Thursday, May 9
The Flowers Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
9 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Flowers Field at Carlsbad
This is your final weekend to see The Flowers Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, one of San Diego’s most beloved springtime traditions. The fields’ seasonal run comes to an end on Mother’s Day but, for the next few days, 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.
Spring Trunk Show
10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Diane Powers’ Bazaar del Mundo
Diane Powers’ Bazaar del Mundo in Old Town San Diego hosts a Spring Trunk Show featuring clothing, jewelry, accessories and handcrafted gifts made by local and visiting artists. Shoppers can browse through the colorful collections, which include Stefanie Wolf’s latest glass jewelry designs, while sipping on refreshments. The event is free; bring money to shop.
Gator by the Bay
Times Vary (Thursday through Sunday), Spanish Landing Park (Across from San Diego International Airport)
Gator by the Bay – San Diego’s annual music, Louisiana food and crawfish festival – takes over downtown’s Spanish Landing Park, all weekend long. The 4-day affair features 100+ performance across seven stages spanning genres from blues, Cajun and rockabilly to swing, salsa and New Orleans jazz. The festival kicks off Thursday at 6 p.m. with a rockabilly and blues concert from artist Marcia Ball (general admission to this show costs $35). Gator by the Bay returns to the park Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets start at $35 for single-day attendance, or you can spring for a 4-day pass for $140. Kids under 17 get in free with a paid adult. By the way, the festival’s authentic Cajon, Creole and Southern cuisine includes 10,000 pounds of crawfish trucked in fresh from Opelousas, Louisiana, plus gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, crab cakes, alligator, frog legs, fried okra, lobster mac & cheese, po’boys and beignets.
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.
‘They Promised Her the Moon’
8 p.m., The Old Globe
“They Promised Her the Moon” continues its run at The Old Globe, a play about Jerrie Cobb, a talented aviator, world record-holding pilot and successful business woman overlooked in a time of deep-rooted gender biases in America’s history. Written by Laurel Ollstein and directed by Giovanna Sardelli, this production tells the story of Cobb and how she never got the chance to rise as an astronaut like her male counterparts in NASA’s “Mercury Seven.” Cobb died in Florida on March 18, 2019. She was 88 years old. The actress who portrays Cobb in the Old Globe production told NBC 7 last month that Cobb’s story, though unknown by many, is truly remarkable. The play runs at The Old Globe through this Sunday.
Friday, May 10
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.
Plaza Unplugged: Ben Benavente
12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Westfield UTC
Westfield UTC’s “Plaza Unplugged” has begun, a series of free, live concerts at the mall’s Palm Plaza every Wednesday through Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. On Thursday, Ben Benavente will bring his Pacific Island-inspired musical talents to the plaza. The musician is known for his blend of island jams, reggae, “Jahwaiian” and rock. Palm Plaza is located near Starbucks, in front of Queenstown Bistro.
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.
Mother & Daughter Teas
2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., The Westgate Hotel
Downtown’s Westgate Hotel will host two Mother & Daughter Tea sessions this Mother’s Day weekend: one on Friday and another on Saturday, both from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the hotel’s lavish La Fontainebleau Room. The traditional tea service will feature a menu of savory and sweet treats including finger sandwiches and French pastries. All mothers will receive a little gift, too: housemade macaroons. While you sip tea and catch up with mom, a harpist will fill the room with music. Tickets cost $79 for adults (including tax + gratuity) and $55 for kids ages 4 to 12. Children under 3 get in free.
Hops on the Harbor: Mother Earth Brew 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 Vista’s beloved Mother Earth Brew Co. The menu will feature four 6-ounce Mother Earth tastings expertly paired with four courses. For instance, a grilled ginger garlic shrimp and scallop kabob with mango fried rice and stir-fry veggies will be paired with Call Me Ginger, a blonde ale with ginger and lemon. Mother Earth’s Kismet, a Nelson IPA, is paired with IPA marinated chicken with brown sugar glaze. 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.
Hannah Gadsby: ‘Douglas’
8 p.m., Balboa Theatre
Australian comic and writer Hannah Gadsby takes the stage at Balboa Theatre this weekend in her newest stand-up show, “Douglas.” Gadsby was diagnosed with autism in 2017 and speaks candidly about it in “Douglas” in an effort to help people understand the topic. Tickets to her San Diego stop start at $36.25.
Saturday, May 11
Chocolate Festival 2019
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., San Diego Botanic Garden
One word: chocolate. The San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas hosts its 2019 Chocolate Festival, an event featuring sweet samples and demos on how to create confections, all in the heart of the garden. The garden’s Kidzone will host an arts and crafts area where kids can create Mother’s Day gifts for mom and food trucks, a coffee truck and live entertainment will round-out the event. Entrance to the Chocolate Festival is included with paid admission to the San Diego Botanic Garden, which costs $18 for adults and $10 for kids ages 3 to 10. Kids under 2 get in free. Tickets for chocolate tastings and activities at the festival will be sold separately at the event. Some participating chocolate vendors include Dallman Confections, Nibble Chocolate and Gourmet M Chocolates, to name a few.
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.
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.
Fine Art & Craft Sale
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kensington Brewing Company
Still looking for a gift for mom? Shop small while sipping on local suds as a group of local artisans sells handcrafted goods Saturday at this makeshift mini marketplace at Kensington Brewing Company on Adams Avenue. Entry is free; bring money for shopping and beer.
Inaugural Student Visual & Performing Arts Showcase
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Seaport Village
Seaport Village and the San Diego Unified School District have joined forced to launch a student-led art gallery located within Seaport Village. To celebrate the gallery’s debut, the waterfront landmark will host a family-friendly, free art exhibition Saturday featuring the musical and artistic talents of local students. Attendees will be able to explore the new, 640-square-foot SDUSD Art Gallery at Seaport, which is located in the easternmost area of Seaport, closest to the San Diego Convention Center. The gallery will showcase a rotating selection of artwork curated from more than 12,000 students Pre-K to 11th grade. From this point on, the gallery will be open each week, Friday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tony Gwynn Legacy Birthday Party
2 p.m. to 8 p.m., AleSmith Brewing Company
San Diego Padres icon Tony Gwynn would’ve celebrated his 59th birthday on May 9. On Saturday, AleSmith Brewing Company – in partnership with the Gwynn family – will throw Mr. Padre a party worthy of his legacy. The birthday bash goes down at the brewery on AleSmith Court and kicks off with a live broadcast of 97.3FM’s “The Fan” show featuring hosts Tony Gwynn Jr. and Chris Ello with a tribute to No. 19. At 5 p.m., Alicia Gwynn will premiere her video for “Easier,” her song about her late husband, followed by a cake-cutting ceremony and words from Gwynn’s family. The event will also include a silent auction and raffle, with proceeds supporting the Tony & Alicia Gwynn Foundation and Gwynn Baseball. AleSmith will also release its new Hazy .394 beer; a few years ago, the brewery created its San Diego Pale Ale .394, a craft brew paying homage to Gwynn’s career and lasting impact on the city he loyally loved.
Mommy & Me Succulent Arranging Workshop
2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Searsucker Del Mar Highlands
This Mother’s Day weekend activity at Searsucker Del Mar Highlands features a succulent wreath-arranging workshop for moms and their little ones (recommended ages: 6 to 12). The DIY workshop includes step-by-step instruction led by Rain to Roots, plus all of the plants and materials needed to create a 12-inch wreath for mom and a 6-inch heart-shaped wreath for the little one. The $56.50 ticket (for both mom and child entry) also includes a glass of wine or beer for grown-ups and a “mocktail,” juice or lemonade for the kids. Snacks from Searsucker can be purchased additionally.
Night Nation Run: San Diego
6 p.m. (pre-party) and 7:30 p.m. (first wave of runners), Del Mar Fairgrounds
Billed as “the world’s first running music festival” is the Night Nation Run happening this Saturday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The run-meets-music fest event features a course lined with live DJs, light shows, bubble zones and neon and black lights. When runners cross the finish line, they’ll be met with an after-party featuring DJs and dancing. Registration starts at $40 and includes a glow necklace and admission to the after-party. A portion of proceeds benefits Stand Up to Cancer, an organization with a mission to accelerate innovative cancer research.
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, comedian Brad Williams brings his brand of funny to The American Comedy Co., with 21+ shows at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; tickets start at $22. Williams is known for making his rounds on the late-night talk show circuit, as well as for his Showtime stand-up special, “Fun Size.” Meanwhile, over at The Comedy Store, funnyman Jeff Ross – a regular on Comedy Central Roasts – will headline shows at 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Those tickets cost $25.
‘1776: The Musical’
8 p.m., David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre at Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center
JCompany’s production of “1776: The Musical” features an all-female cast telling the story of America’s Founding Fathers and their mission to declare independence. The production runs at the David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre through May 19; tickets range from $17 to $25.
Rooftop Cinema Club Presents: ‘Mary Poppins Returns’
8:30 p.m., Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
The 2018 Emily Blunt-led sequel to the classic tale of “Mary Poppins” takes over the big outdoor movie screen Saturday night on the scenic rooftop at the Manchester Grand Hyatt as part of the hotel’s Rooftop Cinema Club. Catch the flick alongside stunning views of the San Diego skyline and feel the magic as Mary Poppins returns to help the Banks children navigate the obstacles of adulthood. 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.
Sunday, May 12: Happy Mother’s Day!
Mother’s Day Brunch at The Del
9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hotel Del Coronado
The Del is known for going all-out for holiday events and Mother’s Day is no exception. This Mother’s Day Brunch goes down at The Del’s Crown Room and Ballroom and features live music and a “special surprise treat.” The menu includes made-to-order Belgian waffles, a carving station, local seafood, a ramen station, a poke station, salads, and a gelato sundae station. Tickets to this brunch affair are pricey – $140 for adults and $65 for kids ages 4 to 10 – but, if you’re looking to splurge on mom, this could be the way to do it.
Mother’s Day Brunch at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
One of San Diego’s best-known architectural landmarks on San Diego Bay (aka Beacon No. 9 on USCG Nautical Maps, in business since 1971) will offer Mother’s Day brunch with a host of scrumptious eats served against picturesque vistas of the bay, the downtown skyline and Coronado Island. The special Mother’s Day menu includes breakfast dishes like eggs benedict on buttermilk biscuits, lemon ricotta pancakes, cinnamon raisin French toast, fresh salads, and lunch goodies like three-cheese mac and cheese, Moroccan fried chicken and a raw seafood station. Brunch seating starts at 9:45 a.m., with the last reserved seating set for 1:45 p.m. Brunch is $58 for adults and $18 for diners ages 6 to 18. Make your reservations online or by calling (619) 291-9110.
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.
Mother’s Day Sterling Brunch
10 a.m. and 12 p.m., Theatre Box
Downtown San Diego’s swanky new movie theater and dining complex hosts this Mother’s Day brunch inside the venue’s Sugar Factory American Brasserie. The brunching includes waffle and omelet stations, sweet treats, signature breakfast dishes and more. Tickets cost $45 for adults and $15 for kids ages 12 and under. Bottomless mimosas or bloody marys cost an additional $19.99. Moms get a complimentary movie ticket with purchase of the Mother’s Day buffet. There are two seatings for this event: the first at 10 a.m. and the second at 12 p.m. Make your reservations online ahead of time.
Champagne Buffet Brunch at El Prado
10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., El Prado in Balboa Park
The Prado – tucked inside San Diego’s Balboa Park landmark – hosts its Mother’s Day Champagne Buffet Brunch from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The menu includes eggs a la carte, a hot food station, chilled seafood, dim sum, a pancake station, a chocolate fountain and more. Brunch at this well-known San Diego spot costs $65.95 for adults and $17.95 for kids ages 6 to 12. Kids under 5 are free. Make reservations ahead of time by calling (619) 557-9441, ext. 203.
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.
Mother’s Day Bottomless Mimosa Brunch at North Park Beer Co.
10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., North Park Beer Co.
If your mom is a bit more on the casual side you could take her to this Mother’s Day Bottomless Mimosa Brunch at North Park Beer Co. on University Avenue. Mom can sip on “glitter mimosas” – or, of course, craft brews – while dining on sweet and savory brunch dishes from Mastiff Kitchen. The brewery will bust out the board games, too.
Mother’s Day Painting
12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Cool Creations Paint-Your-Own-Pottery Café
Spend some quality time painting with mom at this Mother’s Day Painting session at Cool Creations on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach. Tickets cost $5 per person, plus the cost of pottery materials; moms get 25 percent off their pottery.
Live Music: The Counterfeits
1 p.m., Liberty Public Market
Local band The Counterfeits brings its feel-good jams to this free lunchtime concert on the patio at Liberty Public Market. 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.
5 p.m. to 8 p.m., The Wine Pub (Shelter Island)
Learn the basics of pasta-making at this workshop at The Wine Pub on Shelter Island Drive, led by Pasta Bella San Diego. Attendees will learn to hand-roll gargonelli, rotini, and cavatelli – all shapes that are considered perfect for catching sauces and pestos. At the end of the workshop, students will sit down to eat a family-style meal. Tickets start at $65 and include more than a pound of freshly-made pasta to take home.