Top San Diego Things to Do in January

Performing Jan. 11, REO Speedwagon has sold more than 40 million records and charted 13 Top 40 hits.

Gulls hockey, star-studded comedy shows, Monster Jam and more fun things to do are on tap this month. Here are the top 30+ San Diego things to do in January.

Edited by Jordan Fraser.

Salute To Vienna
Jan. 1. Celebrate the beauty of Viennese music and dance with Strauss waltzes and operettas featuring European singers, dancers and a full orchestra at this 20-year San Diego tradition. This year’s concert will feature a brand new program performed by the Strauss Symphony or America featuring members of the San Diego Symphony. 2:30 p.m. $29. Jacobs Music Center, 750 B St., downtown, 619.235.0804. 

Rady Children’s Ice Rink
Through Jan. 6. Hold on to the holiday spirit just a little longer with Liberty Station’s extended days of ice skating. Lace up your skates and glide away at this outdoor ice rink located in the historical NTC at Liberty Station where net proceeds benefit the Thriving After Cancer program in the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $10-15. 2640 Historic Decatur Road, Point Loma, 619.221.1970.

Gulls Hockey
Jan. 4, 16, 19. Watch the Gulls, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, try to skate their way to victory at three home games this month against the San Jose Barracuda, the Texas Stars and the Bakersfield Condors. On Jan. 19, don’t miss the Star Wars specialty warm-up jersey promo and the pre-game tailgate from 5-7 p.m. 7 p.m. $23-116. Pechanga Arena, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway.

Friday Night Liberty
Jan. 4. It’s a new year for new art at Liberty Station’s Friday Night Liberty, a monthly art walk showcasing the working artists, dance, music and theater that helps the district grow in its mission to highlight the arts culture in San Diego. San Diego Dance Theater will preview its January concert, If I Was A Bird Yoga Kids Studio will host a yoga and dance performance, and Anneville Jewelry Lad will celebrate its grand opening. 5-9 p.m. Free. Arts District, 2640 Decatur Road, Point Loma.

The Winehouse Experience
Jan. 5. Remember the late Amy Winehouse with Mia Karter’s passionate tribute. The Winehouse Experience is a celebration of the great icon’s unique style and artistry. Expect all of Amy’s hits from “Rehab” to “Me & Mr. Jones” to “You Know I’m no Good.” 21+. 8:30 p.m. $20-62. Music Box, 1337 India St., Little Italy, 619.795.1337.

“Moon Over Buffalo”
Opens Jan. 9. North Coast Rep is pulling out all the stops with this old-fashioned knockabout farce. Written by comedy genius Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor), this show-within-a-show is a hilarious evening of mayhem and running gags with everyone in the wrong costumes reading the wrong lines. See website for show times. $49-$56. North Coast Rep, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach, 858.481.1055.


Die-hard fans, or Murderinos, can catch My Favorite Murder live on Jan. 10-11.

My Favorite Murder
Jan. 10-11. The hit true-crime comedy podcast hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark is hitting the road. Since its inception in early 2016, the show has broken download records and is a regular in the top 10 on iTunes’ comedy podcast chart. Outside of podcasting, Kilgariff is a stand-up comedian and television writer; Hardstark is a writer and host for the Cooking Channel. 8 p.m. $39.50+. Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown, 619.570.1100.

Poway Winter Festival
Jan. 11-12. Experience the magic of winter with real snow, sledding and the smell of marshmallows roasting. Skate around the synthetic ice rink or build a snowman then peruse a variety of vendors in the festive marketplace illuminated by twinkly lights and filled with the sounds of music and laughter. F 5-9 p.m., Sa 3:30-8:30 p.m. Poway Community Park, 13094 Civic Center Drive, Poway, 858.668.4671.

REO Speedwagon
Jan. 11. Kick off the year on a high note with legendary ‘80s rockers REO Speedwagon as they perform some of their greatest hits such as “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “In My Dreams,” and “Keep Pushin.” Special guest Sir, Please opens the show. 18+. 8 p.m. $69. The Events Center, Harrah’s Resort SoCal, 777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Valley Center. Tickets.


The 8th annual San Diego Brew Festival includes unlimited tastings.

San Diego Brew Festival
Jan. 12. This annual festival features 150 beers from more than 70 different breweries. Pair your hops and malts with bites from Mastiff Sausage Company, Cousins Main Lobster, The Groovy Greek and more in Food Truck Alley while enjoying live music. All proceeds will benefit Noah’s Bark which rescues dogs from shelters and finds them permanent homes. VIP noon-4 p.m., GA 1-4 p.m. $55 VIP, $45 GA. Ingram Plaza at Liberty Station, 22455 Crushing Road, Point Loma.

Yoga in the Rotunda
Jan. 12, 26. Take a deep breath and center your mind to start the weekend off right. Yoga One leads this unique all-levels Vinyasa flow in the Museum of Man’s historic rotunda. Bring your own mat, towel and water. 8:30-9:30 a.m. $5 members, $10 non-members. 1350 El Prado, Balboa Park.

Resolution Run
Jan. 13. Jump start your 2019 fitness goals with support from fellow runners and walkers. It’s doesn’t matter how fast you go or which course you take, just that you got out there. 5K, 10K and half-marathon courses are available. Race includes a t-shirt, finishers medal and a Barons Market shopping tote filled with goodies. See website for start times and directions to the starting line. $20-$110. Tecolote Shores, San Diego.

“Hello, Dolly!”
Jan. 15-20. The Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival, Hello, Dolly! has been hailed as “the best show of the year” by NPR. Betty Buckley stars as Dolly in this tour of one of Broadway’s most beloved tales which also features choreography by Tony-winner Warren Carlyle. See website for show times and ticket prices. Broadway San Diego at San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown, 619.570.1100.

Iliza Shlesinger
Jan. 18. Hot off the release of her fourth Netflix stand-up special, Iliza Shlesinger is taking Elder Millennial on the road. Laugh along with her honest, intelligent and hilarious takes on dating, mating and life as a newly engaged woman. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $35+. Balboa Theater, 868 Fourth Ave., downtown, 619.570.1100.

Powers New Voices Festival
Jan. 18-20. The Old Globe presents this sixth annual festival that features a weekend of readings of new American plays by some of the most exciting voices writing for the American theater today. An evening of work created by San Diego residents through the Globe’s arts engagement programs will be presented on Friday, and readings by professional playwrights will commence on Saturday. See website for the complete schedule. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623.

Itzhak Perlman
Jan 19. Revel in the live performance of one of the world’s most acclaimed classical musicians. Perlman, the title subject of the powerful recent documentary Itzhak, is the reigning virtuoso of the violin and will perform a rousing bill of Tchaikovsky, Mozart and more. Upgrade to the VIP experience to meet him after the show. 7:30 p.m. $60-$125. California Center for the Arts, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, 800.988.4253.


Two rounds of Monster Jam offer non-stop adrenaline and automotive theatrics on Jan. 19 and 26.

Monster Jam
Jan. 19, 26. World-class drivers compete in both monster truck racing and freestyle competitions during this high-energy, action-packed event. Monster Jam combines spontaneous entertainment with off-road, motorsport competition and a flair for the dramatic. $15+. 7-10 p.m. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village, 619.795.5555.

Jan. 19. Bring your appetite to this event celebrating everything the Bagby family loves: wine, beer, spirits, cocktails and food. Admission includes access into the entire event area, a commemorative BagbyFest glass, a beanie or scarf to keep warm, a custom event badge to track your tastes, and food and beverage pairings. 5-9 p.m. $70. Bagby Beer Company, 601 South Coast Hwy., Oceanside. Tickets.

Travel & Adventure Show
Jan. 19-20. Discover the whole world in one weekend. America’s favorite travel show will open your eyes to new and exciting vacation options. Plus, plan your trip face-to-face with travel experts, attend educational panels to learn the ins-and-outs of global travel, meet travel celebrities and more. Sa 10a.m.-5 p.m., Su 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $11-$18. Children 16 and under are free. San Diego Convention Center Halls F/G, 111 W. Harbor Drive, downtown.

Carlsbad Full and Half Marathon
Jan. 20. Enjoy a runner’s paradise on this course that weaves through Carlsbad Village and along the oceanfront Pacific Coast Highway. The Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon’s spectacular coastal course and ideal weather conditions, along with live music at every mile marker and thousands of cheering spectators, will keep runners motivated for the duration of the course. All participants will receive a long-sleeve shirt and pullover jacket. See website for course maps and start times. 760.692.2900.

Restaurant Week
Jan 20-27. Tempt your palate with special prix-fixe menus at more than 180 restaurants throughout San Diego. Two-course lunch menus are offered for $10-$20 and three-course dinner menus are available for $20-$50. Join over 150,000 diners to experience the flavors of 12 unique regions in San Diego. No tickets or passes necessary. Reservations recommended.


JRDN’s second Bubbly and Brunch on the Beach event stars wines from Gerard Bertrand Winery.


JRDN’s Bubbly and Brunch at the Beach
Jan. 20. Bubbles, brunch and the beach… this perfect San Diego event features wines from Gerard Bertrand Winery. JRDN’s wine professionals will pour selected bubbly that has been perfectly paired with a three-course brunch prepared by Chef Dave Warner. Reservations required. $59 includes tax and gratuity. Tower 23 Hotel, 723 Felspar St., Pacific Beach, 858.270.2323.

MLK Day Parade
Jan. 21.
Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at this annual waterfront parade along San Diego Bay. Enjoy an afternoon of bands, floats and drill teams as they march along the Embarcadero. This parade is coordinated by the Zeta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the oldest African-American fraternity in America. 2-5 p.m. Free. Harbor Drive.

Farmers Insurance Open
Jan. 24-27. San Diego’s most anticipated pro golf tournament has featured legends and past champions such as Tiger Woods, Nick Watney, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker. The action-packed week includes practice rounds for the PGA Tour players, pro-am tournaments, women’s and men’s days, a junior clinic, military appreciation activities and celebrity after-parties. Torrey Pines Golf Course, 11480 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla.

San Diego Sunroad Boat Show
Jan. 24-27. Hosted by the Sunroad Resort Marina, this San Diego tradition features more than 200 boats including everything from powerboats to sailboats. Enjoy boating seminars, free boat rides, and food and drink sponsored by local restaurants, and shop a plethora of marine vendors featuring the latest nautical products and services. Th-F noon-6 p.m., Sa-Su 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $15. Children 12 and under are free. 955 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego.

“Smokey Joe’s Cafe”
Opens Jan. 25.
The music of rock and roll legends Leiber and Stoller provide the basis for this electrifying musical that includes the classic themes of love won, lost and imagined blended with hilarious set-pieces and slice-of-life emotions. Featuring nearly 40 of the greatest songs ever recorded, including “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Potion Number 9,” and “Stand By Me,” Smokey Joe’s Cafe is a new way to appreciate pop music. See website for show times. $28. New Village Arts Theatre, 2787 State St., Carlsbad, 760.433.3245.

Caffeine Crawl
Jan. 25-27. Grab your travel mug and explore the exciting coffee scene throughout San Diego, Carlsbad and Oceanside. With 10 different routes available, you can customize how many stops to make, how much ground to cover and, of course, how much caffeine to intake. The line-up includes more than 25 local roasters, cafes and companies. See website for details. $28-$37.

Joel McHale
Jan. 25-26. Host of The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale, star of Community and the final host of E!’s Talk Soup, Joel McHale is one of the most sought-after comedians in the industry with a keen eye for pop-culture commentary. 21+. 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $30. American Comedy Co., 818 Sixth Ave., downtown.

Opens Jan. 26. Enjoy a funny, warm-hearted look at tradition, marriage and what it means to be an American family in this story of Zimbabwean immigrants whose daughter desires a traditional African wedding ceremony. Throw in an eccentric aunt from the old country and a bewildered bridegroom, and soon it’s not certain the couple will ever make it down the aisle. Contains strong language. See website for show times and ticket prices. Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623.

Elton John 
Jan. 29. After more than half a century on tour, Elton John is hitting the road for his final tour, “Farewell Yellow Brick Road.” Be prepared for an unparalleled musical journey that spans his 50-year career of hits including “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Your Song” and many more. 8 p.m. $49.50+. Pechanga Arena, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway.

Black Film Fest
Jan 30-Feb. 3. Catch more than 100 films across all genres that celebrate African-American cinema at this annual event, one of the largest black film festivals in the country. The festival also includes opening day receptions, panel discussions, industry parties and a filmmaker’s breakfast. See website for film list, locations and ticket prices. 619.232.1913.


REO Speedwagon photo courtesy J Public Relations. My Favorite Murder photo courtesy My Favorite Murder. San Diego Brew Festival photo courtesy San Diego Brew Festival. Monster Jam photo courtesy Monster Jam. Bubbly and Brunch on the Beach photo courtesy Chemistry PR.