Thursday, April 25
The Flowers Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
9 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Flowers Field at Carlsbad
Possibly San Diego’s most beloved springtime tradition, The Flowers Fields at Carlsbad Ranch continues its seasonal run through May 12 (Mother’s Day). As usual, visitors can enjoy displays of colorful Giant Tecolote Ranunculus spanning the 50-acre site. The beautiful bursts of blooms are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; tickets cost $18 for adults, $16 for seniors 60+, and $9 for children ages 3 to 10. Keep an eye on the Flower Fields website, too, as the venue hosts lots of family-friendly, fun events throughout its run, usually on the weekends.
North Park Thursday Market
3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., North Park Way & Granada Avenue (North Park)
North Park is known for its interesting small businesses and, on Thursdays year-round, local vendors and artisans are showcased at this popular farmers market located on the corner of North Park Way and 29th Street. On the shopping list: farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, sauces, bread and even handcrafted gifts from local, small businesses. The free event also features live music.
Oceanside Sunset Market
5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Main Street Oceanside
Each Thursday, the Oceanside Sunset Market brings about 200 local merchants together for this sunset marketplace spanning four blocks in downtown Oceanside. Shoppers can expect vendors showcasing homemade goods and tasty grub, plus live music and, of course, an incredible ocean view. The free market is located on Pier View Way; rain may cancel the event, so check the weather before making your plans.
Japanese Whisky Dinner
6:30 p.m., Stake Chophouse in Coronado
Coronado’s Stake Chophouse will highlight Japanese whiskies at this dining event, where a whisky expert will lead patrons through a tasting of four of Japan’s most highly-regarded whiskies. The sips will be paired with a four-course meal prepared by executive chef Andrew Kedziora which includes a 100-day, dry-aged New York strip steak prepared with wasabi, spinach Ohitashi, and coffee brown butter. The pairings event costs $99 per person; make reservations in advance via email at [email protected].
8 p.m., The Old Globe
Based on the book, music and lyrics by playwright Britta Johnson comes “Life After,” a musical centered on a 16-year-old girl grieving the loss of her famous father. This marks the final weekend of the production’s run at the Balboa Park venue, with the last show set for this Sunday.
For Thursday’s performance, tickets range from $34 to $102 per person. Read more about Johnson’s inspiration for the play here.
Cirque du Soleil: Volta
8 p.m., Del Mar Fairgrounds
Cirque du Soleil brings its high-flying, captivating acrobatics show, “Volta,” to the big top at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where the show runs through May 5. Set to a melodic score, the show is about finding yourself and cultivating your personal powers. Thursday’s show is at 8 p.m.; tickets start at $49. Parking at the main lot at the Del Mar Fairgrounds costs $17.
Los Amigos Invisibles & Aterciopelados
8 p.m., The Observatory North Park
Check out these pioneers in Latin-American folk-rock Thursday at The Observatory. Tickets cost $35. Come ready to dance.
Rooftop Cinema Club Presents: ‘Anchorman’
8 p.m., Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
It cannot, and will not, get more San Diego than this. Watch funnyman Will Ferrell’s legendary turn as local news legend Ron Burgundy when “Anchorman” plays on the big, outdoor screen at the Rooftop Cinema Club at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Watch the comedy alongside stunning views of the San Diego skyline and, like Burgundy, feel the utter pride of being in America’s Finest City. Tickets start at $17; you can self-park in the hotel’s garage for four hours for free if you buy food (other than popcorn or candy) or drinks at the Rooftop Cinema Club.
Friday, April 26
Jail Mini-Museum at The Headquarters
10 a.m. to 9 p.m., The Headquarters at Seaport (between Kitson and Madison San Diego)
The Headquarters at Seaport is a solid place to shop and eat but, if you’re a San Diego history buff, you may want to pop into a free mini-museum located at its core, between the Kitson and Madison San Diego stores. There, you’ll find a fully-restored, 8-cell jail block housing historic photos and San Diego Police Department memorabilia. You see, The Headquarters – built in 1939 – sits in the very complex that served for many decades as the SDPD’s headquarters. The site is listed on The National Register of Historic Places. It was restored and reopened as The Headquarters and Seaport shopping and dining complex in 2013. Read all about the site’s rich history here.
12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday (returns Saturday and Sunday), Scottish Rite Event Center
Peruse pretty gems, stones and jewelry from more than 100 exhibitors at this three-day Gem Faire at the Scottish Rite Event Center near Mission Valley. The expo also offers jewelry cleaning, repair and ring-sizing while you shop. The Gem Faire runs from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. A pass valid for the entire weekend costs $7; children age 11 and under get in free.
Shoes & Chews: Carla & Linda’s Walking Food Tour
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., South Oceanside
Oceanside is experiencing a bit of a restaurant renaissance, and these “Shoes & Chews” walking food tours allow you to taste what’s cooking in the waterfront city in San Diego’s North County. Friday’s three-hour foodie tour – led by locals Carla and Linda – will span south Oceanside, with stops at PCH Bar & Grill, URGE, Privateer and Wrench & Rodent. Tickets cost $49 per person (foodies 16+ only) and include tastings of specially chosen items, plus a little history lesson on each restaurant, chef and the surrounding area. Shoes & Chews started in 2015; today, the tour hits the streets of Oceanside every weekend, usually Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Arts & Craft
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Spanish Village Arts Center in Balboa Park
The Spanish Village Arts Center – a colorful gem tucked at 1770 Village Place in Balboa Park – hosts Arts & Craft, an evening filled with craft brews, bites and art. More than 200 resident artists display their works at the village. As attendees enjoy those works, they can sip on samples from some of San Diego’s favorite craft breweries and savor bites from the Cohn Restaurant Group. Tickets to this event cost $35; proceeds help support the Spanish Village Art Center’s ongoing education programs for underserved youth and bolster the village’s mission to offer inventive experiences in the realm of art.
Paella at the Beach
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Gianni Buonomo Vintners Winery & Tasting Room
Savor paella while enjoying some sips at the award-winning Gianni Buonomo Vintners Winery on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. Friday night’s paella will be prepared by chef Noelia Murias and her team. The food costs $10 per person; select white wines will cost $5 and select red $7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The paella typically sells out by 8 p.m., so get there early to snag a seat and a plate.
Hops on the Harbor: Booze Brothers Brewing Co.
7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Flagship Cruises & Events
Enjoy a cruise around the San Diego Bay featuring sights, bites, and craft brews. Every month, Hops on the Harbor highlights a local brewery and, this time, it’s the best from Booze Brothers Brewing Co. The menu will feature four 6-ounce Booze Brothers tastings expertly paired with four courses. For instance, the Penny Blonde will be pairs with Cioppino (penne pasta with Caesar salad and crusty garlic bread), while Good Guy Pale Ale is matched with Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb. The dinner cruise boards at 7 p.m. from 990 North Harbor Dr. and sails past the San Diego skyline, USS Midway, Star of India and other Maritime Museum ships and the Coronado Bay Bridge. Tickets cost $79.50 for adults and $47.70 for children ages 4 to 12; kids 3 and under are free. Reservations are recommended.
Musica en la Plaza
7 p.m., California Center for the Arts in Escondido
Musica e la Plaza returns to Lyric Court at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, a night of live Latin music, dancing, tacos and tequila. This month, the featured band is the Manny Cepeda Orchestra, so expect a night of high-energy salsa and merengue under the stars. The event itself is free and the doors open at 6:30 p.m. Organizers recommend you RSVP ahead of time for easier entry. Limited seating at bistro tables is available for $12 per seat or $40 for a table of 4; if you want a seat at this event, purchase that seat early online.
Saturday, April 27
2019 Barrio Logan Grand Prix
7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Downtown Barrio Logan
The San Diego Bike Club’s Barrio Logan Grand Prix returns for its 23rd year to the streets of historic downtown Barrio Logan. This is the club’s biggest race of the year; the 0.8-mile cycling course begins and ends on Newton Avenue, across from Perkins Elementary School. Spectators can watch, for free, a total of 14 races at this USA Cycling-sanctioned event throughout the day. The races will feature cyclists across the spectrum – from Olympic-Level cyclists to first-time racers. The first race starts at 7 a.m. for the Men Cat 5 category.
La Mesa Earth Day Festival
10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Harry Griffen Park
Celebrate Earth Day with this free community festival at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa Saturday. The fest will include interactive booths, STEM activities, a trail ride (bring your own bike and helmet), vendors and more.
Cook With an Italian Chef & Market Tour
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Little Italy
This weekly event in Little Italy gives you a chance to cook alongside a trained chef while discovering the community’s charming open-air farmers “mercato.” Here’s how the tour works: a chef-guide will walk with you through the market, pointing out local vendors specializing in fresh ingredients. Together, you’ll taste-test items and buy what you need to create your meal before heading to the guide’s home to partake in a cooking lesson. You’ll cook three dishes – an appetizer and two main dishes – and also enjoy a glass of wine and pannacotta for dessert. This cooking tour costs $79 per person, and is usually available every Saturday.
April in Bloom
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (through May 5), The Forum Carlsbad
The Forum Carlsbad, an outdoor shopping center in San Diego’s North County, kicks off “April in Bloom,” a nine-day affair featuring special activities open to the public. Experiences include something called the “Instagram Garden,” where visitors can snap a selfie in a garden boasting 27 giant pink and white peonies and two rose walls. On Saturday, at 1 p.m., visitors will find a Runway Fashion Show staged near the Apple Store, with complimentary snacks. And, in the parking area between Lululemon and Paper Source, visitors will find the Butterfly Encounter, a makeshift garden where kids and adults can get up close and personal with butterflies brought in by The Butterfly Farms of Encinitas. Entry to the Butterfly Encounter is free, but visitors are encouraged to donate an amount of their choosing to the nonprofit, Butterfly Farms. The Forum Carlsbad is located at 1923 Calle Barcelona.
Legendary Tour: Hotel Del Coronado
10 a.m., Hotel Del Coronado
San Diego history buffs, this one’s for you. The iconic Hotel Del Coronado is currently offering a daily tour at 10 a.m. dubbed the “Legendary Tour,” which explores the landmark’s rich 130-year-old heritage. Learn about the celebrities, royalty and beach-loving families who have gravitated toward The Del over the decades, and the hotel’s most notorious guest, Kate Morgan, who checked into the hotel in 1892 whom some believe never really checked out. The 90-minute tour costs $40 for adults; kids 5 and under can join for free. You must register ahead of time. By the way, The Del is currently undergoing the first phase of a $200 million revitalization project called the “Master Plan.” It includes preservation of historic sites and a new History Gallery. Read all about that here.
Mission Federal ArtWalk
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Little Italy
Back for its 35th run, the Mission Federal ArtWalk will span 16 blocks in Little Italy this weekend with 350+ local, national and international artists showcasing and selling their works, from paintings and sculptures to photography, fine jewelry and more. This two-day street festival will also feature live music, dance performances, interactive art experiences, street food vendors, and family-friendly art projects in an area called KidsWalk. The event is free.
Adams Avenue Unplugged
12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Adams Avenue (From west University Heights through Normal Heights)
This free, beloved music festival along a 2-mile stretch of Adams Avenue brings 80 performances across 24 stages inside the unique restaurants, bars, coffee houses and galleries that line San Diego’s uptown communities. The festival spans from west University Heights into Normal Heights and parts of Kensington to the east. Parking is limited, so organizers suggest taking public transit into the neighborhood and walking the route, from performance to performance.
Tequila & Taco Music Festival
12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Embarcadero Marina Park South
The 3rd annual Tequila & Tacos Music Festival returns to downtown San Diego’s waterfront this weekend, featuring exclusive tequila samplings, entertainment and gourmet street tacos. Attendees to this 21+ event can make their way through craft beer tastings, margarita booths and vendors while enjoying live music at the scenic location. A tequila tasting goes down Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; tickets for that tasting cost $40. General admission tickets, without tequila, cost $10. The festival returns Sunday, too. More to come on that in the Sunday events section below. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation, which provides financial support to college-bound student athletes in San Diego.
Seasonal Fermentation Workshop & Beer Pairing: Strawberries
12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Hess Brewing
The San Diego Fermentation Community and Fermenters Club hosts this workshop at Hess Brewing (3812 Grim Ave.) focused on different ways to ferment strawberries – in sauerkraut, chutney, pickles and kombucha. Students will watch demos of simple, seasonal recipes made with strawberries and taste different dishes centered on the tasty ingredient. Then, they’ll roll up their sleeves and match their own batch of seasonal strawberry sauerkraut to take home and ferment. A $40 to $50 ticket includes the workshop, the jar of sauerkraut to take home, and a flight of Hess craft brews to sip while you learn.
7:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., American Comedy Co. and The Comedy Store
Looking for a good laugh? Try a stand-up comedy show at two prime San Diego venues: downtown’s American Comedy Co. or The Comedy Store in La Jolla. This Saturday night, comic and actress Janeane Garofalo takes the mic at The American Comedy Co., with 21+ shows at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; tickets start at $20. Over at The Comedy Store, Tony Hinchcliffe – a writer for Comedy Central’s last five “Roasts” – brings his edgy jokes and impeccable timing to the stage with shows at 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Those tickets also cost $20.
Sunday, April 28
Guided Nature Walk
9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Mission Trails Regional Park
Start your Sunday with a little nature walk at Mission Trails Regional Park. A trail guide will take visitors through one of three trails — the Oak Grove Loop, the Visitor Center Loop or the Riverside Grinding Rocks — while talking about the plants, animals, geology, history, and ecology of the park. These weekly guided walks are free and open to the public and begin at the Visitor Center. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water, a hat, and sunscreen. Rain cancels the walk.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Balboa Park
San Diego EarthWorks’ 30th Annual EarthFair is on Sunday at Balboa Park. The free event is produced entirely by volunteers who want to teach locals how to live more sustainably. This year’s fair will feature more than 300 exhibitors, a food pavilion, a children’s activity zone, four entertainment areas, an arts and crafts show, a “Cleaner Car Concourse,” and a parade.
Lane Field Park Market
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lane Field Park (Downtown San Diego)
Every Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a group of vendors sets up shop at Lane Field Park in downtown San Diego for this open-air market focusing on our city’s creative food, drinks, art, and craft scene. The family-friendly market typically includes live music, lawn games, pop-up installations, and other lively entertainment. It is located at 1009 N. Harbor Dr., near West Broadway, opposite of the Broadway Pier.
Gaslamp Artisan Market
10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Gaslamp Quarter (Fifth Avenue)
Peruse more than 30 local artisans offering carefully-curated, handmade products at this weekly outdoor market in the Gaslamp Quarter. The Gaslamp Artisan Market sets up shop every Sunday on Fifth Avenue, between Market Street and Island Avenue.
Multi-Cultural Earth Day
11 a.m. to 7 p.m., World Beat Center at Balboa Park
Planet Earth is for everyone. Balboa Park’s World Beat Center hosts its 29th Annual Multi-Cultural Earth Day, an all-ages festival featuring live music, performances, and food. The entertainment lineup includes Native American performances, Afro-Cuban percussion and dance, and Japanese Taiko, to name a few genres. The event is free and all are welcome.
Mas Margaritas! Sunday Edition of Tequila & Tacos Music Festival
12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Embarcadero Marina Park South
Day two of the Tequila & Tacos fest returns to the Embarcadero, only this time, there’s no tequila tasting. Sunday revelers can enjoy craft brews, street tacos, art vendors and a performance by “Funky Cold Medina” and “Wild Thing” singer Tone Loc. General admission Sunday tickets cost $10. The event is 21+.
Live Music: Manny Cepeda
1 p.m., Liberty Public Market
San Diego’s beloved percussionist and singer Manny Cepeda brings his toe-tapping musical talents to this free lunchtime concert on the patio at Liberty Public Market. The show will also feature Aico-Simon J-Latina, part of this well-known, local dynamic duo. To make a day of it, grab a bite from one of the vendors inside Liberty Public Market, take your food to the patio and eat while enjoying the live music.
Sunday Spreckels Organ Concert
2 p.m., Spreckels Organ Pavilion at Balboa Park
Enjoy a free, hour-long organ concert Sunday at Balboa Park’s famed Spreckels Organ Pavilion. At the keys, the audience will typically find Raul Prieto Ramirez,the city’s San Diego Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society. Prieto Ramirez hails from Spain and, as he told NBC 7 last year, hopes to keep the program interesting – from Bach to Queen – at the historic Spreckels Organ. Pets are welcome, and so are picnics.