Candice

San Diego Museum Month: Half-Off at 40+ Museums

san diego museum month 2014

san diego museum month 2014

Exploring San Diego’s museums, both big and small, is a great way to learn about the life, culture, history and art that makes up the city. But if you plan on visiting more than one or two, admission prices can really add up.

Fear not, budget-savvy museum lovers. San Diego Museum Month 2014 is right around the corner. From February 1-28, 2014, visitors can pick up a special Museum Month pass that provides half-off admission to 44 participating museums around San Diego.

With so many participating museums, it can be hard to choose which ones to visit. Fortunately, San Diego’s wealth of museums means that visitors from all walks of life are sure to find something one (or more) to love.

History and Heritage

maritime museum of san diego

The Star of India is one of the ships featured at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

The San Diego History Center showcases San Diego’s history with artifacts, costumes, art and one of the largest photograph collections in the western United States.

Famed architect Irving Gill designed the historic Craftsman period mansion, The Marston House, with an elegant English garden.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego in downtown San Diego along San Diego Bay offers one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the famous Star of India – the world’s oldest active tall ship.

Artsy and Cool

lux art institute

The Lux Art Institute sits hillside in San Diego’s North County

The Museum of Photographic Arts presents photography from leaders like Ansel Adams, as well as cutting edge new artists. An intimate and elegant, state-of-the-art movie theater screens film classics and cult classics alike.

Set on a secluded hillside in a bright, modern structure that resembles a tiny Getty Center, the LUX Art Institute in Encinitas maintains an artist-in-residence program offering up-close opportunities to view international artists at work.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego displays modern masterpieces, including multi-media exhibits from world-renowned contemporary artists, in two locations, downtown San Diego and La Jolla.

Only in San Diego

USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway is an aircraft carrier turned museum.

The USS Midway Museum is a decommissioned aircraft carrier museum in downtown San Diego along San Diego Bay featuring aircraft displays and interactive exhibits honoring the U.S. military.

Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad features more than 450 musical instrument displays and interactive areas to listen to music, ranging from ragtime to rock ‘n’ roll.

California Surf Museum in Oceanside preserves the legacy of pioneering legends of the surfing world.

Museum Month passes are free and can be picked up at any San Diego area Macy’s store location (plus locations in Temecula and the Imperial Valley). Be sure to grab one early to make the most of your time in San Diego!

> Click here for a full list of San Diego Museum Month Participants

In the comments below, tell us which museum is your favorite and why…

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – January 21-26, 2014

Farmers Insurance Open - Final Round

Let”s hear it for the four-day work week! With only a few weekdays left, start making your plans to spend the weekend in San Diego enjoying everything the city has to offer, including these to things to do:

San Diego Restaurant Week

George

Taste the deliciousness known as the fish taco or try something new during San Diego Restaurant Week

It”s back! San Diego Restaurant Week is a great time to get out and explore San Diego”s culinary delights and save with prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus at restaurants throughout the county.

> 5 Reasons to Try San Diego Restaurant Week this January

When: Through January 24, 2014
Cost: $10-$45
> Find out more about San Diego Restaurant Week

Farmers Insurance Open

Farmers Insurance Open - Final Round

Tiger Woods returns to Torrey Pines to defend his title during the Farmers Insurance Open

The 2013 champion, Tiger Woods, will be among the prestigious PGA TOUR pros vying for the 2014 title. In addition to world-class golf, guests at the Farmers Insurance Open will have the opportunity to enjoy premium hospitality suites and attractions.

> Read our previous post: Farmers Insurance Open 2014 Comes to San Diego

Where: Torrey Pines Golf Course, 11480 North Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA 92037
When: January 23-26, 2014
Cost: $30-$200
> Find out more about the Farmers Insurance Open

Big Bay Whale Festival

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8oyXaZG4ec]

The Big Bay Whale Festival is a free, one-day family festival with a wide variety of interactive and hands-on displays to learn about California gray whale ecology and conservation. The festival will feature over 50 vendors providing giveaways, food and entertainment. Fun on-site activities for the kids will include a walk-through whale, a mini-train that the family can ride aboard, a bounce/obstacle course, free face painting, and a sea life coloring mural.

Where: Port Pavilion on the Broadway Pier – 1000 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
When: January 25, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Big Bay Whale Festival

San Diego Opera Presents Pagliacci

<img class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-25657″ alt=”San Diego Opera”s Pagliacci” src=”http://blog.sandiego.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/San-Diego-Opera-Pagliacci-640×336.jpg” width=”640″ height=”336″ />

One of the most powerful operas in the repertoire, Pagliacci is gut-wrenching as Tonio, a member of the traveling troupe of players rejected by Nedda, sees her with another man and tells Canio how to get vengeance. In the famous aria “Vesti la giubba,” Canio applies his clown make-up saying that the show must go on, but creates his own tragic ending.

Where: San Diego Civic Theatre – 1100 3rd Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
When: January 25 – February 2, 2014
Cost: $35-$225
> Find out more about San Diego Opera Presents Pagliacci

The Science of Rock: Sounds & Stones

The Science of Rock at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Let your inner rock star take center stage at The Science of Rock: Sounds & online casino Stones. Explore rocks both musical and metamorphic, make coins shriek, design your own guitar pick and reaffirm that diamonds are a girl”s best friend. Indulge in savory bites, sample sweet wines and delicious beers all while discovering rock facts through fun presentations and hands-on activities.

Where: Reuben h. Fleet Science Center – 1875 El Prado Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101
When: January 23, 2014
Time: 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Cost: $20-$30
> Find out more about The Science of Rock: Sounds & Stones

25 Years of the Casbah

25 Years of the Casbah - Top Things to Do In San Diego

An evening of conversation, music and fun, chronicling 25 years of San Diego”s beloved music venue, The Casbah, with its co-founder and driving force, Tim Mays. Mays will share a wealth of experiences and insights as a small business owner, music promoter, and patron of the arts in San Diego. Special guests and friends will be on hand to pay tribute to Mays” stalwart support of local artists, arts and culture, and endless energies in putting San Diego on the international music map.

Where: The North Park Theater – 2891 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104
When: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Time: 8:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $15-$30
> Find out more about 25 Years of the Casbah

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Browse the San Diego Event Calendar

Know of some other top things to do this weekend in San Diego? Let everyone know in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – December 6-8, 2013

North Park Toyland Parade and Festival

It’s already December! When did that happen?! Well, might as well embrace the cooler weather and dive into a ton of festive fun with these top things to do in San Diego this weekend:

38th Annual Coronado Christmas Parade & Open House

Santa Claus' festive arrival at the Coronado Ferry Landing!

Santa Claus’ festive arrival at the Coronado Ferry Landing kicks off the Coronado Christmas Parade!

Festivities kick off at the Coronado Ferry Landing as Santa arrives at 3:20 PM, with carolers and snow fun at snow mountain. Also, at the Hotel del, experience ice skating like no other – you can ice skate on the beach! Find your way to Orange Ave and select a good spot to take in the Coronado Christmas Parade.

When: December 6, 2013
Time: 3:20 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 38th Annual Coronado Christmas Parade & Open House

Balboa Park December Nights

balboa park lily pond botanical building december nights san diego holiday celebration

The Lily Pond and Botanical Building decked out for December Nights. (Photo by Manny Cencieros)

Get into the holiday spirit with two magical nights of lights, free live entertainment, free entrance to many museums, foods from around the world, shopping and more.

Please Note: Getting to and from the park will require patience and time. Please consider carpooling and/or alternative forms of transportation.
> Read the transportation information for getting to December Nights

Where: Balboa Park – El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: December 6-7, 2013
Times: Friday: 3:00 to 11:00 PM. Saturday: 12:00 to 11:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Balboa Park December Nights

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Holiday Float - San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Lights on the water at the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Put on a warm jacket, pack a few blankets along with some hot chocolate and head to San Diego Bay with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated to a new theme each year. The parade proceeds from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and the Ferry Landing in Coronado. The Parade of Lights is a festive and delightful experience for all!

Where: San Diego Bay
When: Sundays – December 8 and 15, 2013
Time: 5:30 to 8:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

2013 North Park Toyland Parade & Festival

North Park Toyland Parade and Festival

Get swept up in the holiday spirit during the North Park Toyland Parade and Festival

The historic neighborhood of North Park warmly welcomes friends and family to bundle up and delight in a joyful San Diego parade. This cheerful pageant will feel like a Winter Wonderland, as melodious marching bands, upbeat dance groups, cool vintage cars, beauty queens and city officials (and more!) warm your spirits. Santa Claus will be riding atop his merry red sleigh and bells will be ringing as loved ones snuggle up in the bright, frosty air.

Where: University Avenue between Utah and Iowa Street, San Diego, CA 92104
When: December 7, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 2013 North Park Toyland Parade & Festival

Fort Rosecrans Goes to War! and
Cabrillo National Monument Centennial Celebration

Old Point Loma Lighthouse at the Cabrillo National Monument

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

The postponed Centennial Celebration will take place along with the annual Fort Rosecrans Goes to War! event. In addition to all the 100 birthday festivities, Fort Rosecrans will travel back in time to the 1940s with an amazing World War II Living History experience including a re-enactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United State’s entry into the Second World War, plus its impact on San Diego.

Where: Cabrillo National Monument – 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106 
When:
December 7-8, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Cost: Vehicles – $5. Walk-ins, bicyclists and motorcyclists – $3
> Find out more about Fort Rosecrans Goes to War
> Find out more about the Cabrillo National Monument Centennial Celebration

Holiday in the Village

Holiday in the Village Carolers - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Join in the festive fun with a South Bay holiday party

Get in the spirit with the second annual Holiday in the Village celebration. Festivities include Santa Claus, a North Pole-themed kid’s area, caroling, community performances, local artisans, the return of the Ugliest Sweater Contest and more.

Where: Third Avenue from E to G Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910
When: December 7, 2013
Time: 12:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Holiday in the Village

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

Everyone with 2 to 4 Legs will have fun at the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade!

Can you say awwww? San Diego’s furriest festive parade returns to downtown as the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade presented by Downtown Ace Hardware takes over the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. Furry, featured and scaled companions will don their favorite costumes and put their best paw, wing and fin forward.

When: December 8, 2013
Time: 1:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free to view. $15-$20 to participate
> Find out more about the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Browse the San Diego Event Calendar

Know of some other top things to do this weekend in San Diego? Let everyone know in the comments below.

Alison

A San Diego Holiday Tradition: Balboa Park December Nights

balboa park lily pond botanical building december nights san diego holiday celebration

Balboa Park December Nights is as close as San Diego gets to becoming a winter wonderland, and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever. San Diego’s largest free festival, which is designed to be the city’s holiday gift to the community, is expected to draw at least 300,000 in this its 35th year.

The two-day celebration of entertainment, food and fun, takes place Friday, Dec. 6, from 3–11 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 7, from noon–11 p.m. Balboa Park is decked in twinkling lights and silvery garlands. Fanciful Christmas trees abound, and the aromas of multi-cultural holiday treats waft through the air.

balboa park lily pond botanical building december nights san diego holiday celebration

The Lily Pond and Botanical Building decked out for December Nights. (Photo by Manny Cencieros)

In the spirit of the season, participating park museums open their doors to the public free of charge from 5–9 p.m. both evenings. Many present special holiday programs. Kids will be awed by the elaborate gingerbread constructions at the Mingei International Museum and can join in holiday-inspired craft projects at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. All ages will be enthralled by the amazing handbell ringers who perform at the San Diego History Center, and don’t miss the San Diego Floral Association’s exhibit at the House of Hospitality of 30 beautifully decorated holiday trees.

balboa park organ pavilion san diego december nights holiday event

Festive performances take place on the beautiful stage of the Organ Pavilion.

Festivities are family friendly, multi-cultural and staged throughout the park.  The San Diego Civic Youth Ballet will perform excerpts from “The Nutcracker” on the Casa del Prado Stage. Steps away on the California Quadrangle near the San Diego Museum of Man, revelers can see the Santa Lucia Procession and children’s choir performances. The San Diego Civic Dance Company will present Rockettes-style routines, while a puppet version of “The Christmas Carol” will be presented at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater. African drumming and dance performances and Reggae music performances are planned at the WorldBeat Center. Dozens of singers, dancers and musicians will take to the stage at the Organ Pavilion.

Dr. Seuss' how the Grinch Stole Christmas Old Globe Theater San Diego Balboa Park December Nights holiday event

Kids can get their photo taken with the Grinch at the Old Globe.

Youngsters will have the opportunity to visit with Santa as he strolls the park, and they can pose for a photo in the Old Globe courtyard with Dr. Seuss’s Grinch who stole Christmas. Kids of all ages can join with Junior Theatre students singing holiday songs. A series of children’s holiday movies will run nonstop both evenings in the theater at the Hall of Champions. There also are plenty of carnival rides to keep the younger set entertained.

Hungry? December Nights is known for its mouth-watering range of food and drink offerings. The House of Pacific Relations International Cottages offer traditional holiday foods from a smorgasbord of nations: think empanadas, egg rolls, shepherd’s pie, pasties, pancit, samosas, plantains, pierogi, bourekas, baklava, paella, and even blueberry soup. Many museums offer tasty treats as well. You’ll find roasted chestnuts at the San Diego Art Institute, yakisoba at the Japanese Friendship Garden and hot toddies at the Hall of Champions. In addition, numerous food vendors sell an array of yummy holiday delights, from melted Swiss raclette to fresh-baked gingerbread cookies.  The 21+ set can sip a locally crafted brew at one of several beer gardens.

House of China Food International Cottages San Diego Balboa Park December Nights holiday event

Ethnic food specialties are part of the delicious fun at December Nights.

December Nights are prime time for holiday shopping.  Find great gifts at museum stores, from Spanish Village artisans and at a wide range of arts and crafts booths.  For $300 or less, buy a piece of original art right off the walls at the San Diego Art Institute. And don’t forget to buy a sprig of locally sourced mistletoe from San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers.

With so many attending December Nights, parking can be tougher than fitting down a chimney. Your best bet is to take public transportation or park for $5 at Petco Park or for free at City College. Free shuttles will ferry celebrants to and from 6th & Laurel from 3 p.m.–midnight on Friday and from 11:30 a.m.–midnight on Saturday.

Finally, be sure to bundle up!  While San Diego may better known for sandmen than snowmen, it can get downright chilly here on December nights.

What’s your favorite part of December Nights in Balboa Park? Let us know in the comments.

 

Kathleen

Land, Ocean and Culture: Exploring San Diego Parks

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflower Season

San Diego is a paradise of parks. The Trust for Public Land named San Diego one of the 10 best U.S. cities based on access to and size of our parks, which comprises close to a quarter of the city’s total area. But ratings aside, the best facet of San Diego’s many parks is the diversity. From water to grass, from culture to desert, San Diego has it all.

Balboa Park

balboa park san diego

Balboa Park is the nation’s largest cultural park.

Known as the Smithsonian of the West, Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the United States and a must-stop on any San Diego vacation. Housing 14 museums including the San Diego Natural History Museum, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego Air & Space Museum as well as the Old Globe theater, Balboa Park is the cultural heart of San Diego. The park is also home to the San Diego Zoo, Spanish Village Art Center and wonderful gardens including the Japanese Friendship Garden and the Botanical Building and Lily Pond. The park – which celebrates its centennial in 2015 – features a host of seasonal events and celebrations where you can mix and mingle with the locals.

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

The only National Park in San Diego, the Cabrillo National Monument celebrates the arrival of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who landed at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542 and was the first European explorer to set foot on the west coast of the United States. At the highest point of the park stands the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, a San Diego icon since 1854, where visitors can enjoy spectacular views of San Diego Bay and skyline. The park features a visitor center and just below the park at the shoreline, some of the best tide pools in San Diego.

Mission Bay Aquatic Park

Mission Bay Aquatic Park

Mission Bay Aquatic Park is the largest park of its kind in the world.

The largest park of its kind in the world, the Mission Bay Aquatic Park is a 4,600 acre aquatic playground. Around the bay, 27 miles of shoreline is lined with grass playgrounds, picnic areas and fire pits, bike paths, boat launches and resorts. Bikes, boat and equipment rentals are readily available including sailing, waterskiing, wave runners and paddle boards. Mission Bay is one of the main hubs for San Diego sport fishing offering day and overnight trips as well as whale watching excursions. It is also home to SeaWorld San Diego and a host of great events including the annual Crew Classic.

Anza Borrego

Anza Borrego State Park gets colorful every spring thanks to wildflowers.

Anza Borrego State Park gets colorful every spring thanks to wildflowers.

Five hundred miles of dirt roads and 12 wilderness areas compose Anza Borrego, the largest state park in California. The park offers miles of hiking trails, including a leg of the Pacific Crest Trail, and camping can also be enjoyed with a quick stop by the visitor center. Yearly temperatures can range from near freezing to as high as 108 degrees Fahrenheit, and you might spy wildlife including roadrunners, kit foxes, mule deer, bighorn sheep, iguanas, rattlesnakes, hawks and golden eagles. Each spring, the park transforms in a blaze of color when the desert wildflowers bloom. There are also a number of outstanding Native American cultural preserves including archaeological sites, pictographs and rock formations.

Mission Trails Regional Park

Mission Trails Regional Park - Bikes

Discover natural San Diego beauty on the trails of Mission Trails Regional Park

Mission Trails Regional Park comprises nearly 5,800 acres and offers over 40 miles of trails, including the popular Cowles Mountain, whose summit is the highest in the city of San Diego. Beyond hiking, activities in the park include camping, mountain biking, boating and horseback riding. Mostly covered in chaparral, oak woodlands and sage scrub, it’s hard to imagine that you can get this deep into nature just an hour from downtown. The park features a great visitor and interpretive center offering nature walks and low cost children’s education classes on local wildlife including butterflies, hawks, owls, deer and coyotes.

Which of these San Diego parks will you visit next? Let us know in the comments below.

Candice

Top Things to Do in San Diego: Nov. 19 – 24, 2013

sycuan casino s anniversary celebration san diego

From whiskey and jazz to holiday parades, there’s something for visitors of all ages this week in San Diego. Here are some suggestions for the top things to do in San Diego from Nov. 19 – 24, 2013.

Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam

Gilbert Castellanos jazz jam at seven grand whiskey bar San Diego

Gilbert Castellanos was named Artist of the Year by the 2013 San Diego Music Awards

Named Artist of the Year at the 2013 San Diego Music Awards, trumpet virtuoso Gilbert Castellanos plays both classic jazz that harks back to another era and fresh and lively Latin Jazz. His weekly jam sessions at Seven Grand San Diego, a North Park bar specializing in whiskeys from around the globe, vintage cocktails and craft beer, is a steal with no cover charge.

Where: 3054 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
When: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Time: 9 p.m.
Cost: Free
>Find out more about Seven Grand’s Weekly Jazz Jam 

Experience Sea Life in a Whole New Way with IMAX DEEP SEA

deep sea imax movie at the reuben h fleet science center balboa park san diego

Catch Deep Sea at The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s IMAX Theater

San Diego visitors may not be aware that Balboa Park’s Reuben H. Fleet Science Center installed the very first IMAX dome theater which opened in 1973. To this day, the Fleet continues to impress families and film buffs with its showcase of high quality flicks like DEEP SEA, a 40-minute documentary narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet that offers a visually stunning look at rare and mystical sea life the Wolf Eel and Giant Pacific Octopus on a 76-foot dome screen.

Where: 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 21-30, 2013
Time:  11 a.m. (weekends), 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. showings daily
Cost:  $17 adults $14 youth (3-12) free for kids under 3 (includes admission to gallery)
>Find out more about Deep Sea at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Sycuan Celebrates 30 Years of Gaming

sycuan casino s anniversary celebration san diego

Sycuan’s anniversary features tribal traditions along with the gambling excitement.

The celebratory festivities at Sycuan Casino kick-off at 10 a.m. and include Vegas-style showgirls greeting guests, free gifts for all players, hourly cash giveaways totaling $30,000, and $300,000 in “must go” Bingo payouts including two brand new BMWs. Sacred ceremonial Bird Singers and Dancers will serenade and entertain guests at 6 p.m., after which Sycuan Tribal Chairman Daniel Tucker hosts a giant cake cutting service.

Where: 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, CA 92019
When: November 23, 2013
Time: 10 a. m – 12 a.m.
Cost: Free
>Find out more about Sycuan’s 30th Anniversary Celebration

Paranormal Investigation of the Davis House

gaslamp museum at the william heath davis house san diego

The William Heath Davis House welcomes guests, both normal and paranormal.

Just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean that the haunting has stopped in San Diego. Amateur ghost hunters can join the pros as the San Diego Ghost Hunters take photos and video of paranormal activities inside the historic house, thought to be the Gaslamp Quaters’ most haunted destination. Advance reservations are required to join this spooky research outing.

Where: 410 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 23 and 24, 2013
Time: 10 p. m – 12 a.m.
Cost: $45
>Register to attend the Paranormal Investigation of the Davis House

67th Annual Mother Goose Parade

mother goose parade el cajon san diego east county

Bring the family to the annual Mother Goose Parade.

A cherished holiday tradition attracting thousands of spectators to the streets of El Cajon in San Diego’s East County, the Mother Goose Parade is the largest parade in the county and also the largest of its type west of the Mississippi. The big annual holiday kick-off celebration features more than 100 colorful and exciting parade entries, including whimsical floats, marching bands and drill units, eloquent equestrians, clowns, giant helium balloons, celebrities and of course, Santa Claus.

Where:  Main Street, El Cajon, CA 92020
When:  November 24, 2013
Time:  9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost:  Free
>See the details of the Mother Goose Parade

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

Browse the Event Calendar

What will you be doing in San Diego this week? Let us know in the comments below.

Candice

Top Things to Do in San Diego: Nov. 6 – 10, 2013

san diego asian film festival 2013

If you’re an arts lover, you’ll love these events coming up in San Diego, Nov. 6 – 10. And if you prefer to get outdoors, there’s lots of options for you, too: set sail on a historic ship, go ice skating or just sample some San Diego beers under the sun.

Medium Festival of Photography

medium festival of photography san diego 2013

Portfolio reviews are just one part of the Medium Festival of Photography.

The second annual Medium Festival of Photography pairs educational lectures, workshops, and portfolio review sessions with fun and unique after-hours celebrations. On Nov. 8, famed photographer Abelardo Morell will speak at The Lafayette in North Park, and the festival continues with lectures from photographers like  Doug Rickard, Stephen Berkman, Michael Lundgren and more. On Nov. 9, the Lafayette hosts “An Intimate View of Southern California,” an outdoor exhibition of 50 photographers housed in a vintage trailer.

Where: 2223 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104
When: November 7 – 10, 2013
Time: Varies
Cost: Varies (some events are free, some require tickets/registration)
>Find out more about the Medium Festival of Photography

San Diego Asian Film Festival

san diego asian film festival 2013

The San Diego Asian Film Festival offers countless screening opportunities.

The San Diego Asian Film Festival is one of the largest exhibitions of Asian international and Asian American cinema in North America. Along with narrative features, the nine-day Festival also showcases documentaries, short films, and animation. Screenings take place primarily at the Digiplex Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center, but there are additional screenings around town.

Where: Digiplex Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center
When: November 7 – 16, 2013
Time: Various times throughout each day
Cost: General Admission $11.50
>Find out more about the San Diego Asian Film Festival

Art San Diego 2013

Art San Diego 2013 contemporary art fair balboa park

The Art San Diego 2013 contemporary art fair mixes the old with the new in Balboa Park.

The annual Art San Diego contemporary art fair returns for a fifth year Nov. 8 – 10. The theme for 2013 is “Collide,” which means guests and visitors are sure to find unexpected cross-sections of art and film coming together in new and unusual ways. Explore one of four districts – Contemporary Art, Contemporary Product & Furniture Design, Mid-Century & Modern Art, and Solo-Artist Curated Booths – set up in historic Balboa Park.

Where: 2145 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 8 – 10, 2013
Time: 12:00 – 4:00 pm daily
Cost: Varies
>View the complete Art San Diego 2013 schedule of events

Star of India’s 150th Birthday

san diego maritime museum star of india 150th birthday sailing trip

Set sail with the Maritime Museum of San Diego for the Star of India’s 150th birthday.

The world’s oldest active sailing ship turns even older this weekend. Before becoming part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the Star of India sailed the world, from South America to New Zealand to the Bay of Bengal and back. This Nov. 9, 10 and 11, she sets sail again out of San Diego Bay, and guests can travel alongside in the Maritime Museum’s Californian and America companion ships. The sail includes a light brunch, lunch buffet and beverages.

Where: 1492 N. Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 9, 10 and 11, 2013
Time: Ships set sail at 9:30am each day
Cost: $125 for Maritime Museum members, $150 general admission
>Buy tickets for the Star of India’s 150th Birthday Sail 

Viejas Outlet Center Ice Rink Grand Opening

Viejas ice skating rink

SoCal’s largest outdoor ice skating rink at the Viejas Outlet Center.

Lace up your skates and head out to Viejas Outlet Center in San Diego’s East County for the opening of the largest outdoor ice-skating rink in Southern California – it’s even bigger than the famed ice rink at Rockefeller Center in New York! The rink opens for the season on Nov. 9, and guests can practice their axel jumps and salchows through Jan. 5.

Where: Viejas Outlet Center, 5005 Willows Rd., Alpine, CA 91901
When: Nov. 9 – Jan. 5
Time: Monday-Friday: 5-10 p.m., Saturday & Sunday: 12-10 p.m.
Cost: $14 for adults; $12 for kids 12 and under (90 min. rental)
>Find out more about ice skating at Viejas Outlet Center

Free Admission to The New Children’s Museum

san diego new childrens museum feast 2013

It’s all about hands-on fun at learning at the New Children’s Museum.

The second Sunday of every month, The New Children’s Museum offers free admission giving families the opportunity to enjoy interactive activities and creative new exhibitions like Feast: The Art of Playing With Your Food. Installations are designed to educate and inspire creativity which typically resonate more with older kids, but the museum also features lots of hands-on art projects that are engaging for kids of all ages.

Where: 200 W Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 10, 2013
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Cost: Free
>Find out more about the New Children’s Museum

San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden & Chef Celebration

Beer Garden attendees talking to a brewer during San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden

Meet the Brewers during San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.

The 5th annual San Diego Beer Week comes to a close on Sunday with the week’s most lavish event yet. Held amidst the beautiful gardens of the Lodge at Torrey Pines, the Beer Garden & Chef Celebration pairs 24 local breweries with 12 top local chefs for a delicious and unique tasting event. Each admission includes unlimited tasters of beer and food.

Where: 11480 North Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: November 10, 2013
Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Cost: $75 (includes valet parking)
>Purchase tickets for the Chef Celebration & Beer Garden

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

Browse the Event Calendar

What will you be doing in San Diego this week? Let us know in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Parks in San Diego County Open During the Government Shutdown

Hiking trough La Jolla's Torrey Pines State Park
Torrey Pines - La Jolla - Scenic Waterfront Walks - Parks in San Diego

Walk among the famous Torrey Pines with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop

Even though Cabrillo National Monument has fallen victim to the government shutdown (on it’s 100th birthday nonetheless), both the California state and local parks listed below remain open.

California State Parks in San Diego

San Diego Parks and Museums

> Explore more of San Diego’s Parks & Gardens

Which San Diego parks are your favorite to explore? Tell us in the comments below.

Sarah Weinberg

Frightfully Fun and Family Friendly Halloween Happenings in San Diego

LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat

Time to start thinking about what you’ll wear for Halloween. Don’t wait until October 31 to try out your costumes. Here are some fun places in San Diego to take your dressed-up kids before Halloween even hits. Go ahead; get a few more wears out of those get-ups!

LEGOLAND for Brick or Treat

LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat

My son was so excited for Brick-or-Treat that he jumped out of his skin! 🙂

My kids’ favorite place for Halloween is LEGOLAND for Brick or Treat weekends in October. We’ve been lucky enough to go three years in a row and they are begging me to make it four this year. In addition to the always amazing and humorous spooky LEGO figures that are added to the park for the Halloween theme, my kids enjoy the interaction of the Brick or Treat Trail where they collect coloring books, healthy snacks, unhealthy snacks, and oh yes, some candy. The kids love that they are running around the park, in their costumes, at night, with a complimentary Brick or Treat bag full of free stuff.

Parents will agree it’s a great time to visit LEGOLAND because not only are hours extended during Brick or Treat weekends, there are free fireworks and extra shows on Saturday nights, and best of all, it’s Kids Free October in San Diego! Visitors get a free child admission with each paying adult through October.

Where: LEGOLAND California Resort, One LEGOLAND Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: The Brick or Treat Trail is open Weekends in October 2013
Time: Saturday 12:00 to 9:00 PM. Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free with admission. Special $30 Party Nights Hopper tickets are available online only and valid for same-day admission to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium between the hours of 5:00 to 9:00 PM on Brick-or-Treat Party Nights October 5, 12, 19 or 26. This is an exclusive online discount. Also, $59 Brick-or-Treat Hopper tickets are available online only and valid for same-day admission to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium on customer selected Saturday in October.
> Find out more about Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND

> Kids Go Free to LEGOLAND California all October

Have a Spooktacular Time at SeaWorld

SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular

Even the animals get in on the Spooktacular Halloween fun at SeaWorld

Another family favorite is SeaWorld weekend’s during the Halloween season. Kids can wear costumes and hunt around the park for 10 different trick or treat stations. The Sesame Street characters have a special “Countdown to Halloween” show, Penelope”s Undersea Pumpkinfish Patch, and sea lion’s Clyde and Seamore’s new “Spooky Adventure” show.

Where: SeaWorld Adventure Park, 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego, CA 92109
When: Weekends September 28 – October 27
Cost: Free with admission
> Find out more about SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular

> Kids Go, Eat and Play Free to SeaWorld all October

Haunted Birch Aquarium

Pirate Ship - Haunted Birch Aquarium - Shipwrecked

Haunted Pirate Ships and More at the Birch Aquarium

Looking for an affordable, educational and family-sized Halloween event? Discover what lurks beneath the surface October 25 & 26 at the 13th annual Haunted Birch Aquarium: Shipwrecked! The entire family can enjoy spooky science activities, explore the aquarium’s “wreckage” for sunken treasures, listen to zydeco band Billy Lee & the Swamp Critters, and enjoy the aquarium after dark, in costume. Haunted Birch Aquarium offers participants a fun and informal atmosphere in which to learn about ocean science and win prizes for best costume. This not-too-spooky event is geared toward families and open to guests of all ages. Children ages 2 and under are free, and children under 16 must be accompanied by a paid adult.

Where: Birch Aquarium at Scripps – 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: October 25-26
Cost: $12-$17
> Find out more about Haunted Birch Aquarium

> Kids Go Free to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps all October

Star of India Haunted Tales of the Ship

Haunted Star of India - Maritime Museum of San Diego

Gather round for haunted seafaring tales and lantern tours at the Maritime Museum of San Diego

For a historically haunting experience, venture on board the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship for a special 45-60 minute tour. Part of San Diego’s Maritime Museum collection, the Star of India’s storied past includes real-life encounters with ghosts, and the tour includes special activities for the family, including seafaring ghost stories and “creepy treats.” Kids are encouraged to wear costumes.

Where: The San Diego Maritime Museum – 1492 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 18-19 and 25-26
Time: 6:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $8-$16
> Find out more about Haunted Tales of Our Seafaring Past

Seaport Village Halloween Bash on the Bay

Halloween Scarecrow at Seaport Village

Bring the kids for some Halloween fun in San Diego’s Downtown

Want to get some shopping done while celebrating the spooky season? Take the family to Seaport Village’s Halloween Bash on the Bay and enjoy a kid’s costume contest with prizes, photos of your ghouls, princesses and pirates next to a living scarecrow, and music by the Monster Mash Band and Thriller DJ. The event will not include candy or trick or treating, but offers many family-friendly activities, including a scavenger hunt, face painting and harvest-themed games.

Where: Seaport Village – 849 West Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
When: Saturday, October 26
Time: 1:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Seaport Village’s Halloween Bash on the Bay

Balboa Park Halloween Family Day

Balboa Park Halloween Family Day

Costumed fun in San Diego’s Historic Balboa Park

Over a dozen museums are treating families to free admission for children 12 and under during the 5th annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day on Saturday, October 26. In addition to free children’s admission with a paid adult, participating museums and cultural attractions will present a spooky array of hands-on activities, crafts, special tours, storytelling, and other free goodies.

Where: Balboa Park – 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 26, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: Free. Kids 12 and under free to museums with paid adult admission
> Find out more about the Balboa Park Halloween Family Day

> Kids Go Free to Many Balboa Park Museums all October

> Discover More Halloween Excitement in San Diego

What’s your favorite family friendly Halloween activity in San Diego? Let us and other families know in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Are You Brave Enough to Enter One of San Diego's Haunted Houses?

The Scream Zone

It”s that time of year – the days grow shorter, the weather grows colder and our dearly (and not-so-dearly) departed rise again for their unwelcome annual visit. If you”re brave or foolish enough to say hello to them, head out to one of these haunted houses and trails throughout San Diego county.

Just remember the words of Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) as you enter – Once, the door is locked, there is no way out…

The Scream Zone

The Scream Zone

Just keep telling yourself it”s just a hay ride, it”s just a hayride…or is it?

Get ready for three horrifying experiences at San Diego County”s largest haunted attraction. The Scream Zone features the House of Horror with rooms filled with terrifying scenes and scares lurking at every turn, take the Haunted Hayride through the haunted barns on the Del Mar racetrack and walk through The Chamber with the largest spinning tunnel in San Diego. New this year is the Zombie Paintball Safari…test your aim under pressure!

Note: The Scream Zone is designed for a teen and older audience.

Where: Del Mar Fair Grounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
When: September 27 – November 2, 2013
Cost: $15-$30
> Find out more about The Scream Zone

The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Hotel. Photo by Mike Rollerson

The staff at The Haunted Hotel is dying to check you in! Photo by Mike Rollerson

Named one of the top 13 haunted houses in America by Haunt World magazine, The Haunted Hotel is one of San Diego”s longest running haunted houses. Do you you dare ride the Hellevator to who knows where, explore Freddy Krueger”s workshop, and visit rooms inspired by Legion and Shutter Island? Ride the moving Subway and meet the night riders, and try to escape the virus outbreak in the Zombie office. The heart-pounding effects are so real, you”ll be screaming for your life as you try to find the way out.

Note: No pregnant women, infants, or children being carried will be allowed entry. Not recommended for children under 10.

Where: 424 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 27 – November 2, 2013
Closed Monday & Tuesday except for 10/28 and 10/29
Cost: $15-$27
> Find out more about The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park. Photo by Mike Rollerson

Whatever you do, don”t walk into any of the houses along The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park! Photo by Mike Rollerson

If walking through haunted houses isn”t your thing, take a stroll through Balboa Park that you”ll never forget. The mile-long Haunted Trail has plenty of spine-tingling sights and sounds that will leave you trembling amongst the twisted grove of pines and gnarled oaks. In addition to the trail, your can make your way best online casino through “The eXperiment,” a maze that shows what can happen when Mother Nature takes her eye off the ball for even just a second.

Note: No pregnant women, infants, or children being carried will be allowed entry. Not recommended for children under 10.

Where: 6th & Juniper at Marston Point, San Diego, CA 92103
When:
 September 27 – November 2, 2013
Closed Monday & Tuesday except for 10/28 and 10/29
Cost: $15-$32

The Savage House

The Savage House - San Diego Haunted Houses

Out in San Diego”s East County sits what was once a secure warehouse containing a laboratory designed to collect research data on the infected. The infected now roam free throughout the building. Get yourself lost in the hallways of this zombie infested warehouse as you navigate through 10,000 sq ft of terror. Are you brave enough to make it through? Brave enough to survive?

If you make it through alive, check out The Museum full of characters, vehicles and props from some of your favorite horror movies.

Note: Attraction is not recommended for anyone under the age of 12 years old.

Where: Grossmont Center Mall – 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa, CA 91942
When: October 3 – November 2, 2013
Cost: $11-$17. Museum Admission – $3
> Find out more about The Savage House

Escape from Ghastley Manor (Monster Manor)

Escape from Ghastley Manor (Monster Manor)

Things aren”t always what they seem in the Ghastley Manor

Are you prepared to run for your life against hordes of the Undead? Can your heart handle coming face to face with the dark and twisted members of the Ghastley family? This year, you will be taken into the very depths of the Ghastley Family Manor, making your way through dark corridors, sinister rooms, and an army of the Living Dead.

Note: Monster Manor is targeted towards for ages 13 .

Where: 8235 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92126
When: October 18-19, 25-26 and October 31 – November 1, 2013
Cost: $10-$13
> Find out more about Escape from Ghastley Manor (Monster Manor)

The Whaley House

The Whaley House

Are you brave enough to enter The Whaley House, one of America”s Most Haunted Houses?

Step into one of America”s Most Haunted Houses and immediately feel a chill! See something out of the corner of your eye that you can”t explain? Hear the sound of a ball bouncing off the wall but don”t see it? Throughout October, the Whaley House will be offering special tours, extended hours and the chance for you to have an actual paranormal encounter.

Where: 2476 San Diego Avenue, San Diego, CA 92110
When: October 4-31, 2013
Cost: Prices vary by event
> Find out more about Halloween at the Whaley House

Family Friendly Haunted Houses

Have a small goblin or ghoulish princess that wants to get into the Halloween spirit? Buckle them onto the broomstick and fly over to family friendly haunted houses at LEGOLAND”s Brick or-Treat-Trail or Belmont Park”s Boomont Manor.

> Find more Scares and Halloween Happenings in San Diego

Are there any San Diego haunted houses that you will never return to out of fright? Warn us and others in the comments below! 🙂