Robert Arends

Amazing Animal Encounters on San Diego’s Mission Bay!

Located just minutes from downtown San Diego, Mission Bay Park is the largest park of its kind in the world, spread out over 4,200 sparkling acres. Something you may not know about this aquatic playground is that there are some really cool and surprising animal encounters along its 27 miles of beaches.

A recent visit to the Bahia Resort piqued my interest in Mission Bay’s wildlife when I spotted a friendly seal named Gracie frolicking in a pool out front of the resort. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What a fun and memorable way to welcome visitors!

I soon discovered that other creatures great and small call Mission Bay home and make for some great photo opps, if you know where to look. And the best part: viewing is free.

Here’s the inside scoop on Mission Bay’s amazing menagerie of animal encounters and where to find them:

Gracie the Seal at the Bahia Resort

Gracie the seal basking in the sun at Bahia Resort

Gracie the seal basking in the sun at Bahia Resort

Gracie the seal, a rescue from La Jolla Cove, first called Bahia Resort home in 2006. She’s curious, outgoing and well-loved by all. When she’s not swimming around her spacious pool with her best friend Billy, she can be found sunbathing on the rocks. A great time to visit is during feeding time: 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM daily.

Parrots, Macaws and Cockatoos at the Catamaran

A talkative parrot named Cornell and more animal encounters at Catamaran Resort

Meet the the talkative parrot named Cornell and enjoy even more animal encounters at Catamaran Resort

Colorful parrots, macaws and cockatoos can be found at the Catamaran Resort, located outside behind the main lobby. The bright – and talkative! – birds are on display daily from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Check out the cool Bird Cam. You can call each of them by name; feathered pics of who’s who (including Cornell the parrot, above) can be found on the resort’s exotic wildlife page.

Catamaran also has two ponds with koi fish, ducks and turtles that love to bask in the sun.

Animal Encounters at Paradise Point

...leopard sharks!

…leopard sharks!

When it comes to fascinating fauna on land, sea and air, Paradise Point Resort has it all! Swimming beneath the surface of the large lagoon next to Barefoot Bar & Grill are spotted leopard sharks, stingrays and guitar fish! The resort’s network of gardens and lagoons is also home to ducks, red-eared slider turtles, frogs, hummingbirds, herons and egrets…oh my!

See you in Mission Bay for some close encounters of the animal kind! 🙂

Candice

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

san diego asian film festival 2013

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

Medium Festival of Photography

medium festival of photography san diego 2013

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

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

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

San Diego Asian Film Festival

san diego asian film festival 2013

The San Diego Asian Film Festival offers countless screening opportunities.

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

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

Art San Diego 2013

Art San Diego 2013 contemporary art fair balboa park

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

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

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

Star of India’s 150th Birthday

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

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

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

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

Viejas Outlet Center Ice Rink Grand Opening

Viejas ice skating rink

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

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

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

Free Admission to The New Children’s Museum

san diego new childrens museum feast 2013

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

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

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

San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden & Chef Celebration

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

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

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

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

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

Browse the Event Calendar

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

Guest Blogger

San Diego Summer Fun With a Tween

Enjoying the trains at Balboa Park - Tween Summer Fun

All Aboard! Tweens love spending the summer in San Diego and one fun thing to do is ride the miniature trains at Balboa Park

School is out and summer is finally here! As a big sister and nanny in San Diego I am constantly looking for ways to keep the tweens in my life entertained and off their electronic devices. Besides our amazing attractions like SeaWorld, LEGOLAND and the San Diego Zoo, here are my top five picks when entertaining a tween in San Diego.

Visit the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The Reuben H. Fleet in Balboa Park is a fully interactive science center that simplifies scientific concepts and makes them accessible to kids of all ages in a fun, hands on way. My middle-school aged brother particularly enjoyed seeing his classroom science lessons come alive via interactive experiments. He even taught me a thing or two.

See the Leopard Sharks at La Jolla Shores

Going to the beach during the summer in San Diego is a must, and La Jolla Shores is the perfect location to find sun and surf. This time of year is also prime time for leopard shark sightseeing right off the coast. Some days, swarms of these harmless bottom feeders can be seen from the coast or close up through snorkeling tours and kayaking expeditions. Most importantly, nearly any tween’s interest will be piqued by the idea of swimming with sharks.

Take a ride on the Balboa Park Carousel and Miniature Railroad

If you are looking for a shorter adventure that won’t take up the whole day, try the train ride and carousel situated in Balboa Park near the San Diego Zoo. The antique and charming carousel offers a brass ring game that is perfect for tween riders. The miniature railroad is equally entertaining and has the feel of a genuine train. Bring a packed lunch and have a picnic on one of the lawns scattered throughout the park.

Visit Seaport Village Downtown

Seaport Village is a must see attraction located downtown adjacent on the harbor. It houses a variety of restaurants, shops and outdoor entertainment to suit every taste. If you are lucky, the village’s famed rock balancer will make an appearance; his ability to stack up to 9 rocks on top of each other without the use of superglue or some sort of magic is sure to mystify every member of your party.

Belmont Park

Located right next to Mission Beach, Belmont Park houses amusement park rides including the historic Big Dipper roller coaster, an arcade and even laser tag. This bayside theme park is a San Diego favorite and a quintessential part of summer, whether you’re visiting or exploring your hometown.

> Plan your Summer in San Diego

Written by Victoria Lievre – San Diego native, UCSB student, sister to a tween and nanny to two more.

Denise

San Diego Summer Fun – “Teen Tested, Mother Approved!” Activities

Summer in San Diego
Summer in San Diego

Even teens will admit to their parent’s that summer in San Diego is awesome!

Alice Cooper said it best, “No more teachers, no more books…school’s out for summer!” When the final school bell rings and summer break begins, there’s no better place to bring your kids than San Diego, especially teenagers. San Diego has great teen activities known to cause many of them to happily lay down their smart phones and join in the fun. Here are a few “teen-tested, mother approved” San Diego activities that my own two teenagers enjoy every summer.

Boogie Boarding

The beach and boogie boarding go hand in hand, like San Diego and sunshine. With 70 miles of gorgeous beaches, there’s plenty of surf for everyone. The best thing about it, just about anyone can do it. Teens love boogie boarding, and smaller kiddos and adults can jump right in for unlimited wave action too. Boogie boards can be rented at any of the surf shacks close to the beach.

Surf Lessons

Surfs up! Surfing is a way of life in San Diego, but if your teens don’t know how, don’t fret. Try Surf Diva Surf School located in La Jolla Shores, which is recognized world-wide and offers surfing lessons year-round. There’s also Menehune Surf School in La Jolla, founded and staffed by local school teachers who will have your teens up on a board and riding waves in no time. Or, if you want to experience “sheet wave” technology, try The Wave House in Mission Beach, which harnesses the power and challenge of the ocean in a man-made, closed system that gives you non-stop action.

Gather Around the Fire Pit

Most Southern California teens (including my own) love hanging out at the beach around a roaring beach bonfire. The Hotel Del Coronado offers “S’Mores on the Beach” where you can sit around a crackling fire pit under the stars, toes in the sand, and snack on the classic combination of marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate. Other options for fire pits are Mission Bay Park, Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores and Moonlight Beach in North County.

Bike Riding

The great thing about riding a bike is that most teens never outgrow it. San Diego has an abundance of biking trails for you and your teens to ride along paths with awesome views of the Pacific Ocean. Along the beach and boardwalk, there are ample places where bikes can be rented.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Petco Park

During baseball season, my teenage son loves watching the Padres at Petco Park, one of America’s newest ballparks. But in the off season, your teens can catch all the MLB action with a behind-the-scenes tour, offered seven days a week. Discover “writer’s row” in the press box or explore the Padres dugout. The crown jewel of downtown San Diego, Petco Park serves up baseball Southern California style-complete with swaying palm trees and a sandy beach beyond center field.

Shopping

Both guys and girls will find plenty to browse for at Seaport Village, Old Town, SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo, which are the usual suspects, but offer one-of-a-kind San Diego souvenirs. There are also major malls, boutiques, surf shops and incredible outlet stores throughout San Diego County that offer big brand names and big discounts for fashion-progressive teens.

> Find more to do this Summer in San Diego

Tell us where you and your teens like to spend time in San Diego!

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 25-31, 2013

Escape to San Diego for a sunny spring weekend enjoying the beach, ocean, outdoors activities and these top things to do:

Craft Beer Dinner Series – Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment

Craft Beer Dinner Series - Lodge at Torrey Pines

Craft beer, brewer talks, great food and an amazing view. Can you ask for anything more?

The Grill, overlooking the Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean, has partnered with Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment to bring you an evening of great food, local craft beer and the chance to meet the brewers at one of San Diego’s newest breweries. The five course menu has been meticulously planned to compliment the handcrafted brews and includes coconut crusted local seabass, shrimp and grits, Jamaican jerk chicken thigh, slow roasted leg of lamb, followed by almond milk panna cotta.

Where: The Lodge at Torrey Pines – 11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: March 27, 2013
Time: 6:30 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $75
> Find out more about the Craft Beer Dinner Series – Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment

Easter in San Diego

Easter Eggs

Spend Easter weekend in Sunny San Diego!

From teas in Downtown to brunches on the water to egg hunts in Coronado, San Diego is a great place to spend Easter weekend with the family.

> Find fun Easter activities in San Diego

ACCOMPLICE: San Diego

ACCOMPLICE: San Diego - La Jolla Playhouse - Top Things to Do in San Diego

La Jolla Playhouse’s ACCOMPLICE: San Diego offers a completely unique experience, taking the audience out of the theater and on an adventure through Little Italy. You’ll be sent on a mission, aided by clues and mysterious cast members strewn throughout various locations such as street corners, bars and out-of-the-way spots. Groups of 10 piece together the clues of a meticulously crafted criminal plot and rely on their own street smarts to make it to the end.

Where: Little Italy
When: March 26 – April 14, 2013
Time: 4:30 to 7:30 PM
Cost: $35-$45
> Find out more about ACCOMPLICE: San Diego

Ironman Oceanside California

Ironman Oceanside California - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Andy Potts won the Ironman 70.3 California event for the 4th time in 2012.

It may be too late for you to enter and compete in the Ironman Oceanside, but you can still go down to the course and cheer on these amazing athletes. This incredible test of endurance begins with a 1.2 mile swim in Oceanside Harbor, followed by a 56-mile bike ride through the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base and ends with a 13.1-mile run along the Pacific Ocean and ending at the Oceanside Pier.

Where: San Diego’s North County Coastal Region
When:
 March 30, 2013
> Find out more about Ironman Oceanside California

> 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.

Maren

Top Things this Spring in San Diego

Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach

Spring into Coronado Beach, the #1 beach in America

Spring is a time of longer days, warmer temps and renewed energies – it is also the perfect time take your lightened heart and visit San Diego, where springtime activities abound. From desert blooms to Zoo babies, San Diego is certain to enliven your spirit this spring.

Spring Babies at the Attractions

Spring's New Babies at San Diego Attractions

Say hello to Xiao Liwu at the San Diego Zoo.

Come meet the newest and cutest additions at San Diego’s attractions, including the new baby killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego, the Chinese Giant Panda cub Xiao Liwu at the San Diego Zoo and Kayode, a southern white rhino at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

> See what else is going on at San Diego attractions this Spring

Let’s Go Padres!

San Diego Padres at PETCO Park

Catch the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. Photo courtesy of Mark Whitt.

Root for the San Diego Padres this spring on April 9 when they play the Los Angeles Dodgers at the state-of-the-art downtown Petco Ballpark for the beginning of the six-month season of Major League Baseball. Make it a night and start or end the evening at one of the numerous bars and restaurants surrounding the park in downtown’s famous Gaslamp Quarter and East Village.

Warmer Waters

Kayakers in La Jolla

Take to San Diego’s waters this Spring

As the mercury rises, it’s time to get out to San Diego’s 70 miles of beach and enjoy any number of water activities. Learn how to surf through private or group lessons with Surf Diva Surf School, located on La Jolla Shores. Kayaking through La Jolla’s famous 7 caves is another great opportunity for spring. Choose from one of the many companies offering tours, including OEX La Jolla, La Jolla Kayak, or Hike Bike Kayak Sports La Jolla, or try out the newest craze in watersports, Stand Up Paddleboarding with OEX La Jolla or Surf Diva.

> Get outdoors in San Diego this Spring

Fields of Flowers

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflower Season

Spectacular Anza-Borrego Desert wildflowers!

San Diego’s mild winters lend themselves to early and bountiful flower blooms around the county. Check out the wild flower blooms happening in San Diego’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, just east of San Diego, or head up to the sea of giant ranunculus flowers at the Flower Fields of Carlsbad California, open March 1 – May 5, 2013.

> See more Spring wildflowers in San Diego

What are you looking forward to doing in San Diego this Spring? Tell us in the comments below.

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 7-10, 2013

LIttle Italy Carnevale - Top Things to Do in San Diego

It’s never too early to start planning your weekend celebration. From frisky nighttime parties to relaxing strolls through wildflower, here are our top things to do in San Diego this weekend that are sure to please a variety friends and family.

Little Italy Carnevale

LIttle Italy Carnevale - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Celebrate Carnevale Venetian Style at the family friendly Little Italy Carnevale

Revel in a Venetian style Carnevale celebration in San Diego’s Little Italy. The 10th Annual Little Italy Carnevale is a family-friendly event with plenty of fun including live music and dancing, stilt-walkers, art and mask-making for kids, as well as great Italian food.

Where: India Street between W. Fir and W. Cedar Streets (Downtown)
When: February 9, 2013
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Little Italy Carnevale

Wildflowers in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park Wildflowers

Wildflowers in the Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park

The chance of showers on Friday means the chance to see the wildflowers bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on Saturday and Sunday! Make sure to call the 24-hour “Wildflower Hotline” at 760-767-4684 to get an update before heading out.

Where: Visitor Center – 200 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs, CA 92004 (East County)
When: Through April
Time: Dawn to Dusk
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Wildflowers in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The Red Ball 2013 – A Chinese New Year Celebration

The Red Ball 2013 - A Chinese New Year Celebration

Don’t forget to wear red to ring in the Chinese New Year!

Ring in Chinese New Year in style! As we bid farewell to the Year of the Dragon and welcome the Year of the Snake, guests are invited to dress in red and re-do New Year’s Eve with an official countdown at midnight to kick off the Lunar New Year, live music, DJs, tapas, cocktails and more.

Where: The Grand Del Mar – 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, Del Mar, CA 92130 (North County Coastal)
When: February 9, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM
Cost: Complimentary admission. Priority entry with Bottle Service, starting at $180.
> Find out more about The Red Ball 2013 – A Chinese New Year Celebration

Brazil Carnival Mardi Gras 2013

Brazil Carnival Mardi Gras - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Brazil comes to San Diego during this Carnival Mardi Gras!

Rich in beauty and color, the Brazil Carnival Mardi Gras presents a “Spectacular Samba Show” featuring dancers in glittering costumes adorned in sequins, beads and feathers accompanied by percussionists playing the authentic Batucada rhythms of Rio de Janeiro, even more carnival bands, capoeira, parades, and Mardi Gras beads!

Where: San Diego Museum of Art – 1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92108 (Downtown)
When: February 9, 2013
Time: 8:30 PM to 1:30 AM
Cost: $25-$99
> Find out more about Brazil Carnival Mardi Gras 2013

Ray at Night

Ray at Night in San Diego's North Park

Art, food, music and more at Ray at Night in San Diego’s North Park.

Join local artists, gallery owners, and hipsters alike during this fun, family friendly evening of art and creativity, music and food. Artwork on display includes paintings, sketches, sculptures, ceramics, blown glass, organic art and jewelry. Entertainment runs the gamut from jazz, blues and cultural music to poetry readings and performances by dance groups.

Where: Ray Street, between University Avenue and North Park Way (Downtown)
When: February 9, 2013
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Ray at Night

San Diego Padres Fan Fest

Top Things to Do - San Diego Padres Fan Fest

Get ready for the 2013 season with Padres FanFest presented by State Farm. Meet the players, play on the field, get some tips on your pitching and hitting, buy unique padres gear, see what goes into opening day, and more.

Where: Petco Park – 100 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
When: February 9, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about San Diego Padres Fan Fest

San Diego Winter Brew Fest

Start off the weekend with The San Diego Winter Brew Fest and celebrate craft beverages from around California and beyond with live local music, food, and other vendors.

Where: Broadway Pier – 1000 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
When: February 8, 2013
Time: 6:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $40-$60
> Find out more about San Diego Winter Brew Fest

> 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: December 26-30, 2012

Fireworks - Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

Spend the last few days of December and 2012 enjoying these great things to do in San Diego!

If you still are looking for things to do this New Year’s Eve, here are a few guides for you:

1. Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

Fireworks - Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

Catch the excitement at the Holiday Bowl

In the first appearance for both teams, The UCLA Bruins from the Pac-12 conference and the Baylor Bears from Big 12 conference will square off in the 35th annual Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl.

Location: Qualcomm Stadium, 9449 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92108 (map)
Date: December 27, 2012
Kick-Off: 6:45 PM
Cost: $74-$268
> Purchase Your Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Tickets Now

2. Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade

Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade

Marvel at America’s largest balloon parade along the Embarcadero

Enormous and colorful balloons will fill the waterfront during the Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade. Stop by before the parade for the 16th Annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals and stay afterward for the Family Festival at the Broadway Pier Pavilion.

Date: December 27, 2012
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade

3. Shen Yun

Shen Yun - Things to Do

See Shen Yun at the San Diego Civis Theatre.

Shen Yun takes the audience on a magical journey through ancient dynasties and diversified ethnic religions immersing them in sublime beauty and grace, and experience the glory of an ancient civilization with music provided by a live orchestra.

Location: San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Dates: December 26-27, 2012
Cost: $60-$200
> Find out more about Shen Yun

4. San Diego International Auto Show

San Diego International Auto Show - Things to Do

See the cars today and tomorrow at the San Diego International Auto Show

The 2012 San Diego International Auto Show features the widest variety of new vehicles under one roof with new car and truck models from over 30 manufacturers are featured, as well as the cars and trucks of tomorrow with concept vehicles from a number of manufacturers.

Location: 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Dates: December 27-30, 2012
Time: 
– Thursday-Saturday: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
– Sunday: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: $8-$12
> Find out more about the San Diego International Auto Show

5. Cavalia

Banner Man - Cavalia

Cavalia is exciting, breathtaking and funny.

Don’t miss out on the wonderful story of humans and horses told through the acrobatics and music of Cavalia. Due to popular demand, the producers have extended the run to now go through January!

Location: 1020 Imperial Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Dates: Through December 30, 2012
Cost: $39.50 – $229.50
> Find out more about Cavalia

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

Know of any other great events going on in San Diego this weekend? Let us and others know in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego: December 19-23, 2012

Aztecs - Poinsettia Bowl

If you have already finished all of your holiday shopping, below are out top things to do this weekend.

1. San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

Aztecs - Poinsettia Bowl

Will the hometown Aztecs take home the Poinsettia Bowl championship?

The hometown San Diego State University Aztecs will take on the Brigham Young University Cougars at Qualcomm Stadium during the San Diego’s first bowl game of the season (Holiday Bowl is next week). To kick things off, both team bands will invade Gaslamp Quarter on December 18 for the free Five Star Tours Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March.

Location: Qualcomm Stadium – 9449 Friars Road, San Diego, CA 92108 (map)
Date: December 20, 2012
Time: Kick Off at 5:00 PM
Cost: $45-$65
> Find out more about the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

2. Holiday Pops – A Celtic Celebration

San Diego Symphony Orchestra

The sound of the holidays really pop with the San Diego Symphony

Join the San Diego Symphony for a quick visit to the Emerald Isle while never leaving San Diego. The orchestra will be joined by award winning all-Ireland Fiddle champion Eileen Ivers for a night of traditional and Irish holiday favorites including The Holly Tree, Don Oiche Ud im Beithil (One Night in Bethlehem) and Hark, The Herald Angels Sing and more.

Location: Copley Symphony Hall – 750 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Dates: December 21-22, 2012
Time: 8:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $20-$85
> Find out more about Holiday Pops – A Celtic Celebration

3. An American Christmas at the Hotel del Coronado

Lamb's Players' An American Christmas

Step back in time at the Lamb’s Players’ An American Christmas

Travel back in time over 100 years for a Christmas feast and celebration performed by the Lamb’s Players Theater inside the Hotel del Coronado’s ballroom. The night will be filled with music, dance, stories, laughter and a 5-course holiday meal.

> More Holiday Theatre in San Diego

Location: Hotel del Coronado – 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118 (map)
Dates: December 17-26, 2012
Time: 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Cost: $120-$165
> Find out more about An American Christmas at the Hotel del Coronado

4. Dive-In Theatre: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

Movie screening at the Pearl Hotel - Things to Do

Lounge by the pool with Dive In Theatre at the Pearl Hotel

Join the Pearl Hotel family along with the Griswolds for the holiday classic (at least it is in my family :-)), “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Lounge in the pool or a cabana with a warm drink hand while you laugh as Sparky (Clark Griswold) tries to create the perfect family Christmas.

Location: The Pearl Hotel – 1410 Rosecrans St, San Diego, CA 92106 (map)
Date: December 19, 2012
Time: 8:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Dive-In Theatre: Christmas Vacation

5. Jay Pharoah from Saturday Night Live!

Jay Pharoah at the American Comedy Company - Things to Do

Looking for something not holiday related? Then head to The American Comedy Company to laugh your tookus off with Jay Pharoah from Saturday Night Live. (The San Diego Travel Blog cannot guarantee that holiday jokes will be omitted :-)).

Location: The American Comedy Company – 818 B 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Dates: December 20-22, 2012
Times:
– Thursday at 8:00 PM
– Friday and Saturday 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM
Cost: In Advance – $24. At the Door – $27
> Find out more about Jay Pharoah from Saturday Night Live!

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

Know of any other great events going on in San Diego this weekend? Let us and others know in the comments below.