Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – December 9-14, 2014

Jungle Bells - San Diego Zoo

Give yourself the gift of a trip to San Diego this weekend and enjoy all of these top things to do including Christmas light displays on the water!

> Holiday Happenings in San Diego

La Mesa”s Christmas in the Village

La Mesa Christmas in the Village

It”s a winter wonderland at La Mesa Christmas in the Village

Don”t miss the strolling minstrels, carolers and street entertainers, food and commercial vendors. Live Music is featured in a number of stage areas and Bonfires fill the Boulevard. The kids will love Santa, the Carnival Rides, Ponies and the Puppet Shows. All Specialty Shops, Boutiques and Restaurants open late during event. Thousands of unique gifts all season long!

Where: La Mesa Blvd & Spring St, La Mesa, CA 91941
When: December 12-13, 2014
Time: 5:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about La Mesa”s Christmas in the Village

Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo

Jungle Bells, Zoo, Attractions, Holidays

The San Diego Zoo stays open late for fun holiday activities, shows and light displays during Jungle Bells.

Jungle Bells are ringing – it”s holiday time! The San Diego Zoo is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Guests can enjoy displays of lighted animal sculptures throughout the Zoo aboard the Twinkle Light Trolley, live animal presentations, Dr. Zoolittle”s lively version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas, special music and entertainment, delicious holiday treats, encounters with animal ambassadors, visits with Santa, and much more.

Where: San Diego Zoo – 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
When: December 13, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo

Poway”s Christmas in the Park

Christmas in the Park at Old Poway Park San Diego

Santa welcomes guests to Old Poway Park.

Are you looking for a great way to get into the holiday spirit and create family memories that will last a lifetime? Witness Christmas traditions come to life including Christmas tree lighting followed by the arrival of Santa & Mrs. Claus; horse-drawn hay and pony rides, petting zoo, and face painting; steam locomotive, model trains, and live entertainment; and holiday sweets and warm dinner foods.

Where: Old Poway Park – 14134 Midland Rd, Poway, CA 92064
When: December 13, 2014
Time: 3:30 to 8:30 PM
Cost: Free. Nominal fee for some activities
> Find out more about Poway”s Christmas in the Park

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights

Mission Bay Parade of Lights

Mission Bay Lights Up during the holiday season.

This free, distinctly California celebration features boats decorated for the annual holiday season that will sail around Mission Bay. A highly anticipated event in the San Diego community, dozens of vessels take to the water for the parade.

When: December 13, 2014
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights

Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights

Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights

Boats of all sizes get decked out with holiday lights and circle Oceanside Harbor

Fishing boats, sailboats, yachts, kayaks and dingys dressed up in holiday swag and circle the Oceanside Harbor to enchant onlookers at the harbor, casino restaurants and beach. Many of the boats feature people dressed up like Santa waving to the crowd.

Where: Oceanside Harbor, Oceanside, CA 92054
When: December 13, 2014
Time: 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

2011 Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

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

San Diego”s furriest festive parade returns to Downtown as the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade. All pet owners and their furry, feathered and scaled companions are invited to don their favorite costumes and put their best paw, wing and fin forward for this jolly promenade and pet expo.

Where: Gaslamp Hilton Park – 401 K Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: December 13, 2014
Time: 1:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free to view. $15-$20 to participate in the parade
> Find out more about the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

View more than 80 decorated boats at the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights!

Join us for the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, an annual time-honored holiday tradition brought to San Diego by the boating community.The parade takes place on San Diego Bay with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated to a new theme each year. Held on two consecutive Sundays in December, the parade proceeds from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and the Ferry Landing in Coronado. Whether you”re a participant or spectator, the Parade of Lights is a festive and delightful experience for all!

When: December 14 & 21, 2014
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

The Nutcracker

When the Toy Soldiers arrive, that means The Nutcracker and the Holidays are here!

When the Toy Soldiers arrive, that means The Nutcracker and the Holidays are here!

It’s not a holiday season unless you can escape to the land of sugar-plum fairies with a live version of The Nutcracker! Here are

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Chelsea

5 Must Do Family Friendly San Diego Holiday Activities

Garden of Lights San Diego Botanic Garden

Winter in San Diego is the place to be! With the exception of the occasional rainy day, skies are generally blue during one of the coldest times of year around the rest of the country. In fact, it’s not unusual to find yourself reading your novel on the beach as your kids play in the sand. To top it off, San Diego stops at nothing when it comes to getting into the spirit of the holidays! The entire county literally lights up and there’s plenty of activities to help make memorable moments that will last a lifetime for the whole family. Here are some of my favorite things to do in San Diego during the holidays.

Ice Skating on the Beach in Coronado

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at The Del!

Okay, you may be thinking that I mentioned you would be on the beach…Well, if you head to Coronado’s Ice Rink you can enjoy the view of the ocean and test your balance skating on ice! Every year the Hotel Del Coronado opens an ice skating rink adjacent to the hotel from November to January! What better way to (ironically) spend a sunny day on the beach in San Diego!

Where: Hotel del Coronado – 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
When: Through January 4, 2015
Cost: $25
> Find out more about Skating by the Sea

Christmas Card Lane

Christmas Light Display - Rancho Penasquitos Christmas Card Lane

San Diego neighborhoods light up during the holidays.

If you love the infamous Griswold house in the “Vacation” movies from the 80’s, then you will adore Christmas Card Lane in Rancho Penasquitos! An annual tradition, the entire neighborhood gets involved in decorating the yards around themes and is a local’s favorite! The streets are lively and many visitors rent double-decker buses and limos to tour all the decorations! I recommend parking the car and walking around on foot. Many homes offer hot chocolate for a small price and popcorn. And it’s likely you will run into some carolers singing traditional songs along the way!

Where: Located in Rancho Penasquitos at Oviedo Street – off Black Mtn. Rd. includes Twin Trails, Carmel Mtn. Rd., Ellingham St., Renato St., Oviedo St., Twin Trails Dr., Barrymore St., Totherham Ave., Talca Ave., Talca Ct., Allenbrook Way, Davenport Ave., Amber Sky Ln.

San Diego Botanical Garden’s Garden of Lights

Garden of Lights San Diego Botanic Garden

Lights, flowers and s’mores – what more could you ask for? (photo by by John Bryant)

Every year this is the spot my family gets our traditional photo with Santa. Immediately after, we enjoy the incredible lush gardens that are beautifully lit up for the holidays during their annual Garden of Lights! We make sure to catch the horse-drawn carriage and sing carols as we tour the grounds. After, we order some of the food sold during the event and then roast our marshmallows while listening to the live music act of the night! And on certain nights, snow is brought in for sledding! This is truly a gorgeous event and a must-do during the holidays in San Diego!

Where: San Diego Botanic Garden – 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024
When: December 6-30, 2014 (Closed December 24-25)
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: $6-$14
> Find out more about the Garden of Lights

Mission Bay Boat Parade of Lights

Mission Bay Parade of Lights!

Mission Bay Parade of Lights!

Another gorgeous way to experience the best of both worlds of gorgeous winter weather and holiday spectacular is to head to the bay to enjoy the beautiful lit up boats! And believe me, competition can be fierce for who has the best display! With dozens of participants, take in the sights and the fresh San Diego air. The boat parade begins at 6:00 PM from Quivira Basin. Best viewing is from Crown Point, the east side of Vacation Island or the west side of Fiesta Island.

When: December 13, 2014
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Mission Bay Boat Parade of Lights

Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park

Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park - Top Things to Do

Discover a Holiday Wonderland in Downtown San Diego at Petco Park

This year, Petco Park will be a Holiday Wonderland full of festive cheer, lights and plenty of ways to keep the kids happy. Make your way through Santa’s Workshop and Candy Cane Lane toward what used to be a baseball field for train rides, a hill covered in snow, reindeer, music and a place for Mommy and Daddy to relax. Just make sure to bring your camera to capture all the smiles your children will be giving you!

Where: Petco Park – 100 Park Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
When: December 5-24, 2014 (Friday-Sunday and Special Nights – December 22-24)
Time: 5:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $10-$15
> Find out more about Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park

> More Holiday Happenings in San Diego

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – December 2-7, 2014

balboa park organ pavilion san diego december nights holiday event

December is here and that means this weekend’s list of top things to do in San Diego is packed with at ton festive fun!

> Holiday Happenings in San Diego

LEGOLAND Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights

LEGOLAND California Santa

Take a photo with a life size Santa made of LEGOs!

Build a snowman with LEGO® accessories and throw real snowballs at colorful targets. Ride snow tubes down a hill. And brand new this year, Ice Skating! Experience the magic of Winter Nights with shows, music, and twinkling lights. There’s even a food truck with yummy treats served by Santa’s Elves. Stay for the nightly fireworks over Miniland USA, December 26 – 30. Witness the lighting of a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas Tree and enjoy live entertainment with LEGO Friends Live. A life-sized LEGO Brick Santa and Reindeer make the perfect family photo.

Where: LEGOLAND California – One LEGOLAND Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: December 1-31, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about LEGOLAND Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights

Hotel del Coronado’s Holiday Festival – A Family Celebration

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at The Del!

The Del will feature a special event for the whole family – “Holiday Festival…A Family Celebration.” In addition to the outdoor ice rink, there will be Santa’s Village with games and prizes, photos with St. Nick and his elves, performances by Coronado school children, complimentary s’mores roasts, and carols from Coronado School of the Arts students.

Where: Hotel del Coronado – 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118
When: December 3, 2014
Time: 4:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Hotel del Coronado’s Holiday Festival – A Family Celebration

Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park

Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park - Top Things to Do

Discover a Holiday Wonderland in Downtown San Diego at Petco Park

Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park provides a spectacular holiday destination for all. Open for 12 nights in December, there will be fun for people of all ages. Get in the spirit and walk through the magical lighting displays, ride Polar Express trains, explore Candyland, feed live reindeer, take a photo with Santa near a 40′-tall Christmas Tree, enjoy the festive fare and so much more!

Where: Petco Park – 1 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
When: December 5-24, 2014
Time: 5:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $10-$15
> Find out more about Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park

Balboa Park December Nights

balboa park organ pavilion san diego december nights holiday event

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

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 5-6, 2014
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

Holiday Parades & Festivals

North Park Toyland Parade and Festival

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

Get into the holiday spirit at these parades and festivals throughout San Diego County:

2014 SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

Sample amazing chilis from more than 40 of San Diego’s best Restuarnats at SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

The neighborhoods of South and North Park come together in a friendly chili competition among 40 top local restaurants competing as guests try out their chili in hand-spun ceramic bowls. The event offers two free live music stages, great holiday gifts and crafts from local artisans, five food trucks, a game truck and a kids’ activity zone with free cookie decorating, and craft beer and wine garden featuring 10 local breweries.

Where: 3216 Thorn Street, San Diego, CA 92104
When: December 7, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Festival is free; handmade ceramic bowls with chili tastings: $20
> Find out more about the 2014 SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Guest Blogger

Amazing San Diego Theater for this Holiday Yuletide Season

From family classics to a Disney musical, as well as some local holiday traditions, there is something for everyone at San Diego theaters this yuletide season.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The La Jolla Playhouse is staging the Disney-produced, U.S. premiere of the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, featuring the Disney film score by the high-powered team of composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. The San Diego choir SACRA/PROFANA will serve as the show’s onstage chorus. There are massive bells and grand sets to recreate Paris” Cathedral of Notre Dame, where the deformed Quasimodo lives in the bell tower but descends to the streets to become an unlikely hero. Based on Victor Hugo”s 1831 classic, the musical retains many of the novel’s darker themes, but the top-notch performances make it a highly entertaining night at the theater. Catch it before it goes to Broadway!

Where: La Jolla Playhouse – 2910 La Jolla Village Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: Through December 14, 2014
Cost: Starting at $99
> Find out more about The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Second City”s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue

If Hunchback puts you in a dark and stormy mood, check out The Second City”s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue on one of the La Jolla Playhouse’s nearby stages. For what promises to be a hilarious night, the famed Chicago-based improv and comedy troupe performs original songs, sketches and improv.

Where: La Jolla Playhouse – 2910 La Jolla Village Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: November 28 – December 21, 2014
Cost: Starting at $15
> Find out more about The Second City”s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue

Charles Dickens” A Christmas Carol

Scrooge - A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play at Cygent Theatre

Hear and See Scrooge come alive on the “radio” at this San Diego Holiday theatre classic

Cygnet Theatre in Old Town re-imagines Charles Dickens” A Christmas Carol as a musical. Set on a Victorian stage, there’s an original score, perhaps with melodic “humbugs” from a singing Scrooge? Worth finding out, especially since the production also includes amazing puppetry and live Foley sound effects visible on stage. It”s not hard to imagine how they”ll create the rattling chain sounds of Marley’s Ghost, but don’t you want to see what clever contraption will sound like falling snow or the sounds of London? Find out by heading over to Cygnet this holiday season.

Where: Cygnet Theatre – 4040 Twiggs St, San Diego, CA 92110
When: November 28 – December 28, 2014
Cost: $29-$69
> Find out more about Charles Dickens” A Christmas Carol”

An American Christmas

Step back online casino in time 100 years for an old fashion Christmas at the Hotel del Coronado

A San Diego theater tradition happens every year at the Hotel Del Coronado, courtesy of Lamb”s Players Theatre. Walking into the gorgeous Grand Ballroom at the historic Hotel Del, you”ll be transported to 1914 where costumed players will dance, sing, and tell stories as you enjoy a 5-course holiday meal. Put on your best holiday attire and enjoy one of the most festive parties in town.

Where: Hotel del Coronado – 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92120
When: December 15-27, 2014
Cost: $128-$160
> Find out more about An American Christmas

Festival of Christmas: Northern Lights

Festival of Christmas is a show the entire family will enjoy packed with great music of the Season, both old and new

Lamb”s is also staging Festival of Christmas: Northern Lights, a holiday drama for the entire family. The play tells the story of three generations who adjust their traditional holiday plans after the pipes burst at the family home. Surprise guests, family discoveries, and a magnificent night sky all make for one memorable Christmas.

Where: Lamb”s Players – 1142 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118
When: November 29 – December 28, 2014
Cost: $22-$72
> Find out more about Festival of Christmas: Northern Lights

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker - New Village Arts Theatre

See The Nutcracker in a whole new way in this Non-Ballet Version. Photo courtesy of Daren Scott

New Village Arts in Carlsbad has the west coast premiere of The Nutcracker, the non-ballet version! Young Clara is still at the center of this drama and she’s still trying to save Christmas but she won’t be doing it on pointe. This modern adaptation is a family drama that includes magic, original songs and a bit of spectacle.

Where: New Village Arts Theatre – 2787 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: November 29 – December 31, 2014
Cost: $20-$46
> Find out more about The Nutcracker

Dr. Suess” How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Dr. Suess

Even the Grinch can”t take away the early holiday spirit. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

And lastly, the meanest and greenest of San Diego theater holiday traditions, there”s Dr. Suess” How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. Based on the classic Dr. Suess book, this annual production of holiday cheer and whimsy is not to be missed. Kids love it, but the banter is so witty adults will enjoy it too. Plus, the sets and costumes of Whoville, not to mention the Grinch himself, are a wonder. Don”t forget to bring your camera for a family portrait in front of the Dr. Seuss Christmas tree in the Old Globe’s plaza.

Where: The Old Globe – 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 15 – December 27, 2014
Cost: Tickets start at $32
> Find out more about Dr. Suess” How the Grinch Stole Christmas

> Enjoy More Live San Diego Theater This Holiday Season

Sandra

Unique Boutiques For Your Holiday Shopping in San Diego

The holidays are upon us once again, and the thought of gift buying can sometimes add additional stress to an already busy season. San Diego is fortunate to have an abundance of shopping options for the hard-to-buy-for loved one. My first rule of thumb when selecting a gift for someone is to know something unique about them, e.g. hobbies, passions, and favorites. Once you know this you can tailor their gift perfectly for them.

With Love Gift & Paperie

With Love Gift & Paperie - Unique Boutiques

Find a unique holiday gift at With Love Gift & Paperie

One of my favorite places to find unique gifts is With Love Gift & Paperie. With an ever changing inventory of cards, jewelry, French journals, and one-of-a-kind home accessories, this is a grand slam. I can always find something for a home or maybe the latest hip interior design coffee table book, or some luxurious smelling soap with an antique soap holder. The choices are never ending here in this treasure chest of fabulousness.

Where: 1620 West Lewis Street, San Diego, CA 92103
> Find out more about With Love Gift & Paperie

The Headquarters

Simply Local - The Headquarters

Simply Local is just one of the amazing boutiques located at The Headquarters

The Headquarters shopping area offers two of my preferred stores. Simply Local‘s impressive location features over 50 local merchants and artists combined with treasures from around the world. Picture an indoor upscale farmers market. I love the jewelry, purses, gourmet kitchen and food items. Their newest location just opened this month in North Park, 3013 University Ave. Seaside Paper/Home offers luxury candles, personalized stationery, hand selected home accessories and some exclusive proprietary lines. If you happen to be in Coronado, be sure to check out their second location at 1162 Orange Ave.

Seaside Paper/Home

Seaside offers unique gifts ranging from luxury candles to home accessories

Where: 789 W. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about The Headquarters

Vignettes Boutique

Vignettes

Discover the perfect gift from ol’ Parie at Vignettes

I love shopping at antique stores for people. Vignettes, my go-to antique store, is located in Ocean Beach. I can always find the perfect piece of antique jewelry or accessory. Maybe an exclusive home or garden accessory is on your list? No matter what, be sure to check out the Chanel corner! This a one-of-a-kind antique store that makes you think of the splendor of Old Paris…Vive La France!

Where: 4828 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107
> Find out more about Vignettes

Love & Aesthetics

Love & Aesthetics Boutique

The area of Little Italy features Love & Aesthetics. The owner of this lifestyle boutique carries items that he believes in and lives by. Representing local artists and independent companies, this boutique carries everything from jewelry to local re-purposed woodwork furniture to stunning vases and art. The second location in the neighborhood of North Park has a more masculine vibe.

Where:
Little Italy – 621 W. Fir Street, San Diego CA 92101
North Park – 2910 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
> Find out more about Love & Aesthetics

SOLO

SOLO Solana Beach

Find a Christmas gift for your loved one at any of the vendors housed inside of SOLO

Further north in Solana Beach is San Diego’s design district in which resides a fabulous store called SOLO. With a 4,000 sq. ft. retail space and more than a dozen distinctive boutiques within the location, this is the place to find the perfect linen, jewelry, antiques, table top displays, collectible architectural books, and furniture.

Where: 309 South Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
> Find out more about SOLO

> Discover San Diego’s Shopping Blocks Not to Miss

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – November 18-23, 2014

Start your Thanksgiving Holiday a little early and escape to San Diego for these top things to do this weekend.

> Holiday Happenings in San Diego

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival

Get the chance to choose samples from more than 700 wines at the Grand Finale Events. Photo courtesy of Joey Hernandez.

The weeklong celebration continues with plenty of events featuring more than 200 wineries, breweries and spirit purveyors, 70 of San Diego’s best restaurants, and 10,000 wine and food aficionados from across the nation for the biggest wine and food celebration on the West Coast. Don’t miss out on Saturday’s Grand Finale Tasting Event with more than 700 wines being poured!

When: Through November 23, 2014
Cost: $45-$625
> Find out more about the San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival

Sycuan’s Fantasy on Ice

Ice Skating in Horton Plaza - Sycuan's Fantasy on Ice

Ice skate in the heart of San Diego at Sycuan’s Fantasy on Ice.

If you’ve ever dreamed of spinning on the ice under the glow of big city lights, don’t head to New York’s Rockefeller Center – head to downtown San Diego. Sponsored by Sycuan and benefiting Rady Children’s Hospital, Fantasy on Ice sits right in the heart of downtown by Horton Plaza. Grab a date, head out to dinner at one of the Gaslamp Quarter’s 180+ restaurants, and cap off the night with a romantic spin around the rink.

Where: Horton Plaza, 225 Broadway Circle, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Dates: November 20, 2014 – January 4, 2015 (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Days)
Times: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Check website for time changes)
Cost: $14-$35
> Find out more about Sycuan’s Fantasy on Ice

San Diego MOvember Bash

San Diego MOvember Bash - Top Things to Do

If you are in San Diego this November, don’t miss the biggest Movember Moustache Party taking place in downtown East Village between the Convention Center and Petco Park! 2 Causes. 15 Movember Parties. 13 Welcome Shots Included.

Starting Point: Bootlegger – 804 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 21, 2014
Time: 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM
Cost: $40
> Find out more about the San Diego MOvember Bash

Ingenious! The World of Dr. Seuss

Hotel Del Coronado - TM Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved

Discover the Ingenious World of Dr. Seuss at the San Diego History Center. Hotel del Coronado – TM Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.

The highly popular traveling Dr. Seuss exhibition will be lively and whimsical, using state-of-the-art technology and engaging visitors in exploratory and immersive experiences. The exhibition will feature rare early works, ephemera, illustration, and editorial cartoons, as well as two newly released Geisel illustrations.

Where: San Diego History Center – 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 22 – December 31, 2014
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Ingenious! The World of Dr. Seuss

2014 Mother Goose Parade

Goose Float at the Mother Goose Parade in San Diego's East County

El Cajon’s Mother Goose Parade!

The largest parade in San Diego County is also the largest of its type west of the Mississippi. Each year, the Mother Goose Parade attracts thousands of spectators to the streets of El Cajon. More than 100 colorful and exciting parade entries come from around the United States to share in the excitement that is the Mother Goose Parade. The parade entries include spectacular motorized floats, glorious marching bands and drill units, eloquent equestrians, animated clowns, special characters, special guests, performing artists, celebrities, giant helium balloons, specialty vehicles, and of course, Santa Claus.

When: November 23, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 2014 Mother Goose Parade

2014 Encinitas Fall Festival

Encinitas Street Fair

Food, music, rides, a beer garden and over 450 vendors at the Encinitas Street Fair

With 450+ booths to visit, plus dozens of unique downtown Encinitas retailers, here’s a great opportunity for your holiday shopping. Enjoy music and dance performances at two stages, as well as three new additions: the Kids Zone, Dog Park and Bike Valet.

Where: Coast Highway 101 between D and J Streets, Encinitas, CA 92024
When: November 23, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 2014 Encinitas Fall Festival

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – November 11-16, 2014

San Diego is calling you to visit this weekend enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures, golfing, shopping, spas and more including these top things to do:

Veteran’s Day

Bob Hope Memorial - San Diego's Embarcadero

San Diego honors its troops year round in with memorials throughout the county.

Since San Diego’s military history runs deep and is grateful for the sacrifice each of the members of the United States Armed Forces makes. Below are ways to honor them on Veteran’s Day (or any day of the year):

Events

Locations

> San Diego Military Museums, Memorials & More

San Diego Beer Week Continues

San Diego Beer Week - Top Things to Do in San Diego

From amazing craft beer to local dishes, San Diego Beer Week showcases why San Diego is the Capital of Craft!

Didn’t make it to the first weekend of San Diego Beer Week events? Don’t worry, there is still plenty of tap takeovers, rare releases and more through this Sunday.

> 5+ San Diego Beer Week Events You Don’t Want to Miss

> Browse the Entire San Diego Beer Week Schedule

Holiday Fun

Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - Old Globe Theatre

Even the Grinch can’t take away the early holiday spirit. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

I know, I know! Santa has not even made his way down Broadway in New York, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the Holiday Spirit a little early. Here are two fun holiday themed events that start this weekend:

Open Doors La Jolla

MCASD La Jolla Visitors

See La Jolla in a different way durring Open Doors. Courtesy Greg Lambert

Visitors are invited to enjoy free admission and tours at each of the 8 participating institutions that make up the historic Cultural Zone of La Jolla. This open house-style event provides guests the opportunity to learn La Jolla’s story by exploring buildings the public may not typically have a chance to see.

When: November 16, 2014
Time: 11:30 to 2:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Open Doors La Jolla

San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival

SD Bay Wine and Food Festival - Top Things to Do

Sample over 200 wineries at various San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival events. Photo courtesy of Joey Hernandez.

This year’s festival is bigger and better than ever. Celebrate 11 years in the making with new events, the best wines in the world and some of today’s biggest celebrity chefs and culinary personalities. Join over 200 wineries, breweries and spirit purveyors, 70 of San Diego’s best restaurants, and 10,000 wine and food aficionados from across the nation for the biggest wine and food celebration on the West Coast.

When: November 16-23, 2014
Cost: $45-$625
> Find out more about the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

San Diego Chargers VS. Oakland Raiders

Chargers' Quarterback Philip Rivers

Watch as Quarterback Philip Rivers drives the Chargers to a victory!

The San Diego Chargers are coming off of a slight slump and need your support. Let’s make sure the stadium is packed this Sunday with blue and white jerseys!

> Where to Grab Some Grub and Beer Before the Chargers Game

Where: Qualcomm Stadium – 9949 Friars Road, San Diego, CA 92108
When: November 16, 2014
Cost: $52-$130
> Find out more about the San Diego Chargers VS. Oakland Raiders

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> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Frank

Top San Diego Dining Destinations for LGBT Visitors

Indigo Grill Bar

A booming culinary scene awaits visitors to San Diego, with many of its restaurants headed by chefs and entrepreneurs from within the LGBT community. Add to the equation a host of other dining hotspots that regularly support LGBT events and fundraisers, and the result is a tapestry of endless options that capture everything from the latest and greatest farm-sourced meals to hearty casual chow and innovative haute cuisine.

Indigo Grill

Indigo Grill Bar

The new makeover at Indigo Grill. Courtesy of Indigo Grill

Veteran chef-restaurateur Deborah Scott wows with dishes inspired by native-American and Latin cooking techniques. Since its sleek remodel recently, Scott has extended the menu’s global reach while maintaining her popular standbys such as Indian corn pudding and achiote flat-iron steak with chimichurri.

Where: 1536 India St. San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about Indigo Grill

The Red Door/Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge

Red Door in Mission Hills

The quaint and inviting Red Door in Mission Hills

Amid a mini restaurant row that has emerged in the quiet neighborhood of Mission Hills, visitors will find some of the coziest farm-to-table meals at The Red Door. Sharing the same kitchen is the adjacent Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge, which brings classic beef Wellington back into vogue.

Where: 741 and 729 W. Washington St., San Diego, CA 92103
> Find out more about The Red Door
> Find out more about Wellington

The Patio on Goldfinch

Cheese at The Patio on Goldfinch

Artisan curds wink from the “cheese cave” at The Patio on Goldfinch

Also in Mission Hills, along a quaint block of Goldfinch Street, is the new Patio on Goldfinch, a former TV repair shop that underwent a dazzling, eco-conscious redo complete with living walls and an eye-popping “cheese cave.” The menu focuses on sharable plates that are both savory and detailed. The restaurant and its front patio fill up quickly on most days, so reservations are recommended.

Where: 4020 Goldfinch St., San Diego, CA 92103
> Find out more about The Patio on Goldfinch

Hillcrest Brewing Company

HIllcrest Brewing Company

Steve’s Garden pizza at Hillcrest Brewing Company. Courtesy of Mo’s Universe

Considered the nation’s only LGBT-owned brewing company, this casual hangout greets with provocatively named beers and pizzas. With nearly a dozen signature brews in the offing such as “Pearl Necklace” and “Banana Hammock” and a menu extending also to salads and wings, the atmosphere is consistently as festive as the brewery’s nearby sister restaurants, which include Baja Betty’s, The Gossip Grill and Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill.

Where: 1458 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
> Find out more about Hillcrest Brewing Company

La Bonne Table

La Bonne Table

Seasonal fruit tart at the cozy La Bonne Table. Courtesy of La Bonne Table

LGBT couples seeking a romantic dinner experience in Hillcrest should look no further than this elegant, cozy French newcomer to the restaurant scene, which knocks out some of the best bouillabaisse and duck confit in the gayborhood. With limited seating in both the dining room and outdoor patio, a feeling of exclusivity pervades.

Where: 3696 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
> Find out more about La Bonne Table

D Bar

D Bar Cake and Shake

The wildly popular “cake and shake” at D Bar. Courtesy of D Bar

Headed by pastry maestro and Food Network personality Keegan Gerhard, patrons witness fabulous desserts in the making when perched at the roomy dining bar. On the opposite wall is a fully stocked liquor bar with table seating available throughout the center of the bright, airy interior. The menu includes well-crafted savory dishes, but it’s the sour cream chocolate cake and “faux foster banana imposter” that keep some of us coming back regularly.

Where: 3930 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
> Find out more about D Bar

Lips

Lips

High glitz awaits at Lips Restaurant. Courtesy of Lips

Glitter and glam set the stage at Lips, a drag supper club located in San Diego’s “other Hillcrest” – in the neighborhood of North Park. The outstanding performers double as servers as they deliver a full slate of grilled specialties to your table with rousing doses of song and humor. Special late-night “taboo” shows are added to the schedule on Saturdays.

Where: 3036 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92104
> Find out more about Lips

The Smoking Goat

The Smoking Goat Duck Fat Fries

Truffle fries cooked in duck fat at The Smoking Goat

Also in North Park is the sure-footed Smoking Goat, where duck-fat truffle fries and slow-cooked pork belly are all the rage. The menu highlights well-executed meat and seafood entrees, some which are stamped with French flair. Situated in a double storefront, the restaurant flaunts a stylish, earthy interior and features a sizable front patio.

Where: 3408 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104
> Find out more about The Smoking Goat

Lei Lounge

Lei Lounge

Colorful high-tech mood lighting adds a soothing touch to Lei Lounge. Courtesy of Lei Lounge

In the village center of University Heights, where the popular Bourbon Street Bar & Grill resides, visitors can enter into Lei Lounge’s light-splashed canopied patio for island-inspired small plates and titillating cocktails such as aloe vera Collins and basil-pineapple martinis.

Where: 4266 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Lei Lounge

The Marine Room

The Marine Room in La Jolla

Every table comes with an ocean view at The Marine Room

Among the highly reputable fine-dining restaurants in San Diego is The Marine Room, established in 1941 and located on the sands of La Jolla Shores. The food is exquisite and the view captures a good deal of drama during high tides and winter storms as ocean waves lap against the restaurant’s large, reinforced windows.

Where: 2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037
> Find out more about The Marine Room

Bertrand at Mister A’s

Bertrand's at Mister A's Patio

Bertrand at Mister A’s ranks as San Diego’s best penthouse restaurant. Courtesy of Bertrand at Mister A’s

Formality rules the day in this penthouse perch near Balboa Park, affording diners exquisite views of the bay and San Diego skyline. It’s one of the few restaurants in town that maintains a dress code, so leave your cargo shorts and sandals behind when arriving for such delights as Maine lobster strudel and rack of lamb.

Where: 2550 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
> Find out more about Bertrand at Mister A’s

Buona Forchetta

Buona Forchetta Anchovy Salad

The white anchovy salad at Buona Forchetta is a must-try starter

One of the most common dining questions visitors ask is, “What’s the best Italian restaurant in San Diego?” My answer: “There are many.” Reigning among the hottest lately is Buona Forchetta, which operates in a mostly residential section of South Park. The kitchen cranks out classic Neapolitan pizzas from a high-inferno oven as well as other authentic Italian fare that transcends spaghetti and meatballs.

Where: 3001 Beech St., San Diego, CA 92102
> Find out more about Buona 

Fish Public and Bleu Boheme

Bleu Boheme

Going French in Kensington

If venturing into the Uptown neighborhood of Kensington, perhaps before catching an independent film at Landmark’s Ken Cinema, the rustic ambiance of Bleu Boheme is your ticket to Paris’ Left Bank with its classic and outstanding French cuisine. Although if you favor oysters and whole-roasted fish over beef bourguignon, Fish Public dishes up an array of oceanic gems with panache.

Where: 4090 Adams Ave. and 4055 Adams Ave., respectively, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Bleu Boheme
> Find out more about Fish Public

Café 21

Cafe 21 Grilled Pear Salad

Grilled pear salad at Café 21. Courtesy of Café 21

With locations in Normal Heights and the Gaslamp Quarter, both kitchens serve extraordinary meals inspired partly by the owners’ Azerbaijani roots. The seasonally driven menus change frequently, although dishes such as kebab platters, apricot-braised lamb shanks and hand-made crepes filled with savory ingredients are among the dependably delicious standbys.

Where:
– 2736 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116
– 802 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about Café 21

> Discover More with San Diego’s LGBT Travelers Guide

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – November 6-9, 2014

From Beer Week to Bing Crosby, (and not to mention the forecast of mid to high 70s all weekend!) there are plenty of reasons to visit San Diego this weekend and enjoy these top things to do:

San Diego Asian Film Festival

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M80zNEw2v-U]

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.

> Top 5 Picks for the 2014 San Diego Asian Film Festival

When: November 6-15, 2014
> Find out more about the San Diego Asian Film Festival

Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX8q6poQowo]

Art San Diego 2014 returns with more than 50 leading galleries from the USA, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Asia will be taking part. In addition to the gallery booths, special features include gallery-curated exhibitions, contemporary furniture design, artistic interventions in public spaces “Art Labs”, San Diego focused exhibitions “Made in San Diego”, and the introduction of emerging artists and curators “Launchpad”.

Where: Balboa Park Activity Center – 2145 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 6-9, 2014
Time: 12:00 to 8:00 PM
Cost: $20
> Find out more about the Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show

Tower After Hours: India

Museum of Man's Tower After Hours India

Taste delicious cuisine from Royal India, drink Indian beer and IPAs, watch performances of Bollywood-style dancing, and receive beautiful henna body art. It will be an amazing night at the Museum of Man!

Where: San Diego Museum of Man – 1350 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 6, 2014
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Cost: $15-$30
> Find out more about Tower After Hours: India

Del Mar Bing Crosby Season

Vintage Hollywood Fashion Contest - Del Mar Bing Crosby Season

Dress in your best Vintage for the Del Mar Racetrack’s Bing Crosby Season Opening Day

After a thrilling summer of fast racing and huge events, the legendary seaside track will open again for its inaugural Bing Crosby Season with a Vintage Hollywood Fashion Contest. Old Hollywood style meets classic Southern California cool this November at Del Mar with four weeks of elite Thoroughbred racing, fresh events and musical performances to keep the good times rolling.

> Del Mar Racetrack Adds New Fall Bing Crosby Season

Where: Del Mar Racetrack – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
When: November 7-30, 2014
First Post: 12:00 PM. Weekdays: 12:30 PM
Cost: $6
> Find out more about the Del Mar Bing Crosby Season

San Diego Beer Week

San Diego Beer Week - Top Things to Do in San Diego

From amazing craft beer to local dishes, San Diego Beer Week showcases why San Diego is the Capital of Craft!

San Diego Beer Week is a ten-day celebration inviting people to drink local, craft beer and promoting San Diego’s thriving brewing culture with multiple events happening across the county. Join us and discover why San Diego is the Capital of Craft.

> 5+ San Diego Beer Week Events You Don’t Want to Miss

When: November 7-16, 2014
> Find out more about San Diego Beer Week

Union Bank Fallback Festival presented by G.Q.H.F.

Gaslamp Quarter Fall Back Festival

Step back in time in the Gaslamp Quarter at the annual Fall Back Festival

Between old-fashioned festivities like pony rides and ice cream- and pie-eating contests, there are historical recreations and demonstrations with a “nineteenth-century” blacksmith plying his trade, prospectors teaching children how to pan for gold, butter churning and candle dipping demonstrations, and a Wild West shoot-out, to name a few.

Where: Island and Fourth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 9, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Union Bank Fallback Festival presented by G.Q.H.F.

CicloSDias Hillcrest and Bankers Hill

CicloSDias Family

Bring the whole family to the waterfront communities of Hillcrest and Bankers Hill for some safe fun in the streets at CicloSDias

CicloSDias San Diego welcomes everyone to walk, ride, stroll and enjoy. Come experience this free open street event where there will be activities along the route, shops and restaurants open for business and neighbors and friends from all over coming together to make our streets come alive.

Where: University & Sixth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
When: November 9, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about CicloSDias Hillcrest and Bankers Hill

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Brent Bernasconi

5+ San Diego Beer Week Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Beer Garden - San Diego Beer Week

San Diego Beer Week combines some of the best SD has to offer: sunshine, local food and amazing craft beer!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, I am not talking about December (though I do like that as well). I am talking about the ten amazing days that make up San Diego Beer Week (SDBW). From rare beer tap takeovers at your favorite restaurant to a massive bottle share along 30th, there is something for every beer lover during SDBW.

Here are a few picks from the long list of San Diego Beer Week events:

Brewers Guild Festival

Now split over two days, the Brewers Guild Festival is the official kickoff event for San Diego Beer Week. The VIP Brewer Takeover on Friday night will showcase San Diego’s finest, rare and specialty beers, including beers brewed just for the event. Saturday Festival is the big event with more than 55 breweries pouring unlimited samples into your commemorative tasting glass while live music plays in the background and the smell of delicious smells emanate from local food trucks.

Where: The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier – 1000 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego CA 92101
When: November 7-8, 2014
Cost: $25-$100
> Find out more about the Brewers Guild Festival

Bikes, Brews and Brats

Now this is my kind of event! Green Flash Brewing Company has teamed up with Regal Beagle & Cal Coast Bicycles, and the San Diego Mountain Biking Association for an epic ride through Balboa Park and Florida Canyon. Beers and brats will be served at the after-ride-party.

Starting Point: Cal Coast Bicycles – 3020 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
When: November 8, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Cost: $50
> Find out out more about Bikes, Brews and Brats

The World’s Biggest Bottle Share on 30th Street

The World’s Biggest Bottle Share on 30th Street will give you and your friends the chance to make history and enjoy sharing great craft beer in the process. From Polite Provisions in Normal Heights to Hamiltons in South Park, join in an awesome chain of craft beer lovers and help San Diego earn the Guinness Book Record for the World’s Biggest Bottle Share.

Where: 30th Street between Adams and Beech, San Diego, CA
When: November 9, 2014
Time: 12:00 to 6:00 PM
Cost: $20
> Find out more about the World’s Biggest Bottle Share on 30th Street

Fishing with the Brewers II

Have Monday off? Join some of San Diego’s best brewers for a day of fishing off the Shelter Island Pier. Don’t have a fishing pole? Don’t worry! Everything will be provided including a 6ft fishing pole you get to keep, hooks and weights, breakfast burrito bar, lunch, tshirt, and plenty of beer!

Where: Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle – 1776 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego CA 92106
When: November 10, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Cost: $70
> Find out more about Fishing with the Brewers II

Beer Garden

Wrap up San Diego Beer Week at the Beer Garden on the beautiful Arroyo Terrace overlooking Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean. Beer Garden brings together the best of San Diego’s breweries and chefs to celebrate the thriving craft beer movement in America’s Finest City.

Where: The Lodge at Torrey Pines – 11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: November 16, 2014
Time: 12:00 to 3:00 PM
Cost: $75
> Find out more about the Beer Garden

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