InTouch – Free and Fun, Thanks to the County


Summer is here! Many County employees are taking days off, spending time with kids on break from school, hosting out of town guests, or simply enjoying all San Diego has to offer.

But keeping yourself and others entertained... well, the costs can add up. We know it’s a common concern because for the last few years, we’ve put a story called 31 Free Things to Do in July, or variations on that, on our County News Center, and it’s always one of the most popular pieces of the year.

We’ve brought it around again: a list of 100+ events and activities the County puts on at various venues. There really is something for everybody.

I thought I’d share a few things from this year’s list. One, because you’re like any members of the public, looking for fun and interesting things to do.

Two, I wanted to point out that this is one more example of the phenomenal variety of opportunities the County provides. This is a handful of activities from one month – a mere sliver of what we offer all over, all year round. Much of it is no cost, outside of modest parking fees in some cases. So, for starters:

We celebrate the Fourth of July in a few days. San Diego’s biggest fireworks show takes place over the bay, and one of the prime spots to watch is our Waterfront Park. For the more adventurous, that night the County is also hosting a combination of fireworks viewing and stargazing with a Star Party at Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve. 

Catch a performance of a Japanese storytelling tradition called kamishibai at the Lakeside Library on July 17 or the Vista Library July 18.

On July 18, you can picnic with goats at Los Penasquitos Ranch House. Wha-a-a-a-at? Yes, meet Nubian goats while learning about local ranch life in the 1800s.

Kids love stories. Kids love water. They can enjoy both at a Baby Splish Splash, an outdoor story time and water play activity at the Rancho Santa Fe Library July 10 and 24.

Time to get growing. Take Vegetable Gardening 101 at the La Mesa Library July 27, taught by a master gardener (that’s also a program the County sponsors).

The series goes well beyond July, but the month includes several showings from Summer Movies in the Park. We and local cities team up for this hugely popular event each year that hits every corner of the county. Families can enjoy entertainment for all ages, in beautiful outdoor settings, at no cost. 

How about a whole family-friendly expo with music and activities? That’s part of the County’s Live Well San Diego 5K and Kids 1-mile Fun Run, July 28 at the Waterfront Park. Don’t think you have to be a runner to come down and have a good time. I hope one way or another you’ll join this celebration that embodies our vision of a region that’s healthy, safe and thriving. 

If summer gives you a chance to take it easy, great, please enjoy it to the fullest. But all these activities – and again, this is just a tiny sample – should show you that for some of our County colleagues, this is a busy season. Each one of these takes multiple, many even, people to make it happen. I appreciate the hard work of everyone involved to offer San Diegans, our employees included, such a rich variety of opportunities for fun and growth. 

One other event this month to note: As part of Pride weekend in San Diego, we’ll be lighting the CAC in rainbow colors. On July 11, we’ll host a community celebration outside the building to kick it off. It will be a highly visible sign of our commitment to serving all our residents and providing a welcoming environment to all our employees.

Take a look at the Free Things article, and let that be a jumping off point to even more County events. Whether you’re taking advantage of what the County is offering, or busy helping offer it – and of course, you could be doing some of both – I wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer!