An Insider’s View on What to Do in May in Balboa Park

Food Truck Fridays in Balboa Park

May is a month filled with promise. Nestled between spring and summer, May is blooming with possibilities and nowhere are those possibilities more enticing than in Balboa Park. There are cultural celebrations chock a block with activities, garden parties, food truck Fridays and so much more.

Secret Society of Adultogists: Garden Party

When: May 3, 2019
Where: The San Diego Natural History Museum
If you want to go to a garden party and do more than just reminisce with old friends, then you should head over to The Nat for its version of this flora and fauna festivity. There will be no shortage of fun as The Nat will be filled with a wide variety of activities: games (croquet and bocce ball, for instance), music (a brass band), educational talks (learn more about bats on the rooftop bar) and garden-y craft projects (think flower crowns). The dress code is as varied as the event with The Nat inviting attendees to “don your white gloves or your crusty overalls.” There will also be craft beer, cocktails and food for purchase.

2nd Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration in Balboa Park

When: May 4, 2019
Balboa Park’s celebration may come a day earlier but it certainly doesn’t mean it is skimping on the festivities. In fact, if variety is the spice of life, this Cinco de Mayo event would be an eye-watering salsa of activity. There are horseback riders, traditional dance groups, a fashion show, strolling mariachis, authentic arts and crafts demonstrations, food trucks, a vintage photo booth, a concert featuring Jarabe Mexicano and even a drumline! Of course, no Cinco de Mayo celebration would be complete without some traditional food and drink. The Prado Restaurant is serving street tacos, margaritas and cervezas on their garden terrace.

Manila Disco Fever

When: May 9, 2019
Where: The Old Globe’s Copley Plaza
Get your groove on at the Globe’s first free evening concert in its AXIS performing art series with a trip back in time to the Filipino disco songs of Manila Sound – “a musical genre that emerged in 1970s Filipino nightclubs and has seen a resurgence in recent years.” The Manila Sound is inspired by American disco, funk, and pop and incorporated Filipino music, catchy melodies, and a laid-back style. The dance floor is free and open to the public but you will need tickets. If you work up a sweat and an appetite, Aunty Lynne’s Food Truck will be on hand selling fusion cuisine from around the Pacific Rim.

Art Glass Guild Show and Patio Sale

When: May 11-12, 2019
Where: Spanish Village Art Center
Did you forget about Mother’s Day? Lucky for you, your secret is safe with us. Even better is that we also have a great gift idea – not to mention a special activity that is sure to delight any mom. Spanish Village Art Center is hosting its Art Glass Guild Show and Patio Sale. The upshot? You can find the perfect gift while strolling through the picturesque artistic enclave that has made its home in the park since 1935. Better yet, make a day of it with mom. You can start off with a special Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch Buffet at The Prado or pack a picnic and sip some wine (no glass bottles permitted, though) and soak up the sights on the East or West lawns just next to the Botanical Building. After your satiated, it is just a short walk over to the Art Glass Guild Show.

Annual Ethnic Food Fair

When: May 26, 2019
Where: International Cottages
Want to take a real bite out of the world? Then take your stomach on a tour at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages’ Annual Ethnic Food Fair. You’ll be able to sample culinary treats from dozens of different countries all while enjoying performances inspired by the cultures being celebrated. Don’t miss your chance to try savory and sweet treats that you may never get a chance to try again—unless you take the voyage to visit places like India or Ukraine.

Food Truck Fridays/Summer Kick-off

When: May 31, 2019
Sure, summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21 but why let a little thing like a calendar dictate when a season begins – especially one where the living is easy. To get a head start on summer, the park is having its seasonal kick-off for food trucks and extended hours at select museums with the help of the San Diego Youth Symphony, which will have an open-air concert on the steps of the San Diego Museum of Art. The food trucks, which line up along El Prado, offer up a wide variety of culinary choices, serving everything from appetizers to main courses to desserts. Music, food, culture and fun – all the things you need to get your summer season off on the right, though early, foot.

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