I’m not a camper, my parents were not campers, but I want my kids to experience more than I did, so when I was invited by a friend for a Mother-Daughters “glamping” trip (Glamorous Camping), I thought it was the perfect way to ease into the rustic outdoor life.
Cabin Glamping – Home for the Weekend
Home for the weekend! The cutest luxury cabin, all ready to go for our glamping weekend.
It turns out glamping at KOA San Diego Metro is far from rustic. Our two-bedroom-plus-sleeping-loft deluxe cabin housed us six glamping girls beautifully. Everything was provided to make us comfortable in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and outdoors.
No need to roll up your sleeping bag: bedding, pillows and towels are provided inside this luxury escape.
Enjoying The Comforortable Great Outdoors
As for outdoors, yes! It was great making s’mores at our own personal fire pit using the cooking utensils, firewood and starter provided by the campground.
Outdoors in January in San Diego, no problem! This campground heats its pool to 80 degrees and the external temp was in the mid-70s for our visit, so we roughed it poolside with towels provided.
A heated pool and jacuzzi added to the glamour of our January camping weekend.
You bet! Even our dog had a dog park and canine obstacle course onsite to romp around. For human guests, there’s a rock climbing wall and playground with play structure. The most exciting outdoor activity for our girls was an inflated jump hump that puzzled us all as we scouted the camp the evening we arrived. Since it is deflated at night; we wondered, “what could it be?”
An outdoor bouncing area was the highlight of these glamping girls’ afternoon.
By morning the girls discovered the joys of an alfresco bounce house.
The camp also provides bike, surrey bike and other wacky pedal equipment for rental, so our kids enjoyed trying out a variety of contraptions.
Ready to race around the KOA Metro San Diego campground.
A tip from a friend who stores her RV at this park and regularly escapes here for a hassle-free weekend: Have your kids bring their skates, skateboards and scooters, as this is a kid-friendly, low-traffic paved campground and at dusk there were groups of newly-made friends scooting through the campsite working up an appetite for BBQ and s’mores.
You betcha! We dined at our own picnic table on the front “patio” area, using the propane BBQ outside the cabin to grill our own food the first night. The second night we were treated to The Sandcastle Café, KOAs new locally sourced onsite café with outdoor seating area. This little kitchen can do it all, serving delicious, reasonably priced options grown from an onsite garden and neighboring organic farm housed on land owned by the campground. The kale salad was delightful and healthy, the sweet potato fries and pulled pork sandwiches disappeared too quickly, and the hamburger pizza was a hit with the kids. Note: The café’s freshly brewed lattes made our morning constitution along the river all the more civilized.
After an evening stroll, we left the great outdoors to play board games inside the cabin and enjoyed a good night’s sleep on fresh sheets (that I did not have to take home and launder)!
About the San Diego KOA Campground
Located only minutes from downtown, this KOA campsite was founded by a local family and continues to be run by three generations of the Bell family. When Ted and Carol Bell purchased beautiful land next to the San Diego River in 1968 and decided to make it a campground, they could not have anticipated the phenomenal urban growth that would eventually extend to their rustic site and result with a property smack dab in the center of it all. For visitors, day trips to the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld or the nearby Aquatica SeaWorld’s Water Park take only 20 minutes because the freeway is so close.
Mature trees, tidy landscaping and well paved paths make biking around the KOA Metro San Diego campground a joy.
The trees planted on the site in the 1960s make for mature foliage and there are many regulars who park their RVs in the lots and stay for an extended time. In addition to the deluxe cabins with all mod cons, standard cabins and tents that sleep up to six are available to rent, so the campground really does provide for all types of camping experiences. While it turns out my daughter was not introduced to “camping” on this trip, it was a delightful getaway from city within the city.
You know what you should do? Spend the last weekend in March relaxing and enjoying all San Diego has to offer including these amazing top things to do.
2015 LPGA Kia Classic
Entering its sixth year, the 2015 Kia Classic will be held at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, California. The Kia Classic features 144 of the best women golfers playing for the $1.7 million purse. The field features 2014 Kia Classic Champion Anna Nordqvist and crowd favorites Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson.
The Great American Foodie Fest is a compilation of some of the best specialty food vendors, restaurants & gourmet food trucks from all around the country that have been featured on the Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel. Attendees can also enjoy our VIP Experience Tent, Beer Garden, Tequila Party Tent, Carnival Rides, Live Entertainment, Eating Competitions and other fun & festive activities for the whole family.
Catch the excitement of one of the premier regattas, the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay
Regarded as the first major regatta of the year, the San Diego Crew Classic brings together thousands of athletes from more than 100 universities, clubs and high school programs from across the United States to participate in this premier rowing event in San Diego.
Explore San Diego by bike with 1,500 new friends on an approximately 22 mile group bike ride. After the ride, relax and celebrate your accomplishment with a cold San Diego beer, music, speakers, food and vendors during the post-ride festival at the new Quartyard in Downtown San Diego.
Get up and close and personal with creatures that walk on walls, possess super strength, are invisible to the naked eye, and can even regenerate limbs – all natural adaptations that help them survive in the wild. Some of these animals include the Mexican axolotl, pygmy leaf chameleon, bird poop frog, flying draco lizard, fishing ribbon snake, green basilisk, giant millipede, horseshoe crab, pink-toed tarantula, toco toucan and more.
Weekend Escape: Inspiration for Living a Good Life
A two-day discovery that celebrates San Diego’s vibrant outdoor lifestyle and aims to inspire the community to rejuvenate its health and fitness regimen, perk up it’s surroundings at home and rediscover the local landscape. Focusing on four elements: Outdoor Living, Health & Fitness, Staycation and Home Style, find events for the whole family throughout the center and in Palm Plaza.
Hear the World-Famous London Symphony Orchestra here in San Diego
La Jolla Music Society ends it’s Celebrity Orchestra Series with the world-renowned London Symphony Orchestra. Program will feature conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2010 by President Obama. He’ll be joined by twenty-six year old pianist and widely recognized as one of the most important artists of her generation, Yuja Wang performing the jazz-inspired Gershwin Piano Concerto.
Make your friends green with envy as you rocket to San Diego for this weekend’s top things to do including plenty of sunshine, music, film, flowers, butterflies, St. Patrick’s Day and more!
2015 San Diego Latino Film Festival
The 22nd San Diego Latino Film Festival presented by Lexus, set to take place at the AMC Fashion Valley 18 at Simon Fashion Valley, 2015 Spotlight Films represents diversity on all levels, including genre, nationality represented, and the range of emotions our audience will experience.
CRSSD Festival is a two-day electronic music festival at the 12 acre San Diego Waterfront Park featuring three stages and 36+ performers. In addition to the music, the festival will offer craft beer, mixed drinks, food, and a VIP area.
Gather up your favorite lads and lasses and celebrate the one day a year where everyone’s Irish. San Diego offers parades and celebrations suitable for the family and your little leprechauns, and late night parties and pub crawls with ever-flowing green beer for the grown-ups.
Meet a few of the over 10,000 butterflies in the Butterfly Jungle
More than 10,000 beautiful butterflies flit, float, and flutter around you in this spectacular spring fling event at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. 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 our butterfly identification guide.
Don’t miss the Garden’s new Spring Garden Festival and Tomatomania!® featuring a wide variety of herbs, spring plants, bromeliads, garden art and implements and of course tomatoes! Garden experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide helpful advice on spring plantings and caring for your entire garden. Terrific food will be available from Divine Fresh and musical entertainment from Bob Ballentine and friends. Be sure not to miss our petting zoo and pony rides. Bring out the whole family!
From serious political discussions to a toast-filled banquet scene where every toast tries to outdo another, with Chinese dancers and a fantasy scene with Kissinger, Nixon in China explores a heroic gesture by a sitting American President towards a burgeoning world power. Join us for a whirlwind diplomatic trip which changed history and an opera that has risen to the top rank of 20th century American operas and is arguably one of the most influential of the last few decades.
The Mariachi Festival and Competition will highlight mariachi music in the schools, showcasing Mariachi student groups from throughout the United States and Mexico. In addition to offering a wholesome community friendly event, the festival provides entertainment for families to come together and celebrate San Diego’s heritage through mariachi music and traditional ballet folklorico dancing.
Learn how to make a paper airplane and more at the Balboa Park STEAM Family Day
As the first major event for families on the 2015 Centennial Celebration calendar, Balboa Park STEAM Family Day brings a world of discovery to children of all ages. Over two dozen cultural organizations will put the fun into STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math – through hands-on activities, crafts, demonstrations, special exhibitions, and more.
Every year on November 1st and 2nd, Mexico remembers the dead by celebrating their lives. The Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday that dates back hundreds of years and honors those friends and family members who have passed away. It is believed that the spirits of loved ones who have died return to earth to reunite with friends and family, and to welcome their spirits and aid them in their journey back to earth, family members create altars with their favorite foods, drinks, personal belongings, flowers, candles and incense. Also, vigils are held, and families go to cemeteries to fix up their graves. Day of the Dead has become one of the biggest holidays in Mexico, and celebrations are becoming more common in areas of the United States with a large Hispanic population.
Celebrate life and remember the departed at one of the many lively festivals and events being held throughout San Diego.
Dia de los Muertos at La Vista Memorial Park
Celebrate life and death with an array display of traditional Mexican dances
Held at one of the oldest cemeteries in California, the fifth annual community celebration of Día de los Muertos at La Vista Memorial Park will feature catrina and altar building contests, dance rituals, stilt walkers, a tribute to Frida Kahlo and a varied live entertainment line up including a performance from highly acclaimed New York band, Pistolera. This family event will also offer an array of booths, old-school carnival games and Mexican lottery.
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14th Annual Día de los Muertos Old Mission San Luis Rey
The Old Mission San Luis Rey will celebrate the Day of the Dead with a lively family event featuring carnival rides, altar displays, arts & crafts, a classic car show, chalk cemetery, live entertainment and delicious traditional food. Let your creativity come to life at the Día de los Muertos Catrina Court Contest open for women all ages.
The Encinitas Library will host its first Día de Los Muertos celebration. The admission-free event will feature hands-on workshops, art exhibits and demos, food trucks, prize drawings and performances by Ballet Folklorico El Tapatio and Rafael Renteria and Danza Azteca. A community ofrenda (remembrance shrine) featuring Surfing Madonna will be on display at the lobby on November 1stand 2nd, and attendees are encouraged to contribute a photo or non-valuable remembrance in honor of a loved one who has passed away.
The 19th Annual Día de los Muertos Festival – Escondido
Only on Nov. 1, enjoy free access to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido’s special exhibition “Colores de la Muerte” curated by Lisette Atala-Doocy
The 19th Annual Día de los Muertos Festival will feature traditional Mexican fare and live entertainment by Mariachi Los Caballeros de San Diego. Guests will have the opportunity to decorate their own sugar skull and create altars in honor of their loved ones. Also, attendants can explore the rich history of Mexico at The California Center for the Arts, Escondido museum exhibition, Colores de la Muerte. Admission to the exhibition will be free only on November 1.
Altars can have from two to seven levels and are created to honor de deceased – View one of the 50 altars on display at the Dia de los Muertos in Old Town
Old Town San Diego will celebrate the history, culture, and heritage of the region by honoring Día de los Muertos. Join this annual community wide event by touring the museums and shops within Old Town, viewing up to 50 festive altars and enjoying mariachi music, dances and other live performances. A candlelight procession to El Campo Santo Cemetery will take place on the night of Sunday, Nov. 2. The public is encouraged to bring their mementos to add to a public altar in the historic cemetery.
First Annual Day of the Dead Festival presented by Jacobs and Izcalli
The festival will feature traditional native dances and a blessing by the Kumeyaay Nation.
Celebrate history, culture and the multitudes of the human spiritual experience at the First Anual Day of the Dead Festival, organized by The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and Izcalli. The event will feature a comedy performance, traditional native dances, Mariachi bands and an appearance by Grammy Award-winning bilingual Latin band Quetzal. Besides the opportunity to taste traditional Mexican food and view art exhibitions, activities will include calavera face painting, hands-on workshops, a Catrina competition and Calaveritas (poems of the dead).
San Diego Fashion Week brings local and international designers together in an amazing destination
Fashion Week San Diego is the largest collaborative entertainment fashion event in San Diego that celebrates emerging designers by showcasing and highlighting the pulse of these entrepreneurs and what they are creating. It includes events like: The Art & Beauty Behind Fashion, Runway Shows and Trunk Show/Shopping Day.
Dance, drink, eat, shop and more at the free La Mesa Oktoberfest
The Munich celebration may have more than 150 years on us in San Diego, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to throw a party. Here’s where you can chug a hefty stein of lager, chow down on a Bratwurst and oom-pah-pah to your heart’s content this weekend:
Carlsbad Oktoberfest Where: Holiday Park – Chestnut Avenue and Pio Pico Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008 When: October 4, 2014 Cost: Free. Dinner – $10-$12
Julian Melodrama brings the mining town of old to life every October
The Julian Triangle Club is “fired up” for an all new Melodrama The Villain Wore a Dirty Shirt or Always Wash your Long Johns ‘Cause it Makes a Lotta “Cents”. With so many miners in Julian during the gold rush, the laundries are doing a good business. Our hero, the young sheriff, Jack B Nimble, is in love with the orphan heroine, Sweet Sally, but every time he gets close he turns into a babbling fool. Will he ever conquer his shyness and propose to Sweet Sally?
The Art & Craft Show Old Town San Diego features contemporary artists, fine craft, fashion and home décor artisans. This event brings together the essence of Southern California; beautiful San Diego weather, the Flavors of Old Town international foods, a wine tasting pavilion and continuous live entertainment.
Apple pies, live entertainment, children’s activities and more at the Julian Apple Days Festival
The highlight of the fall apple harvest is the Julian Apple Days Festival, a two-day celebration featuring apple displays, music and dancing, an antique tractor display, children’s games and activities, gold panning demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, food and merchandise vendors, contests, the coronation of Mr. and Mrs. Apple Days, and, of course, apple pie. The first 250 people through the gate (paid admission only) each day receive a free pie server.
Visitors and residents of San Diego are welcome to “Discover the Action” this year at the annual Pacific BeachFest. This one-day event is perfect for visitors looking to enjoy all that San Diego beaches have to offer. Whether traveling or walking from your house down the street, young, old or somewhere in between Pacific BeachFest has something for everyone!
This Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtle is turning 5 and he is inviting you to join him in his birthday celebration.
Our Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtles are turning 5 years old! The splashy sea turtles that we fondly call Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello will be 5 years old this October. Join us on Saturday, October 4th, as we give the boys special sea turtle celebration cakes, play fun turtle themed games, drop in on lunchtime story time, and, of course, have some yummy cake yourself.
The San Diego Night Market brings together a fusion of Asian street food, culture and entertainment within the bustling Convoy District, an emerging cultural, economic and innovation hub in central San Diego. The Market offers a spacious, open-air, evening-time urban experience, inspired by the lively Night Markets found in large cities throughout Asia. Don’t miss this exciting night that is unique to San Diego.
Fall in San Diego means warm days, cool nights, Halloween fun and, of course, pumpkin patches! Browse the list below to find the perfect pumpkin patch near you.
Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch
Acres of pumpkins await at Bates Nut Farm
Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center has been a Pumpkin Patch staple for as long as I can remember (the Bates family has owned the farm since 1921, and I have been going since the early 80s). Bates has plenty of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, tractor hayrides, a straw maze, pony rides and a petting zoo. Weekends at Bates include live entertainment from 12:00 to 3:00 PM, BBQ, kettle corn, food trucks, rock climb, bounce, slide and other family friendly events.
Where: 15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center, CA 92082 When: September 24 – October 31, 2014 Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Saturday-Sunday: 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM Cost: Free Admission. Pumpkin and activity prices vary. > Find out more about Bate’s Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch
Boomont Park Fall Festival and Haunt
Pick an amazing pumpkin by the beach at Belmont Park’s Boomont Park Fall Festival and Haunt. While you’re there, bravely walk through the Boomont Manor (a kid-friendly haunted house and maze), play zombie laser tag, ride the spooky Giant Dipper and enter the costume contest on Saturdays. Don’t forget to bring the pumpkin pail for free trick-or-treating.
Where: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109 When: October 3 – November 1, 2014 (Fridays-Sundays) Hours: Friday: 5:00 to 10:00 PM. Saturday-Sunday: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Cost: Free admission. Haunted House, rides and laser tag have separate admission costs. > Find out more about the Boomont Park Fall Festival and Haunt
Your conductor is dying to take you to the Great Pumpkin’s Pumpkin Patch
Join in the fun aboard the Pumpkin Express at the historic Campo Depot and travel to the Great Pumpkin Patch. Enjoy the one hour train ride, then tour the Haunted Train, where each child gets to pick out his or her own pumpkin and decorate it inside the Display Building. Advance reservations are required and arrive at least 45 minutes before your departure time.
Where: The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum – 750 Depot Street, Campo, CA 91906 When: October 11-26, 2014 (Saturday-Sunday) Hours: Departures at 10:00 AM, 12:15 PM and 2:30 PM Cost: $5-$15 > Find out more about the Pumpkin Express
Farm Stand West’s Pumpkin Patch
Pick the perfect pumpkin straight from the field at Farm Stand West’s Pumpkin Patch
Get a true pumpkin picking experience by picking the perfect future jack-o-lantern straight from Farm Stand West’s pumpkin fields. Stop by over the weekend of October 25-26 between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM for the Annual Farm Stand Fall Harvest Festival & Boutique. Have fun on a hayride, pick up some delicious homemade jams and farm fresh produce, and shop from local artisans.
Take the family on a day trip to Julian for apple pie from Mom’s and pumpkins from the Julian Mining Company. Even more fall fun awaits with Indian Camp, Tomahawk throwing and farm animals. Upgrade to the Harvest tour and enjoy a hayride, fresh apple cider and an animal corral. In for a fright? Well then ride on the kid-friendly Night Time Spooky Hayride: Tale of the Doomed Miner through the pastures and fields and includes the tale of the doomed miner (you may even see his spirit wandering with a lantern in the distance). Spooky Hayrides are offered on October 18 and 25 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM. Reservations for the Spooky Hayride are required.
Up near the small mountain town of Ramona is the Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin Patch. Take some time to find the perfect carving or cooking pumpkin, get lost in the gigantic corn maze, launch an ear of corn out of a cannon, pet a few farm animals and add a few pictures of the kids on antique farm equipment to the scrapbook.
A whole day of fun at Norris Amusements Pumpkin Patches
Norris Amusements has North County and South Bay covered with locations in Chula Vista and Oceanside. Both locations offers pumpkins and fun for the little ones with bounce houses, giant slides and obstacle courses. Go on Tuesdays for Wristband Tuesday and enjoy unlimited rides for one price.
Where: Chula Vista – 555 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91910
Oceanside – 2205 Vista Way, Oceanside, CA 92054 When: October 1-31, 2014 Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Friday-Saturday: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Cost: Varies, Ride Wristbands: $10-$25 > Find out more about Norris Amusements Pumpkin Patches
15th Annual Oma’s Pumpkin Patch
Over in Lakeside, Oma’s Pumpkin Patch is offering fun for the whole family. The child admission includes a Jack Patch pumpkin, a bottle of water, covered hay rides, a hay bale maze, petting corral, kid-powered games, sand pile with toy trucks & tractors, and a large play area with the climbable Cottonseed Mountain.
All aboard…one of the seven convenient Pumpkin Station locations (including the two actual farms) throughout San Diego County. At the Pumpkin Stations, kids can peruse for the perfect pumpkin while enjoying the kiddie rides, slides, inflatable play centers and petting zoo. At their two farms in Rancho Bernardo and Bonita, little pumpkin carvers will find a living pumpkin patch, corn maze, farm animals and a tractor-pulled haywagon ride.
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum Fall Family Festival
Stop by the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum for hands-on education (don’t tell the kids), pumpkins and fun. The Fall Family Festival will feature live music by Hullabaloo, a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, food, gardening workshops to educate children and families on current environmental and conservation issues, Halloween costume exchange, and other fun fall activities!
Bring something to help carry home your harvest at Suzie’s Farm Pumpkin Palooza.
Make a day of it in San Diego’s South Bay with pumpkin picking at Suzie’s Farm. Bring a wheelbarrow to carry home plenty of pumpkins for carving and cooking picked right from the fields, fresh produce, jams and more. During Pumpkin Palooza, enjoy live music and plenty of delicious food. Don’t forget the camera!
This weekend is going to be hot…and I am not just talking about the weather! Jet on down to San Diego for everything from classic cars burning rubber on Coronado to an actual Sriracha Sauce festival to more top things to do:
20th Annual San Diego Festival of Beer
Cheers! Sample beers from more than 60 breweries at the San Diego Festival of Beer
Celebrate the 20th Anniversary with the biggest and best festival yet! Inside will be food items and munchies for sale in addition to a selection of fine wines for purchase by the glass. Each ticket includes admission into the event, 10 (4 oz) beer tastes and the first 1,500 guests receive a free souvenir event logo tasting mug. Did you know the Festival is a cancer-fighting fundraiser? Yep, it is! And it’s raised over $550,000 to date!
Spend a warm summer evening enjoying music in the seaside village of Carlsbad
The Carlsbad Music Festival is an annual festival of “adventurous music by the beach” that features over 50 performances in 3 days in the seaside Village of Carlsbad. The Festival will include ticketed Mainstage Concerts all 3 days, a free Village Walk on Saturday, and free Concerts in the Park in Magee Park on Sunday.
Immerse yourself in the cultures of the South Pacific at the Pacific Islander of San Diego Festival
A free event that showcases the cultures and customs of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia with continuous entertainment throughout the weekend. Held at Mission Bay’s Ski Beach, the event also features food, music and specialty crafts unique to each culture.
Feel the Need for Speed at the Coronado Speed Festival
Coronado Speed Festival features fast-paced, thrilling auto racing and exhibitions for car enthusiasts of all ages at one of the most distinctive race track locations – Naval Air Station North Island, the birthplace of Naval Aviation. Nowhere else can you see a variety of cars racing on a live runway used by the U.S. Navy.
Remember that you are entering an active military base. As such, certain restrictions apply.
The first annual Imperial Avenue Street Festival is a multicultural street scene that will celebrate the rich history, arts and culture of the Greater Logan Heights community. The festival will also feature artists across genres – dance, music, and visual arts, whose work contributes to the contemporary and popular dialogue amongst San Diego’s Afro-Latino community.
Enjoy classic bluegrass and current western ballads at the Julian Music Festival
For the 45th year, Julian celebrates the end of summer with music. This year will offer a variety of music everyone will enjoy. Bluegrass to celebrate the roots of our festival, Western ballads to remember the past and current songwriter/singers we listen to on our MP3 players.
This chef-driven, all-inclusive, 21+ event from The Sriracha Cookbook and Food GPS spotlights the world’s most iconic hot sauce at a unique, historical venue. Multiple stations allow guests to enjoy a variety of Sriracha-themed dishes, including desserts, at their own pace. Local craft beer, cocktails, sodas, iced coffee and iced tea help tame the heat while a live DJ set helps create a fun and unforgettable food and drink experience.
The 19th Annual Encinitas Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest will feature The Bluebirds a German-American Band, Bavarian dancers and a street craft faire featuring over 200 vendors, including artisans with unusual arts and craft items. The family food and refreshment tent will be serving authentic German food and beers from national & local breweries.
Leave the cooking to someone else and join over 140,000 diners in the celebration of Restaurant Week and indulge in discounted prix fixe menus including two-course lunches priced at $10, $15, and $20 and three-course dinners are $25, $35, or $45. No tickets necessary for this event, just make reservations for any of the participating locations, show up, choose from their prix-fixe menu and let your taste buds enjoy!
With its proximity to México, San Diego can’t deny the Hispanic cultural and gastronomical influence that has helped shaped the city’s character. Hundreds of people cross the Tijuana-San Diego border every day and many Hispanics have made San Diego home.
That is why it’s no surprise that during the month of September one can find many events and festivals that commemorate not only Mexican Independence Day, celebrated on September 16th(no, it is not on Cinco de Mayo), but also Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates all Hispanic and Latin American cultures in the United States from September 15 to October 15.
If you are in the mood for mariachi, tequila and traditional Latin food here are a few events you might enjoy:
Fiestas Patrias Celebration
Can’t celebrate Mexican Independence Day without the sounds of mariachi music
The ringing of the bell in the historic Casa de Estudillo will kick off this traditional event that commemorates Mexico’s independence with an address from the Mexican Consulate, “El Grito” contest, and a parade with horses and music. The Fiestas Patrias Celebration will also feature traditional dances, mariachi music, crafts, games and a piñata for the children.
Latin Food Fest is the largest annual Latin culinary destination event in the U.S.
The Latin Food Fest takes place from September 11-13 to showcases San Diego’s Latin food influence. On September 13, the festival will conclude with the Grand Tasting Village featuring food, local and international wine, spirits and beer, book signings and cooking demos from acclaimed celebrity chefs. Attendees can also enjoy live music and a silent auction of culinary supplies and memorabilia to benefit Feeding America San Diego.
[Tweet “Celebrate #SanDiego’s Hispanic Heritage at these events and festivals in September.”]
Celebración Independencia de Centroamerica
During this event you must try a pupusa, a delicious traditional dish from El Salvador
Celebrate the Independence Day of Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica with Central American dishes lilke pupusas and maduros, traditional dances from different Latin countries, soccer tournaments, raffles and entertainment for the family.
Where: Rancho Bernardo Community Park – 18448 West Bernardo Drive, San Diego, CA 92127 When: Sunday, September 14, 2014 Time: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Cost: Free
Taste a range of mild to spicy salsas specially made by locals
If you love salsa, this is the place to be. The Salsa Contest event will bring the best salsa makers of Oceanside to showcase their salsa making skills (hot or mild). This free event will also feature mariachi music and traditional folkloric dances.
Ballet Folkloric “Yoneme” will perform at the Fiesta Mexicana event
The celebration can also be found in San Diego’s South Bay with activities for the kids, Hispanic inspired fashion displays, mariachi music and graceful ballet folkloric dancers from San Diego and Tijuana.
Taste some of Mexico’s finest spirits at this year’s Spirits Tasting Festival
The Spirits of Mexico Tasting Festival showcases a variety of expressions of tequila, sotol, mezcal, bacanora, liqueurs, raicilla, wine and other spirits. Through seminars hosted by recognized industry professionals, guests can not only meet master distillers and producers, but learn about the history and culture of each spirit, current trends and appropriate tasting techniques.
SDMT is back for it’s 7th year with two days of panels, mentoring sessions, networking, 150+ local, regional and national bands performing at venues around San Diego, Pop up shops and live performances. A special Thursday session has been added for college students.
Bayfair is famous for its family festival atmosphere, interactive exhibits, vendors and specialty foods, nightly live entertainment and Saturday night fireworks extravaganza, there’s something for everyone in the family. San Diego Bayfair attracts more powerboat racing classes than any other site in the world, and is known as the hallmark event in the nation.
Ripley’s Ferrari Boat to Set Sail at San Diego Bayfair
Ripley’s Ferrari Boat is set to set sail as part of San Diego Bay Fair
On Saturday, September 13, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! will set sail with a one-of-a-kind Ferrari boat at the San Diego Bayfair. This will be the boat’s first U.S. voyage.
Weighing 2,000 pounds, the Ripley’s Ferrari is a hand-carved, life-size replica of a Ferrari F50 that took five months to make by an Italian craftsman. It’s currently part of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! special exhibition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Museum staffers have put in countless hours over the past few months in order to make the car seaworthy (we hope!).
Bring the whole family for an afternoon of art, sunshine and plenty of fun
Paintings, hand crafted jewelry, photography, ceramics and other mediums will be featured. Artists have been selected for their ability to express the vast and varied world of art in their particular art form. This exciting venue will include art activities to delight both children and adults. Other highlights include: Participation by the Coronado Ferry Landing’s Galleries and Artists, Coronado Art Association’s Artists in Spreckels Park, and musical entertainment throughout both days.
Latin Food Fest is the largest annual Latin culinary destination event in the U.S.
With tasting tents stretching across the Embarcadero Park North on San Diego Bay, taste a variety of local and international Latin wine, spirits and food from over 200 chefs, restaurants, wineries and distillers. Watch acclaimed chefs conduct cooking demos. And don’t miss the Best of the Fest competition – our showcase of local culinary excellence.
Kids are surely going to be tuckered out after a day of playing in the expanded Children’s Area that will now include bungee jumping, inflatables and more. meander through the Art in the Park to see creativity from the areas most talented artists or cool off and take a dip with the new addition of water sports; kayaking, paddle boarding and jet skiing. After 6:00 PM, the party continues with dancing, live music and dj’s In The Park After Dark.
From the newest public water park on the San Diego harbor to favorites at LEGOLAND and Aquatica, visiting San Diego splash zones offers ample opportunity for a soaking good time beyond the beach.
Here are some top choices for San Diego non-salt-water adventures.
San Diego County Waterfront Park
Locals and visitors alike enjoy the harbor views and interactive fountains at San Diego County’s new Waterfront Park. Courtesy Stephen Whalen
The County of San Diego gave a great gift to locals and visitors alike with a free harborside water park. The park includes large civic greens, children’s play area, intimate garden rooms and expansive interactive fountains that kids and adults are allowed to run around and play in! Yes, you can tell the kids, it’s okay to jump in the fountain!
Hop aboard Aquatica’s Loggerhead Lane lazy river, 1,250 feet of easy tubing the whole family can enjoy.
This amazing conglomeration of twisty turning slides and long, lazy river rafting rides offers acres of water fun set amid gorgeous live tropical plants, flamingos and turtles. I was pretty wowed by the extensive offerings for every age group, from knee-deep pools with tiny slides for toddlers, to Tassie’s Twister, a waterslide in several parts that I dared only look at. At Aquatica, friends and families can race each other down six-lane slides on Taumata Racers or travel solo in complete darkness through a tube slide on the Kiwi Curl. The park knows how to make a visit enjoyable for guests with plenty of free lounge chairs, cabanas for rent, lockers throughout the park and a new “cashless wristband” connected to your credit card that lets you charge chicken tenders and margaritas without having to access your wallet.
Children enjoy Cragger’s Splash at the new Legends of Chima Water Park. Courtesy LEGOLAND California Resort.
My family flipped when LEGOLAND opened its original water park in 2010, turning what was already a favorite theme park into a place with rides and a water park! What could be more fun than building your own LEGO raft and floating down the lazy river after spending a warm day riding roller coasters and propelling self-powered rides at LEGOLAND? There is something for all of us at the LEGOLAND water park, including my little toddler nephews (3 and 5) and my daring 12 year old. We all love the Orange Rush, a giant tube-boat that slips and slides down a wide waterslide way up high while mom shrieks at the top of her lungs (yes, I’m a wimp, but I love a water slide).
This spring, LEGOLAND debuted a Chima-themed water park, a connecting water world based on the popular toy line and Cartoon Network’s “Legends of Chima,” featuring more slides for all ages, a large wave pool and over 50 interactive water play opportunities for visitors.
Learning to surf the Flow Ride Wave Machine at Belmont Park is just one of the fun activities at Belmont Park in Mission Beach.
While I admit that I lack the nerve and coordination to try the two flow wave machines at The Wave House in Belmont Park, I have sat in the centrally located outside, beachy dining area and ordered sushi and watched those braver than I battle the fake sea. I love the setup here: real Pacific Ocean waves rolling in on one side (and the people watching of Mission Beach Boardwalk); on the other side is the amazing skill of the Flow Riders, experts tackling the Flow Barrel‘s consistent and unique waves while they practice surf board tricks. Nearby is the Flow Rider, a beginner friendly wave simulator where you can watch students eat it (a wave, that is) while you dine nearby.