5 to Try: Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day: the last long weekend of the summer. What comes to mind when you think of Labor Day? I think of the beach, barbequing and having fun with friends and family. Be sure to have some fun before school starts and we all have to start looking into fall and shorter days.

Festival of Sail: This annual event is so fun. The Big Bay is awash with beautiful sail boats from all over the world. The five day event includes live entertainment, petting zoo, cruises on San Diego Bay, cannon battles, pirates, over 150 arts and craft vendors, tons of food options and more!

Labor Day at Del Mar Horse Racing: It’s the last weekend for the Del Mar season and on Saturday, ZZ Top performs. Entrance is free to all of those who are fans on their Facebook page!

San Diego Padres vs. Rockies and Dodgers: The first-place Padres take on the Colorado Rockies through September 5th and then the Dodgers come into town on Labor Day through the 8th. The Dodger game starts at 7:05 p.m. on Monday. Be sure to stay through the end because there will be a great Labor Day firework celebration.

The Beach!: I know this is a five to “try” and let’s face it: who hasn’t tried the beach? But I couldn’t let Labor Day weekend go by without mentioning the beach. It just doesn’t feel right. So in honor of “trying”, how about try a new beach. If you always go to Coronado, why not try Ocean Beach? Or how about Moonlight beach. Let’s face it, there is enough beach for all of us!

Barona Pow Wow: Barona’s 40th Annual Pow Wow kicks off September 3rd and runs through Sunday, September 5th. Be sure to catch Native Americans from across the country as they showcase traditional tribal dances. There will also be music, authentic Native American cuisine, and handcrafted arts and crafts.

How will you be celebrating Labor Day?


5 To Try This Weekend: Extreme Water Sports Edition

With the weather hovering around a perfect 73 degrees this weekend, what better way to enjoy it than by spending the day in the great outdoors – and even better – on the water. In San Diego, you can run, ride, and skateboard near the water’s edge, and in the water is just as fun! Here our picks for some fun in the sun and on the water.

Mission Bay Park: There is so much to do in and around Mission Bay Park, and one of the most thrilling activities is renting a jet ski. It can get pretty crowded on nice weekends, but thankfully, there is a special area of the park that is free from boats.

San Diego Bay: Imagine taking in the sights of downtown San Diego with the wind in your hair aboard a beautiful sailboat. It doesn’t get any more San Diego than that. You can either rent it yourself (if you have the experience) or have someone captain the boat for you.

La Jolla: In La Jolla one of my favorite activities is taking the kids snorkeling. At the cove, you don’t have to swim far to find the fish. Both the kids love going and it is a great place for beginners. For those that are more advanced, you can rent scuba equipment and go even further out.

Encinitas: You can surf just about anywhere in San Diego, but I love Encinitas. I’m not going to lie, I am by no means a surfer – but I do like watching others surf! I like Encinitas because of the laid back culture and atmosphere. And if you are lucky, you might just find a pro surfer catching a wave next to you. But be forewarned – people take surfing seriously in San Diego, therefore choose where you surf based on your ability.

Coronado: Stand up paddle boarding has really gained in popularity in San Diego. I’ve only tried it once in Coronado, and had a blast. It really gives you a great workout too. At first it is a little intimidating because the board is so big, but once you get up and get the hang of it, it’s a great way to spend time on the water.

Tell us, what water sport is your favorite in San Diego?


5 To Try This Weekend: Outdoors

The forecast says 71 degrees for this weekend – does it get any better than San Diego in the summer? Here are 5 to try this weekend – all of which are outdoors!

Old Globe Theatre Shakespeare Festival: Set against a backdrop of spectacular Balboa Park and nestled among beautiful eucalyptus trees is the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. Watch The Madness of George III on Friday, The Taming of the Shrew on Saturday or King Lear on Sunday. What a great place to enjoy a beautiful San Diego evening.

Del Mar Horse Racing: It’s doesn’t feel like summertime in San Diego without a visit to where the turf meets the surf. That means races, big wins, and great music at the 4 o’clock Friday concert series. This Friday features THE SOFT PACK- Indie Rock.

San Diego Zoo’s Nighttime Zoo: The Zoo has extended their hours through the summer until 9:00 p.m. Get out and see the Zoo’s incredible macaw flyover which kicks off the evening activities and then be sure to catch Nighttime Zoo’s signature bird show, SOAR: A Symphony in Flight starting at 8 p.m.

Family Focus Festival: The Festival taking place at the Coronado Community Center, includes a “Taste of Coronado” with food from over a dozen Coronado restaurants, and fabulous shopping with boutique vendors. Kids can spend the day playing games, hat making with the Rad Hatter, face painting, on the rock climbing wall, and much more. Benefits disadvantaged children in San Diego.

It’s a Bug’s World: Go on a guide-led walk along a riverside habitat and up into the grasslands to observe who is eating who for breakfast. Located at the Kumeyaay Lake Campground Entry Station, Mission Trails Regional Park, this fun event is free for all participants.

Tell us, what will you be doing outdoors this weekend?


S’mores and More in San Diego

S ‘mores and summer go hand in hand, especially in San Diego where you can enjoy this delicious desert right on the beach. It’s a campfire classic that is so simple to make yet full of such gooey goodness. The more the marshmallow is burnt – the better! Want to make your own s ‘mores while visiting San Diego? Pick from over 180 beach fire pits located throughout San Diego or check out some of my favorite places to make your own or have someone make them for you!


Tip: There are no reservations for fire pits, and all of the fire pits in San Diego go fast – especially on the weekend.

Coronado Beach – At the north end of Coronado beach you will find the fire rings available for bonfires. The beach is large with sandy hills for the kids to play in. We have made many tasty s ‘mores on this beach. It’s quiet and parking usually isn’t a problem.

La Jolla Shores – One of the most family friendly beaches in San Diego is La Jolla Shores. It has a great beach, playground, grassy areas, and bathrooms! There are several fire pits along the beach that are excellent for a campfire and some s ‘mores action.

Mission Bay Park – The largest man-made aquatic park in the country offers a wide range of recreational activities including paths for walking and jogging, and playgrounds for children. It is one of San Diego’s most popular locations to fly a kite, picnic or sail a model yacht. Fire pits are located throughout with parking throughout the park for easy access to the bay.


The Hotel Del Coronado offers beach side service for s ‘mores. Last summer we enjoyed this with our extended family and had a great time. All the prep work is done for you. All visitors have to do is 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.

Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa– This resort, located in Mission Bay offers waterfront s ‘mores on Saturday nights for hotel guests. Cozy on up to the fire pit and enjoy yummy s ‘mores with your friends and family while you watch SeaWorld’s fireworks!

Tell us, do you have a favorite method for making s ‘mores?


5 to Try This Weekend – FREE Events

Hillcrest's Cityfest

Hillcrest's Cityfest

The 27th Annual Hillcrest Cityfest
Aug. 8 in Hillcrest
This FREE event celebrates community spirit with music, arts and crafts, a celebratory lantern parade and rededication of the Hillcrest neighborhood sign. Event futures will include a Grand Stage, massive open air beer garden, a kid’s carnival, mechanical bull, dunk tank and more.  The event takes place from 12 – 8 p.m.

The 30th Annual US Sandcastle Competition
Aug. 7 – 8 in Imperial Beach
This FREE event begins on Saturday with a street festival along Seacoast Drive.  The festival will include entertainment, food, arts and crafts and The Kids-N-Kastles Competition in the afternoon. On Sunday the official sandcastle competition will be held from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sculptures are only available for viewing until 4 p.m. due to the tides.

The 9th annual Latin American Festival and Mata Ortiz Pottery
Aug. 6 – 8 in Old Town
Bazaar del Mundo Shops presents an extensive collection of authentic folk art, traditional clothing and textiles, colorful collectibles and dazzling jewelry during this FREE event. Partake in demonstrations, enjoy musical entertainment and feast on mouth-watering Mexican cuisine. The event takes place from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Sunday and from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

The 7th annual San Diego International Children’s Film Festival
Aug. 7 – 8 in Balboa Park
The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) will present more than 60 short children’s films from around the world – ranging from animation, live action and documentary. The FREE event will also include special guest appearances and fun giveaways. The event takes place from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

Coronado Concerts in the Park
Aug. 8 in Coronado
Bring a picnic and listen to The Corvettes, as part of Coronado’s summer concert series at 6 p.m. in Spreckels Park. Arrive early and browse the work of local artists during Coronado’s Art-In-The-Park event.


And They’re Off…

where the turf meets the surf

The Del Mar horse racing season has begun, the races are in full-swing and there are some exciting events in store this summer. 

Be sure to check the Events Calendar for information on the events taking place all season long. 

Highlights include:

Fridays & Select Saturdays: The Del Mar Summer Concert Series.  Featuring “4 O’Clock Fridays,” (free concerts every Friday and select Saturdays after the last race). This year’s lineup includes Weezer, ZZ Top, The B52s and more.

Saturdays & Sundays: Daybreak at Del Mar.  From 7:30 – 9:30 a.m., fans can get the inside scoop on racing, catch the morning workouts with commentary and a Q&A from trackside announcer and former jockey Jeff Bloom and enjoy breakfast at the Clubhouse Terrace Restaurant for less than $10.

Sundays: Family Day. Kids can enjoy an Infield of entertainment including pony rides, playground, rides, inflatable games and more.  Special Family Fun Days take place July 25 and September 6.

July 30: Cougar Day. Miss Cougar Del Mar will be selected to reign again this year. Finalists will be announced on July 28 and the winner will be crowned during the races on July 30.

August 28: Pacific Classic Day, Craft Microbrew Festival and Local Music Showcase. The $1 Million Pacific Classic is Del Mar’s richest race of the season, makeing way for the best horses, the best jockeys and a grandstand full of serious racing fans.  Meanwhile on the Infield, 150 specialty microbrews will be on tap while local bands perform throughout the day.

September 6: Wiener Dog National San Diego Finals. Labor Day brings some of the season’s most festive crowds and this year, fans can watch horse and dog races as local pups race to be the fastest Wiener dog in San Diego. 

Money Saving Tips:

Every Racing Day: Become a member of the Diamond Club.  It’s free and simple to sign up onsite and membership grants half-off admission any day of the season. 

Wednesdays: Free and Easy Wednesdays. Diamond Club members receive free grandstand admission, a complimentary reserved seat, a free program and half-priced beer, soda and hot dogs in Stretch Run concessions.

July 22 and September 2: Senior Day. All seniors 62 and over receive free Stretch Run admission, a free official program and a free reserved seat when they present their I.D. at designated Stretch Run Admission Gates.

The Del Mar horse races happen Wednesday through Sunday, now until September 8.  Post time for the first race on most days at 2 p.m.


5 to Try This Weekend

San Diego in July – it doesn’t get any better than this!  Check out these five things to try this weekend and tell us what you will be up to this weekend!

1. Summer Pipe Organ Festival – This event actually runs all summer and features a different internationally known organist playing the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ.  The concerts are free, and there are great area’s to bring your own picnic.  It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather and listen to some unique music!  

2. 36th Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration – San Diego Pride’s famous cultural festival includes multiple stages of entertainment, more than 80 musicians, bands, comedy and dance performers, 300 participating vendor booths, an Art exhibit, cultural presentations, and great food! The annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade is the 5th largest in the United States attracting 150,000 cheering spectators.

3. Shark Week at Birch Aquarium at Scripps – Soak up an entire week dedicated to sharks this weekend at the Birch Aquarium.  SHARK WEEK runs July 17-23 and features a week of hands-on exploration for all ages into the world of these mesmerizing and misunderstood ocean predators.

4. 57th Annual World Championship Over-the-Line Tournament – A form of softball, this tournament is more than beer, babes and bats on the beach.  This is the last weekend of the two weekend event, attracting over 52,000 people to Mission Bay.

5. Festival of the Bells – This one weekend event is the anniversary celebration of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the Mother of California’s 21 Missions. This is a great family event with activities and entertainment for the whole family and is a great opportunity for everyone to visit and learn more of this historic landmark.


4th of July Fireworks

The epic 20-minute Big Bay Boom fireworks display over San Diego Bay is the largest display in the region. At 9 p.m. on July 4th, fireworks are launched simultaneously from four barges placed around the bay and choreographed to music broadcast on 105.7 FM radio. Back for its 10th year, the Big Bay Boom fireworks display can be seen throughout downtown San Diego, neighboring Coronado, Point Loma and many communities throughout the city. Great viewing spots are all along the bay front and aboard popular harbor cruises. 

Coronado will celebrate a patriotic Independence Day with events on Saturday, July 3 including a morning rough water swim, two-hour American flag-waving parade along Orange Avenue, the community’s main thoroughfare, Art-in-the-Park and an afternoon concert in Spreckels Park.  The festivities culminate on July 4 with a spectacular fireworks display over Glorietta Bay that complements the Big Bay Boom fireworks show just across the water.

On July 4 at 9:30 p.m., SeaWorld San Diego will celebrate Independence Day with a special, patriotic Shamu’s Skysplash USA fireworks show over Mission Bay.  One of the most popular fireworks shows for locals, best viewing areas are from the shores of Mission Bay, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.

After a spectacular fireworks show at 9 p.m. on July 4, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts take the stage at 9:30 p.m. at the annual San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  The concert and fireworks are included with fair admission, and all the exhibits halls and rides stay open until midnight.

Farther up the coast in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND® California will present a star-spangled Red, White and BOOM! Celebration on July 4 with live musical performances by The Jumpitz at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. and festive fireworks at 8:30 p.m.   During the day, family favorite Uncle Sam will also be roaming LEGOLAND on stilts, as guests enjoy old fashioned lawn games including potato sack races  and LEGO Limbo.

Fireworks over San Diego Bay


Flying High at SeaWorld’s New Dolphin Show

Recently we had the treat of visiting SeaWorld San Diego and seeing the new Dolphin Show “Blue Horizons.”  We love visiting SeaWorld and often take our friends and family when they visit.  A few of our favorite stops are the Wild Arctic, Penguin and Shark Encounters.  One show my son loves to see every visit is Pets Rule!  It features rescued dogs, cats, pigs and birds doing some amazing tricks.  It never fails to entertain him (and I have to admit me too).

On this trip however, we were all so excited to see the new dolphin show, and it didn’t disappoint.  The show features dolphins, pilot whales, birds and acrobatic performers.  Visually, it is a delight.  While the dolphins are the main attraction, there is so much more to the show.  Birds fly across the stadium and acrobatic divers fly through the air into the water and back up again.  My daughter thought they were so brave to dive from those heights! 

The dolphins and pilot whales appear throughout the show and perform some amazing tricks on their own, in groups or with their trainers.  One word of caution, when they say you could get wet in the soak zone; believe them.  I’ve been to a lot of these shows, and I have to say at our show, some people got drenched!  So unless it’s a really hot day and you need to cool off, I would suggest being at least 10 rows up.

It’s a great addition to SeaWorld and I look forward to the next time we have friends in town so that we can take it them to it.  If you have seen Blue Horizons, what was your favorite part of the show?


5 to Try This Weekend

OB Chili Cook-off

  1. The 31st Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-off is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Newport Avenue.  This FREE event will  feature more than 200 vendors, art, food, rides, a children’s area, a SkateJam, entertainment on five stages and of course, delicious chili!
  2. Tantalize your taste buds this weekend with a downtown dine around.  The 17th annual Taste of Gaslamp Quarter will be held both Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., offering more than 30 food samples each day. This self-guided tour will introduce you to a number of downtown San Diego’s best restaurants so “come hungry and leave happy.”  Tickets are $30 per person.
  3. This Saturday and Sunday is the 24th Annual La Jolla Festival of Arts and Food Fair from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the UCSD campus.  This event will showcase amazing art from over 200 artists, live entertainment, celebrity chef demos, an amazing street chalking exhibition and more.  Admission is $10. 
  4. On Saturday, the San Diego Zoo will kick-off of its Nighttime Zoo summer celebration when guests get to stay late and explore the park until 9 p.m. As the sun sets, fun after-hours entertainment begins including an interactive show in with Dr. Zoolittle, high-energy animal art; amazing acrobats, tropical musical performances and a high-flying bird show.  Nighttime Zoo is included in park admission and will be offered until September 6.
  5. Celebrate 100 years with the San Diego Symphony’s Bridgepoint Education Summer Pops concerts.  The outdoor concert series will kick-off this Saturday with the Tux N’ Tennies Summer Bash, staring Toni Braxton. Concerts take place all summer long along San Diego Bay and feature food, fireworks and fantastic music. This year’s 100th anniversary pop series last through August and will includes performances by Gladys Knight, Marvin Hamlisch, LeAnn Rimes, and more. Click here for more concert information; ticket prices vary.

In other news: Don’t forget to cheer on the US soccer team this Saturday as they battle it out with Ghana.  You can catch the game at any of these places.