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Featured Posts

Spooky Fun: No-Carve Pumpkins

Spooky Fun: No-Carve Pumpkins

Ready to decorate for Halloween? The kids will love helping with these DIY no-carve pumpkin projects that minimize mess and maximize fun! Thank you to Deborah at www.SuperMoms360.com for sharing her i . . .

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DIY Funko POP! Costume

DIY Funko POP! Costume

Looking for a creative Halloween costume to accommodate a stroller or wheelchair? Have fun designing and making a Funko POP! costume. Use everyday clothing to create a POP! character that fits your . . .

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7 Tips to Overcome Fear of the Dark

7 Tips to Overcome Fear of the Dark

Avoid ideas like "monster spray" which only affirm in a child's mind that monsters are real and need to be "sprayed away."  - Berkley James, pediatric sleep consultant  Fear of the dark i . . .

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Things to Do in Julian

Things to Do in Julian

Family Fun in Julian The beauty of historic Julian (a gold mining town just 60 miles northeast of San Diego) is that many attractions are within walking distance of each other. It’s the perfect fami . . .

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San Diego Robotics Programs for Kids

San Diego Robotics Programs for Kids

Discover STEM in Youth Robotics Many parents encourage kids to pursue STEM-related careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and youth robotics programs offer one such option. Along with l . . .

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Art with Alyssa: Skull Craft for Dia de los Muertos

Art with Alyssa: Skull Craft for Dia de los Muertos

Create a beautiful calavera (skull, in English) to celebrate Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Traditionally, skulls are created out of sugar or clay, elaborately decorated and place . . .

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Cherry blossoms iat Lake Chelan, Washinton.

I didn’t realize I was missing the endearing moments of small town charm and the kindness of strangers until I took a trip to Lake Chelan, Washington. Visiting Lake Chelan and the neighboring towns of Chelan and Manson (part of North Cascades National Park, on the east side of the Cascade Mountains) was a fun adventure and provided a sweet taste of life at a slower pace. The trip is what inspired this list.

You know you're in a small town when...

Lakeview drive-in sign.You stop at Lakeview Drive-In (the local hotspot) for a hamburger and your travel guide runs into her grandfather. {Shout-out to Donn!} 

A street performer can do a show in the middle of an intersection on "Main Street" without disrupting traffic.

The bowling alley attendant doesn't ask you to leave one shoe behind the desk while you use their bowling shoes.

There are two traffic lights in town and most businesses close by 6 p.m.

The locals order "fry sauce" with French fries. {Um, you mean ketchup, right?} It’s like the “spread” at In-N-Out Burger.

People not only say hello, they’re happy to stop and chat for a while.

Tractor at the Annual Apple Blossom Festival.The Annual Apple Blossom Festival starts with a Pig Jig Fun Run and pancake breakfast at town hall. Pancakes are cooked and served by local celebrities such as the school principal, librarian and Kiwanis Club president. 

The street fair has “nearly 20” vendors.

After the Apple Blossom Festival parade, residents head to the local church for a chicken noodle dinner and slice of homemade pie.

Two hours after the parade ends, there's a couple still sitting in their chairs on the parade route, eating popcorn. In San Diego, we call this people watching. But in this case, there were no people around.

There’s not a single piece of trash on the ground.

After talking to a nice shop owner you just met, she takes a photo of her son out of her wallet and says you can keep it.

You meet a sweet couple at the park that is super excited to tell you they blew bubbles in the parade that morning and have been doing it for more than 30 years. They exclaim, "Did you see us?!"

And finally, you know you live in a big city when you even notice everything listed above. To the residents of Chelan, WA (and other small towns), this is nothing out of the ordinary—just wonderful everyday occurrences. To learn more about Lake Chelan, visit www.lakechelan.com.

Where is your favorite place to experience small town charm? What makes it awesome? Email your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please put “small town charm” in the subject line.

Lisa Gipson enjoys discovering new places with her family when she’s not busy editing San Diego Family Magazine.

Published September 2016

  • San Diego Family Magazine Celebrates Moms

  • San Diego Family Cover Kid Search

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  • San Diego Family and Food Network Star, Chef Melissa d'Arabian


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    San Diego Family Magazine

    Have you ever read something great in a magazine and then been frustrated because you can't remember where you put it? Well, so have we! That's why we think it's a fabulous idea to have the entire publication available to read online! Simply click the link below and use the arrows to turn the pages. You can search by area, event, location, or advertiser.

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  • Out & About

    Out & About

    All dressed up and no where to go? With Out & About, you'll never have to utter (or hear) the words "I'm bored" again!  Use this resource to find oodles of fun things to do in specific areas of San Diego County.

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  • Flourishing Families

    Flourishing Families

    Resources for Families with Special Needs

    Flourishing Families is the Parent Resource Guide for Children with Special Needs that contains over 950 resources in San Diego County. Read informative articles that offer help and encouragement to families with special needs. Sign up to receive our bi-monthly eNewsletter, keeping you connected to current and relevant information in the community. Ready to get out of the house? When you join our online community, you'll also discover fun family-friendly activities and events.

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