TGI Weekend. With the San Diego County Fair, food, concerts and craft brews aplenty, there are so many ways to celebrate dad this weekend in our city. Get up. Get out. Play.
Thursday, June 13
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park continues its run of Summer Safari, a special summertime series of activities, live music, arts, crafts and pop-up entertainment for visitors of all ages. Visitors will also be treated to up-close encounters with Safari Park critters and a variety of evening shows on select dates. Summer Safari runs through Sept. 1 and is included in the price of admission to the park. A 1-day pass for those 12 and older costs $56, while a 1-day pass for kids ages 3 to 11 costs $46. San Diego Zoo and Safari Park members can enjoy Summer Safari with their membership.
San Diego County Fair
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Del Mar Fairgrounds
The "Oz-some" 2019 San Diego County Fair is going strong over at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, with jam-packed days filled with entertainment, games, rides, activities and, of course, those outrageous, fried and flavorful fair foods. This year’s fair theme is inspired by L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” so expect to see décor, shows and treats inspired by the magical land of Oz. There are also lots of new additions to the fair this year, including a mobile “FunPass” option for tickets to rides and games and the “Ride FastPass,” which lets you zip through those long lines. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $14 for children ages 6 to 12 and seniors 62 and up. Kids under 5 get in free. General parking costs $17. For ways to score deals and discounts on fair tickets, click here. As usual, the fair will also feature a long lineup of concerts, which include big names like Toby Keith (June 14), Smokey Robinson (June 15), and “Mr. Worldwide,” Pitbull (June 29). The fair will also host several festivals throughout its run, including the Toast of the Coast Wine Festival (June 8), the Gospel Festival (June 12), the Asian and Pacific Islander Festival (June 15), the Beer Festival (various dates), and the Distilled Spirit & Cocktail Festival (June 22).
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.
Beer Pairing Dinner, Dad-Style
6 p.m., Kairoa Brewing Company
Kairoa Brewing Company – the New Zealand-style brewpub on Park Boulevard, near the University Heights neighborhood sign – will host a Beer Pairing Dinner Thursday night that could be the perfect outing for Father’s Day weekend. Five courses, including an oyster appetizer, venison entrée, and lemon meringue dessert, will be paired with Kairoa’s craft brews. Tickets cost $65.
Santee Summer Concert: James Kruk & The Big Boss Men
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Town Center Community Park East
Thursday marks this year’s debut of Santee’s free, annual summertime concert series at Town Center Community Park East. The first show of the season is James Kruk & The Big Boss Men, a hip-swingin’ tribute to Elvis Presley. In addition to an evening of The King’s hits, the community event will include on-site food trucks (American Flavors; Caked; Lemonade Larry’s; Nana’s Heavenly Dogs; Tacos Picasso) and fun activities for the family. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs, and you’ve got yourself a nice, relaxing evening with the family. Parking does fill up here, so plan accordingly.
Sunset Poolside Jazz
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., The Westgate Hotel
The Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego has revived its Thursday night summer concert series, Sunset Poolside Jazz, taking place at the hotel’s rooftop pool deck. Each Thursday through Sept. 12, Southern California jazz musicians will take the stage, playing smooth tunes as the sun sets in America’s Finest City. The lineup of artists is curated by Gilbert Castellanos, a trumpet virtuoso, composer and educator in the local jazz community. You don’t need a ticket to get into Sunset Poolside Jazz, but you do need to purchase a minimum of $25 in food and drinks at the venue to gain access to the concert. No reservations are required; the tables are first come, first serve. On-site parking is available for $10. This Thursday’s show will feature the Joshua White Trio, led by local acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, Joshua White.
Credence Clearwater Revisited
7:30 p.m., The San Diego County Fair (Corona Grandstand Stage)
It’s the second-coming of Credence Clearwater (“Bad Moon Rising,” “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” “Proud Mary”) with founding members and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford leading this incarnation of the beloved band. Cook and Cosmo, joined by other members, headline the Coronado Grandstand Stage at the San Diego County Fair Thursday night. Unreserved, general admission to this concert on the 3rd and 5th levels of the venue is free (first come, first serve) if you paid for admission into the fair. The next tier of paid tickets to this concert start at $19, and general (standing) floor tickets go for $40.
'The Big Lebowski'
8 p.m. (Thursday through Sunday), Cinema Under the Stars
It’s the perfect “Dude” movie for Father’s Day weekend: “The Big Lebowski.” The 1998 cult favorite directed by Ethan and Joel Coen screens this Thursday through Sunday at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills. Since the theater on Goldfinch Street is outdoors and it can be a bit chilly at night, the venue offers blankets, space heaters and other amenities to keep patrons warm and cozy. Admission is $18 at the box office, or you can reserve your seat in advance for $20.
Friday, June 14
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.
SDUSD Art Gallery at Seaport
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Friday through Sunday), 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. The 640-square-foot SDUSD Art Gallery at Seaport is in the easternmost area of the waterfront landmark, closest to the San Diego Convention Center. The gallery will showcase a rotating selection of artwork curated from more than 12,000 San Diego students in Pre-K to 11th grade. The gallery is open each week, Friday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry is 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.
San Diego International Fringe Festival
Through Sunday (Times Vary), Locations Vary
The San Diego International Fringe Festival runs through this weekend, bringing quirky performing arts to different venues across the city. Many of the shows cost around $10, while others – including outdoor performances by buskers and street theater troupes – are free. Keep checking the Fringe Festival website for updates on times, dates and venues hosting these shows of artistic expression.
Perfect Pairings Wine Dinner
6:30 p.m., Peohe’s (Coronado)
If you’re a wine enthusiast looking to treat yourself (or maybe dad) this weekend, Peohe’s in Coronado may be the spot to do so. The restaurant will host a Perfect Pairings Wine Dinner Friday night featuring a chef-inspired, 5-course dinner, paired with sips from Rodney Strong Vineyards. At $100 a pop, these tickets are certainly a splurge, but perhaps, for the wino and foodie, it may be worth it.
Hops on the Harbor: Pariah Brewing Company
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 San Diego’s Pariah Brewing Company. Pariah is known for pushing the envelope on craft beer trends; the company once released a seasonal beer called the Uni Stout – a milk stout boasting sea urchin. This month’s Hops on the Harbor menu will feature four 6-ounce Pariah tastings expertly paired with four courses. For instance, a dish of Steamed Mussels and Chorizo Linguini with Caesar salad and garlic bread will be paired with My Cat from Helles, a Helles lager, while Coconut Shrimp Stir-Fry is paired with a pour of the brewery’s hazy IPA, Dryland. 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.
7:30 p.m., San Diego County Fair (Corona Grandstand Stage)
Country mega-star Toby Keith headlines the San Diego County Fair Friday night, bringing his downhome vibe to that big stage. If you’ve already paid for fair admission ($20), then tickets to this concert start at $30. Other ticket tiers range from $49 to $127.
Rooftop Cinema Club: ‘Selena’
8 p.m., Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Jennifer Lopez’s moving 1997 biopic about late Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla fills the big outdoor movie screen Friday night on the scenic rooftop at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The screening of “Selena” is part of the hotel’s ongoing Rooftop Cinema Club, movies shown under the stars, set alongside stunning views of the San Diego skyline. Tickets to this 18+ screening 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.
Saturday, June 15
Art & Empire: The Golden Age of Spain
10 a.m., San Diego Museum of Art
Check out the San Diego Museum of Art’s newest exhibition, “Art & Empire: The Golden Age of Spain,” on display daily through Sept. 2. The exhibition showcases more than 100 works produced by leading artists from Spain and its global territories during the country’s Golden Age, a time when, as the museum notes, the country’s “visual arts, architecture, literature, and music all reached unprecedented heights.” Artists featured in the exhibition include Diego Velázquez, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Francisco de Zurbarán, Jusepe de Ribera, El Greco, and many more. This marks the first time since the 1935 exhibition for the California Pacific International Exposition that all five of the Spanish masters represented on the Museum’s building façade—Velázquez, Murillo, Zurbarán, Ribera and El Greco— are being shown together at the museum. Entry to the “Art & Empire” installation costs $5 in addition to museum admission, which is $15 for adults and free for kids 17 and under. The San Diego Museum of Art is open daily at 10 a.m., except Sunday when it opens at 12 p.m. The museum is closed Wednesdays.
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 panna cotta 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.
Asian and Pacific Islander Festival
11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., The San Diego County Fair (Ballast Point Paddock Stage)
This day-long celebration at the fair’s Ballast Point Paddock Stage celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander culture through entertainment, martial arts, food and flowers. Access to the fest is included with paid admission into the fair ($20 for adults).
25th Annual Taste of Gaslamp
1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Gaslamp Quarter
The pioneer of San Diego’s self-guided, neighborhood food tours returns to downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter for its 25th round. Dozens of downtown chefs will whip up samples for the occasion, and foodie will stroll from spot to spot tasting the area’s culinary creations. This year, participating eateries include Barleymash, Café Sevilla, Havana 1920, Royal India, The Field Irish Pub and Tocaya Organica, just to name a few of the nearly 30 spots on the list. General admission tickets cost $45; check-in starts at 12 p.m. at Gaslamp Square, on L Street, in front of Tin Fish.
R&B Block Party
5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Quartyard
The East Village’s hip community spot, Quartyard (1301 Market St.), hosts this R&B Block Party Saturday night celebrate the soon-to-be summer. The 21+ shindig will feature sounds by DJ Alonzo Tha Mayor and DJ Mr. Bogart, with a special guest performance by Nikki T. The party is free is you RSVP ahead of time online and arrive before 7 p.m. Otherwise, cover costs $5.
7:30 p.m., The San Diego County Fair (Corona Grandstand Stage)
R&B legend and Motown Records co-founder Smokey Robinson headlines the San Diego County Fair’s Corona Grandstand stage Saturday night – one of the highest-profile performers playing there this season. If you’ve already paid fair admission, tickets to Smokey’s show start at $15. The other ticket tiers to this concert range from $34 to $54.
Sunday, June 16: Happy Father's Day!
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.
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.
Father’s Day Beer Brunch Cruise
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Pier 1: Hornblower Landing
Treat dad to brunch, brews and views of the San Diego Bay with this 2-hour Father’s Day Hornblower Cruise. Tickets cost $79 for adults and $47.40 for kids age 4 to 12. This special edition of the cruise launches twice Sunday: at 11 a.m. and at 12 p.m. from Pier 1: Hornblower Landing at 1800 North Harbor Dr. Reserve your tickets ahead of time online.
Father-Child Lookalike Contest
1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., The San Diego County Fair (Plaza Stage and Oz-some Family Stage)
File this one under a fun way to celebrate Father’s Day. If you and your dad look a lot alike, join the Father-Child Lookalike Contest at the San Diego County Fair. The competition happens twice on Father’s Day: at 1 p.m. at the Plaza Stage, and at 3:30 p.m. at the Oz-some Family Stage.
Live Music: Manny Cepeda Orchestra Duo
1 p.m., Liberty Public Market
Known for his genre-bending brand of Latin instrumentation is local musician Manny Cepeda, who will perform this free lunchtime concert on the patio at Liberty Public Market Sunday. Cepeda will be joined by Aico Simon J-Latina! To make a day of it, patrons might want to grab a bite from one of the vendors inside Liberty Public Market, take their 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.
Mariachi Sol de Mexico
6 p.m., The San Diego County Fair (Corona Grandstand Stage)
This platinum-selling Mexican mariachi band was founded in 1981 by Jose Hernandez and, today, continues to attract fans of all ages. Mariachi Sol de Mexico headlines the big stage at the fair Sunday. Unreserved, general admission to this concert on the 3rd and 5th levels of the venue is free (first come, first serve) if you paid for admission into the fair. The other ticket tiers to this concert range from $19 to $44.
Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego
Times and locations vary
Looking to save some cash, but still enjoy the city? In San Diego, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy for free or on the cheap. Go for a hike at Torrey Pines State Park or Cowles Mountain, stroll Balboa Park, try a new craft brewery, admire the murals of Chicano Park or read a book at a downtown park. Get out there and explore America’s Finest City.
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