Nick Karvounis

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 14 – 17, 2014

Run, swim, and bike your way across Coronado Island!

Your friends will be green with envy when you tell them you’re heading to San Diego this weekend.  With so many great attractions and events, there’s something for everyone; you won’t need the luck of the Irish to have a good time.  Check out these top things to do in San Diego during this festive weekend!

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown San Diego

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always a fan favorite!

There’s a party and then there’s a party on St. Patrick’s Day.  Celebrate with friends across the region at some of San Diego’s annual events including Irish 4 A Day – St. Paddy’s Eve Party Hop, shamROCK Gaslamp Block Party, St. Patrick’s Day at the Glass Door, St. Patrick’s Beer Train Tour, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival.  Read more on our St. Patrick’s Day blog.

Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

Balboa Park STEAM Family Day in San Diego

Kids — and adults — will have a hair-raising day at Balboa Park.

This one’s for the kids – and adults too!  This week-long festival takes place at various locations throughout the region. On Sunday, March 16th, enjoy Balboa Park STEAM Family Day, where more than two dozen institutions in the park gather to present park-wide events. Enjoy hands-on activities, crafts, a butterfly release, storytelling and much more.

Where: Balboa Park
When: Sunday, March 16,
Cost: Children 12 & under free with paid adult admission
>Read more about the schedule of events at Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

SUPERSEAL and SEAL Sprint Triathlons

Coronado Island is host to the SUPERSEAL triathlon

Run, swim, and bike your way across Coronado Island!

This one’s for the athletes… and the dreamers.  There’s no more spectacular setting than Coronado Island for an intense triathlon competition.  The course was designed by Navy SEALs who train on the island, so expect a rigorous race.  The SUPERSEAL consists of a 1,500-meter swin, 40K bike ride, and 10k run.  For the less-adventurous, the SEAL course is shorter with 500-meter swim in Silver Strand State Beach Bay, 20k bike ride, and 6k run.  Whatever you choose, good luck!

Where: 1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
When: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Cost: $100 – $245
>Read more about the triathlon on Coronado Island

Bike Tour through scenic Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs two-wheeled bike tour!

It’s a flat terrain course, but still a challenging 80-mile ride in Borrego Springs!

We’ll start with a caveat on this… the terrain is mostly flat.  But you still have to be in shape for this spectacular scenic bike ride through Borrego Springs.  Choose from 27, 40, 67, or 80-mile paved road courses while enjoying the beautiful mountains in the distance.  Don’t miss the landmark prehistoric metal sculptures too!

Where: Borrego Springs High School, 2281 Diegueno Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
When: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Cost: $49
>Read more about this great two-wheeled Tour of Borrego

Art Above San Diego

Porto Vista Hotel hosts the annual Art Above San Diego fair

Enjoy a spectacular view at sunset during this elevated art fair!

This event at the Porto Vista Hotel literally elevates your art collection.  Enjoy a breathtaking view of San Diego’s Big Bay during sunset while sipping champagne on the rooftop terrace.  This open-air contemporary art fair features works from San Diego’s local emerging artists and galleries.

Where: Porto Vista Hotel, 1835 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Cost: $5-$10 donations requested
>Explore more about the Art Above San Diego fair

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

Chelsea

Happening Family Hikes That Kids and Parents Will Love

One of the best parts about being in San Diego is enjoying all its beauty. With great weather and scenic views, hiking with your family is yet another way to appreciate America’s finest city. When it comes to adventures on foot with the kids, check out some of the top happening hiking spots compiled from suggestions of local moms.

Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines - La Jolla - Scenic Waterfront Walks

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

It would nearly be a crime not mention this spot first! In fact, when gathering as much hiking intel as I could from other parents, this was the one place always mentioned. Sandwiched between Del Mar and La Jolla, the wild flowers can be enjoyed with one of the world’s most breathtaking ocean views. With three of the popular hike options being short ones, choose to walk to the water or get up close to the famous Torrey Pines! If you want to get your kids excited about hikes, start at this 1,750 acre seaside reserve. (12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, California 92037.)

San Elijo Lagoon

This 915 acre reserve is nestled neatly in North County with sprawling ocean views. Known for its bird watching, there’s also lots of unique plants to check out, too. In fact, you may even spot a fish or two in the lagoon on one of the eight trails to choose from! (2710 Manchester Avenue in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.)

Batiquitos Lagoon

The Batiquitos Lagoon is a great place to see wildlife.

The Batiquitos Lagoon is a great place to see wildlife.

Beginners should start here. And by that, I especially mean those with the age 3 and under set that just want to get a nice walk in with a view of the water. Enjoy ocean and lagoon scenery with an easy walk for all ages. (7380 Gabbiano Ln, Carlsbad, CA 92011)

Cowles Mountain

360 Panorama of Cowles Mountain

360 Panorama of Cowles Mountain. Via Wikipedia

Got older kids? Get ready to hike to the highest point in San Diego! Savor the 360 degree views of San Diego and a healthy 3 mile round trip workout, too. With the shorter distance, kids may not notice that the hike is a bit more of a challenge. And bragging rights of reaching the “top of San Diego” (and the view!) will make it all worth while. (At the corner of Golfcrest Drive and Navajo Road.)

Old Mission Dam

For fun with finding shells along the dam, this hike is another great place to enjoy with children while collecting wild flowers along the way. With easy trails, the historical landmark is also great for bird watching. (1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego, CA 92119)

Mount Woodson

Known for its cool rock formations that look like potato chips hanging in the sky, this hiking trail is thought of as moderate in terms of difficulty but worth the effort for the photos sitting on the edge of the rocks. With great views, round trip will be just about 8 miles so make sure the kids are up for a true adventure if you go for the whole route. (Mt Woodson Trail, Poway, CA.)

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

The Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve features  hiking, biking and equestrian trails.

The Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve features hiking, biking and equestrian trails.

Kid friendly walking (read: easy trails) can lead to the excitement of a waterfall! One of the best options leaves from the Canyonside Rec center with a path that will guide you along the creek to the main waterfall event.  For a very different hike, be sure to check out the West Entrance as well. Either way, bring your swimsuits on a hot day and enjoy a little dip in the water to cool off! (12122 Canyonside Park Drive, San Diego, CA 92129.)

Black Mountain Open Space Park

For the over 5 years old crowd, get ready for some steep hills that will guide you to awesome views overlooking North County all the way to the ocean on a clear day! Reaching the top of the summit of Black Mountain, catch the views to downtown San Diego, too! (12115 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92129)

Remember, with so much beauty to explore in this city, be sure to get the kids outside and enjoying all the atmosphere that one of these family hikes in San Diego has to offer.

 

Sarah Weinberg

The Kids Are Alright – Family Friendly Dining Options in San Diego

Monkey Paw Beer at Stone Liberty Station

San Diego restaurants offer a surprising number of exciting family friendly dining experiences from beaches to breweries.

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Monkey Paw Beer at Stone Liberty Station

Outdoor recreation and an adventurous menu mix well at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Liberty Station.

Wait a minute, beer and kids? Yes! Both locations of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens offer a dining destination, with an outstanding and challenging menu for adults featuring local meats and produce, and of course, local beers. They also have a kids menu that offers fresh veggies and their own house made soda (free of high-fructose corn syrup). You”ll find no frozen chicken fingers here. Kids can choose between chicken stir fry with noodles, carrots peas and broccoli; a cheese sandwich on freshly baked ciabatta bread and garlic mashed potatoes; chicken and cheese burrito with rice and beans on the side; or pasta in a cream sauce. Our family enjoys dining here because adults can enjoy a pint watching the kids play bocce ball at Liberty Station while we wait for the food to be served. Both locations offer outdoor gardens and paths and grassy lawns so older kids can wander and younger kids have somewhere to toddle (with escort) beyond the confines of a dining room.

Where: 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, CA 92029
> Find out more about Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Escondido

Where: 2816 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
> Find out more about Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station

Corvette Diner

Corvette Dinner

Pinky Tuscadero and friends welcome your kids to The Corvette Diner.

For pure kid-pleasing pleasure, Corvette Diner has it wired. This place is all about celebrating fun, and they have a huge menu with options for everyone, so even the pickiest eater can be accommodated. Those looking beyond the “diner” experience can find options like the “Popeye” spinach salad. Portions are huge (although there”s an extensive kids menu here too) and the food is fresh and tasty. The wait staff wear 1950s-era diner outfits and toss straws and bubble gum on to the table when they come to take your order. The space is large with many car and music themed rooms and best of all, an arcade! Kids can play pinball, video games and the like and win tickets for small prizes they select. No wonder it”s a birthday party favorite in San Diego.

Where: 2965 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
> Find out more about Corvette Diner

Waypoint Public

Waypoint Public - Family Friendly Dining

Waypoint is a neighborhood joint that offers family friendly dining and a hip after 8:00 PM crowd in search of local and rare beers.

You know kids are welcome when a restaurant builds out an area just for the little guys to play. At Waypoint Public located on 30th Street, a thoroughfare with a reputation for craft beer and culinary excellence in the neighborhood of North Park, families can reserve a table next to a kids “corral” to watch their tykes while dining. This kids” zone offers toys, bookshelves, blocks and bean bags in a little area toward the back of the restaurant carpeted with artificial grass and surrounded by a white picket fence.

While the kids menu includes favorites like cheeseburger and fries, mac “n” cheese, grilled cheese and little chicken dinner, the restaurant”s philosophy of fresh, local ingredients result in healthier options all around. The regular menu offers charred Spanish nbso online casino reviews octopus and duck cassoulet as well as an amazing burger. The 30 beers on tap and close to 100 bottles to choose from mean mommy and daddy will be happy too.

Where: 3794 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104
> Find out more about Waypoint Public

Station Tavern

Dining, family, burger, craft beer

Casual and fun, with a play area for the kids, Station Tavern in South Park is a must visit dining stop for families looking for great local experience.

Station Tavern, in the South Park neighborhood, is one of the most comfortable places for families to dine. It reminds me of a German beer garden with its indoor-outdoor picnic tables and quality beer and cocktail selection. The menu is simple with burgers, fries and tots, salads and a few other rotating items. “Station” as the locals call it, offers a place just for the kids as they crowd inside, and on top of, a mini trolley sitting within a fenced-off area in the outside dining space. A chalkboard and other sand toys offer youngsters distraction in this play zone. The restaurant sits on what was once a trolley track running through the neighborhood, thus the name.

Where: 2204 Fern Street, San Diego, CA 92104
> Find out more about Station Tavern

The Wave House at Belmont Park

Surfer - Wave House San Diego

Dine simulator-side at The Wave House at Belmont Park for a thrilling meal.

For a true escape from everyday dining, head to Mission Beach and get a table at Belmont Park”s Wave House. This entire area sits outside on the famed Mission Beach Boardwalk steps from the Pacific Ocean. The Wave House offers tropical palms, tiki style bars, a college crowd and also a sand pit for the kids to play in (including bean bag toss and giant chess board), all next to two giant wave rider simulators. My kids were fascinated watching beginning and expert surfers alike paddle in to the Wave House”s Flowbarrel and FlowRider wave simulators. No boredom at this restaurant! The menu is varied and extensive, featuring popular favorites from many cultures – taking into account the large tourist population that visits the area. While the kids dined on quesadillas and chicken satay, my husband and I enjoyed fresh sushi made to order and the real ocean views. The Wave House offers fun, action, great people watching and a dip in the ocean for dessert.

Where: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109
> Find out more about Wave House San Diego

> Enjoy more family friendly dining in San Diego

Where do you like to take your kids to dine in San Diego?

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.

 

Sarah Weinberg

Summer Play Days at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

Sheraton San Diego Hotel Pool and Marina
Sheraton San Diego Hotel Pool and Marina

Enjoy the water and more at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

One of the cool things about being a San Diegan is that you don’t have to own a boat or even a surf board to get out on the water and have a real outdoor adventure. For a family fun getaway, I schedule some play time on San Diego Bay. The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is my home base. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, guests and locals can enjoy the hotel’s Summer Play offerings with free poolside activities for families, daily deals and discounts on boat charters, whale watching excursions, paddleboat or kayak rentals, and more.

Unwind at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina Spa

After a day out on the bay, you can cruise back into the marina and enjoy some pampering at the spa or full service salon at the Sheraton; this includes complimentary parking and use of the pool facilities, of which there are three! After a dip in the quieter Lanai pool area, I followed with an aromatherapy massage at the Sheraton’s Island Breeze Spa. The intimate facility offers workout room, men’s and women’s locker rooms and a variety of treatment rooms offering massage therapy, body wraps and cleansing treatments. Island Breeze Spa has expanded their spa services by offering single or couple massages at an outdoor pop-up cabana that overlooks the San Diego bay.

Beyond Four Walls – Outdoor Yoga

Outdoor Yoga - Summer Play Days - Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

Find inner balance with cool ocean breezes and sunshine at Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina’s Outdoor Yoga

On my next visit, my daughter and I enjoyed the 10:00 AM Saturday outdoor yoga class courtesy of YogaOne ($17 adult, $12 child). Nothing starts off your weekend like doing a tree pose on a lawn surrounded by palm trees while gazing upon sailboats as they glide along the harbor.

Pooltime

Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina Pool

Escape the summer heat with a dip in the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina’s cool pool

After yoga, we headed to the Marina Tower pool and my daughter enjoyed some of the kids’ activities planned by the staff. The Shoreline Restaurant, next to the pool, provides full service dining with delivery right to your lounge chair. Rose played pool games and ping-pong then dug into a burger and mango smoothie while I relaxed poolside with my mojito.

Dive-in-Movie

We’ve yet to try the family friendly Dive-in-Movie every Friday and Saturday night in the pool; so we might just have to book a room to fit it all in.

Where’s your favorite place to cool off and relax during a warm San Diego summer day?

Alison

Mission Federal ArtWalk 2013 – 17 Blocks of Arts & Culture in Little Italy

[youtube http://youtu.be/TNZDMZEB3qw]

Enjoy art? Next weekend, Little Italy is the place you’ll want to be.

White tents and an array of booths are taking over 17 blocks of Little Italy for the 29th annual Mission Federal ArtWalk. More than 350 artists will exhibit and sell their work -and tens of thousands of art lovers will be buying.  Admission is free – but festival goers will spend about $1 million during the event.

Visitors will find a wide range of visual arts – from pottery to jewelry, sculpture to basketry, art glass to digital media, photography to oil paintings. And we’re not talking schlock. A selection committee reviews artists’ works before participation is permitted.

The two-day event has become the city’s largest art festival – with live music and dance performances on six stages, a wide selection of food vendors and lots of artsy hands-on fun. Youngsters will even have the opportunity to create their own art to take home at the Kidswalk in Amici Park.

Where: India, Kettner and Columbia streets between Beech and Grape
When: April 27-28, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 2013 Mission Federal ArtWalk

Getting to the Mission Federal ArtWalk

By Car

Parking in Little Italy and the surrounding area is at a premium and can be full before the event even starts. Aladdin Airport Parking is offering a discount with coupon and will have free shuttle service every ten minutes.

By Public Transportation

Consider saving yourself the hassle and taking public transportation. Just hop on the Green Trolley Line and get off at the County Center/Little Italy stop. Walk east to the festival – which stretches along India, Kettner and Columbia streets between Beech and Grape. There are plenty of free parking options at Green Line trolley stations.

> Discover more arts and culture in San Diego

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 14-17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Festival in Balboa Park

The combination of warm weather and great events this week will surely make your friends green with envy. Here are our top things to do this weekend in San Diego:

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day Festival in Balboa Park

Sunshine kisses the Irish and Irish for a day in San Diego

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly event or a wild party, St. Patrick’s Day in San Diego has you covered:

> St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun in San Diego – 2013
St. Patrick’s Day Parties – 2013

Science on the Rocks: Pizza, Pinot and Pi!

Science on the Rocks: Pizza, Pinot and Pi! - Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Join us to celebrate Pi Day (3.14) and Einstein’s birthday with exclusive access to tasty tidbits, engaging entertainment, and inspired interaction. Pen a Pi-Ku and add a link to our Pi Chain. Sample assorted pies and see which pizza has pizzazz. Explore the power of pi(e)s of all kinds! Science on the Rocks is an after-hours party for adults 21 and older.

Where: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center – 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 14, 2013
Time: 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Cost: $18-$25
> Find out more about Science on the Rocks: Pizza, Pinot and Pi!

San Diego Epic Beer Festival

San Diego Epic Beer Festival

Bring your friends and support a charity while enjoying San Diego craft beer

The Inaugural Epic Beer Festival – San Diego will feature 80+ craft breweries and over 200 beers to sample. Even better, your admission benefits Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, a California-based non-profit that transforms the lives of disadvantaged children and young people with physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery and related medical care.

Where: San Diego Convention Center – 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 15-16, 2013
Times: Three Sessions
– Friday: 7:00 to 10:00 PM
– Saturday: 1:00 to 4:00 PM and 7:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $40. Designated Driver – $15
> Find out more about the San Diego Epic Beer Festival

Golf Fest

Golf Fest San Diego

Test out the newest in Golf technology at Golf Fest

If you’re a golfer looking for great deals, then Golf Fest is your one stop shop! TaylorMade, Cleveland/Srixon, PING, Cobra, Nike, Wilson, Yonex, Adams and more will be at Golf Fest introducing their new products.

Where: Oaks North Golf Course – 12602 Oaks North Drive, San Diego, CA 92123
When: March 15-16, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: $10
> Find out more about Golf Fest

Balboa Park Science Family Day

Balboa Park Science Family Day - Paper Airplane Festival

Learn how to make a paper airplane and more at the Balboa Park Science Family Day

Families will discover how much fun science can be at Balboa Park’s annual Science Family Day. Kicking off the weeklong San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering 2013, various museums and cultural institutions will offer science-related hands-on activities and special programs for kids of all ages.

Where: Balboa Park
When: March 16, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost:
– Some activities are free
– Participating museums – Children 12 and under free with paid adult admission
> Find out more about Balboa Park Science Family Day

Butterfly Jungle

Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Meet a few of the over 10,000 butterflies in the Butterfly Jungle

Each spring the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Hidden Jungle exhibit is filled with over 10,000 amazing and delightful exotic butterflies of all colors and sizes, and guests can walk among them, take photos, and enjoy pointing out different species using a butterfly identification guide. There’s something for everyone, from fun kids’ activities to special presentations to fascinating facts about these wonderful winged insects.

Where: San Diego Zoo Safari Park – 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
When: March 16-April 7, 2013
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Film Screening: Andy Warhol’s San Diego Surf

San Diego Surf by Andy Warhol

See the never before seen Andy Warhol’s “San Diego Surf.” Image courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see one of the last films in which Warhol had direct involvement. San Diego Surf was filmed in La Jolla in May of 1968. Filmed in color on 16mm with two cameras, manned by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey, the film features superstars Viva, Taylor Mead, Louis Waldon, Joe Dallesandro, Tom Hompertz, Ingrid Superstar, Eric Emerson, Nawana Davis, and others. Its loose narrative concerns an unhappily married couple with a baby who rent their beach house to a group of surfers.

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego – La Jolla – 700 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037
When: March 16, 2013
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Cost: $5-$8. Members are free.
> Find out more about the Film Screening: Andy Warhol’s San Diego Surf

Latino Film Festival

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wc1YcrObb8]

San Diego’s proximity to Mexico makes it a natural venue for this prestigious 11-day film festival, now celebrating its 20th year, focusing on works by Latinos or about the Latino experience. More than 160 films and videos from across Latin America and the United States will be screened with many of the directors and actors in attendance.

Where: UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center – 7510 Hazard Center Dr, San Diego, CA 92108
When: Through March 17, 2013
Cost: Varies
> Find out more about the San Diego Latino Film Festival

> Browse more top things to do on the San Diego Event Calendar

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

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – February 28 – March 3, 2013

The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch - Top Things to Do in San Diego

With a forecast of temperatures in the high 70s, this is going to be a great weekend to be in San Diego! Here are our top things to do (when you are not at the beach):

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch - Top Things to Do in San Diego

A sea of flowers in San Diego’s Carlsbad.

Don’t miss the chance to see more than 50 acres of breathtaking Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers bloom and transform the landscape into a solid expanse of dazzling color. The Flower Fields also offers a host of family friendly activities including an open-air wagon ride through the fields via an antique tractor and a walk through the fragrant sweet pea maze.

Where: 5704 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008 (North County Coastal)
When: March 1 – May 12, 2013
Cost: $6-$11. Children Under 2 – Free
> Find out more about The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

Tower After Hours – Ireland

Museum of Man Tower After Hours - Ireland - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Celebrate Ireland with food, drink, dance, music and more! Enrich your cultural knowledge and share in the festive atmosphere with the San Diego Museum of Man as they celebrate the Emerald Isle’s rich cultural heritage. Enjoy traditional music and dance performed by several groups, feast on classic pub fare provided by local restaurants, and, of course, delight in a glass of Guinness!

Where: 1350 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
When: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Cost: $12-$25
> Find out more about Tower After Hours – Ireland

Friday Night Liberty @ NTC

Enjoy new exhibitions at Pulse Gallery, Women’s Museum of California, and Casa Valencia presents three new female artists from Baja. Also new works at Monique Straub Studio/Gallery and Visions Art Museum with their latest acquisition Playing with a Full Deck – a clever “deck of cards” made of quilts. Don’t miss an exclusive performance from Malashock Dance and live music at the Recreational Music Center.

Where: NTC at Liberty Station – 2801 Rosecrans Street, San Diego, CA 92106
When: Friday, March 1, 2013
Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Friday Night Liberty @ NTC

Ocean Beach Kiwanis Kite Festival

Ocean Beach Kite Festival

Let’s go fly a kite…at the Ocean Beach Kiwanis Kite Festival!

To celebrate its 65th year, the Kiwanis are making the Ocean Beach Kite Festival bigger and better than ever. In addition to the traditional free kite making for children, this year’s festival will include demonstrations of kite flying and kite stunts by kite professionals and dedicated amateurs; more carnival rides; more food options, and a brand new location.

Where: Dusty Rhodes Park – Corner of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Nimitz Boulevard (Mission Bay and Beaches)
When: Saturday, March 2, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Ocean Beach Kiwanis Kite Festival

House of Pacific Relations’ Lawn Program – House of Mexico

House of Mexico Lawn Program Dancers

Olé! Enjoy Mexican dancing, music and food at the first House of Pacific Relation International Cottages’ Lawn Program of 2013.

Every Sunday starting in March, the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages focus on a country’s cultural heritage with music, dance, traditional costumes, arts, crafts and ethnic foods. This weekend, the fun kicks of with the House of Mexico.

Where: 2191 W Pan American Road, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
When: Every Sunday – March 3 – October 27, 2013
Time: 2:00 to 3:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the House of Pacific Relations’ Lawn Program

San Diego Bird Festival

Great Blue Heron - Famosa Slough Point Loma - Birding in San Diego

See a Great Blue Heron while Birding in San Diego.

From sea to desert to mountaintop, San Diego County has a lot of birding to offer, with more than 500 species. The birding area encompasses diverse habitats ranging from desert to mountains, shore to coastal wetlands, urban and suburban. We’ll even go birding by bicycle and kayak. Sunday is a free Family Day with activities including a Beginning Bird Art Workshop, the Raptor Rap Workshop, a Puppet Show starring threatened California birds, and It’s a Hoot!, a bird-calling workshop just for kids.

Where: Marina Village Conference Center – 4010 Morena Blvd. Suite #100, San Diego, CA 92117 (Mission Bay and Beaches)
When: February 28 – March 3, 2013
Cost: $0-$130 depending on the event
> Find out more about the San Diego Bird Festival

> Browse more top things to do on the San Diego Event Calendar

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

Suzzanne

New Year’s Eve Celebrations for Kids in San Diego

LEGOLAND California's New Year's Even Celebration for Kids

My kids love celebrating NYE and each year they have every intention of staying up until midnight watching the fireworks or banging pots and pans. But it never works out that way; they get tired and cranky and frankly so do we! Luckily, many of San Diego’s attractions have thought of this and offer day and early evening New Year’s Eve celebrations for kids.

Kids’ New Year’s Eve at LEGOLAND

LEGOLAND California's New Year's Even Celebration for Kids

LEGOLAND Rings in 2013 with a bang.

Like the famous Times Square party, Kids’ New Years Eve features a kid’s concert and countdown to the new year followed by a huge LEGO brick dropping 22 feet into 2013 and a dazzling fireworks display. Brick and fireworks start at 6:00 PM.

Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo

Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo

Spend New Years Eve at Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo

During the three-week Jungle Bells Celebration, the San Diego Zoo is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Guests can enjoy a nightly tree-lighting ceremony, lighted animal displays throughtout the park, live animal shows, storytelling, and bell ringers. Open until 8:00 PM on New Year’s Eve.

SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration runs through January 5th. Park stays open until 9:00 PM and features SnowWorld, “Shamu’s Christmas” show, The Polar Express 4-D Experience and nightly fireworks.

More New Year’s Eve Celebrations For Kids

New Year’s Bash – Beats, Patterns and Rhythms!

On Friday, December 28th, The New Children’s Museum will party all-day with music and dance performances, hands-on art workshops, live graffiti art and a member’s only celebration. This way you can celebrate the New Year with the kids on Friday and reserve Saturday for the adults!

John’s New Years Eve Party and Horn Parade

Book your spot at John’s Incredible Pizza Co. in San Diego’s South Bay so you can sit back and relax while the kids tire themselves out with an all-you-can-eat buffet all night long, along with drinks, rides and prizes. At midnight, the excitement continues with the IncrediBear Horn Parade and the ball drop on the big screen.

Robert Arends

Coronado for the Holidays – There’s Nothing Else Like It!

You’ve got sunny skies, the sparkling sands of Coronado Beach, a big yuletide community celebration (next Friday, December 7th) with Santa’s arrival to the island by ferryboat, Snow Mountain and a colorful parade down Orange Ave., the spectacularly surreal ice Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado, caroling gondoliers and so much more!

Yours truly put together a video of Coronado’s best, most fun  and festive holiday activities. I hope you enjoy it:

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

Wishing you and your friends and family a most magical holiday season!

See you in Coronado for the Holidays, Ho ho ho! 🙂

> Discover more of Coronado

> Escape to San Diego for the Holidays