5 to Try for Father’s Day

1. Dad’s are free for Father’s Day Weekend at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Dads will receive free gallery admission on Saturday, June 18 or Sunday, June 19 with the purchase of one full-price gallery admission ticket on the same day. Be sure to check out the new “Geometry Playground” exhibition where they can play a whacky game of hopscotch.

2. Nothing is better than a little outdoor time with your dad. The San Diego Zoo invites dads and their kids ages four and older to spend the night at a special Father’s Day sleepover June 17th. Sleep among the animals complete with your own tent, buffet dinner, s’mores and a campfire.

3. Set sail aboard the Californian this weekend with the Maritime Museum. Upon disembarking, every dad will receive a gift and a photo to commemorate their special day. Advance ticketing for these special sailings are only available on the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s website.

4. Celebrate Father’s Day with Shamu at SeaWorld San Diego. Relax and be pampered while you dine poolside and experience the magical bond between our killer whales and their young. Seatings are at 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

5. Bring dad aboard a luxurious yacht for a special Father’s Day Prime Rib Dinner cruise with Flagship Cruises and Events. This 2-1/2 hour San Diego dinner cruise includes a three course meal featuring succulent tender slow roasted prime rib.


5 to Try: Summer Events in La Jolla

Discover San Diego’s Neighborhoods with our Summer Sweepstakes. Join us every week as we showcase the best in what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in some of San Diego’s unique neighborhoods. Be sure to check back for exciting insider tips, giveaways, and more! This week’s spotlight is on beautiful La Jolla.

Poster for the 25th Annual La Jolla Festival of the Arts

1. 25th Annual La Jolla Festival of the Arts – The La Jolla Festival of the Arts, one of the top-rated art shows in the state, is taking place June 18 and 19 on the USCD east campus.  Showcasing nearly 200 award-winning local and national artists, live music, classic cars, celebrity chef food demonstrations, and a live street chalking exhibition, this event is not to be missed.

Fireworks at La Jolla Cove

2. July 4th in La Jolla – The La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation’s Fourth of July festivities kick off around 5:00 pm with a summer concert at Ellen Browning Scripps Park.  Then at 9:00 pm, the fireworks blast off from La Jolla Cove.  The best spots for watching the display are: Ellen Browning Scripps Park, La Jolla Shores, and Kellogg Park.

SummerFest returns to La Jolla this August

3. SummerFest 2011The La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest kicks off on August 3 with SummerFest Under the Stars, a free concert at La Jolla Cove.  Running through August 26, SummerFest will feature more than 70 world-class performances.

James Turrell, Stuck Red and Stuck Blue, 1970, construction materials and fluorescent lights. Copyright James Turrell. Photo by Philipp Scholz Rittermann. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum Purchase, Elizabeth W. Russell Foundation Funds.

4. Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface – On September 25, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will open its most ambitious exhibition to date.  Phenomenal will be on view at both the La Jolla and downtown San Diego locations through January 22, 2012.

Boundless Energy at Scripps Aquarium Opening July 9

5. Boundless EnergyBirch Aquarium at Scripps’ newest exhibit, Boundless Energy, opens July 9. An outdoor, interactive exhibit exploring how we can use natural forces to power our lives, Boundless Energy features highly educational, interactive elements that encourage learning through play.

We want to send you to Birch Aquarium this summer.  Comment below by Thursday, June 16th at 10:00 am and get entered to win a family four-pack of tickets to Birch Aquarium at Scripps.


Top 5 Reasons to Fly to San Diego From Heathrow

With the new non-stop flight on British Airways arriving in San Diego daily, there has never been a better time to visit!

1. Short Queue: The BA flight will be the only flight using the International facility when it lands making customs and luggage retrieval easy.

2. We have it all: With over 70 miles of beaches, year-round great weather and world class attractions including the San Diego Zoo and Legoland California, it’s so easy to experience the So Cal lifestyle.

3. Easy distance to other top destinations: Take the Pacific Surfliner train to Disneyland for a day or experience the desert and drive or fly to Las Vegas, Phoenix or the Grand Canyon.

4. Location: The San Diego International Airport is a five minute drive from the city center, train station and thousands of hotel rooms.

5. So many little time: No matter what you’re looking for San Diego has it all. Outdoor adventurer? Try whale watching or surfing among world-class surfers. Family time? How about Legoland California, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park or the USS Midway Museum. Arts & Culture buff? Visit Balboa Park, the nation’s largest cultural urban park.


Escape to San Diego Sweepstakes: Perfect 5 Day Itinerary Part 4

Have you entered our Escape to San Diego Sweepstakes? Hurry and enter by Friday, May 13th, and you could win a five night stay at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel and roundtrip airfare for two! How would you like to spend those five beautiful days in San Diego? Let me count the ways…

1. La Jolla: While La Jolla’s majestic coastline is more than enough reason to visit, it also boasts a vibrant arts community, centered on the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The building’s exterior installation of suspended rowboats is just the beginning inside you’ll find an internationally recognized collection and superb rotation of exhibitions. Afterwards, a stroll through La Jolla’s downtown offers up many smaller galleries and art dealers well worth the stop.

2. Downtown: San Diego’s downtown area is full of theaters dedicated to performing arts, from local bands at the neighborhood pub to the grand, 2,967 capacity San Diego Civic Theatre. One worth checking out is Lyceum Theatre. Its smaller stage offers a more intimate setting for progressive and thought provoking work by the San Diego Reparatory Theatre while the larger theater showcases many modern and compelling pieces by the San Diego Ballet.

3. Old town: Get in touch with San Diego’s past in Old Town State Historic Park. Enjoy the views from the Presidio, and then make your way down through the many different original and reconstructed buildings, including the newly restored Cosmopolitan Hotel, haunted Whaley House, Little Adobe Chapel, and a row of San Diego’s most notable Victorian homes in Heritage Park.

Balboa Park

4. Balboa Park: Pack a picnic and enjoy the gardens of Balboa Park. The Botanical Building and its adjacent Lily Pond is one of the most photographed scenes in the park, and at first glance you’ll know why. The intricate, Victorian lath structure is the largest in the world and filled to the brim with beautiful botanicals. Stay and bask on the lawn, or check out the other gardens in the park, including a Japanese Friendship Garden, Palm Canyon, Rose Garden, Desert Garden and Marston House Garden.

5. USS Midway Museum: That goliath aircraft carrier you see in the harbor? That’s the USS Midway, and you are welcome to come aboard! Explore this floating “city at sea” with its 60 exhibits and 25 restored aircraft as well as 50 years of history on the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Haven’t had enough? Then continue along to the Maritime Museum, where the world’s oldest active sailing ship, Star of India, docks.


Escape to San Diego Sweepstakes: Perfect 5 Day Itinerary Part 3

In our Escape to San Diego Sweepstakes, we are giving away round trip airfare for two and a five night stay at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel. You can enter here! How would you spend it if you brought the kids? Well, I must say, this might be the easiest blog I’ve ever written. Of course I have help, my two kids ages 8 and 10. They are the true ambassadors to San Diego and are experts on all things San Diego kid friendly. In fact, all five of these were handpicked by them. The hardest part was limiting them to five!

SeaWorld's Journey to Atlantis

1. One of the first things our out-of-town friends say when they come to visit is, “we want to go to SeaWorld.” And who wouldn’t? With live shows, animal encounters and fun rides, it’s a day well spent. Our favorite, Journey to Atlantis.

Crusin' Coronado Island

2. While staying at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel, take one of the water ferries over to Coronado Island and rent bikes. The island is almost entirely flat and it’s a great way to see the island. We love riding around and then stopping at one of the great restaurants along Orange Avenue.

Corvette Diner (and yes those are straws in my hair!)

3. Looking for somewhere to take the kids for dinner? Head over to Corvette Diner located in the historic Liberty Station. Hands down, their favorite spot to eat. With a 50’s theme, yummy shakes and a huge game room, everyone will leave happy.

Another cool thing at Legoland that my son can stick his head into

4. My son’s favorite place is Legoland. We’ve been there so many times, I’ve lost count. If you have kids under 12, I highly recommend it. Insider Tip: Bring along a Lego minifigurine and if you see any Legoland worker wearing one on their badge, ask to trade them. It’s a fun way to interact with the staff and get some fun and funky new figurines.

Plane at the USS Midway Museum

5. The USS Midway Museum is one of my favorite places to bring my kids and any visitors. From grandparents down to 5 year olds, I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t had a great time there. Touring the retired aircraft carrier is so fascinating and I learn something new every time. Be prepared to walk up and down a lot of very narrow stairs and take time to visit “The Island.”

Remember to enter our Escape to San Diego Sweepstakes!

What San Diego family activity do you think is missing?

Brent Bernasconi

Good Day LA Visits San Diego

For the past week, Lisa Breckenridge toured San Diego to film segments for the FOX LA’s morning show, Good Day LA. During her filming, she highlighted just some of the great places San Diego offers (emphasize the “some” because we have a lot!).

Below are the videos from each day:

Day 1: Arts & Culture
New Children’s Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Downtown, Maritime Museum of San Diego

Day 2: SeaWorld San Diego
Animal Rescue, Dolphin Encounter
Continue reading


The Art of Flowers in Balboa Park

Art Alive

Garden lovers, now is the time to head to Balboa Park. The park is home to more than a dozen gorgeous gardens, from elegant rose gardens to exotic desert cacti. With Spring in full bloom, visitors can easily spend an entire day soaking up the color and beauty of Balboa Park’s botanical wonders.

The artistry of floral arranging takes on a whole new meaning at the San Diego Museum of Art’s annual “Art Alive” exhibition. Open to the public April 29 – May 1, Art Alive transforms the museum into an explosion of breathtaking floral arrangements.

Join me as we take a behind-the-scenes look at Art Alive and tour the different gardens of Balboa Park:

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Guest Blogger

It’s Not All Work and No Play in San Diego

View from Seaport Village of the Bay

As soon as I arrived in San Diego the last week of February, I knew that the sunshine and warm breeze would capture this East Coast girl. From the beginning of our TMS 2011 Annual Meeting & Exhibition, we all felt that the San Diego Convention Center and the entire city would offer a great break from the cold winters of Pittsburgh. On my first night in San Diego, I was able to go out for a fantastic meal at The Palm Restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter and enjoyed a fantastic filet trio meal. I recommend the Chocolate Bread Pudding, top notch! The general manager was fantastic and gave our group a private room to dine in while there and we enjoyed every minute of it! On the first Sunday I was in town, I was able to go for a morning run behind the convention center and enjoy the beautiful views of the bay and even ventured over to Seaport Village, which was a great way to start one of many long working days in San Diego.

Our host hotel was the San Diego Marriott & Marina Hotel, which was conveniently located next to the San Diego Convention Center. We enjoyed all of the staff at the hotel and especially enjoyed the convenience of the proximity to the center. Later in the week, I was able to have cocktails with one of the sales staff from the San Diego Omni at The Marble Room and loved the old world charm that the location had to offer. Dressed in flapper style, the servers were fun and welcoming with their old-fashioned style drinks. I also had the chance to enjoy breakfast at The Broken Yolk and had a great breakfast burrito with excellent guacamole. To end my stay in San Diego, I made a trip to visit the USS Midway Museum. As someone who enjoys history, this was a great way to end my trip and enjoy one of the neatest historical elements in San Diego.

USS Midway Museum

San Diego was a great city and for someone who came home to snow on the ground, it makes me want to hurry back for another trip!

Colleen Leary recently visited San Diego while here for a convention. Follow her on twitter at @colleenpburgh


Quirky San Diego: Unexpected Museums

 Visitors and residents alike know that Balboa Park is home to many great museums, but with half off admission to more than 40 great places during Museum Month, now is the perfect time to check out some of hidden gems of the San Diego museum community. Don’t miss out on visiting these unique places before Museum Month ends!  

On display at the Museum of Making Music


Museum of Making Music

Up in Carlsbad, the Museum of Making Music showcases music making products from the 1890s through today.  The current exhibition, “On! The Beginnings of the Electric Sound Generation,” displays rare examples of “firsts” in electrified instruments, including  iconic electric guitars showing a cornucopia of design ideas for electric pickups, volume and tone controls, bridges, and tailpieces as well as instrument shapes.  Other “firsts” on view include an electric zither, banjos, violins, basses, keyboards, and amplifiers.


You can find the Adobe Chapel in Old Town


Adobe Chapel

Built way back in 1850 as a home and converted to a church by Don Jose Aguirre in 1858, the Adobe Chapel was unfortunately bulldozed in 1930 to make way for street improvements.  Fortunately, it was rebuilt in 1937 and many of the interior artifacts from the original chapel have been retained including the tabernacle, the altar with its beautiful marbleized finish, pews and doors, and even José Aguirre’s tombstone which is laid in the floor.

The Star of India at the Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a 19th century sailor?  Step aboard the Maritime Museum’s Star of India and find out.  Their historic ship collection also houses the Berkley, the first successful propeller driven steam ferry on the west coast, and the B-39, a Soviet attack submarine designed to track US and NATO warships during the Cold War.

What kind of plane is this? Find out at the Flying Leathernecks Museum

Flying Leatherneck Museum

Aviation buffs will thrill over the collection of planes and helicopters on view at the Flying Leathernecks Museum in Mira Mesa. Ever heard of a Super Goonie? How about a Sea Cobra? Not sure what any of these are? Visit the Flying Leatherneck Museum for a lesson in the colorful language of aviation.

The fashion of suffragettes!

Women’s History Museum

Founded in 1983, this off the beaten path museum in Golden Hill offers visitors a chance to explore the women who are often been overlooked in mainstream history books and museums. What do you wear to protest at the White House? You’ll find the answer in the museum’s “85 Years of Women’s Suffrage” exhibition.


5 to Try This Weekend

1. All month long, 40 museums throughout San Diego are 50% off during San Diego Museum Month! From the San Diego Air & Space Museum to the Oceanside Museum of Art, you can definitely get your culture on. Be sure to pick up your pass at any Macy’s in San Diego County. It’s a great time to try your favorite museum or something new.

2. I love having a three-day weekend; that extra day allows me to do something I wouldn’t normally have time for. This weekend I’m going to the Little Italy Mercato on Saturday (weather please hold up). With over 6,500 farms in San Diego County, there is always plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and other goodies to be found at Farmers Markets.

3. The 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival runs through February 20th. Some of the films playing this weekend include “The Matchmaker” and “Who Do You Love”.

4. Did you know that Friday, February 18th is going to be a full moon? Take a romantic full-moon dinner cruise on a Hornblower yacht and enjoy dinner, champagne, music and dancing under the stars and the beautiful San Diego skyline.

5. One of our staffers recently saw “Superior Donuts” playing at the San Diego Repertory Theatre through March 6. She said it was both a funny and poignant play set in a 1960’s donut shop. Eat before you go, otherwise you may be drooling over the donuts during the show!