Family Connections & More

Playgroups, Nature Clubs & More

"The best gift you can give your child is to be present"  Cindy Little

There are many wonderful resources in San Diego to help parents unplug and connect with their kids.  Many of the groups listed below focus on exploration in nature as a way to tap into the creative and curious spirit of a child.  Find what works for you! 

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Traveling Stories Story Tents -  Check out this mobile literacy program that provides one-on-one reading support and motivational incentives to kids. Kids earn Book Bucks, which can be redeemed for prizes, keeping them excited and motivated to learn, as well as teaching money management skills. Locations include: North Park, Imperial Beach, Vista, El Cajon, La Mesa, City Heights. Visit their website for schedules.

COVID-19 UPDATE!! Story tents are closed but we have come up with two projects that can help kids maintain strong reading skills during this time.  Check out the Book Delivery Project (sign up to get 3 books shipped to your home. The books are free, but we ask that you donate $6 to cover shipping + handling and a $1 donation to Traveling Stories).   To learn more and sign up, click here: ORDER BOOKS!  This is a service we want to make available to all families. Feel free to share with friends, too. We will ship books ANYWHERE in the United States!  Also learn about the Reading Raffle App where kids can earn prizes for reading HERE

Olivewood Gardens -

Located in National City, this historic Victorian home and property serves as an interactive, indoor-outdoor gardening & cooking classroom for kids and adults.  Offerings include:

Mommy & Me class - ages 2 to 5 yr old. Activities may include story time, a garden walk, and a tasting! /  11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  $10 adult & child pair.  Click here for info and to register.

​Kids Cooking Class "Cozy Comforts Chefcitos" - Jan 8  at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. 

Adult Cooking Classes - see schedule

Public Open House tours - 9:30-11:00 am. fourth Saturday a month with holiday exclusions

Free Forest Schools San Diego - 

The San Diego chapter of  is a welcoming and non-judgmental group. Free Forest School (FFS) hosts FREE events where young children (birth to age 6) and their parents or caregivers meet to explore and play together in nature.  FFS volunteers host several events weekly throughout the year in wilderness areas around San Diego county. They share a snack, take a walk, play outside, and have circle time. Parents get a chance to unplug and step back… Kids and their imaginations take the lead. This group is growing like a wild forest!  Join the group.

Reuben H Fleet Museum -

No Adulting allowed!  The Fleet's newest exhibition, Pause|Play, is an invitation for the young and the young-at-heart to leave the digital world behind, hit pause on their busy lives and recapture the nostalgia of play. Science has shown that play has a number of cognitive, social, emotional and physical benefits at any age—but we think it’s just downright fun!  The exhibition features some of your favorite playground activities and gives them a scientific twist:  Clock your speed as you slip down a 15-foot-high, 31-foot-long slide; Discover the Coriolis effect while spinning on the merry-go-round; and so much more!

The Natural History Museum  -

Adventures begin in The Backyard, a new exhibition at the San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) that allows little learners to expand their horizons, learn, and explore the natural world through play. This new space is intended for children ages 0-5 years old. Also check out their Nature and Me Story Times and Family Days.

Find out more here.

Michael's Kids Club Saturdays -

Little ones have fun getting crafty!  At Michael's craft stores you can choose from two 30 min projects, designed for little makers (ages 3 and up).  Held each Saturday from 10 - 12.  Parents must be in attendance.  Cost varies.  Click here for details and to find out about workshops for adults as well.

The Home Depot Free Kid Workshop Saturdays -

Kids love to build and Home Depot likes to show you how to do it!  Feb 1, from 9 - 2 they'll be making a Heart String Art craft.  Kids will develop hands-on skills by sanding, nailing, painting and more. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last.  Click here for details, to register and to find out about future workshops.

Baketivity - Sign up for a Baketivity subscription and you’ll receive monthly boxes bursting with new recipes, activity booklets, and your favorite easy-peasy baking kits, delivered right to your door.  Finally, a fun-filled subscription box made just for kids—-perfect for mini bakers, cookie-lovers, and family time.

Get Peaceful Play Box - Order a subscription box of kids' activities and toys designed to help parents keep kids off screens without constant supervision. Raise happy kids using creative play ideas! Created by local San Diego resident Stephanie Anderson.

Common Sense Media - During COVID 19 we all need this!  Wide Open School features a free collection of the best learning experiences and activities for kids, organized by grade band and subject. You will also find daily schedules with creative breaks and recommendations to keep kids engaged and exploring, one day (or one hour) at a time. They also offer many, many resources for guidance and support as you navigate privacy and safety in all you do online.

Know of others groups that might be good to list? 
We'd love to know your ideas at