San Diego

Weekend roundup

February 3-6

Outdoor Fun

SeaWorld Mardi Gras

Feb. 5-27. SeaWorld San Diego brings some big New Orleans energy to the park this month. The carnival-style celebration includes festive costumes, decorations channeling the world-famous French Quarter, and Creole and Cajun cuisine—think: jambalaya, “po’ boy” sandwiches and beignets. Mardi Gras-inspired entertainment includes live jazz and Dixieland music that transports guests straight to Bourbon Street; family-friendly games and activities; and a specially themed, walk-through tunnel of more than 5,000 colorful lights. See website for hours and tickets. 500 Sea World Drive, Mission Bay, 619.222.4732.

Everyday California Surfing Lessons

Ongoing. Catch a wave with Everyday California’s daily surfing lessons—taking place in the calm waters of La Jolla Shores and open to all skill levels. The La Jolla-based, ocean-adventure company offers private and group lessons for up to 25 people, with each lasting 90 minutes. Surfboards are provided. (See website for stringent cleaning procedures, rules and safety precautions.) The company also offers standup-paddleboard lessons; plus kayak, surfboard and snorkel rentals. Open to ages 5 and older. Lessons start at $79 per person. 2261 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla Shores, 858.454.6195.

Exploring Old Town San Diego

Ongoing. The city’s historical heart and California’s very first settlement (circa 1769), Old Town welcomes locals and visitors alike—from sightseeing to shopping to outdoor dining. Stroll its quaint streets; shop at Diane Powers’ Bazaar del Mundo for authentic folk art, artisan jewelry, clothing and home decor; tour Old Town San Diego State Historic Park; sip a margarita on the expansive patio at Cafe Coyote; and much more. See website for full list of businesses, addresses and hours. San Diego Avenue (between Old Town Avenue and Taylor Street), Old Town.

Lions, Tigers & Bears Animal Sanctuary

Open. Meet rescued big cats, bears and more at this 93-acre East County sanctuary. From its “Feed with a Keeper” and “Member for a Day” experiences to exclusive behind-the-scenes tours, guests have a chance to learn the heartwarming stories of its 60-plus animals spanning 19 species. All were born into captivity and were rescued and relocated to the sanctuary due to such reasons as illegal ownership and insufficient care. Visits are by appointment only. Call for details and pricing. 24402 Martin Way, Alpine, 619.659.8078.

Food + Drink

Cevasco’s Italian Restaurant

Now Open. Serving elevated Italian cuisine, cocktails and wine, Del Mar Village welcomes Cevasco’s by chef/owner Christophe Cevasco. The casual-chic restaurant serves dishes such as veggie pasta primavera, pasta Bolognese and Alaskan-halibut piccata; along with paninis, pizzas, salads and shareable plates. The libations menu includes classics with creative twists, including the Naples Negroni, Apricot Old Fashioned and Limoncello Drop. For a sweet finish, choose from tiramisu, profiteroles and dessert cocktails. M-F 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sa-Su 10 a.m.-10 p.m. 1201 Camino Del Mar, Suite 1, Del Mar, 858.755.0000.

The Smoking Gun Arcade

Now Open. Take a break from adulting with some playtime at The Smoking Gun’s brand-new arcade. Buy a swipe card (no need for coins) and enter the arcade’s retro, all-black interior—complete with neon lights and TVs so you don’t miss your favorite sports game. Offerings include air hockey, Skee-Ball, driving games, basketball and old-school arcade favorites such as Pac-Man and Galaga. Grab a bite and cocktail in between rounds; we love the signature Smoking Gun Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Smoking Wings, TV-dinner-style meals and hearty sandwiches. 555 Market St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.233.3836.

The Plot’s Second Anniversary

Open. Celebrating its second birthday, this entirely plant-based eatery crafts inventive vegan dishes with nearly zero waste—growing most ingredients onsite. For dinner, feast on potato cakes with lentil caviar, sweet-potato gnocchi and meatless shepherd’s pie. A vegan sushi menu features fun specialty rolls, including the Mexifornia with spicy avocado mousse; and the Chronic filled with tempura-fried goodies. For weekend brunch, try the breakfast burrito or “sausage” ‘n’ biscuits, washed down by the surprisingly tasty Sweet ‘n’ Shroomy latte. See website for hours. 1733 S. Coast Hwy., Oceanside, 442.266.8200.

Tableside Cocktails at Understory

Now Available. This central bar at the Sky Deck at Del Mar Highlands Town Center is a popular spot for a casual date night. And now you can enjoy drinks prepared tableside for an elevated craft cocktail experience. Try the new Jalisco Pine made with barrel-aged tequila, elderflower, rosemary syrup and egg white; and the Brush Fire with bourbon, charcoal, grapefruit and jalapeño syrup. Be sure to return for Martini Monday (weekly) and Throwback Thursday (every second Thursday of the month). 12841 El Camino Real, Suite 209-210, Del Mar, 858.925.7022.

Arts + Culture

San Diego Museum Month

Feb. 1-28. Now in its 33rd year, the San Diego Museum Council’s event to promote the county as a vibrant cultural destination gives residents and visitors access to 45 museums, historical sites and gardens for half-off admission. Participating venues include Fleet Science Center, Mingei International Museum, The New Children’s Museum (pictured), Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Maritime Museum of San Diego, San Diego Museum of Art, and San Diego Air and Space Museum. Passes are available for free at all San Diego County locations of Macy’s, and at more than 75 local public libraries. More Info

Life Sucks at Cygnet Theatre

Feb. 3-27. Does life really suck? Staged at Old Town Theatre and directed by Rob Lufty, Cygnet Theatre presents the regional premiere of Life Sucks—playwright Aaron Posner’s brash reworking of Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya. The comedic play explores the hilarity (and enlightenment) that can be found in unhappiness—particularly when a miserable group of estranged in-laws, ex-lovers, old friends and sworn enemies get together to ponder life. How could things possibly go sideways? See website for showtimes, theater-safety protocols and ticket pricing. 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town, 619.337.1525.

Photo credits: San Diego Museum Month / The New Children’s Museum by Philipp Scholz Rittermann. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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