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

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

Edna Gutierrez

New Nightclubs Spice up San Diego After Dark

DJ Booth at ShamRock 2011 -Courtesy Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation

When the night falls, San Diego’s fun side comes to life!

When you think of San Diego the first thing that probably comes to mind is our great weather and the beach, and yes, we are blessed with those two things. But San Diego is the kind of city that also knows how party, because once the sun sets on the beautiful Pacific Ocean, San Diego’s playful side comes to life!

In the past couple of months San Diego’s night scene has expanded with the addition of new alluring nightspots and it’s expected to grow even more with the opening of much anticipated new nightclubs that will spice up San Diego’s after dark entertainment.

AD

09_2014_AD_WIDE-55A

It would be a sin not to party at AD – Courtesy of Elizabeth Daniels of Elizabeth Daniels Photography

AD Club opened its doors in August 2014 and since then has been offering a full nightclub experience with craft cocktails, synchronized areal theatrics, the latest in music, eleven bottle service booths and a small bites menu. The 4,000 square-foot space is decorated with traditional cathedral and religious elements that give the venue a unique bold and daring design. For those who worship food, exclusive dining “pop-ups” events are hosted with popular chefs who create special prix-fix menus for the occasion. AD Club is a creation of Coronado, CA entrepreneur Bayless Cobb and E.A. Anthony.

Where: 905 4th Ave., San Diego CA, 92101
> Find out more about AD

Parq

Parq dance floor

Dance the night away at Parq

Formerly On Broadway, Parq is San Diego’s newest nightclub where patrons can enjoy of areal performers, VIP tables, a 10 ft. tall robot named Roca Tron and the latest laser technology. The interior décor is designed to submerge you in a mysterious forest with over-the-top features. Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 to 10:00 PM, Parq doubles as a restaurant, offering a sophisticated menu created by Executive Chef Errol D. LeBlanc II.

Where: 615 Broadway San Diego, CA, 92101
> Find out more about Parq Nightclub

Omnia San Diego

Omnia Nightclub San Diego

Hakkasan Group, known for its popular nightclub and dining destinations, has selected San Diego as the second location of their new nightlife concept, Omnia. Opening spring 2015, the new nightclub plans to make a grand entrance in San Diego shortly following the debut of the brand’s flagship location at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas (formerly PURE). The renowned hospitality company promises to deliver state-of-the-art technology, DJ’s, live performances and an unforgettable experience for locals and visitors.

Where: 454 Sixth Ave. San Diego, CA 92101
When: Opening Spring 2015
> Find out more about Omnia San Diego

CAKE San Diego

Cake Nightclub

One of the newest projects of Tosh Berman of EDL Management Group will arrive to San Diego next year. An exact date has not yet been disclosed, all we have is a name, CAKE.  There isn’t much information in regards to the décor or what we can expect, but if we take a look at the recently inaugurated CAKE in Scottsdale, we can envision a boutique nightlife venue with designs inspired on 17th century European landscapes.

Where: 454 Sixth Ave. San Diego, CA 92101
When: Opening 2015
> Find out more about CAKE San Diego

> Discover more of San Diego’s Nightclub Scene

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

Top Things to Do – Halloween and Dia de los Muertos 2014

Halloween Pumpkin - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Get ready for a weekend in San Diego full of Halloween fun, Dia de los Muertos celebrations and these top things to do.

Halloween

Halloween Pumpkin - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Celebrate Halloween San Diego Style!

From family friendly fright fests and historically haunted tours, to terror-filled scream zones and wild, trick-or-treat parties, Halloween in San Diego is crazy fun for ghouls and kids of all ages.

> Halloween Happenings in San Diego

Blog Roundup

More Family Halloween Fun

Halloween on Stage

More Spooky Fun for the 21 and Up Crowd

Dia de los Muertos

Celebrate Life at these Dia de los Muertos Celebrations in San Diego

Celebrate Life at these Dia de los Muertos Celebrations in San Diego

Celebrate life and remember the departed at one of the many lively festivals and events being held throughout San Diego.

> Dia de los Muertos Festivals and Events in San Diego

Viejas Outlet Center Ice Rink

Viejas Ice Rink - Halloween

Trick or Ice at the Viejas Ice Rink.

To kick off the holiday season, Viejas Outlet Center is opening their massive ice skating rink early! Don your best costume for some Halloween fun on Southern California’s Largest Outdoor ice skating rink.

Where: Viejas Outlet Center – 5005 Willows Rd Suite 229, Alpine, CA 91901
When: October 31, 2014 (Regular hours and prices start November 1, 2014)
Time: 5:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $12-$14
> Find out more about the Viejas Outlet Center Ice Rink

2014 Carlsbad Fall Village Faire

Carlsbad Fall Village Faire

Enjoy a day of shopping, food and entertainment at the Carlsbad Fall Village Faire

Considered the largest single day street faire in the nation, the annual Carlsbad Village Street Faire features more than 900 vendors selling everything from clothes, accessories, plants and household products to art, antiques and home decor. An international food court provides dining choices from over 50 vendors and a children’s entertainment area includes games, a super slide, a bounce house, a rock climbing wall, face painting and arts and crafts.

Where: Grand Avenue between Carlsbad Blvd. and Jefferson St., Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: November 2, 2014
Time: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 2014 Carlsbad Fall Village Faire

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

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

Pumpkin Photo Courtesy of iStock.
Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – October 8-12, 2014

With another beautifully warm weekend ahead, get out and enjoy everything San Diego has to offer including these top thing things to do.

Even more Oktoberfests

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest – the perfect combination of a German Festival and San Diego Sunshine

Raise your stein at these Oktoberfests in San Diego:

  • Ocean Beach Oktoberfest
    Where: Ocean Beach Pier – Newport Avenue and Abbott Street, San Diego, CA 92107
    When: October 11-12, 2014
    Cost: Free. Beer Garden – $3 donation
  • St. Elizabeth’s Annual Oktoberfest in Julian
    Where: Rabobank Parking Lot – 2033 Main Street, Julian, CA 92036
    When: October 11-12, 2014
  • Parktoberfest
    Where: Gala Foods Parking Lot – 330 Grape Street, San Diego, CA 92102
    When: October 11, 2014
    Cost: Free

La Jolla Art & Wine Festival

La Jolla Art & Wine Fesitval

The La Jolla Art & Wine Fesitval features the works of more than 150 established artists from San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Baja and beyond

This two-day juried art show features the works of more than 150 established artists from San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Baja and beyond, the LJAWF features something for everyone including a silent auction, roving entertainment, a gourmet marketplace, the Geppetto’s/Witt Lincoln Family Art Center and a wine and beer garden which will include premier wineries from around the world in addition to San Diego’s top breweries.

Where: Girard Avenue and Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: October 11-12, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free. $5 suggested donation
> Find out more about the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival

Little Italy FESTA!

Chalk art at Little Italy Festa!

Chalk art, Music and More at Little Italy Festa!

Now, the Little Italy Festa is the largest Italian American festival on the West Coast. Hip and Historic Little Italy welcomes attendees with the tantalizing sights, sounds and aromas of Italian culture. A full palette of Italian cuisine is complemented by traditional and modern Italian music, arts and crafts as well as a tribute to San Diego’s rich Italian American heritage.

Where: 2210 Columbia St, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 12, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Little Italy FESTA!

Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase

Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase features high-performance automobiles and motorcycles ranging from the traditional classics to lavish luxury modern vehicles

An extravagant display of horsepower and ingenuity will halt traffic in the Gaslamp Quarter. This timeless event is free and open to the public and will showcase high-performance automobiles and motorcycles ranging from the traditional classics to lavish luxury modern vehicles. As you make your way down Fifth Avenue, you’ll gaze upon a decadent variety of Italian exotics such as Ferrari and Maserati, as well as the American icons, including the Thunderbird and Corvette.

Where: 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 12, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase

Celebrate the Craft

San Diego's Celebrate the Craft Courtesy The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Celebrate the Craft has been one of Southern California’s premier showcases for regionally grown ingredients and innovative cooking and winemaking

A festival that showcases the region’s best chefs, produce, wine, and beer. The Lodge Executive Chef Jeff Jackson will prepare the farm-to-table menu with an all-star lineup of chefs from around San Diego while the Lodge Sommelier Paul Krikorian will feature several vintners.

Where: The Lodge at Torrey Pines – 11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: October 12, 2014
Time: 11:30 to 3:00 PM
Cost: $125
> Find out more about Celebrate the Craft

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

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

Brent Bernasconi

San Diego’s Haunted Houses and Trails Invite You To Enter…If You Dare

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! Other features this year include: The Dusk Till Dawn Bar, The Walking Dead Prison, The Exorcist, and look for Pennywise the clown.

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 26 – November 1, 2014
Cost: $18-$32
> 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 26 – November 1, 2014
Closed Monday & Tuesday except for 10/27 and 10/28
Cost: $17-$28
> Find out more about The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park. Photo by Mike Rollerson

What ever 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, you can make your way 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 26 – November 1, 2014
Closed Monday & Tuesday except for 10/27 and 10/28
Cost: $19-$35
> Find out more about The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

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 10-31, 2014 (Friday-Saturday)
Cost: $13
> Find out more about Escape from Ghastley Manor (Monster Manor)

The Whaley House

The Whaley House is one of the most haunted houses in America

The Whaley House is one of the most haunted houses in America

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 3-31, 2014
Cost: Prices vary by event
> Find out more about Halloween at the Whaley House

Family Friendly Haunted Houses

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2MVJLwKe88]

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!

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – September 23-28, 2014

Spend the first weekend of Fall in San Diego enjoying the warm weather, autumn activities and these top things to do:

San Diego Restaurant Week

Leave the cooking to someone else and join over 140,000 diners in the celebration of Restaurant Week and indulge in discounted prix fixe menus including two-course lunches priced at $10, $15, and $20 and three-course dinners are $25, $35, or $45. No tickets necessary for this event, just make reservations for any of the participating locations, show up, choose from their prix-fixe menu and let your taste buds enjoy!

When: September 21-26, 2014
Cost: $10-$45
> Find out more about San Diego Restaurant Week

Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots - Top Things to Do in San Diego

The best way to fit in is to stand out!

Kinky Boots is the exhilarating Broadway musical that will lift your spirits to new high-heeled heights! Winner of six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, this inspirational story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible…proving that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

Where: San Diego Civic Theatre – 1100 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 23-28, 2014
Cost: $23.50-$247.50
> Find out more about Kinky Boots

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San Diego Film Festival 2014

This is the region”s premier showcase for award-winning independent films, studio premieres and director interviews – all against the backdrop of America”s Finest City. For film lovers and enthusiasts, it just doesn”t get any better. See it here first! 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County and Silver Linings Playbook were all screened here at the San Diego Film Festival.

When: September 24-28, 2014
Cost: $14-$400
> Find out more about the San Diego Film Festival 2014

Oktoberfest in El Cajon

Band Playing at Oktoberfest

Lederhosen, Beer, Bratwurst and Family Fun at the Authentic Oktoberfest in El Cajon

Come and enjoy authentic German food, such as bratwurst, ox-on-the-spit, potato salad, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, red cabbage and a variety of German pastries. The El Cajon Oktoberfest offers a great selection of German beers and liquors, and soft drinks and water, to enjoy with your friends and family! Enjoy traditional folk dancing performances, compete in our numerous games and contests, check out vendor and craft booths, and treat your kids to their own Kids” Zone.

> Browse more Oktoberfest Happenings in San Diego

Where: 1017 South Mollison Avenue, El Cajon, CA 92020
When: October 26-28 and September 5-8, 2014
Cost: $5
> Find out more about Oktoberfest in El Cajon

2014 Adams Avenue Street Fair

Adams Avenue Street Fair

Dance like nobody is watching at SoCal”s largest free two-day music festival, the Adams Avenue Street Fair

The Adams Avenue Street Fair features more than 90 musical acts performing on seven stages on Adams Avenue. In addition to the exciting musical lineup, there will be beer gardens, a beer tasting area, giant carnival rides, and more than 300 food, arts and craft vendors selling their specialties throughout the street fair venue.

Where: 34th and Adams, San Diego, CA 92116
When: September 27-28, 2014
Cost: Free
best online casino Street Fair” href=”http://www.sandiego.org/events/festivals-and-street-fairs/adams-avenue-street-fair.aspx” target=”_blank”>> Find out more about the 2014 Adams Avenue Street Fair

Poway Rodeo

Girls Carrying Flags on top of Horses at the Poway Rodeo

Western Fun at the Poway Rodeo

Professional rodeo cowboys from around the country compete during the 41st Annual Poway Rodeo. Guests can watch contestants compete in events such as Bareback and Saddle Bronc Riding, Barrel Racing, Tie Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping and Bull Riding. There”s even a “Mutton Bustin” event where kids under 50lbs. ride sheep. They try to hold on for 8 seconds, just like the cowboys.

Where: Poway Valley Riders Association – 14336 Tierra Bonita, Poway, CA 92064
When: September 26-27, 2014
Cost: $6-$60
> Find out more about the Poway Rodeo

Oceanside Harbor Days

Oceanside Harbor Days

Think you can build a better boat during Oceanside Harbor Days” Nail “n” Sail competition?

Two event filled days of sun, sand, and surf provide an outstanding opportunity for residents and neighbors to experience fun activities including the new Sandcastle competition, Entertainment Stage, Arts, Crafts and Food booth areas, Nail “n” Sail Competition, Military, Public Safety displays, and more.

Where: Oceanside Harbor, Oceanside, CA 92054
When: September 27-28, 2014
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Oceanside Harbor Days

16th Annual Trolley Dances

Trolley Dances

Discover Unconventional Dance Spaces during the 2012 Trolley Dances. Photo by Yvonne M. Portra.

Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater returns with their annual celebration of dance that takes place within the community. This year, for the 16th Annual Trolley Dances, dancers will take to the streets and campuses of downtown and southeastern San Diego is this very urban version of the much loved event. Patrons then travel under the direction of trained tour guides to Market Creek Plaza and enjoy original dance created by some of San Diego”s best choreographers.

Where: 14th and C Streets, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 27-28 and October 4-5, 2014
Cost: $15-$35
> Find out more about

 16th Annual Trolley Dances

Mission Beach Centennial Festival

Mission Beach Centennial Festival

The Mission Beach Centennial Festival is the last and largest event of the year-long Centennial Celebration and it is taking over the parking lots of Belmont Park with a large beer garden, live local music, decades bathing suit show, a chili cook-off, children”s area, more than 100 diverse vendors and much more! Fun, Family & celebrate 100 years of Mission Beach.

Where: Belmont Park – 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109
When: September 27, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Mission Beach Centennial Festival

Cabrillo Festival

Cabrillo Festival

Learn about the history and cultures of San Diego at the Cabrillo Festival

The Cabrillo Festival is a fun event for the entire family, with educational activities, cultural demonstrations and exciting folkloric performances. Brightly colored clothing and dramatic music and dancing bring to life the traditions of the Native American, Mexican, Portuguese and Spanish cultures that are part of the Age of Exploration. The Cabrillo Festival features food booths with delicious traditional Mexican, Native American, Portuguese and Spanish food. Vendors will showcase their various artistic goods.

Where: Ballast Point, Naval Base Point Loma – 140 Sylvester Road, San Diego, CA 92106
When: September 28, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Cabrillo Festival

Spirits of Mexico

Spirits of Mexico

Sample the best Tequilas at the Spirits of Mexico Tasting Festival

Sample some of the top Mexican spirits on the market including: Tequilas, Mezcals, Sotols, Bacanoras and Raicillas among others. Meet The Masters gives you the chance to speak with the pioneers and heroes of the industry, the master distillers & blenders themselves, while tasting the Extra-Añejos, some of the most lovingly-crafted and finest spirits in the world!

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
When: September 28, 2014
Time: 3:00 to 7:00 PM
Cost: $30-$110
> Find out more about the Spirits of Mexico

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

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

Chelsea

5 Kid Friendly Restaurants in San Diego County

Pizza Port - A Kid Friendly Restaurant in San Diego
Pizza Port - A Kid Friendly Restaurant in San Diego

Places like Pizza Port are great kid friendly restaurants that also make sure Mom and Dad have a good time

For some reason (ahem), people are often surprised that my husband and I regularly eat out with our five kids, ages 10, 8, 5,  3 and 3. Yes, we know a thing or two about a restaurant that can cater to children and, well, ones that just can’t kid around (get it?). In general, San Diego is very family friendly, so it wasn’t easy to narrow down my top 5 kid friendly restaurants, but the promise for ice cream got me going (kidding… kind of). Here are five kids friendly restaurants that both the little ones and parents will enjoy!

Pizza Port

Starting in North County, the top pick for locals is Pizza Port, located in Carlsbad (options are also in Solana Beach, Ocean Beach, and Bressi Ranch). Truly delicious pizza, the kids love it, too, as they can play video games or enjoy the grub. Go early as it can be tricky to nab a table, but nothing screams a beach town visit like some seaside pepperoni pie.

Where: 571 Carlsbad Village Carlsbad, CA 92008
> Find out more about Pizza Port

Pipes Cafe

Truth be told, my family may as well start collecting our mail at this Cardiff breakfast/lunch joint. With plenty of outdoor seating, not only can you (very ) affordably feed a large family (trust me), you can also enjoy sea breezes and ocean views.  In fact, three of my kids can share the “big breakfast” and Dana, who can regularly be found behind the coffee counter, is always good for a great big hug.

Where: 121 Liverpool Dr, Cardiff By Sea, CA 92007-1823
> Find out more about Pipes Cafe

Tony’s Jacal

Hands down one of the most authentic, delicious Mexican food restaurants in town, this is a family favorite for its affordability, too. When the weather is nice, request outdoor dining or inside in the back room if you think your kids might need to be a li’l louder than usual. Though the booths inside the main dining are just as accommodating as are the coloring books and crayons that they offer to occupy the kids. Located in Solana Beach this is a San Diego must!

Where: 621 Valley Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
> Find out more about Tony’s Jacal

[Tweet “Don’t leave the kids at home! Take them to one of these 5 kid friendly restaurants in #SanDiego.”]

El Camino

Located near the airport, be sure to take a few minutes before entering and get a very up close view of the planes coming in for a landing! Though not your usual “kids” establishment, my children consider this unique twist on the usual Mexican food a favorite! Go early as the later crowd tends to be more “club”, but if you can arrive by 5,  my kids love the free Mexican wrestler that comes with the children’s menu plates and the Chiclets chewing gum that accompany the bill. Also,  music plays on the dance floor prepping for the later evening crowd and my fam has been known to bust a move.  Though darker on the inside, you can request outdoor seating for an even better view of the overhead planes. And, whatever you do, don’t miss out on the churros for dessert!

Where: 2400 India St, San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about El Camino

The Old Spaghetti Factory

Though it’s a chain that can be found in many cities, I had to include this pick as the downtown San Diego location was always a favorite of mine growing up. Not to mention, keeping kids happy on a vacation isn’t always easy, so a favorite stand by of past is sure to reel them back in. Catering to kids and families, it’s a sure-fire bet for fresh ingredients and old school pasta delights, including gluten-free options as well.

Where: 275 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about The Old Spaghetti Factory

> Find more Kid Friendly Restaurants in San Diego

Do you have a favorite kid friendly restaurant in San Diego? Tell us in the comments below!

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – July 23-24, 2014

Captain America - San Diego Comic-Con International - Top Things to Do

San Diego will be full of super heroes, movie stars, and plenty of comic book fans all enjoying Comic-Con and these top things to do this weekend.

Comic-Con – Inside and Outside of the Convention Center

Captain America - San Diego Comic-Con International - Top Things to Do

Meer your super heroes at Comic-Con International

Even if you don’t have a Comic-Con ticket, the Gaslamp Quarter and Downtown will host plenty of badge-free events revolving around comics, pop culture, amazing cosplay, movies, tv shows, video games, and more.

> The World Outside of Comic-Con – No Badge Required

La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival

La Jolla Fashion Film Festival 2014

La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival is the first international fashion film festival founded in North America. The worldwide gathering of the fashion film community. Part New York Fashion Week, part Cannes Film Festival, La Jolla brings together fashionistas and industry players from around the world to meet, network, make new friends, and watch the best in global fashion film production. Hundreds of fashion filmmakers from around the world will be in attendance, packing a theater of 500 seats and be enthralled by the top 1% of fashion films produced worldwide.

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego – La Jolla – 700 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: July 24-26, 2014
Cost: $50-$500
> Find out more about the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival

Pine Valley Days

Pine Valley Days Parade

Start off Saturday with the Pine Valley Days Parade

For the past 43 years, Pine Valley Days has been a great time for families to get together and enjoy Pine Valley. The fun kicks off Friday with the famous Deep Pit BBQ followed by dancing and live music. Wake up early on Saturday morning for the 2 hour parade down old Highway 80 followed by a festival including bouncies for kids, rock climbing wall, music, horse shoe tournament, marketplace with over 30 vendors, and food.

Where: Pine Valley County Park – 28810 Old Highway 80, Pine Valley, CA 91962
When: July 25-26, 2014
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Pine Valley Days

Old Town Stagecoach Days – Soldiers & Citizens

Old Town State Historic Park

Step back in time and explore San Diego’s history at the Old Town State Historic Park

San Diego’s military history stretches back to its settlement in 1769. See historic uniforms, weapons, and hear their stories. A Taste of the Past August 2nd Learn about early San Diego through the foods they ate, both local and exotic. Days of the Vaqueros August 9th See vaqueros-the original cowboys-ride, rope, and talk of life on the ranchos.

Where: Old Town State Park – 2415 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110
When: July 26, 2014
Time: 12:00 to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Old Town Stagecoach Days – Soldiers & Citizens

Del Mar Racetrack Beer Fest

San Diego Beer Fest at the Del Mar Racetrack

Sample on more than 100 craft beers while cheering on the Del Mar Races.

Sample more than 100 different craft brews during the Del Mar Racetrack Beer Fest held in the Seaside Concert area West of the Grandstand. DJ’s will be playing music throughout the day. Pair your beer with several Gourmet Food Truck offerings.Brewery reps will be on hand to answer questions about their brewery and beers plus check out cool beer merchandise and much more during the Fest.

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
When: July 26, 2014
Time: Starts at 1:00 PM
Cost: Admission free with track admission. 5 tastings for $18
> Find out more about the Del Mar Racetrack Beer Fest

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 us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.