San Diego

Weekend roundup

July 4-7


“Big Bay Boom” Fireworks Spectacular 

July 4. There are fireworks. And then there’s the “Big Bay Boom” Independence Day Spectacular. Presented by the Port of San Diego, Big Bay Boom is the largest fireworks show in California. Displayed from four barges and set to a musical simulcast on 100.7 BIG FM radio, the 20-minute spectacular spans San Diego Bay—visible from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Spanish Landing Park, the North Embarcadero, South Embarcadero, Cesar E. Chavez Park, Coronado Ferry Landing and Coronado Tidelands Park. (Bring lawn chairs and blankets!) See website for all viewing locations and parking tips. 9 p.m.

Coronado Fourth of July Celebrations

July 4. Don your red, white and blue and head to Coronado to celebrate. Highlights of the day include the 75th annual Independence Day Parade along Orange Avenue, featuring live music, decorated military vehicles and more (10 a.m.); an aerial demonstration by the Navy Leap Frogs (2 p.m.); several concerts throughout the afternoon; and a fireworks show over Glorietta Bay (9 p.m.), viewable from the Coronado Golf Course—complete with a soundtrack by KYXY Radio 96.5 FM. See website for full schedule and all locations around Coronado. Most festivities are family-friendly and free to attend. More Info

“Red, White & Boom!” at LEGOLAND

July 4. During the day, the kiddos and grownups alike can enjoy the park’s main attractions, such as the “LEGO Ferrari Build and Race” experience; as well as meet-and-greets with LEGO characters, special live performances, DJ dance parties, limited-time treats, lawn games and other holiday-themed activities. After sunset, pick one of several designated viewing locations for the “Red, White & BOOM!” fireworks spectacular, complete with pre-show entertainment and special 3D viewing glasses for each guest. See website for hours and admission info. One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, 888.690.5346.

“Pier Pressure” Fourth of July Weekend Party

July 6. Celebrate Independence Day into the weekend aboard Hornblower’s $10 million “Inspiration” luxury yacht. The experience includes live entertainment across the 1,200-person-capacity vessel’s multiple decks and two areas of music—including performances by DJs, including Spitz, Justin Credible, Daughter of Arya and more. Guests can take advantage of several fully stocked and staffed bars (with bottle service and VIP packages available); while dancing and taking in unparalleled San Diego Bay views. 5-8 p.m. (boarding begins at 4 p.m.). See website for ticket pricing (21+). 1800 N. Harbor Drive, downtown. More Info

July 4th socal pulse ad

Food + Drink

XOXO by Breakfast & Bubbles

Now Open. Since opening in early June as XOXO Retro Diner, this Hillcrest outpost has shifted to a brunch-only focus and an updated name to match. Order from a fun menu of savory plates like caviar Benedict, pink deviled eggs and the crispy chicken waffle sandwich; and sweet dishes such as Oreo-stuffed French toast; along with breakfast cocktails, mimosas and milkshakes to wash it all down. (There’s even a new secret menu offering exclusive libations, bao buns and “Golden Steak with Eggs.”) Open daily 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 3831 Park Blvd., Hillcrest, 619.269.6281.

Ember & Rye

Reopened. In continued collaboration with chef Richard Blais, Park Hyatt Aviara’s steakhouse has reopened—this time with a refreshed menu and James Beard semifinalist Jonathan Bautista as newly appointed executive chef. Nestled at Aviara Golf Club overlooking the 18th green, the restaurant offers premium-quality steaks and seafood dishes with local ingredients. Feast on A5 Japanese wagyu, 28-day dry-aged ribeye, Ora King salmon, crab-and-lobster bucatini and much more; plus cocktails like the rum-based Lagoon Treasure. See website for hours. 7447 Batiquitos Drive, Carlsbad, 760.603.6908.

New Summer Menu at Sandpiper

Now Available. Sandpiper Wood-Fired Grill & Oysters—La Jolla Shores’ casual-cool oyster bar and restaurant—debuts a refreshed summer menu by executive chef Marty Fay. New additions include the smoked albacore dip (pictured) accompanied by “everything bagel” crackers, pickles and a soft boiled egg; swordfish schnitzel with German potato salad and marinated cucumbers; cod croquettes with bechamel and lemon aioli; and a panzanella salad with tomatoes, burrata, peaches and sourdough. See website for hours. 2259 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla, 858.228.5655.

Arts + Culture

Henry 6 at The Old Globe

Through Sept. 15. The Old Globe becomes only the 11th theater in U.S. history to complete Shakespeare’s entire canon with its world-premiere adaptation and staging of Henry 6. Adapted by Barry Edelstein (who also directs) into a thrilling two-part event, Henry 6 is The Old Globe’s largest Shakespeare production to date—staged under the stars at its outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. Don’t miss One: Flowers and France, now through Sept. 14; and Two: Riot and Reckoning, July 9-Sept. 15. See website for showtimes and tickets. 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623.

Duel Reality at The Old Globe

July 6-Aug. 4. Also at The Old Globe, dynamic performance troupe The 7 Fingers presents the West Coast premiere of Duel Reality—an electric one-act production that combines theater, daredevil acrobatics and music. In it, we follow two feuding families, who face off in round after round of increasingly daring competition; as each side is cheered on by their side of the audience. Meanwhile, two star-crossed lovers struggle to escape all the mayhem… Shana Carroll directs. See website for showtimes and tickets. Shiley Stage, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623.

Jasper Johns Exhibit at SDMA

Now On View. The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) presents the new exhibit, Jasper Johns: Drawings & Prints, on view through Oct. 27. One of the most prolific artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, the 94-year-old painter, sculptor, draftsman and printmaker is a central figure in the development of postwar art. The exhibit showcases 14 of Johns’ significant works on paper, including six original drawings on loan from the artist, dating from 1960 to 2021. See website for more details, museum hours and admission info. 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.7931.

Photo credits: Big Bay Boom by Rinus Back. Duel Reality / The Old Globe by Mark Smith. Jasper Johns: “Green Angel” etching is © 2024 Jasper Johns and ULAE; licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society; published by Universal Limited Art Editions. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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