swimming pool. We provide small group and private swim lessons. We always offer a free introductory swim lesson—call to schedule yours today. See p. 32 California Ballet School Kearny Mesa, La Mesa and Point Loma 858-560-5676 California Ballet School offers year-round dance training for students ages 2 through adult. Our dancers have several opportunities to perform throughout the year. Find your passion in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, flamenco, Pilates and more. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. See p. 35

26 • • January 2018

Petits Amigos Rancho Bernardo, 858-428-HOLA Petits Amigos is a combined Spanish Immersion and Gymnastics Preschool program for children ages 2.5-5 years old. With our mind and body approach to language learning, your child will be immersed in a world of movement, music, art, stories, culture, games and more. See p.51 Poway Gymnastics Poway, 858-748-1716 Poway Gymnastics is a dedicated safe learning environment for boys and girls of all levels. We feel gymnastics is the basis of all sports. Gymnastics instills self-confidence, discipline, strength, flexibility, body awareness and will help a child later in life in whatever they choose. See p. 29 San Diego Ice Arena Mira Mesa, 858-530-1825 Ice skating is a great way to get exercise while having the time of your life! Get and stay fit through skate school, hockey, public skate and parties! See p. 10 Scripps Performing Arts Academy Scripps Ranch & Carmel Valley, 858-586-7834 The Scripps Performing Arts Academy promotes a healthy lifestyle and offers training in many dance styles (ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop) and Pilates classes. Dancing is a great way to increase muscle strength and flexibility. For more information or class schedules, please visit our website or call our office. See p. 21

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January 2018 • •


Anne Malinoski

Confessions of a

Weekday Vegan My semi-vegan approach for healthy kids and a healthy planet For the third time in my adult life,

I’ve rewritten my weekly shopping list to exclude meat. Since my body rejects lactose, and my kids reject eggs, this essentially makes me a vegan. A “weekday vegan,” that is. This time, instead of dropping animal proteins completely, I’m opting for a more flexible diet. For me, it means I don’t cook meat or dairy at home, but I also don’t check the labels on all my packaged foods as a strict vegan would. And when I’m enjoying an occasional meal out, the entire menu is fair game.

What are the benefits of (mostly) quitting animal products? Health The standard American diet consists of highly processed, high-calorie food that leaves little room for nutritious fruits and vegetables. That’s one of the reasons childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years and there is a rise in Type 2 Diabetes among kids. Meanwhile, vegans enjoy lower risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. They tend to be leaner and less likely to develop obesity-related diseases. Without meat or dairy crowding the plate, vegans consume more fruits, vegetables and grains.

28 • • January 2018

They tend to get plenty of fiber, which reduces risk of colon cancer. But there’s good news for those of us who can’t quit meat completely: Research suggests that even part-timers can expect improved health outcomes. Allyson Kennett of Imperial Beach is a semi-vegan who began thinking more about food choices after becoming a mother. “So many of today’s major health issues appear to be linked to what we put in our bodies,” Kennett says. While she often prepares vegan,

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organic and locally sourced meals, she admits it’s difficult to avoid meat and dairy every day. “I find it very restricting, especially when I’m short on time. I don’t always want to eat a quick salad and my kids almost always won’t,” says Kennett. She says it’s convenient to bend the rules in social situations, like at a friend’s party, or when the family eats out. Ideally, the kids won’t feel restricted or excluded, but still develop a thoughtful approach to eating. “I hope they’re learning that it really matters what they choose to put in their bodies,” she says.

The Planet Meat production at its current scale has been shown to have a major impact on the environment. American meat consumption has grown by 20 percent in the last 50 years. That’s hard to swallow, considering livestock farming is among the highest producers of greenhouse gas. Did you know that more antibiotics are used each year on healthy animals than on sick humans? That’s to prevent rampant disease in crowded factory farms. Unfortunately, the overuse of these antimicrobials has contributed to the crisis of antibiotic resistance and the occurrence of superbugs.

Why not full vegan? In short, being full vegan is not sustainable for most people. Consider the fact that only 10 percent of Americans say they’ve attempted a vegetarian diet, and just two percent of Americans are practicing vegetarians at any given time (only a quarter of those are vegan). If the quitters are anything like me, they go right back to preparing a pound of meat each night once the veggie experiment has failed. Imagine the positive impact we could have on our national health, on the environment, and the benefit to animals, if a larger percentage of people could reduce meat consumption significantly. I believe more people would attempt to reduce meat intake, if it weren’t an all-or-nothing proposition. Semi-veganism: It’s the next best thing! v


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Anne Malinoski is a contributing writer and mother of two boys. She’s a semivegan who no longer thinks of occasional meat consumption as “cheating.”

Check out these resources to learn more: In Defense of Food is a documentary (based on the book by Michael Pollan) that breaks down popular food myths and makes the case for a plant-heavy diet. Available on Netflix. Mark Bittman’s book VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 explains how Bittman made significant, but sustainable diet changes that reversed his prediabetes—without giving up his favorite meals. If you’re a vegan who isn’t sure what to think about the rising popularity of semi-veganism, check out Tobias Leenaert’s book, How to Create a Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach.

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Lisa Pawlak

Do’s and Don’ts of Supporting Kids

When a Parent Has Cancer

Sandy Freiwald

Jo McDonald an

d family

Many people are familiar with ways

to help friends or family members who have been diagnosed with cancer or another life-threatening or chronic disease. But when the diagnosed individual is a parent, there are also the needs of children to consider. As a parent deals with major medical decisions, countless doctor visits and treatment appointments— and is increasingly physically and emotionally drained—the kids also require practical and emotional support. Below are suggestions, made by local cancer survivors and their kids, on how to help. Whether the involved kids are your own or those of someone you love, there are supportive roles for everyone in the community.

30 • • January 2018

Be upfront — but don’t overdramatize. Kids of all ages are surprisingly perceptive. By the time they learn of a parent’s illness, they probably already understand that something unusual is happening. Therefore, Parents, have a conversation sooner than later, even if you don’t know all the answers. Britany Gipson, now 27, was 9 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. “As a child, I remember being scared, I remember wanting to know what was going on,” she explains. In most cases, honest, open communication about the disease, treatment plan and overall prognosis is best. In absence of an upfront explanation, kids invent their own internal stories that might be worse than reality. Establishing guidelines on what is “normal” during treatments

and family

(i.e. nausea, fatigue, hair loss, pain) sets expectations and alleviates unnecessary worry. It is helpful to discuss the logistics of how kids will personally be affected – for example, explain that because Grandma is coming to stay for a while to help, the kids need to share a bedroom; or since Dad is having surgery, hugs will need to be extra gentle. Kids may fear their parent is going to die. Don’t shy away from the subject; it is important to validate these concerns. However, never underestimate the power of a positive attitude; even when the outlook looks bleak, a parent telling her kids, “I have every intention of beating this” lets them know she plans to fight – and hopefully win. Jo McDonald, 41-year-old mother of three, reflects on sharing her breast cancer diagnosis with the kids, “Adelaide (8) was in tears. After some coaxing, I was able to get her to articulate that she was afraid I wouldn’t survive. I told her that was a very real

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January 2018 • •


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After her cancer diagnosis, Sandy Freiwald consulted a children’s therapist for advice on how to best support 8-year-old daughter, Genevieve. “She was a great resource and suggested that keeping things as normal as possible for Genevieve was the most important thing.” One simple thing that friends and family can do is offer rides to school and/or extracurricular activities. “The regular schedule of piano class and swim team practices really kept life going,” McDonald says. Even when every effort is made to keep the kids’ lives normal, inevitably there will be times when it’s impossible (i.e. Mom missing a dance recital because she’s in the hospital, or well-intended visitors who disrupt family routine).

Camp Kesem



concern.” Fortunately, after additional scans, McDonald learned a cure looked likely after months of grueling treatments including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. “I am not the type to dwell on hardship,” McDonald reflects. “You fix it and move on or do the best you can. Wallowing and self pity are not in my vocabulary; I think the kids took that attitude as well.”

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32 • • January 2018

Nationwide, an estimated five million kids are affected by a parent with cancer. Camp Kesem offers free, week-long summer camp experiences to kids whose parents are cancer patients or survivors, or who have lost a parent to cancer. Staffed by trained college students and focused on traditional, fun activities, southern California chapters include UC San Diego, UC Irvine and UCLA. For more information, visit www

Let the kids know they’re supported — but don’t hound them. Some kids want to share their feelings with everyone; some only share with immediate family; others won’t talk to anyone. Everyone handles challenges differently. Whether you are a parent, friend, relative, or other influential adult, let the kids know you are a resource. Check in periodically by creating comfortable opportunities for safe discussion, but resist the urge to constantly ask, “How are you doing?” since this alone rarely opens lines of communication. Ask about something else instead: a math test, school project or soccer game. Perhaps kids will open up—or at least appreciate talking about something other than cancer. “Emotionally, it helps to have someone who is just willing to listen to you vent and process—not necessarily someone who will have the answer for you,” says Macy, who was 17 when her dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Sharing basic information with teachers and other caregivers might be helpful, particularly for younger children. However, discuss this with older kids first—teens may prefer extra attention not be drawn to them.

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Feed them — and don’t forget dessert. Jonah, 13, whose mom was diagnosed with sarcoma cancer last year, still raves about meals brought by friends and neighbors during chemotherapy, “It was really nice how everyone contributed,” he says. “It made me feel really good, like I had a lot of support and people really cared.” Although difficult to predict a cancer patient’s appetite, the rest of the family will certainly appreciate rotating meal deliveries from supporting community. Don’t forget sweet treats! These courageous kids deserve a little extra indulgence. v Lisa Pawlak was 9 years old when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and is a two-time cancer survivor. Her courageous kids were 5 and 7 the first time, 13 and 15 the second.

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Meet “ This Is Us” Star

Kristen Castillo

Mackenzie Hancsicsak wants to makes sure the kids are good, treated nice and don’t have questions or issues,” Melinda explains. She credits actors Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia (who play Mackenzie’s parents on-camera) for acting like parents off camera to Mackenzie and her on-screen siblings.

Photos courtesy of Hancsicsak family

Life on Set

(upper left): Mackenzie with Milo Ventimiglia, who plays her on-screen dad, Jack Pearson; (lower left): The Pearsons, including Mackenzie’s on-screen brothers and mom, Mandy Moore; (right): Mackenzie, Hannah Zeile and Chrissy Metz, who all play Kate Pearson.

Even those who’ve never watched “This Is Us”, have no doubt heard about NBC’s hit family drama that’s taking the nation by storm. The show is so well done—and relatable on so many levels—it’s hard not to love it. “San Diego Family” has a handful of “This Is Us” fanatics, so when we got the chance to interview Mackenzie Hancsicsak, who plays the child-version of Kate Pearson, we jumped at the chance. Mackenzie recalls her audition for “This Is Us,” now a hot NBC TV series. Typically auditions are short, but hers lasted 45 minutes. “We did it over and over until we got the perfect shot; then we left and I got a call back,” says the 10-year-old who stars as the childhood version of the character, Kate Pearson. Two other actresses, Hannah Zeile and Chrissy Metz portray Kate at older points of her life.

34 • • January 2018

Landing the role was exciting for Mackenzie, who had no previous on-screen appearances, not even commercials. She had taken acting classes and was in a summer acting camp in Los Angeles when her agent told her about the audition. Mackenzie loves the gig, despite early call times (she’s on set at 6 a.m. many days) and that she has to learn more dialogue this season. “I have to remember a lot of lines,” she says. The role deals with hard-hitting issues including bullying, self-esteem and other personal and family matters. “We talk a lot as a family,” says Mackenzie’s mother, Melinda Hancsicsak. They discuss the issues Kate (the character) struggles with, such as weight and dealing with mean girls. Show creator Dan Fogelman knows the subject matter is tough. “But he

“This Is Us” is a fun set, which both mother and daughter enjoy. Melinda reads through the scripts and feels just as emotional as the shows’ fans. “I’m crying, reading scripts,” she says. Mackenzie liked shooting the pool scene in Season One because she likes to swim. Her favorite (also in the first season) was the Thanksgiving episode when they filmed a pretend car accident. Ventimiglia gave each of the kids a wooden top—a gift for being so patient during shooting. Moore gave Mackenzie her favorite lip gloss.

Following a brief hiatus, “This Is Us” returns to NBC at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. This Is 10 In real life, Mackenzie is a fifth grader who loves math and art. She’s also a Girl Scout who enjoys building Legos and playing with her two rescue dogs. Even though she attends school in L.A., Mackenzie and the other kids in the cast have on-set tutors and must study three hours every shoot day. Mackenzie is very involved at her school and in her community, joining a “green” program at school where kids pack lunches using recyclable containers to create less trash; and collecting pet supplies for animals. She’d like to be a vet when she grows up, but is also interested in continuing to act, becoming a pop star and an artist. The starlet sums up life at 10: “I like puppies, rainbows, galaxies, my family

and friends, and my fans. Oh, and I love making slime!” she adds.

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Mackenzie’s role on “This Is Us” keeps her in the spotlight, which can be tough at times. During a recent trip to Disneyland, fans (mostly adults) stopped her for photos. Mackenzie is gracious and thankful for the attention.

When Mackenzie visits San Diego County, she enjoys Del Mar and Carlsbad, as well as SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo and Legoland.

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“When they say they like my show, my heart turns warm and fuzzy,” she says. Mackenzie connects with fans on social media, including 29,000 Instagram followers. While the attention is mostly positive, it’s a lot for a kid to handle, so her mother manages the social media accounts. Still, Mackenzie is focused on having fun and being a good role model for her peers. She’s a part of a group called G.U.T. (Girl Uplifters Team), whose goal is to create positivity and kindness for girls. v Kristen Castillo is an award-winning freelance writer who has seen every episode of “This Is Us.”

January 2018

Tips for being in entertainment: • Pick something your child really likes (such as dancing or acting) and focus on that one thing. “It’s hard to do it all,” says Melinda. Mackenzie agrees, “If you like something, try to do it.” • Get an agent to help find acting roles. • Be flexible with your schedule and be patient (there can be lots of waiting). • Have a great support system of family and teachers—people who support this career choice.

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January 2018 • •


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North County Coastal

North County Inland


CENTRAL MONTESSORI SCHOOL Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten

COUNTRY MONTESSORI SCHOOL Preschool/Kindergarten/Elementary

Lic. # 372005868

6917 Tait St., San Diego 92111 Linda Vista


Lic. #376700910

Encinitas, Cardiff, Carlsbad, La Costa

760-479-9889 ENCINITAS COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL Preschool/Elementary/Middle

Lic # 372006093

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


Lic. #372005943

SCRIPPS MONTESSORI SCHOOL Toddler/Preschool/Elementary


9939 Old Grove Rd., San Diego 92131 Scripps Ranch

Two Locations in Encinitas Encinitas

Lic. # 370801839


Each Montessori school is independently owned and operated. Please check your local school for specific information regarding program options and Montessori content.

Cherie Gough

e r a h s s id k o g ie D Sa n


New Year’s resolutions may be out of vogue with adults—research shows that only 8 percent stick to them. But that doesn’t keep San Diego kids from setting goals as they approach the new year! Adults can learn a thing or two as local kids remind us that January is a time for new beginnings—as is each new day. Even if a resolution isn’t in the stars for you, you’ll enjoy the imagination and hopefulness of these optimistic young voices.

The Playful I want to train my new puppy to do some really cool tricks. Jakob (12), Carlsbad I wish I could ride a unicorn. Maggie (7), San Carlos I’d like to get a more popular YouTube channel by uploading more (and better) videos. Gavin (9), San Carlos

This year I want to explore new places and to hit a home run. Dylan (8), San Carlos The Competitive I want to catch up to the top three girls in swim and exceed their time. Jack (9), La Mesa

I want to land a tail whip on my scooter. John (10), Del Cerro

38 • • January 2018

I’m working hard to be named captain of my volleyball team. Zoe (14), Del Cerro

I wish I could get better at the monkey bars. Fiona (5), Santee

I want to get better at gymnastics and do better than the competitor girls. Sophia (5), San Carlos




Grow with us!

K-5 Homeschool Enroll TODAY!


January 2018 • •


The Community Leaders

Happy Kids Hang Out Here

I want to help the homeless people by giving them good food to eat and good water. Raniyah (9), El Cajon It’s a true fact that every family produces around 30 pounds of trash or more each week, so my goal is to recycle more. Sammy (10), San Carlos

You can go to work confident your child is safe, happy, having fun and thriving with our teachers. We help your child develop excitement and curiosity about learning, plus strong self-esteem that will last a lifetime.

If I could make the world better, I would change people’s cold hearts and make them love each other. Kayla (17), Paradise Hills


I want to finish “The Wide Awake Princess” in a month. Gabby (7), La Mesa

Expires 1/31/18

Newborn - Age 5 Preschool & Child Development Center

Caring for children for over 21 years! 3422 Tripp Ct., San Diego, CA 92121 At Sorrento Valley Road

(858) 794-9130

California State License Numbers 3766000130 /1

Pick up

your FREE copy at

The Pragmatic This year I hope to go to the college of my choice and hopefully have a good start. Andres (17), South Bay Terrace My resolution is to read more good books. Meghan (16), Carlsbad I want to make my coloring better. Julianna (3), Chula Vista I’d like to do more chores for my mom because she needs it more now with a new baby to handle. Daniela (10), City Heights

My New Year’s resolution is to be kind to the earth and help pick up trash. Cece (6), San Carlos

Vons • McDonald’s Sombrero Mexican Food

The Inventors

and more than 1,700 other family locations

San Diego Family Magazine

If I could improve anything I would make rocket ships that go faster, farther and more efficient. Sean (6), San Carlos

/SDFamily sandiegofamilymagazine • 619.685.6970

40 • • January 2018

If I could improve the world, I wouldn’t allow guns or littering. Christopher (10), 4S Ranch

I want to improve my reading. Samantha (4), Rancho Peñasquitos

I’d like to have a robot dog. It would be so fun. It could bring me food. Noah (7), San Carlos v Cherie Gough is a local freelance writer.


Christ Church Day School San Diego’s premier elementary school engages students to reason, create, serve, and lead in a nurturing, inclusive, Episcopal learning community. • Small class sizes • Devoted teachers • Personal attention • WASC accredited • Specialty classes including Art, Music, Spanish & P.E.

Open House is Saturday, January 20 from 9am until 12 noon. Enjoy a tour of the campus, informational sessions, and a snack!

For more information on our school, our programs, and enrollment inquiries: • 1114 9th Street, Coronado, CA 92118 • 619-435-6393

Experience the Power of Homeschool! The Learning Choice Academy A FREE Personalized Learning School for Grades K–12 • A credentialed educational partner to assist you • Specialized programs available; AIM, full day, middle and high school options • Funds for enrichment classes • UC approved high school courses • Field trips, internships, teen club

WASC accredited. Se habla español.

Early Admission Kindergarten begins on January 3 for children who turn 5 by April 1. Now Enrolling!

Chula Vista • La Mesa • Scripps Ranch • Temecula

Call now for our next orientation. 844 GO TO TLC (844-468-6852) Visit for more information. January 2018 • •


Special Advertising Section

Head of the Class San Diegans are fortunate to have so many educational options for their children. Matching a child’s learning style to the right school has many benefits. Here are some local administrators who can help determine which educational environment is the best fit for your family. Jennifer Ryan, Director of the Children’s House at Mission Bay Montessori Academy… At MBMA, we pride ourselves on blending a traditional Montessori approach with a rigorous academic environment. From two years old through sixth grade, we match the child’s interest and ability to learning materials. We educate the whole child, expanding their education to include specialty classes like science, music, computer, art, Spanish, Chinese, and PE. I am overjoyed to be a part of this world-class community of learners. 2640 Soderblom Ave., San Diego, CA 92122 •


Head of the Class

Sue Kennedy, Principal

City Tree Christian School educates the whole child: mind, body, and spirit. Our curriculum and instruction motivate academic excellence, while providing a framework through which students embrace the arts, creative expression, digital literacy, and physical fitness. Our diverse downtown learning environment fosters strong civic and leadership values as well as allows children a rich cultural experience both inside and outside the classroom.

Miss Caroline Rose Caroline Rose, our Director, comes full circle as she was a Pre-Kindergartner at Del Mar Hills Nursery School, graduating in 1995! She began teaching at Del Mar Hills Nursery School, after graduating from UCLA in

42 • • January 2018

2011. The school will celebrate its 47th anniversary in 2017 and combines the philosophies of Friedrich Froebel, Reggio Emilia, Maria Montessori, and Orff Schulwerk. Owner Polly Trump has always been inspired to improve the quality of the curriculum and environment, and has attended two study tours in Reggio Emilia, Italy, the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, Institute for Child Care Design; and collaborated with educators worldwide at the Working Forum on Nature Education. Polly began her career at Del Mar Hills Nursery School in 1977 as a teacher’s aide and was mentored by the founder of the school, Ursula Waddell.

Ursula built the educational foundation of the school upon the elements of Froebel (17821852), founder of Kindergarten, and graduated from the Froebel Seminar in Kassel, Germany in 1953. Polly Trump took ownership of the school in 1997 and is thrilled to have one of her previous students as the Director!

Del Mar Hills Nursery School (858) 755-8338

13692 Mango Drive, Del Mar

Visit our website

Special Advertising Section Shawn Edwards Head of School - LePort Montessori Solana Beach Shawn Edwards has a B.A. in Psychology and Human Services, AMI certification, Elementary Montessori training and certification, and a positive parenting certification from the Positive Discipline organization. She began her Montessori career at the Post Oak School in Houston, Texas. In 2006, she moved to Chicago to lead the Alcuin Montessori School, and for over four years was the Executive Director of the Community Montessori School in Georgetown, Texas. Ms. Edwards has also served as a consultant to various schools and organizations across the country. Ms. Edwards is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in transformative coaching and leadership from the Wright Graduate University in Chicago. She has been involved in various leadership trainings including school leadership courses offered through Independent School Management and the National Association of Independent Schools. Ms. Edwards has three grown children—all who attended Montessori programs. She is also the proud grandmother of a three-year-old who also attends a Montessori school. Ms. Edwards understands the importance of early child development and welcomes parents to tour the school and sit down with her to discuss the best options for their child.

Claudia Mann had her first encounter with Montessori when she was a young graduate flutist at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Being impressed with the level of curiosity demonstrated by the young listeners of her in-school quintet concert, she vowed to one day provide Montessori education for her own children. When their school needed a music teacher, she answered the call and was soon captivated by the Montessori program, taking training in subsequent years for ages 6 through 15. Ms. Mann completed her training at Xavier University along with a Masters degree in Education at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education/ NY and the Houston Montessori Center. After more than 20 years as a Montessori guide in schools from Ohio, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, Ms. Mann and her husband, also a Montessorian, founded the Chaffee County Montessori School in Salida, CO in 2007. Throughout the years, Ms. Mann also worked as a teacher trainer and field consultant for the Center for Montessori Teacher Education/New York, Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program, Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, and the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. As the head of school for the LePort Montessori Encinitas school, Ms. Mann is thrilled each day to have the opportunity to work and positively influence the staff and families at the Encinitas school.

Letty Rising Head of School - LePort Montessori Carlsbad

Head of the Class

Claudia Mann Head of School - LePort Montessori Encinitas

Ms. Letty Rising has been working with children and families throughout most of her adult life. She began her work with children several years ago as a Recreation Leader, then a Director of Afterschool Programs. Even then, she was impressed by the state of “flow” that children would attain when absorbed in work that was inspired by their interests. It was around this time she decided to take a college course on alternative educational environments, and visited a Montessori school. She was deeply struck by the way in which children worked freely and with purpose, and how the class navigated the environment independently and with ease, and she knew she had stumbled upon something special. Ms. Rising moved on from informal learning environments, made her way into the classroom, and eventually stepped into administration. She came into her first administrative role because she wanted a Montessori school for her daughters and there were none in existence where she lived, so she started one! She has held positions as a Homeschool Education Specialist, Montessori Elementary Teacher, School Director, Principal, and Consultant with several different Montessori communities over the years. Ms. Rising earned her B.A. in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She went on to obtain her State Teaching Credential through the California State University, San Marcos. Ms. Rising participated in AMS Montessori training for ages 6-9, and later continued forth to earn her AMI elementary diploma for ages 6-12 and M.Ed from Loyola University in Maryland. Ms. Rising is committed to working with the Carlsbad Village community and would love to meet with families interested in learning more about Montessori.

Learn more at INFANT-6TH GRADE



Special Advertising Section “Alonso Nunez is the Executive Director of Little Fish Comic Book Studio, a comic art studio and advocacy group founded in 2012. A passionate artist and educator, he graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2009. When not teaching or building the studio he can be found behind the board, most recently working on the “Attack On Titan Anthology (Kodansha)”.

Head of the Class

Balboa School prepares students to be successful in college, career and civic life. Small class size, experienced teachers, and engagement in interesting and exciting activities stimulate passion and a desire to succeed. At Balboa School, we embrace the core values of: social and emotional well-being, cultural diversity, and social leadership and creativity.

A Preparatory Academy 760-294-4490

130 Woodward Ave., Escondido, CA 92025

WASC accredited since 1991

Miss Nancy founded Renaissance Village Academy with a passion to create a safe space for quirky, curious, gifted children to learn in, at intellectually appropriate levels not limited by a student’s age. Her family has been focused on gifted education for three generations. After 20 years in the public schools, she designed RVA to meet both the academic and social / emotional needs of students who think outside the quadrilateral parallelogram. RVA’s teachers have almost 50 years of accumulated experience helping curious youngsters explore their world through interactive lessons, while also understanding that an 8-year-old reading at the 10th grade level is still… 8 years old. With Miss Nancy’s direction, lessons start with the standards, but go far beyond them, following the children’s questions and interests. The strong academic program is bolstered each week with music, art, gardening, and karate. Miss Nancy

Renaissance Village Academy 10625 Scripps Ranch Blvd. Suite A San Diego, CA 92131 858.564.9622

RVA: This is The School You WISH You’d Gone To.

Do you want your child to appear on the

SDFM is looking for six children ages 2-11 and one multiples combo to appear on the cover of a future issue of San Diego Family Magazine or our annual Out & About family adventure publication.


cover of San Diego Family Magazine?

2018 Cover Kids Search Cheryl was one of our 2017 Cover Kids Winners! Enter online at: Visit our website for complete rules and more information, or call 619-685-6970.

E! Thank you to our sponsors:

2018 Search Ends: JANUARY 31, 2018

(Online entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on this date. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by this date.)

Contest open to all San Diego County residents. Visit our website to enter contest online or print out the mail-in registration form. A $25 registration fee per entry ($35 for multiples category) must accompany a recent high quality photo, used to determine finalists (photo will not be returned). Submitted photos of 25 finalists from each category (100 total) will be displayed at: Category finalists will be invited to a judging event to help determine contest winners. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps and the Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego.

44 • • January 2018

Half-day programs: 2, 3, or 5 days Cost: $45, $65, or $107 per week

• Fletcher Hills Elementary South County (619) 422.5216

North County (760) 295.1117

Directly supervising your child’s learning can be a positive family experience. Parents who choose homeschooling enjoy spending quality time with their children. San Diego Neighborhood Homeschools offers a TK-12 charter homeschool program consisting of small Resource Centers in Oceanside and National City / Chula Vista area.

Free Tuition & Books √ Flexible Programs √ Online Learning √ Hablamos Español √ Friendly Neighborhood √

A FREE PUBLIC SCHOOL THAT FEELS LIKE A PRIVATE SCHOOL • WASC Accredited • Small Class Sizes • Extended Day (8:45am – 3:30pm) • Free Before-school Tutoring (7:45am – 8:45am) • Free Arts in the Afternoon Program (4:00pm – 6:00pm) • Free Instructional Music Program • Hands-on Math and Science • Family Atmosphere • Dedicated, Caring Staff • Bilingual Staff (Spanish & Vietnamese) • Inner City Outings/Sierra Club

FREE ARTS IN THE AFTERNOON PROGRAM (4:00PM – 6:00PM) • Choir • Hip-hop • Arts and Crafts • Piano • Guitar • Sewing • Karate • Ballet Folklorico • Computer Lab • Soccer Club • Tennis Club • Chess Club

2330 Center Pl. El Cajon 92020 619 668-5820 (License #376700461)

• Maryland Avenue Elementary 5400 Maryland Ave. La Mesa 91942 619 668-5744 (License #376700136)

La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools Preschool

619 668-5700 x6480

We are committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education.

ABOUT US America’s Finest Charter School is six years old! We are a STEM school! Our new high school location is 4481 Estrella Ave. and we can now accept grades 9-10 applications. Our curriculum is cutting edge and provides hands-on learning and student collaboration in all subjects. The Elementary Science Institute teaches our students engineering, biology, and coding during school and as part of our after school program. Students in grades 4-8 can take lessons in flute, clarinet, violin, or percussion during our electives block. We also offer Spanish, Book Making, ASB, and yoga!

High School offers International Studies and Engineering • FREE membership to Copley YMCA AMERICA’S FINEST CHARTER SCHOOL TK - 12

TK-8 • Location: 730 45th St, San Diego, CA 92102 P: 619-694-4809 9-12 • Location: 4481 Estrella Ave, San Diego CA 92115



Calendar • January

Jennifer A. Burman

“Disney on Ice Presents Follow Your Heart”

This ice skating extravaganza highlights beloved tales and characters from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory and Inside Out for the first time in a live production! Also, see royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, an array of Disney princesses including Rapunzel, Cinderella and Tiana, as well as the Toy Story gang. Jan. 25 & 26, 7 pm; Jan. 27, 11 am, 3 & 7 pm; Jan. 28, 1 & 5 pm. Tickets start at $15. Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego. Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Editor’s Picks Kids Marathon Mile at LEGOLAND California Resort

Children of all ages and abilities step up to fun and fitness during this 1-mile run at the park. Each finisher will receive a shiny medal and enjoy refreshments plus lots of family entertainment. Registered participants, ages 3-12, can also receive free admission to LEGOLAND and SEA LIFE Aquarium (parents receive half off admission). Jan. 13, 8-10 am. Register at

46 • • January 2018


Still looking for last month’s events? Check out the digital edition of our December issue at

Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices. Note: FREE means free admission. There may be a cost for activities and food.

monday | 1 New Year’s Day San Diego International Auto Show. More than 400 of the latest models, a dozen test drives, automotive products and more. 10 am-7 pm. $11-$15; ages 6 & under free. San Diego Convention Center, 111 W. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. Global Winter Wonderland. View the largest display of traditional Chinese lanterns outside of China, inspired by international landscapes from all over the world. Also, Cirque du Soleil-level acrobatics, carnival rides, international cuisine, games and themed activities. Until Jan. 7; visit website for schedule and tickets. SDCCU Stadium, Mission Valley. Skating by the Sea. Skate to your heart’s content on Hotel del Coronado’s outdoor ice rink that boasts breathtaking views of the Pacific and Coronado Beach. Until today, 11 am-9 pm. $30 includes skate rental. 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado.

Get a Balanced Life Month Shape Up US Month Soup Month

Plan fun-filled family adventures all year long with Out & About! Find the expanded digital edition at www.sandiegofamily .com/things-to-do/ out-about.

Jungle Bells. Go wild at the San Diego Zoo’s annual celebration where guests are treated to seasonal decorations, animal experiences, costumed characters and live entertainment. Until today; visit website for hours. Free with Zoo admission. Balboa Park. Holidays at LEGOLAND California Resort. Entertainment, twinkling lights and festive cheer abound at this annual celebration. Until today; visit www for hours and admission. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Featuring the new nativity musical, O Wondrous Night, Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer and friends, live shows, yuletide flavors and more. Through Jan. 6; visit website for hours and admission. Interstate 5, exit SeaWorld Dr., San Diego.

tuesday | 2 Motivation & Inspiration Day Science Fiction Day Floating Strings: The Remarkable Story of the Harp Guitar in America. Explore the history of the harp guitar, from its beginnings in Europe to its current status and use in the United States today. See more than 40 examples of this one-of-a-kind instrument. Through April 29. Tues.-Sun., 10 am-5 pm. Museum of Making Music, 5790 Armada Dr., Carlsbad.

Food & Water Bowl XXVI

Purr-fect felines take the spotlight at this annual showcase of up to 450 exotic cats from around the country. Check out rescue cat adoptions and vendors at the Meow Mall, have the kids enter their adorable, cuddly pals in the Favorite Stuffed Animal Contest and visit the Agility Ring featuring pedigree cats and household pets. Jan. 27, 10 am-5 pm & Jan. 28, 9 am-5 pm. $7-$9; under 6 free. Exhibit Hall, Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.

January 2018 • •


Calendar • January wednesday | 3

saturday | 6

The Sky Tonight: NASA’s Great Observatories. The sky looks very different using telescopes to observe the universe on wavelengths our eyes can’t see. This month, learn more about the Great Observatories and the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. 7 & 8:15 pm. $14.95-$16.95. For ages 5 & up. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park.

Jungle Jack Hanna. See this worldrenowned animal expert’s live show filled with incredible animals, big laughs and an even bigger message of our role in protecting every species on our planet. 6:30 pm. $25-$60. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd.

FREE First Wednesdays: The Fremonts. Check out a live performance by this riveting blues band. 4 & 7 pm. Tickets handed out on a first-come, first-seated basis; early arrival strongly recommended. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd.

thursday | 4 Rady Children’s Ice Rink at Liberty Station. Rink open until Jan. 7, 10 am10 pm. $12-$14 includes skates. Net proceeds benefit the Rady Children’s Hospital’s Peckham Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders. 2875 Dewey Rd., Point Loma.

friday | 5 “Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon.” Jack and Annie’s tree house takes them to an exotic island where they discover the power of friendship and the simple pleasures in everyday life. Tonight until Jan. 21. Fri., 7 pm; Sat. & Sun., 2 pm. Pajama Night on Jan. 12, 7 pm; sensory-friendly performance on Jan. 13, 11 am. For tickets, visit website. Casa del Prado Theatre, Balboa Park.

FREE Star Party Marvels. Take a tour of the night sky with MTRP resident star gazer, George Varga. 5-8 pm. Rain/ cloud cover cancels. Meet at the far end of Kumeyaay Campground Day Use Parking Lot, Mission Trails Regional Park, Two Father Junipero Serra Trail, Santee. FREE Family Fun Fest at the Salvation Army Kroc Center. Enjoy sports challenges, an inflatable park, arts and crafts, and giveaways, and get the chance to meet the San Diego Sockers. 10 am-1 pm. Kroc Center Field, 6845 University Ave., San Diego.

Find more events at

sunday | 7 Tempura Day San Diego Resolution Run 5K/15K/ Half Marathon. Get ready to shed a few holiday pounds! Also, age category awards, prizes and giveaways, a post-race Wellness Village and more. Half marathon, 7:15 am; 5K & 15K, 7:30 am. Tecolote Shores Park North, Mission Bay. Register at

San Diego Sockers Home Games. Experience indoor soccer at its finest, and cheer for the San Diego Sockers as they play against Turlock Express today at 5:05 pm. Also, Jan. 12, 7:35 pm (vs. Tacoma Stars) & Jan. 21, 5:05 pm (vs. Ontario Fury). $12-$33. Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego. Family Drop-in Day: Discovering the American Art Collection. Participate in art projects, take docent-led tours and play museum-generated gallery games. 1-3 pm. Free with museum admission; ages 17 & under free. Recommended for families with children, ages 6-12. The San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park. Adventure Day Sail Aboard San Salvador. Spend a few hours aboard the magnificent replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s ship that arrived at the port we now call San Diego on Sept. 28, 1542. Today, Jan. 14 & 27, noon-4 pm. Visit website for tickets. Maritime Museum of San Diego, 1492 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. Global Winter Wonderland. See Jan. 1.

monday | 8 Clean Off Your Desk Day Dream! Design! Build! This exhibit brings you the classic Block Busters, the Fit-a-Brick Build Zone where you can build with LEGO bricks or LEGO DUPLO bricks, and ProtoPipe, the newest addition to the engineering interactives collection. Through Jan. 15; visit website for hours and admission. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park.

Editor’s Picks FREE San Diego Multicultural Festival

Celebrate San Diego’s abundance in cultural diversity and traditional heritage at this annual event that offers a day of live performances, storytelling, kids’ activities and ethnic vendors. Jan. 13, 11 am-5 pm. Ruocco Park, Harbor Dr. & Pacific Hwy., downtown San Diego.

48 • • January 2018

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

tuesday | 9 FREE StoryBox Theatre with Write Out Loud. Experience this unique Japanese storytelling tradition. 4:30-5:30 pm. El Cajon Branch Library, 201 E. Douglas.

wednesday | 10 “Around the World in 80 Days.” Follow fearless adventurer Phileas Fogg as he circles the globe lurking with danger, romance and comic surprises at every turn! Tonight until Feb. 4; visit website for schedule and tickets. North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Dr., Ste. D, Solana Beach. Family Night: Make & Take Slime. 6-7 pm. $3 per project. Recommended for ages 3-12 and immediate family members. Register online. San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Dr.

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

(858) 452-3030 or 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 •

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

Kindergarten teachers love students from our programs! ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

thursday | 11 Milk Day Nature & Me Story Time: Whales. Budding naturalists embark on an imaginative journey into nature through dynamic readings and exhibition visits. 10:15 am. Free with museum admission. Recommended for ages 1-5. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. Paws and Paperbacks. Children, ages 6-11, can practice their reading skills in a fun and non-judgmental atmosphere while giving San Diego Humane Society’s ambassador animals the chance to get exercise and socialization. 4:30-5:30 pm. $10. Reservations required. San Diego Campus, 5500 Gaines St., San Diego.; 619-299-7012, ext. 2256.

Serving Ages 2 - 6 (Diapers OK) 2, 3, 4 & 5 Day Schedules Full Day Enrichment Program 3 Large, Beautiful Playgrounds Loving, Caring and Secure Environment

Canyon Rim Children's Center “Dedicated to the individuality of children.”

6801 Easton Court San Diego, CA 92120

Schedule a tour now: (619) 287-6767

RSVP to our Open House: February 1st, 3:30 to 5:30


friday | 12 Xanadu 7D Theater at Belmont Park. This interactive, multiplayer gaming adventure lets you feel the thrill of a roller coaster and the excitement of a stateof-the-art laser blasting game all in one! Open daily; visit website for hours and fees. 3146 Mission Blvd., San Diego.


Two Years Old through Sixth Grade

2640 Soderblom Avenue, San Diego, CA 92122 858-457-5895

Call us to schedule a tour and experience our individualized and rigorous method of creating life-long learners.

January 2018 • •



Canyon Rim Children's Center “Dedicated to the individuality of children.”

Canyon Rim Children’s Center (CRCC) has been providing high quality, enrichment, preschool programs for San Diego children since 1998. We are a full day, year round, enrichment program. Our learning philosophy is based on developmentally appropriate practices inspired by the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Our developmental, play-based, preschool serves children ages two through six.

At CRCC, we strive to maintain child to teacher ratios lower than those required by the State of California. Our teachers’ educational credentials exceed those as specified by the State. Our professional staff creates a safe and caring environment where the emphasis is on learning through play. As Fred Rogers, a.k.a., “Mr. Rogers” said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” We recognize each child is a unique person with individual rates of growth. Our goal is to meet each child’s

50 • • January 2018

emotional, social, cognitive and physical needs in a relaxed, loving environment, free from personal criticism and excessive competition. Activities in art, music, math, language, science, dramatic play, fine and gross motor development are fashioned to facilitate transition from one developmental stage to the next. Our teachers also use our wellequipped, natural playgrounds to support exploration and promote physical development. Natural outdoor spaces enhance curiosity & encourage children to develop an appreciation and awareness of nature. At CRCC, children develop the skills of observation, inquiry, concentration, problem solving, and self-reliance. Our structured, yet open-ended program prepares each child to utilize his or her intellectual and creative abilities in future learning tasks. Here we work to give each child the tools and the foundation on which to build a lifetime of learning. Kindergarten teachers love our CRCC children!

Calendar • January “Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon.” See Jan. 5.

saturday | 13 Kids in the Garden: Discovery Walk. Take a stroll with Farmer Jones and discover special features, plants and animals that call the Gardens home. 10 am-noon. $5. To pre-register, call or email Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, 1270 Vale Terrace Dr.; 760-822-6824. Skyline Swap. Here’s your chance to clean out your home and swap your stuff (no large furniture items, please)! Donations greatly appreciated; $1 per item for those without items to swap. 8 am-1 pm. $2 admission; under 12 free. Find more details on website. Skyline Church, 11330 Campo Rd., La Mesa. FREE Discovery Table: Animal Tracks. Learn to identify which track looks like a baby’s handprint, whose is the largest of local wildlife and other interesting facts about local wildland critters. 10 am-1 pm. Visitor Center, Mission Trails Regional Park, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Carlos. FREE Family Activity at Renaissance Village Academy: Make Rainbows with Light. 3-5 pm. 10625 Scripps Ranch Blvd., Ste. A, San Diego. Niki de Saint Phalle: Mythical California. This exhibit highlights Saint Phalle’s print series, Californian Diary, and celebrates her iconic monument, Queen Califa’s Magical Circle (located at Kit Carson Park), using sketches, photographs, models and film documenting its creation and implementation. Opens today; visit website for admission. The Center Museum, California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. Kids Marathon Mile at LEGOLAND California Resort. See page 46.

sunday | 14 Dress Up Your Pet Day For more information go to www or to schedule a tour call (619) 287-6767.

FREE Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade. Floats, drill teams, high school bands, peace and youth organizations, and more. 2-5 pm. Along Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. For parade route, visit

“Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!” Featuring favorite Sesame Street pals Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and more. 2 & 6 pm. Don’t miss the pre-show experience where families can tour the on-stage neighborhood with special visits from popular characters plus hands-on activities for kids. Tickets start at $15. Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego.

monday | 15 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “Whale of a Time” Family Day. Explore the world of these fascinating mammals through themed activities as well as a take-home craft. 11 am-3 pm. Free with museum admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park.

tuesday | 16 Linda Hawley’s Nature Adventures: Woodrat, Ground Squirrel, CoHabitants & Predators. Find out how species interact in nature’s web of life, and the importance of protecting our environment. 9:30-11:30 am. $10 per child with advance registration. For ages 4 & up. Mission Trails Regional Park’s Visitor Center, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego.

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FREE Kroc Fit Kids Family Night. Enjoy a fitness-oriented activity plus a healthy snack. 6:30 pm. Gymnasium, San Diego Salvation Army Kroc Center, 6845 University Ave., San Diego.

wednesday | 17 Kid Inventors’ Day FREE NASA Solar System Explorers. This adventure includes a presentation with exciting videos and space images followed by hands-on activities. 3:30 pm. Encinitas Branch Library, 540 Cornish Dr.

thursday | 18 “Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas.” Come aboard and experience a city at sea in this giant-screen film that pays January 2018 • •


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tribute to the crucial role modern aircraft carriers play in maintaining the freedom of the seas, and keeping the sea lanes open for commerce. Showing daily; visit website for schedule and admission. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park.

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Calendar • January

Circus Vargas: “Dreaming of Pirates!” Set sail for nonstop action and adventure filled with death-defying acrobats, flying trapeze artists, daredevils, comedians and more. Also, come to the pre-show where children can create their own magic under the big top! Tonight until Jan. 22 at Del Mar Fairgrounds; Jan. 25-Feb. 5 at Westfield Mission Valley; Feb. 8-19 at Westfield Plaza Bonita. Tickets at

friday | 19 Popcorn Day

NEW STUDIO COMING SOON call for more details 619-462-1955

Pet Pals: Lend a Paw to PAWS. Children, ages 6-11, learn about friendly critters. 4:30-5:30 pm. $10. Reservations required. San Diego Humane Society’s San Diego Campus, 5500 Gaines St. www.sdhumane .org; 619-299-7012, ext. 2256.

saturday | 20 Cheese Lovers Day


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52 • • January 2018

SEA Days: Whale Tales. Meet a Scripps Oceanography scientist and find out about current research on whales. 11 am-3 pm. Free with admission. Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. Monster Jam. This action-packed, motorsports event for families returns with bigger trucks than ever before to battle it out in the ultimate event of speed, racing, stunts and demolition! Come early for the Monster Jam Pit Party pre-show (2:305:30 pm) to view your favorite trucks up close. 7 pm. Tickets start at $15. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., downtown San Diego. FREE Nature’s Mysteries Revealed. Discover amazing facts about life in nature on this fun and informative walk down winding trails with an MTRP trail guide. 9:30-11 am. Meet inside Visitor Center, Mission Trails Regional Park, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Carlos.

Best Kids’ Birthday Party Parent’s Nite Out at Elite Gymnastics Academy: Superhero. 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. FREE Santee Active Lifestyle Expo. Held in conjunction with the USATF National 50K Race Walk Championships (7:30 am-1 pm), this event features fitness class demos, giant inflatable obstacle courses, firefighter challenges, kids’ fit fun zone, a BMX trick show, an active game area, vendors and more. 9 am-1 pm. Santee Trolley Square, 9884 Mission Gorge Rd.

sunday | 21 Family Sunday at Mingei International Museum. See colorful exhibits with an interactive treasure map, take a docent-led tour, participate in a hands-on art project and enjoy a live musical performance by Camarada (2:30 pm). Noon-5 pm; Family Gallery Spotlight at 1:30 & 3:30 pm. $5 per family. Balboa Park. FREE Family Discovery Walk. This naturalist-led walk is a unique opportunity for children to interact with nature, and understand seasonal changes occurring throughout the year. 3-4:30 pm. Meet inside the Visitor Center. Mission Trails Regional Park, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Carlos. “Incredible Predators.” From the mighty blue whale to the resourceful Darwin’s bark spider, experience the thrill of the chase, the great escapes and the determination of nature’s predators in this 3D film. Showing daily; visit website for schedule and admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. San Diego Sockers Home Games. See Jan. 7.

monday | 22 FREE Centuries of Opulence: Jewels of India. The exhibit uncovers the original sources of the gems decorating these pieces, their religious and cultural symbolism and the historical tradition of gemology in India. Mon.-Fri., 8 am-4 pm. By appt. only. Gemological Institute

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Calendar • January of America Museum, 5345 Armada Dr., Carlsbad.


tuesday | 23 MOPA’s Juried Youth Exhibition: Defining Boundaries highlights the work of local students, grades K-12, that explores the theme of “boundaries” through photography and video. Through Feb. 27; visit website for hours and admission. Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park.

wednesday | 24 Compliment Day Peanut Butter Day Sculpture in the Garden. More than 50 works are set against a unique backdrop of rare fruit gardens, tranquil ponds and other natural settings. Open daily, 9 am-5 pm. $8-$14. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas.

thursday | 25 San Diego Sunroad Marina Boat Show. An impressive array of boats, vendors offering the latest nautical products and services, free boat rides, boating seminars, food and more. Today & tomorrow, noon-6 pm; Jan. 27 & 28, 10 am-6 pm. $13; ages 12 & under free. Also, military, EMTs, police and fire personnel receive free admission (with ID) today & tomorrow. Sunroad Resort Marina, 955 Harbor Island, San Diego. Now serving all San Diego

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54 • • January 2018

Winter Whale Watching. Encounter some of the most magnificent creatures on earth courtesy of Hornblower Cruises & Events. Meet docents from theNAT who will provide whale facts, enjoy views of the San Diego skyline and see dolphins, sea lions and sea birds. Daily, 9:30 am & 1:30 pm. $21-$47; under 3 free. 970 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. Circus Vargas: “Dreaming of Pirates!” See Jan. 18.

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“Disney on Ice Presents Follow Your Heart.” See page 46.

friday | 26 Frida and Me. This interactive exhibit consists of a series of activity stations

that immerses kids and their families in the life and work of this celebrated 20th century artist. Through March 11. Mon., Tues., Thurs.-Sun.; visit website for hours. Included with admission. The San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park.


saturday | 27 Steam Powered Giraffe’s 10-Year Anniversary Show. Watch San Diego’s very own robot band perform onstage and enjoy a delightful fusion of puppetry, robot pantomime, comedy, music, ballet and more. 6 pm. $30-$80. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd.

• Admission to the Fleet. • 100 ‘do-touch’ exhibits. • Scavenger hunt.

Welcome Aboard the USS Midway Museum. Bring the whole family to view more than 60 exhibits throughout this historic aircraft carrier as well as 29 restored aircraft. Open daily, 10 am-5 pm. $10-$20; under 5 free. 910 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego.

• Private decorated room with two party hosts.

EcoVivarium Living Museum. See reptiles, amphibians and arthropods, and participate in hands-on encounters with animal ambassadors. Wed.-Fri., noon-5 pm; Sat., 10 am-5 pm; Sun., 10 am-3:30 pm. $8-$10. 136 S. Juniper St., Escondido.

• Prices start at $300. Minimum 15 children.

• Goodie bags. • Scientist lab coat to keep. • Food packages available.

BOOK YOUR PARTY TODAY! (619)685-5761

Adventure Day Sail Aboard San Salvador. See Jan. 7. Food & Water Bowl XXVI. See page 47.

sunday | 28 Tidepooling Adventure. Discover the wonderful world of tide pools with trained naturalists at Dike Rock in La Jolla. 1-3 pm. $16. Pre-purchase required. For ages 2 & up; under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Visit the Children’s Nature Retreat, a serene, ranch-style retreat where you can come face to face with more than 100 domesticated livestock from around the globe, and have fun with interactive presentations. Open daily, 10 am-5 pm. $15$25; under 2 free. Visit website to book your visit. 5178 Japatul Spur, Alpine. www; 619-320-4942. “Around the World in 80 Days.” See Jan. 10.



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Calendar • January monday | 29 Dream Big: Engineering Our World. Narrated by Academy Award winner, Jeff Bridges, this giant-screen film celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels, big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. Showing daily; visit website for schedule and admission. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park.

tuesday | 30 Croissant Day “Shen Yun.” Journey through 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture in this must-see production that combines ancient legends with technological innovations, and historically authentic costumes with spectacular animated backdrops. Tonight & tomorrow, 7:30 pm and Feb. 1, 2 pm at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Also, Feb. 2, 7:30 pm; Feb. 3, 2 & 7:30 pm and Feb. 4, 1:30 pm at San Diego Civic Theatre. For tickets, visit website. For ages 5 & up.

wednesday | 31 Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage. Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at theNAT? The building holds 8 million specimens – animals, plants, fossils, shells, insects and spiders, minerals and gems – in storage areas underground and behind gallery walls. Here’s your chance to take a rare peek in this new exhibit! Open daily; visit website for hours and admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park.

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

FREE Kid-Friendly Nature Hikes. Saturdays, Sundays & Wednesdays, 9:30-11 am. Visitor Center, Mission Trails Regional Park, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Carlos. 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. FREE Junior Rangers at Silver Strand State Beach. Kids, ages 7-12, can participate in outdoor activities and earn the California State Parks Junior Ranger badge. Saturdays, 3:30-4:30 pm. Activity is free; there is a fee to drive into or park inside the state beach. Meet outside the lifeguard headquarters. 5000 Hwy. 75, Coronado.

mondays FREE STEAM Monday. Explore science, technology, engineering, art and math at this event for grades 1-5. Jan. 8, 22 & 29, 3:30 pm. Poway Branch Library, 13137 Poway Rd.

tuesdays Residents FREE Tuesdays. San Diego City and county residents, and active military and their dependents receive free admission on rotating Tuesdays at Balboa Park’s museums. For schedule, visit Toddler Tales & Tunes. Play in the garden, enjoy preschool stories and songs, and pot plants to take home. Tuesdays (except first Tues.), 10 am-noon. Free with admission. $8-$14; ages 2 & under free. For ages 1-4. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas.



Young Scientists: Kid Chemistry. A hands-on preschool science program for ages 3-5 accompanied by an adult. Classes meet on Thursdays, Saturdays or Sundays, 9-10 am. Also, Sundays, 11 am-noon. Next session starts Jan. 4. $85 per session. Pre-registration required. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park.

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; Parent Movie Morning, 10 am; Baby’s Night Out, 7 pm. UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center, 7510 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego.

56 • • January 2018

FREE Toddler Yoga. Stretch and play story time for toddlers. Wednesdays, 10:30 am. Please bring your own yoga mat. Children must be accompanied by a parent or a caregiver. Cardiff-by-the-Sea Branch Library, 2081 Newcastle Ave. Garden Arts & Crafts. Wednesdays, 1011:30 am. Free with admission. $8-$14; ages 2 & under free. For ages 1-6. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. FREE Kid-Friendly Nature Hikes. See Saturdays/Sundays.

thursdays FREE Preschool STEAM Story Time. Little ones, ages 3-5, listen to tales and songs as they learn about science, technology, engineering, art and math. Thursdays, 10:30-11:15 am. Lakeside Branch Library, 9839 Vine St. Trains, Paints & Plants. See motormanengineer James run his special trains, pot plants and make a nature-themed craft. Thursdays, 10-11 am. Free with admission. $8-$14; ages 2 & under free. For ages 1-6. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. Young Scientists: Kid Chemistry. See Saturdays/Sundays.

fridays Mac’s Kids Corner. This weekly story time brings a book to life with operating trains, paints, puppets and more. Fridays, 10-11 am. Free with admission. San Diego Model Railroad Museum, Balboa Park. FUNbelievable Play’s Family Fun Nights. Fridays, 5-8 pm. Regular admission prices apply. 11655 Riverside Dr. #155-157, Lakeside. Want us to spread the news? Send us an event, class or weekly activity you would like included in our magazine. Please email 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 March issue: Feb. 1.

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January 2018 • •


Sarah Lyons

Indoor Fun for Chilly Winter Days Let’s face it: San Diego doesn’t have that many winter

days that are too cold to play outside. But when we do—or when we feel like pretending it’s a blustery day outside, what to do? Here are fun ways to spend the day when you prefer to be inside. Bake. Bake cookies, cupcakes or banana bread for friends and neighbors. Bonus: The oven will warm up the house! If you have little ones, bring out Hasbro’s Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Magical Oven so they can “bake” alongside you. Get crafty. Paint, draw or create bead bracelets. Make a scrapbook or find items in the recycle bin and turn them into sculptures. Get inspired with San Diego Family’s “Art with Alyssa” projects at crafts-for-kids. Visit an indoor play space. San Diego County is full of open gyms, indoor playgrounds and other fun indoor activities where the kids can play and be entertained (bowling, laser tag). Find a whole list of fun indoor play areas at Have a “tea” party or “campfire.” Who doesn’t love hot cocoa or warm apple cider when it’s chilly outside? If you have a fireplace, roast marshmallows and tell campfire stories. Picnic. Plan an indoor picnic in the living room with your favorite foods. Don’t forget the checkered tablecloth! Put on a show. Ask the kids to put on a play or puppet show, or entertain yourselves with a family talent show.

58 • • January 2018

DIY science. Explore science with experiments at home. Make your own volcano or balloon rocket, or find great ideas at Play games. When it’s cool outside, it’s a great time to play games. Try Rollers Deluxe, Dr. Seuss Surprise Slides Game or an epic game of hide and seek. Check out San Diego Family’s Fun Family Board Game list at for-the-kids/kid-tested-toy-product-review. Have a movie marathon. Enjoy a movie marathon in the comfort of your own home. Make popcorn and watch movies while snuggling on the couch. Or relax in the comfy leather seats at UltraStar Cinemas in Mission Valley. Build a fort. Make a fort with pillows and blankets. The kids may even want to sleep inside it! Go to the library. Take everyone to the library to check out some great books. When you get home, spend time relaxing and reading—in the fort if you made one! Take a bath. When it’s too cold to swim outside, a warm bath always feels good. If you have a big soaking tub, let the kids put on swimsuits and enjoy the “indoor pool” for awhile. Have a dance party. Turn the music up and have a dance party in the living room. Get everyone involved. Yes, even Dad. v Sarah Lyons is a freelance writer.



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San Diego Family Magazine January 2018  
San Diego Family Magazine January 2018  

Here's to your family's health and fitness in 2018!