Brent Bernasconi

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

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

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

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

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

A sea of flowers in San Diego’s Carlsbad.

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

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

Tower After Hours – Ireland

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

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

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

Friday Night Liberty @ NTC

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

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

Ocean Beach Kiwanis Kite Festival

Ocean Beach Kite Festival

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

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

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

House of Pacific Relations’ Lawn Program – House of Mexico

House of Mexico Lawn Program Dancers

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

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

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

San Diego Bird Festival

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

See a Great Blue Heron while Birding in San Diego.

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

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

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

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


Sugar Skulls and Marigolds: Celebrating Day of the Dead in Old Town San Diego – November 1-2, 2012

Day Of the Dead - Catrinas
Day Of the Dead - Catrinas

Catrinas dressed in their finest at Fiesta de Reyes

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), one of Mexico’s most revered and festive holidays, returns to Old Town San Diego on November 1 and 2, 2012, in all of its marigold-lined, sugar skull-adorned, candlelit glory. Old Town San Diego, with its deeply rooted, multi-cultural heritage, provides an ideal backdrop for Dia de los Muertos, which honors and celebrates ancestors and deceased loved ones through music, dance, craft activities and special menus. This community-wide commemoration involves the numerous museums, shops, hotels and restaurants throughout Old Town and is designed for all ages.

Below are just a few highlights of San Diego’s Dia de los Muertos that will certainly make your holiday a memorable one:

Day of the Dead Tour of the Altars

Day of the Dead Alters

Bright and Festive Whaley House Alter. Photo courtesy of Sandé Lollis.

Paths lined with brilliant orange marigolds guide spirits of relatives and friends “home” where alters are prepared with a sampling of their favorite food and drink, photos, mementos and the famous sugar skulls. Follow the free Tour of the Alters map through Old Town to view over 50 personalized alters, some honoring Old Town’s historic figures, being displayed in museums, shops hotels and restaurants such as the Whaley House Museum, Bazaar del Mundo, Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant and Café Coyote.

Day of the Dead Craft Activities

Day of the Dead Crafts

Decorating sugar skulls in the beautiful San Diego fall weather. Photo courtesy of Sandé Lollis.

Participate in various workshops dedicated to Day of the Dead artistry.  Decorate your own sugar skull and learn to make Papel Picado, Mexican Paper Flowers, or Floral headbands in the Whaley House Museum courtyard while listening to free musical performances. Check out the Day of the Dead art show, Saints, Souls, & Style at Bazaar del Mundo and watch Day of the Dead performers at Fiesta de Reyes. Many establishments offer sugar skull face painting at certain times of the day. Check program for full details. All activities are free or include a nominal fee in order to cover craft materials.

Day of the Dead Processional

On Friday, November 2, 2012 at 6:00 PM, gather at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park plaza to take part in a lively candlelight processional down San Diego Avenue to El Campo Cemetery. Free candles will be available at participating businesses and guests are encouraged to sing along with the “Calaveras” processional song (video above). Once inside the cemetery, feel free to leave photographs, messages, flowers or tokens of affection for your own loved ones on the community altar.

Drink and Restaurant Specials

Skullrita and Camarones Inferno - Cafe Coyote

The Skullrita and Camarones Infierno at Cafe Coyote.

Old Town restaurants will create Dia de los Muertos menu and  drink specials for the occasion. Café Coyote, the main title sponsor of Old Town’s Dia de los Muertos, has a celebration menu available now through November 2, which includes traditional holiday fare such as turkey mole enchiladas, tamales de rajas y pollo, and firey Camearones Infierno. Drink offerings include specials such as the “Skullrita,” made with corporate sponsor Azunia Tequila, Cointreau, fresh orange juice, lime juice and a splash of pomegranate, and Mexican Spiked Hot Chocolate. For the alcohol free, complimentary Mexican hot chocolate will be available at Café Coyote’s candy store, November 1-2, 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Other Old Town dining favorites include Casa Guadalajara and Fiesta de Reyes.

Old Town San Diego’s Day of the Dead Information:

Information booths will be set up at the north and south ends of Old Town, at the Whaley House Museum, and Old Town Market. Commemorative sales will be held in the Whaley House Museum. Questions regarding transportation and parking is available here.

Date: November 1-2, 2012
Time: November 1, 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM, November 2, 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Address: 2476 San Diego Avenue, San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: 619.297.9327


Viva la Revolución in Barrio Logan

Written by Bruna and Candice

Barrio Logan might not seem revolutionary as you approach it from the freeway or downtown. Trolleys rattle by, a marine saunters back to base, children’s voices echo down the block. Yet the neighborhood is known for its legacy of perseverance and protest, as art studios and cafes set up shop in color-washed spaces that line the street.

1. Chicano Park: The hypercolorful impact of Chicano Park makes even Day of the Dead festivities look bland. Images of the Virgin Guadalupe, Aztec gods and residents climb concrete supports in the indelible 60+ murals, under the Coronado Bridge and I-5 Freeway. In fact, it was infrastructural developments that didn’t always consider the best interest of community that fueled resistance and gave rise to the park.

2. Woodbury University School of Architecture: What exactly is a “Barrio Scenario”? It’s part of the Woodbury School of Architecture’s lecture and exhibition series, introducing visitors to the history of the site and responsible and responsive architecture. The San Diego campus is not just an innovative school for budding architects but also a standout example of adaptive reuse by Rinehart Herbst.

3. Technomania Circus: Billed as the “world’s only backyard circus,” expect a performance unlike anything you’ve seen before. Part gallery and part theatre but all about performance art, Technomania Circus at the Center for Amusing Arts incorporates everything from puppetry to Vaudeville to zombies in their experimental shows meant to break down expectations of traditional theater.

4. Blueprint Café: Best sweet potato fries in town. Blueprint is named for the architecture firm next door that rents space to the compact café and catering business. Dine in the impeccable interior or out on the patio. A seasonally inspired menu focuses on comfort food, with local Ballast Point Brewery beers and Moto Cafe coffees and teas served; the wine selection is international.

5. Of course, you won’t want to leave Barrio Logan without sampling some of the county’s most authentic Mexican eateries. Don’t expect the fanfare and enormous margaritas of Old Town’s festive hangouts; these joints are simple and to the point, and boy, are their tacos tasty. La Fachada, Tacos El Paisa and Las Cuatro Milpas are among the local favorites.