Top San Diego Things to Do in April

Madison

Enjoy a five-course food and wine pairing at the stunning Madison on Park.

This month, San Diego brings you art festivals, foodie forward events, a variety of races and more. See our list of the top San Diego things to do in April.

Edited by Eva Scattergood.

Spirits Society Meeting
Apr. 4. Attend a Spirits Society Meeting with special guest Fred Minnick, a Wall Street Journal best-selling author, at Seven Grand. Most known for his books, such as Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American, Fred will be sharing his extensive knowledge about the whiskey and rum industries as guests taste rare and unusual types of each delicacy. 8-9 p.m. Seven Grand, 3054 University Ave., San Diego. RSVP

 

Vino and Vinyl
Apr. 4. Indulge in a five-course wine paired dinner featuring Cordant Winery with music curated by M-Theory Records, hosted by Madison on Park. Guests will enjoy food prepared by Madison’s chef duo, Tony Gutierrez and Mario Cassineri, and mingle with winemaker Tyler Russell with the sounds of soulful jazz reverberating throughout the restaurant’s sky-high, acoustically pleasing, cedar-lined ceilings. 6:30 p.m. $89. Madison on Park, 4622 Park Blvd., San Diego, 619.269.6566. Tickets  

 

The Fleet Science Center presents ‘Pandas’
Opening Apr. 6. Narrated by actress Kristen Bell, Pandas tells the story of introducing captive-born giant pandas into the wild. One panda in particular, Qian Qian, is followed to show her adventure in the mountains of Sichuan as she experiences nature for the first time, initiated by a researcher from the Chengdu Panda Base in China. Multiple shows daily. Included with admission. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, San Diego, 619.238.1233. rhfleet.org

 

‘The Wanderers’
Opening Apr. 6. Watch Anna Ziegler’s new drama that explores the hidden connections between seemingly disparate people, drawing audiences into an intriguing puzzle and a deeply sympathetic look at modern love. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. Sheryl and Harvey White Theater, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. theoldglobe.org

 

Hornblower’s Sights and Sips
Apr. 6. Enjoy this sunset cruise complete with a glass of champagne, hors d’oeuvres and buffet selections. DJ entertainment is provided for music and dancing, while experiencing the views of San Diego either indoors or outdoors. 6-8 p.m. $40. Pier 2, 970 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego. hornblower.com

 

Fashion Week San Diego: Spring Showcase
Apr. 7. Featuring designer looks, entertainment and signature cocktails, this event will offer an exclusive sneak peek of designer’s collections before their full debut on the Fall Runway. Guests will be able to interact with designer brands at their trunk show booths. Participating designers include Alexandra Marie, Irina Madan, Leili Meshki, Taylor Whipp and more. 6-10 p.m. $25 GA, $50 front row reserved seat. The Flower Fields, 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad. fashionweeksd.com

 

Celebrate National Beer Day with four unique Ballast Point brews.

National Beer Day with Barrel Republic and Ballast Point
Apr. 7. Grab a cold one at Barrel Republic to celebrate National Beer Day. Hosting a Ballast Point Brewery Tap Takeover at their Oceanside location, they will be tapping favorite Ballast Point brews Aloha Sculpin IPA, the Raspberry Sour Wench, the Tart Peach Kolsch and the High West BA Victory at Sea. Beer will be served by the taster or the pint for this holiday celebration. 3 p.m. Barrel Republic, 215 N. Coast Hwy., Oceanside. barrelrepublic.com

 

ArtFest at San Diego Botanic Garden
Apr. 7-8. Some of the finest regional artists will display their talents with the beautiful San Diego Botanic Garden as a backdrop. Many of these fantastic sculptors, painters, glass artists, potters, gourd and fiber artists who participate in ArtFest will also provide interesting demonstrations of their craft. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free with paid admission or membership. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas, 760.436.3036. sdbgarden.org 

 

Campagnolo Gran Fondo
Apr. 8. Held in downtown San Diego, this festival features a mass-start, timed Gran Fondo (Italian for Big Ride) with four route options for cyclists of all levels. The finish line celebration includes live music, guest speakers, an Italian pasta feast, beer garden and more. Ride start 7:15 a.m. $127 Gran Fondo; $110 Medio Fondo; $65 Piccolo Fondo; $50 Fun Fondo. 1747 India St., San Diego. sdgranfondo.com

 

Witness a showcase of some of the most exquisite automobiles in the world at the Concours d’Elegance.

La Jolla Concours d’Elegance
Apr. 8. Classic car enthusiasts can view more than 125 unique vehicles parked along the Pacific at this community auto show. Take in the surrounding beauty of timelessly restored vehicles gathered for one of the largest Concours events in the U.S. Additional highlights include live swing music and a champagne and honey tasting garden. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $70+ GA, $185+ VIP. La Jolla Cove, Ellen Browning Scripps Park, 1133 Coast Blvd., La Jolla, 619.233.5008. lajollaconcours.com

 

Taste of Point Loma
Apr. 11. Showcasing the rich Portuguese heritage of Point Loma, this annual dog-friendly event features a sampling of the peninsula’s finest restaurants. Visitors can try fresh seafood, decadent desserts and a variety of ethnic cuisine from local restaurants, cafes and bakeries. New this year, vendors will suggest a beverage that pairs with their food samples for a complete tasting experience. 5:30-9 p.m. $25 GA, $20 students, military and cyclists. United Portuguese SES, 2818 Avenida De Portugal, San Diego. Tickets

 

Head to the rooftop of the Manchester Grand Hyatt for a screening of ‘Some Like It Hot.’

Rooftop Cinema Club
Apr. 12. The UK-based Rooftop Cinema Club (RCC) will make its latest foray into the United States with the grand opening of San Diego’s very own outdoor cinema, located atop the Manchester Grand Hyatt. RCC is revolutionizing the movie-going experience in its unique and one-of-a-kind setting underneath and among the stars. Some Like It Hot, starring the unforgettable Marilyn Monroe, and filmed almost entirely on-site in Coronado, will be the premiere sunset screening. 18+. Doors open 6:30 p.m., movie 7:30 p.m. $17. Manchester Grand Hyatt, 1 Market Place, San Diego. rooftopcinemaclub.com

 

Taste of Hillcrest
Apr. 14. Embark on San Diego’s largest self-guided culinary tour. Experience the sights, sounds, smells and flavors of the world while savoring small bites from over 35 of Hillcrest’s most recognized and award-winning restaurants. The tour includes beer samples from over a dozen local breweries, as well as a wine tasting by PRP Wine International. Noon-4 p.m. $30 pre-sale, $35 day-of. Two Check-in Locations: Rite Aid, 535 Robinson Ave.; Rich’s Nighclub, 1051 University Ave., San Diego. fabuloushillcrest.com

 

VinDiego
Apr. 14.
 Sample over 300 unique award-winning wines with more than 20 of San Diego’s finest restaurants offering dishes at this annual tasting event. There will also be live music to add to the ambiance of this outdoor event. 4-7 p.m. $85. NTC Liberty Station, 2629 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego. vindiego.com

 

Wanderlust 108
Apr. 14. Experience the world’s only mindful triathlon with a 5K, followed by 90 minutes of yoga and ending with a guided meditation session to clear your mind and relax your body. Additional activities include aerial yoga, bodywork and tarot card reading. Local artisans will be at the Kula Market and Wanderlust’s True North Cafe will offer healthy snacks and lunch. 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. $49.08 ($1.08 of each ticket will be donated to the Global Funds of fight AIDS). Preble Field Liberty Station, 2455 Cushing Road, San Diego.   wanderlust.com

 

Belgian Waffle Bike Ride
Apr. 15. Attracting world-class cyclists from around the world, this event was inspired by the one-day spring classics of Belgium. With a new course this year, the ride will cover trails, hills and rolling roads in North County. This event will also include an expo which will feature over 60 vendors from the cycling, lifestyle and fitness world, as well as a Lost Abbey beer garden. 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Lost Abbey Brewery, 155 Mata Way, San Marcos. belgianwaffleride.bike

 

Day at the Docks
Apr. 15. Watch the official start of Southern California’s spring saltwater fishing season at the West Coast’s largest public celebration of sportfishing. Highlights include the latest fishing tackle presented by the industry’s leading manufacturers, historical displays that underscore how far saltwater tackle design has come and how-to seminars by expert fishermen to improve technique and results. Boat rides on San Diego Bay, displays by marine artists, great food and entertainment also included. Free. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sportfishing Landings 2838 Garrison St., Point Loma. sportfishing.org

 

Fallbrook Avocado Festival
Apr. 15. Head to the “Avocado Capital of the World” to celebrate and eat the best of the crop including avocado-themed gifts, guacamole contests, live music, beer gardens and more. For the kids there will be a Best Dressed Avocado contest and a carnival. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Main Street, downtown Fallbrook. fallbrookchamberofcommerce.org  

 

Del Mar National Horse Show
Apr. 17-May 6. One of the oldest and most prestigious equestrian competitions in the Western U.S. features various events for equine enthusiasts, including Western Week (April 17-21) and Dressage Week (April 26-29). Each Saturday evening guests will be able to watch equestrian sportsmanship in the arena, along with pre-show family activities, entertainment and boutique shopping. Del Mar Fairgounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. delmarnational.com

 

Partake in tastes from featured restaurants at the Taste of Liberty Station.

Taste of Liberty Station
Apr. 18. Take a stroll and explore the best that Liberty Station has to offer all in one night—tastes from featured eateries in the neighborhood, live music and entertainment in the promenades and works of art in the local galleries. A “Liberty Pass” will be given to ticket holders with a map of the restaurants partaking in the event with their special menu as well as business and art galleries joining in on the fun. Attendees 21+ also have the option to purchase a “Bubbly Pass” to sample a variety of sparkling wines in the Bubbly Garden in the Central Promenade. Live entertainment and art exhibitions will take place in the corridors and promenades and will be open for the public to enjoy. 5-9 p.m. Liberty Pass $30 pre-sale; $40 at the door; Bubbly Pass (21+) $15 pre-sale; $20 at the door. Liberty Station, 2640 Historic Decatur Road, San Diego. tasteoflibertystation.com  

 

Queen Bee Market
Apr. 20-21. Co-owned by two San Diego sisters and described as “Etsy comes to life,” this market features artisans and vendors who create handmade home decor, accessories, clothing, paper arts, vintage items and furniture. Along with the creative and unique vendors, there will also be live demonstrations, make-and-take stations and more. F 4-9 p.m.; Sa 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $3 entry fee, free for kids 12 and under. Del Mar Fairgrounds, Bing Crosby Hall, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. thequeenbeemarket.com

 

Bikes, Boards and Brews
Apr. 21. Celebrate Pacific Beach culture and all the good things it has to offer. This event will bring you back to the endless summer days at Tourmaline Beach with surf boards, beach cruisers, beach-inspired art and craft beer tasting in Crown Point Park. Participants will enjoy tasters from San Diego’s best craft brewers, food pairings from local Pacific Beach restaurants, live music, local artists and more. 1-5 p.m. $42 GA, $47 VIP. Crown Point Park, 3600 Corona Oriente Road, San Diego, pacificbeach.org

 

Chicano Park Day
Apr. 21. The 48th annual event celebrating Chicano Park—a designated National Historic Landmark—features traditional music and dance, a lowrider car show, art workshops for kids, and food, arts and craft vendors. The park has received international recognition as a major public art site for its commanding mural paintings of the past and present struggles of Mexican and Chicano history. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Chicano Park, between National and Logan avenues, Barrio Logan. chicano-park.com

 

Taco and Tequila Music Festival
Apr. 21-22. Experience California’s largest traveling Tequila and Taco Music Festival as it makes its first stop of the year in San Diego. Saturday will feature top-shelf tequila sampling, while Sunday will center around a variety of margaritas. Both days will include food vendors, craft beer and live music. Sa noon-7 p.m., Su noon-6:30 p.m. $10-$60. Embarcadero Marina Park South, 200 Marina Park Way, San Diego. tequilaandtacomusicfestival.com

 

La Jolla Half Marathon and Shores 5K
Apr. 22. Kick start your morning with a marathon course beginning at the Del Mar Fairgrounds that goes along the coast, through Torrey Pines State Park and finishes in Ellen Browning Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove. The 5K course is just as scenic, beginning near Scripps Pier and finishes at the same location as the half marathon. These races are known to be some of America’s most picturesque and beautiful races from start to finish. Start time for both races 7 a.m. $120 half marathon, $50 5K. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., San Diego. inmotionevents.com

 

San Diego EarthFair
Apr. 22. Witness one of the world’s largest annual environmental fairs that features more than 300 educational exhibits, kids’ entertainment, food vendors and live music. The exhibits represent every type of environmental organization, governmental program and commercial enterprise with goods, services and causes that address the environment and quality of life. There will also be an Earth Day Parade starting at the Spanish Village marching to the Children’s Area in the Pan American Plaza. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Balboa Park, San Diego. earthdayweb.org

 

Art Alive
Apr. 27-29. This annual three-day exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art features more than 100 intricate floral interpretations of the museum’s permanent collection by floral designers invited to put their artistic talents to the test. Highlights include the premiere dinner, Bloom Bash opening celebration and a flower crown making workshop. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free for museum members; $25 non-members; $5 ages 7-17. San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado, San Diego, 619.232.7931. sdmart.org

 

Student Shakespeare Festival
Apr. 28. Enjoy performances of Shakespeare’s plays put on by hundreds of K-12 students representing San Diego City and County schools. The children will be performing 10-minute scenes, sonnets, music and dances on several stages along the Prado. Noon-4 p.m. The festival will begin with a Grand Procession and conclude with an Awards Ceremony at the Rose Stage. Balboa Park, 1549 El Prado, San Diego.  sandiegoshakespearesociety.org

 

Walk along 17 blocks in Little Italy to experience works from emerging artists at the Mission Federal ArtWalk.

Mission Federal ArtWalk
Apr. 28-29. Little Italy transforms into an urban art gallery and festival (the largest of its kind in Southern California) spanning 17 blocks packed with works by hundreds of emerging artists, a range of live music, food vendors, performance art and hands-on children’s activities. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. India Street, between Ash and Grape streets, Little Italy. artwalksandiego.org

 

‘American Mariachi’
Through Apr. 29. Experience the world premiere of José Cruz González’s American Mariachi, a comedic tale about a girl who decides to start a mariachi band while caring for her ailing mother. See website for showtimes, dates and ticket prices. Old Globe Theater, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. theoldglobe.org

 

Header photo courtesy of Paulina Millan. National Beer Day photo courtesy of Christina Micklish. Rooftop Cinema Club photo provided by RCC. Taste of Liberty Station photo credit to Maria Pablo. Mission Federal ArtWalk photo credit to Paul Nestor. 

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