Enjoy live music and warm evenings during one of San Diego’s free summer concerts. Photo courtesy of the Spreckels Organ Society
Free twilight summer concerts have become summertime traditions in neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. They’re an opportunity for visitors, locals and their families to socialize, picnic, enjoy music together – and maybe even dance as the sun sets on another perfect San Diego summer day.
Here’s a sampling of what will be staged during the free summer concerts of 2014:
The Point Loma Summer Concert Series opens July 11 with the Mighty Untouchables and continues on consecutive Fridays through August 8 when Detroit Underground takes the stage. Shows run 5:30 to 8:30 PM. Pack a picnic or buy food at the venue. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and Frisbees to Point Loma Park, 1049 Catalina Blvd.
Pacific Beach Concerts on the Green are set for Sundays July 20 through August 10. Shows run from 4:00 to 6:30 PM at Kate Sessions Park (Lamont Street, just north of Beryl). Bring your own food and drink.
Balboa Park’s Twilight in the Park concert series kicks off at 6:15 PM June 17 and continues on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 28 at the park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The hour-long shows feature everything from classical music to R&B.
Enjoy organ music? The International Summer Organ Festival features top organists from around the world. Showtime is 7:30 – 9:30 PM on Mondays, June 23 through Aug. 25, at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
The Bird Park Concert Series in North Park opens June 14 with the Bill Magee Blues Band. More concerts are scheduled June 28 (folk), July 12 (indie rock), July 26 (country) and August 9 (Zydeco). All shows run 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Bird Park is at 28th and Thorn streets.
Del Mar’s Summer Twilight Concerts are set for Powerhouse Park, overlooking the Pacific, at 1600 Coast Blvd. The series begins June 17 with Rockola, followed by Back to the Garden on July 1, the Heroes on July 22, Haute Chile on August 12 and Sully and the Blue Eyed Soul Band on September 7. Show time is 7:00 PM, with pre-show entertainment beginning at 6:00 PM.
Carlsbad’s TGIF Concerts in the Park is staged at four community parks. The 29th season opens at Stagecoach Park (3420 Camino de los Coches), with concerts on June 27, July 4. The party moves to Alga Norte Community Park (6565 Alicante Road) for concerts on July 11 and 18. Then it’s on to Poinsettia Park (6600 Hidden Valley Road) for concerts on July 25, August 1 and 8. The season closes at Calavera Hills Park (2997 Glasgow Drive) with concerts on Aug. 15 and 22. Showtime is 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Wear your dancing shoes.
El Cajon’s Dinner & a Concert series is set for 6:00 to 8:00 PM Fridays through September 26 on the Prescott Promenade near East Main Street and Rea Avenue in downtown El Cajon. The family oriented venue is smoke-, alcohol- and dog-free. No need to pack a picnic; about a dozen restaurants edge the promenade, offering on-the-spot dining or picnics to go.
Santee’s Free Summer Concerts are scheduled 6:30 to 8:30 PM on Thursdays, June 19 through August 28. (except July 3) at Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive in Santee. The Catillacs will open the series. Picnics are welcome, but know that food trucks rally nearby.
From classic airplanes soaring overhead in East County to sail boats racing across the Big Bay, there is a ton of top things to do this weekend in San Diego.
Samuel Adams Brew & View
Nothing like a night under the stars with a tasty craft beer and a great movie.
Join us for Samuel Adams Brew & View, an epic summer party with cold Sam Adams beer, lawn games, food trucks, and live music! When the sun goes down, Wedding Crashers will start-up on an HD screen for a hilarious movie night under the stars. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and friends, and plan to stay awhile!
See beauties like Lady Alice (a P-51) soar high above at Air Show San Diego
Formerly known as Wings Over Gillespie, Air Show San Diego in San Diego’s East County features a representative collection of historic aircraft, amazing aerobatics, military re-enactors, paratroopers, and exciting mock battles. In addition to everything happening in the air and on Gillespie Field’s runway, Air Show San Diego also boasts a fun kids zone, amusement rides, education displays, a variety of foods and beverages, and a beer garden.
Get ready for rides, music and deep-fried-goodness at the San Diego County fair
San Diego’s annual county fair is the largest fair in California, offering a variety of food, entertainment, exhibits, rides & games throughout the beautiful and historical Del Mar Fairgrounds in the oceanfront village of Del Mar.
This year’s Ultimate Indulgence is the Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger with Bacon.
Make sure you go for a 20 mile run before you indulge on the Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger at the San Diego County Fair
The 3rd annual VC Music Festival features the Kansas City Barbecue Cook-off in addition to the beer and wine garden, 12 bands on 3 stages, door prizes, silent auction and more. Invite your friends, bring your beach chairs and blankets, come enjoy some live music and good food on the farm!
You never know what you are going to see at Art Around Adams
A free and family friendly event, Art Around Adams will showcasing nine performance areas (including the “Kensington Kids Zone,” now in its sophomore year) featuring music, performance art, community murals, circus performers, dance, theatre, projection art, intergalactic superhero wrestling, and comedians on the events very own “Comedy Trolley.”
Rock out in San Marcos with eight amazing bands and plenty of mouth-watering BBQ.
San Marcos will be rocking this weekend with eight phenomenal bands, local craft beer and mouth-water BBQ. On Friday, Phil’s BBQ will be running the grills followed by a BBQ Competition on Sunday with smoked pork ribs, smoked tri-tip, smoked chickens, pulled pork sandwiches, grilled burgers and bratwurst.
Where: Walnut Creek Park – 1950 Sycamore Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069 When: June 6-7, 2014 Cost: $5-$20
Find out more about the San Marcos Rock, Blues & BBQ Festival
2014 San Diego Bay Beer Can Series
Catch the excitement of the San Diego Bay Beer Cans Race Series from Harbor Island. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Sinclair.
Befitting San Diego’s role as the home of the best and most competitive sailing in the world, the annual Beer Cans Summer Series is one of the largest annual sailing events in Southern California, with more than a hundred sailboats of different sizes and handicaps taking to San Diego Bay each Wednesday throughout the summer.
Start planning your weekend in San Diego with these top things to do ranging from gold mining in East County to a waterfront festival all about bacon.
Tower After Hours: World Cup Brazil
The Museum of Man is bringing the World Cup and Brazil to the museum with soccer demonstrations, performances of music and dance, and the vibrant flavors of traditional Brazilian fare at Tower After Hours: World Cup Brazil!
Billed as the ultimate food festival for bacon lovers everywhere, Bacon & Barrels is an all-day festival showcasing local chefs’ most imaginative recipes incorporating bacon, and highlights the best artisan and craft barrel beverages such as bourbon, beer, wine, and scotch.
Concerts and More at the Fiesta del Sol in Solana Beach. Photo courtesy of Daniel Knighton
An annual family and community event in Solana Beach featuring stellar live music, an arts & crafts fair, children’s activities, an international food court, and a beer & wine garden. The Fiesta del Sol features a special area just for kids with rides, games and hands-on activities.
The mission of FilmOut San Diego is to enlighten, educate, and entertain the communities of San Diego County & beyond through the exhibition of LGBT-themed films. FilmOut San Diego seeks to recognize, promote, celebrate and support the important diverse artistic contributions LGBT filmmakers make to our community.
Get out and cheer on the marathoners and half-marathoners
Rock out at the annual Rock N Roll Marathon! The annual Rock n’ Roll Marathon sprints into San Diego. This 26.2 mile marathon and 13.1 mile half-marathon features live music lining the streets, cheer squads, and a huge post-marathon concert to end the race with a bang.
While there’s a burgeoning scene of hip music for youth in San Diego, there are also many options for those of us who have true youngsters at home, the 12 and under set. Here are some places to bask in the sunshine and experience music the entire family will enjoy.
Balboa Park – Musical Mecca
The 100-year-old Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park lights up summer evenings for families with free outdoor concerts.
One of the family traditions I grew up with that I’ve continued with my children is attending the free outdoor concerts in Balboa Park’s historic Organ Pavilion. In 1914, the Spreckels family donated one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs to the city and it’s been housed in the ornate outdoor theater for 100 years. Summer Monday’s at 7:30 PM, the Spreckels Organ Society hosts its festival concerts that feature local artistic director Dr. Carol Williams or a variety of guest organists from around the world. Other music series held in the pavilion occur year-round, but summer offers four additional free concerts a week. These include the Twilight in the Park Summer Concert series on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 6:15 PM. Through these concerts my kids have been exposed to Klezmer music, big band, and even an Elvis impersonator, all while picnicking in our seats or dancing in the aisles on a warm summer’s eve.
At Family Festival Days the kids can swing to classic organ music in Balboa Park.
The organ pavilion also plays host to a Sunday series at 2:00 PM and some Family Festival Days including one in June, and a Halloween-themed fest in October. These special family concerts include activity tables for kids plus concerts by young organists. In year’s past, children in the audience were allowed on stage and “behind the curtain” to peek at the organ’s pipes.
Where: Spreckels Organ Pavilion -1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 Cost: Free
Drum-roll please at the West African Drumming Class for toddlers held at the World Beat Center in Balboa Park.
Another free event in harmonious Balboa Park is the WorldBeat Center‘s Super Sonic Samba Drummers practicing near Pepper Tree Park playground on Sundays at 1:00 PM. The drum circle’s beat will get everyone in the family dancing on the grass around the group. If you want to learn more about the World Beat Center’s music programs, they offer a wide variety of music classes for free and nominal fees, including a very fun toddler West African Drumming Class on Tuesdays at 2:00 PM. I used to take my kids to this class and it’s great because you don’t have to register ahead of time, so no worries if your darling is napping and you miss a class, just show up next week.
Where: World Beat Center – 2100 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101 Cost: Some events are free and some classes are fee based
The Museum of Making Music
Visitors of all ages get hands-on fun at the Museum of Making Music.
For a truly remarkable combination of musical history and education (and hands-on music making), families must visit The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad. This gorgeous but approachable museum has vintage, rare delicate instruments on display behind glass, but it knows its audience (we all want to strum or pound or tickle the ivories too when inspired), so each exhibit has the opportunity for guest to make some noise on non-vintage, tough instruments, culminating in the Innovation Studio space with a variety of electric guitars, keyboards and drums (and headphones for parents wanting to escape the joyful cacophony).
Where: 5790 Armada Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008 Cost: General admission: $8, Students, Seniors, Military: $5; Kids 5 and under at free Dates & Times: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Closed Mondays
Children can play a song by jumping up and down at this musical fountain at LEGOLAND California Resort.
The Museum of Making Music is located next to LEGOLAND, which features a musical water fountain in the park – another of my children’s favorite experiences. They jump up and down on foam rubber circles and different instruments make their sound and shoot up water! What could be more fun?!
Recreational Music Center
If you are looking for drop-in music classes while visiting San Diego, the arts-centered Liberty Station complex in the Point Loma neighborhood houses Recreational Music Center, a non-profit music school whose mission is to cultivate the joy of making music through relevant, cutting-edge teaching methods, making music available to everyone regardless of financial resources or other barriers. The school offers an extensive list of children’s piano, cello, wind ensemble lessons, as well as hosting birthday parties and summer camps including a Rock Band Camp. September through June RMC also offers monthly Parents Night Out events, so guests can drop their kids (ages 4-11) to learn music from 5:00 to 8:00 PM and parents can enjoy a dinner at one of Liberty Station’s nearby eateries, including Stone Brewery steps away.
Where: 2590 Truxtun Rd, San Diego, CA 92106 Cost: Varies by class, camp or event Dates & Times: Classes/camp prices vary; Parents Night Out $25 child includes dinner.
Classic Sounds in San Diego
These educational concerts are open to visiting families, adults just must be accompanied by a child.
Classics 4 Kids
Classics 4 Kids is a San Diego nonprofit that has been providing kid-friendly professional orchestra performances for children, teachers and families throughout San Diego County for 20 years. The group performs in the historic Balboa Theater in the Gaslamp Quarter. This Sunday, April 27, 2014, see Beethoven ‘n’ Friends Go Country, a family concert featuring the Classics Philharmonic’s renditions of famous composers, infused with the foot stompin’ fun of real-life cowboy Wylie Gustafson, the singing, yodeling, guitar playing country star, direct from Montana. Next fall the group continues its Kids Concert series with Peter and the Wolf, on November 23, 2014, a Salute to American Jazz Greats on February 22, 2015, and Isabella & Diego, a Mariachi-influenced version of the classic Hansel & Gretel tale on May 3, 2015.
Where: Balboa Theatre – 868 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 Cost: Child: $12 Adult: $15; Red Ribbon (premier seating and a yummy treat) Child: $15 Adult: $20
San Diego Symphony
The San Diego Symphony has an extensive children’s education program as well, featuring a number of Family Festivals and Young People’s Concerts each season. The next show, I Love Mother Nature Family Festival is on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11, 2014, at 2:00 PM. The Symphony’s Summer Pops outdoor concert series on the Embarcadero South Lawn is a great evening of family music often followed by a fireworks display over San Diego Bay. Some upcoming performances that may interest the younger set during Comic-Con from July 24-26, 2014, include: Video Games Live, Music of Tim Burton, Star Trek, and Disney’s Fantasia on August 10, 2014.
Where: 1245 Seventh Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 Cost: Family Festival $10 for kids and $15-25 for adults, based on seating. Summer Pops starts at $20 for lawn seating and Young People’s Concerts at $5 for everyone.
Free Outdoor Summer Concerts in San Diego’s Parks
The parks of San Diego are alive with the sound of music with an extensive number of free outdoor summer concerts throughout the county. I have to give a shout out to two family favorite local bands. My children attended many festivals, birthday parties and local library performances by Hullabaloo, a fun, folkly smart kids band who perform somewhere in San Diego County almost daily and frequently for free. Check out their schedule for a really fun time. My whole family also like the Creepy Creeps, possibly in homage to their mom’s punk rock roots. The Creeps play mainly adult music venues, but they put on a great show, also playing many family friendly festivals with high energy and costume changes included.
Spend this weekend in San Diego enjoying these top things to do including amazing floral displays, awesome classic cars and avocado ice cream!
Mission Beach Centennial: Taste of Mission Beach
Bring your appetite,walking shoes, take one of the free shuttles, get on the Bahia Belle or ride a free bike rental donated by Cheap Rentals. Guests will sample various cuisines and desserts from 18 of Mission Beach’s finest eateries!
Can’t get enough of San Diego’s food? There are two more Tastes of… in the More Top Things to Do in San Diego section below!
Cheer on Rachel Buehler Van Hollebeke (local defender from Del Mar) and the US. Women’s National Soccer team as they continuing their winning streak in San Diego after scoring a 2-0 win against China last Sunday in Colorado. Also, be prepared to join in the chants and songs from the American Outlaws!
Art comes to life at the San Diego Museum of Art’s Art Alive
This year Carlos Franco of Green Fresh Florals will transform the Rotunda into an effusion of flowers and life, a perfect centerpiece for the three days of Art Alive events. This annual floral exhibition is accompanied by three full days of events, including the BLOOM BASH, Floral Masterclass with Tam Ashworth of Isari Flower Studio & Event Design, the Garden of Activities, and more.
Signaling the official start of Southern California’s spring saltwater fishing season, Day At The Docks takes place against the colorful and dynamic backdrop of world renown sportfishing fleet on San Diego Bay. Spend the day enjoying boat rides on San Diego Bay, displays by marine artists and fishing tackle experts, great food, entertainment, fishing seminars, open house aboard sportfishing boats, kid’s fishing, contests, prizes and more!
Classic cars meet classic views at the La Jolla Concourse d’Elegance
Experience this spectacular event overlooking the breathtaking La Jolla Cove and featuring a remarkable array of over 150 cars. Past years have showcased horseless carriages, Italian marques, British marques, woodies, 50s classics, American sports cars and the automobiles of Carroll Shelby.
Meet a few of the over 10,000 butterflies in the Butterfly Jungle
Each spring the Safari Park’s Hidden Jungle exhibit is filled with 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 provided by the park. There’s something for everyone, from fun kids’ activities to special presentations to fascinating facts about these wonderful winged insects.
Swirl and savor more than 200 handcrafted wines at VinDiego
VinDiego is about people coming together to celebrate a shared passion; a passion for great wine and mouth-watering gourmet food. Come sip, swirl and savor a selection of over 200 handcrafted wines from top-tier wineries. There will also be a fantastic variety of wonderful local restaurants offering delicious culinary samples.
It’s a full weekend of roddin’ at the beach in ol’ Del Mar.
It’s a full weekend of roddin’ at the beach in ol’ Del Mar featuring a giant show and shine with 1972 and earlier, rods, customs, classics, muscle cars and trucks. Watch the crowning of the Goodguys March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance and a Super Sunday Get-Together for late-model American made or powered cars on Sunday. See more than 3,000 cars, indoor and outdoor car shows, plus vendor exhibits, swap meet and car corral, Goodguys AutoCross, nightly parties, special woody exhibit, live music, model car show and much more!
In the magical world of Don Quixote’s Spain, the eccentric knight pursues his impossible dream of capturing the heart of Dulcinea, his idealized woman, who sends him on a quest to recover her stolen necklace. With his loyal sidekick Sancho, he tilts at giant windmills, confronts bandits, and is nearly killed, but achieves his goal. However, when he returns with the prize, he is mocked, scorned and rejected. In one of the most emotional scenes in opera, the delirious Quixote dies believing he hears Dulcinea’s voice calling to him from a distant star.
Enjoy craft beer from 10 local breweries paired with small bites from 10 local restaurants, including Green Flash Brewing, Lost Abbey, Societe Brewing, Urbn Street and Alchemy Cultural Fare. In addition to local craft beer and delicious food, SILO will host a variety of interactive games including bocce ball, ping-pong, beanbag toss and life-sized Jenga. Local makers will also be on-hand displaying and talking with guests about custom menswear, murals, silk-screening and home brewing.
Although they say it never rains in Southern California, there are a few rainy days thankfully to provide water for our desert wild flowers to bloom and keep our gardens green.
For parents with kids on the rare San Diego rainy day, here are some suggestions of places to take the family that provide opportunities for fun, physical activity, education and in some cases, all three.
Ultrazone – The Ultimate Laser Adventure
The battle is on! Let the kids run out their energy while trying to score the most points at Ultrazone
Up until last week I’ve never played laser tag. Sure, I’ve taken my kids to parties there, dropping them off, running errands and picking up the red-faced duo at the end of the party as they excitedly tell me their laser names and scores. But last Friday I discovered Ultrazone laser tag is not just for kids; ask my co-workers about our team building, or “team blasting,” outing here, resulting in quite the sweaty and excited group. After our 15 minutes of introductions and rules, we were assigned teams, donned special light up vests, with laser guns attached, and were let loose in a dark two-story maze to shoot at the other teams. It’s way more fun than it sounds and quite the workout. Your heart pounds with fight or flight adrenaline as you crouch behind a wall or scurry up a ramp to avoid being “shot” by laser light and become unable to shoot back for four seconds. My kids were thrilled by how much mom reveled in her decent “accuracy” score as “Katness” and “Medusa.”
Open space a plenty and you don’t necessarily have to say “shhhh” at the new Central Downtown Library
In September 2013 the city welcomed a new jewel to downtown, a beautiful Central Library that is both ambitious in its architecture, book and art collection, and number of free activities for families and adults offered on a daily basis. Kids will enjoy the Dr. Seuss-themed children’s area. There are free arts and craft projects and story times daily, and free film and concert series scheduled monthly. Teens will be wowed by an entire section reserved just for them located on the second floor. The Teen Center is a safe learning environment that includes 14 computers and two study rooms specially set aside for teen; fun and engaging furniture and relaxed environment (and views!) to encourage teens to hang out and collaborate; iPads, iPad Minis, Chromebooks, and eReaders available for use in the library; media gaming room and a onsite vending machines (the only part of the library where food is allowed indoors). My preteen can’t wait to turn 13 and hang out here, playing video games for free and having access to the entire Divergent book series in one section.
Racers start your engines at K1 Speed Indoor go-kart racing in the East Village, Downtown San Diego.
K1 Speed now has two San Diego locations; one in North County’s city of Carlsbad, and a new location, K1 Speed in San Diego’s East Village downtown. Kids will love to hang out here with a large indoor track to race go-karts around, a lounge area with pool table, video games and pinball machines, and a snack bar to nosh at in between races.
Dave & Buster’s offers an amazing combination of food and games the whole family will enjoy
Ready for lunch and an escape from the kids (without leaving them behind)? Head over to Dave & Buster’s, a restaurant, bar, arcade combination that offers a good time for all ages. The menu is wide-ranging with everything from bar food to salads to under 600-calorie lunches and numerous kids’ offerings to boot. Adults can enjoy San Diego craft beer offerings like Ballast Point on tap while kids play in an extensive arcade that offers everything from the newest edition of Temple Run to old school skee ball and pinball.
Kids can paint, play and climb around at the New Children’s Museum downtown.
This beautiful space for children and art offers a creative space for families to while away a day with planned and unplanned art and play. From scheduled workshops that rotate daily and monthly depending on the current exhibit, to dress-up theatre spaces for impromptu plays, The New Children’s Museum offers interactive opportunities to escape into the world of drawing, bubbles, paint and clay, as well as the chance to dodge occasional bad weather.
The incredible part about John’s is not just the pizza, it’s the 43,000 square feet of activity, including John’s Incredible Fun World, jam-packed with rides like Twister and Boogie Bump bumper cars and the hottest 100 video and ticket-dispensing games. In between gaming, try fresh all-you-care-to-enjoy pizza, pasta, soup, salad and dessert buffets (don’t see your favorite, just ask and they’ll make it fresh!)!
Spend the day out of the rain and exploring the world at the museums in Balboa Park
With 15 major museums to choose from, you’ll be able to find more than one Balboa Park exhibit that appeals to your brood; and by purchasing the Stay for the Day Pass you can visit up to 5 institutions in one day and save. The RH Fleet Science Center can get packed on a rainy day because the museum is set up for the kids to run around from activity to activity, including Kids City for 5 year olds and under, and current exhibits that older kids will enjoy.
My 11-year-old daughter’s idea of heaven involves trampolines and padded walls. Sky Zone in San Diego’s south-eastern Chula Vista neighborhood has her covered. No one will suffer from cabin fever if you take the family here on a rainy day. Trampoline dodge-ball and basketball, and aerobics classes for adults, are all part of this indoor bounce zone.
San Diego restaurants offer a surprising number of exciting family friendly dining experiences from beaches to breweries.
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
Outdoor recreation and an adventurous menu mix well at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Liberty Station.
Wait a minute, beer and kids? Yes! Both locations of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens offer a dining destination, with an outstanding and challenging menu for adults featuring local meats and produce, and of course, local beers. They also have a kids menu that offers fresh veggies and their own house made soda (free of high-fructose corn syrup). You”ll find no frozen chicken fingers here. Kids can choose between chicken stir fry with noodles, carrots peas and broccoli; a cheese sandwich on freshly baked ciabatta bread and garlic mashed potatoes; chicken and cheese burrito with rice and beans on the side; or pasta in a cream sauce. Our family enjoys dining here because adults can enjoy a pint watching the kids play bocce ball at Liberty Station while we wait for the food to be served. Both locations offer outdoor gardens and paths and grassy lawns so older kids can wander and younger kids have somewhere to toddle (with escort) beyond the confines of a dining room.
Pinky Tuscadero and friends welcome your kids to The Corvette Diner.
For pure kid-pleasing pleasure, Corvette Diner has it wired. This place is all about celebrating fun, and they have a huge menu with options for everyone, so even the pickiest eater can be accommodated. Those looking beyond the “diner” experience can find options like the “Popeye” spinach salad. Portions are huge (although there”s an extensive kids menu here too) and the food is fresh and tasty. The wait staff wear 1950s-era diner outfits and toss straws and bubble gum on to the table when they come to take your order. The space is large with many car and music themed rooms and best of all, an arcade! Kids can play pinball, video games and the like and win tickets for small prizes they select. No wonder it”s a birthday party favorite in San Diego.
Waypoint is a neighborhood joint that offers family friendly dining and a hip after 8:00 PM crowd in search of local and rare beers.
You know kids are welcome when a restaurant builds out an area just for the little guys to play. At Waypoint Public located on 30th Street, a thoroughfare with a reputation for craft beer and culinary excellence in the neighborhood of North Park, families can reserve a table next to a kids “corral” to watch their tykes while dining. This kids” zone offers toys, bookshelves, blocks and bean bags in a little area toward the back of the restaurant carpeted with artificial grass and surrounded by a white picket fence.
While the kids menu includes favorites like cheeseburger and fries, mac “n” cheese, grilled cheese and little chicken dinner, the restaurant”s philosophy of fresh, local ingredients result in healthier options all around. The regular menu offers charred Spanish nbso online casino reviews octopus and duck cassoulet as well as an amazing burger. The 30 beers on tap and close to 100 bottles to choose from mean mommy and daddy will be happy too.
Casual and fun, with a play area for the kids, Station Tavern in South Park is a must visit dining stop for families looking for great local experience.
Station Tavern, in the South Park neighborhood, is one of the most comfortable places for families to dine. It reminds me of a German beer garden with its indoor-outdoor picnic tables and quality beer and cocktail selection. The menu is simple with burgers, fries and tots, salads and a few other rotating items. “Station” as the locals call it, offers a place just for the kids as they crowd inside, and on top of, a mini trolley sitting within a fenced-off area in the outside dining space. A chalkboard and other sand toys offer youngsters distraction in this play zone. The restaurant sits on what was once a trolley track running through the neighborhood, thus the name.
Dine simulator-side at The Wave House at Belmont Park for a thrilling meal.
For a true escape from everyday dining, head to Mission Beach and get a table at Belmont Park”s Wave House. This entire area sits outside on the famed Mission Beach Boardwalk steps from the Pacific Ocean. The Wave House offers tropical palms, tiki style bars, a college crowd and also a sand pit for the kids to play in (including bean bag toss and giant chess board), all next to two giant wave rider simulators. My kids were fascinated watching beginning and expert surfers alike paddle in to the Wave House”s Flowbarrel and FlowRider wave simulators. No boredom at this restaurant! The menu is varied and extensive, featuring popular favorites from many cultures – taking into account the large tourist population that visits the area. While the kids dined on quesadillas and chicken satay, my husband and I enjoyed fresh sushi made to order and the real ocean views. The Wave House offers fun, action, great people watching and a dip in the ocean for dessert.
The Inter-tidal area at the Cabrillo National Monument
Whale Watch Weekend is a chance for Cabrillo National Monument to invite the San Diego community to the park and encourage them to learn about the importance of our oceans with fun activities including burial of a time-capsule, tide pool exploration, whale origami and more.
Based on the Academy Award®-winning animated feature film, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is an eye-popping spectacle that has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide. This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song.
Now in its seventh anniversary year, the soundON Festival of Modern Music brings together an international roster of composers and performers to present a four-day exploration of contemporary chamber music.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps – Tidepooling Adventures
She sees Sea Hares down by the sea-shore!
Visit a local tide pool to learn how these amazing habitats and their inhabitants truly survive “between a rock and a hard place.” The Birch’s trained naturalists will show you how to tread lightly during your visit and help you discover the wonderful world of tide pools.
Marvel at 123 replicas of Frida Kahlo’s known paintings
The rich and colorful life of Frida Kahlo is revealed in The Complete Frida Kahlo: Her Paintings. Her Life. Her Story. This is the only exhibition worldwide where all of her paintings can be seen in one place. Some paintings, especially from Kahlo’s early years, have never before been seen.
If you’re looking to have more in common with your Northerly friends, here’s your chance to bust out your sled and get a little taste of the cold stuff at the Winter Festival in Poway. They’ll have a snow hill for sledding, live music, s’mores, ice skating, campfires, and more.
It’s already December! When did that happen?! Well, might as well embrace the cooler weather and dive into a ton of festive fun with these top things to do in San Diego this weekend:
38th Annual Coronado Christmas Parade & Open House
Santa Claus’ festive arrival at the Coronado Ferry Landing kicks off the Coronado Christmas Parade!
Festivities kick off at the Coronado Ferry Landing as Santa arrives at 3:20 PM, with carolers and snow fun at snow mountain. Also, at the Hotel del, experience ice skating like no other – you can ice skate on the beach! Find your way to Orange Ave and select a good spot to take in the Coronado Christmas Parade.
Lights on the water at the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
Put on a warm jacket, pack a few blankets along with some hot chocolate and head to San Diego Bay with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated to a new theme each year. The parade proceeds from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and the Ferry Landing in Coronado. The Parade of Lights is a festive and delightful experience for all!
Get swept up in the holiday spirit during the North Park Toyland Parade and Festival
The historic neighborhood of North Park warmly welcomes friends and family to bundle up and delight in a joyful San Diego parade. This cheerful pageant will feel like a Winter Wonderland, as melodious marching bands, upbeat dance groups, cool vintage cars, beauty queens and city officials (and more!) warm your spirits. Santa Claus will be riding atop his merry red sleigh and bells will be ringing as loved ones snuggle up in the bright, frosty air.
Fort Rosecrans Goes to War! and
Cabrillo National Monument Centennial Celebration
Old Point Loma Lighthouse
The postponed Centennial Celebration will take place along with the annual Fort Rosecrans Goes to War! event. In addition to all the 100 birthday festivities, Fort Rosecrans will travel back in time to the 1940s with an amazing World War II Living History experience including a re-enactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United State’s entry into the Second World War, plus its impact on San Diego.
Join in the festive fun with a South Bay holiday party
Get in the spirit with the second annual Holiday in the Village celebration. Festivities include Santa Claus, a North Pole-themed kid’s area, caroling, community performances, local artisans, the return of the Ugliest Sweater Contest and more.
Everyone with 2 to 4 Legs will have fun at the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade!
Can you say awwww? San Diego’s furriest festive parade returns to downtown as the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade presented by Downtown Ace Hardware takes over the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. Furry, featured and scaled companions will don their favorite costumes and put their best paw, wing and fin forward.