San Diego

Weekend roundup

March 10-13


San Diego Zoo’s Wildlife Explorers Basecamp

Opens March 11. It’s all about animal attraction at the zoo’s new kid-friendly destination. The Denny Sanford Wildlife Explorers Basecamp opens on Saturday—featuring habitats from around the world where young explorers can interact, climb, jump and play. Basecamp is divided into four distinct outdoor areas (where wildlife ranges from fennec foxes to crocodiles): Desert Dunes, Wild Woods, Marsh Meadows and Rainforest. Then head inside to explore the Cool Critters Reptile House and Spineless Marvels Invertebrate House. See website for hours and admission info. 2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park, 619.231.1515.

SeaWorld’s New Emperor Dive Coaster

Opens March 12. Feel free to kick and scream aboard SeaWorld San Diego’s newest ride. Inspired by the emperor penguin, Emperor is California’s first floorless dive coaster—named “one of the most anticipated rides of 2022” by USA Today. Not for the faint of heart, Emperor climbs 153 feet, plunges 90 degrees and zooms up to 60 mph through loops and turns that span nearly 2,500 feet of track. Keep your eyes open to catch some scenic views of the skyline and bay. See website for hours and admission info. 500 SeaWorld Drive, Mission Bay, 619.222.4732.


March 12. Shenanigans are certain to ensue at the 26th annual ShamROCK. The bonanza is the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation’s official St. Paddy’s Day Music & Beer Festival, spanning three stages and seven bars. The fun includes live DJs and nonstop Irish rock music acts, headlined by the Young Dubliners (10 p.m.); Irish fare, green beer, craft brews and whiskey libations; free Irish dance lessons; a “Lepra-Con” contest; and a designated Shenanigans Showdown Stage. 2 p.m.-midnight. General admission is $50. Entrance at corner of Fifth and F streets, Gaslamp Quarter.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival

March 12. Billed as the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade west of the Mississippi, this 40th annual event is back—featuring floats, marching bands, equestrian units, dancing groups and performers, antique cars and more. After the parade, head to Balboa Park for a family-friendly Irish festival—including traditional music, Irish step dancing, a kids zone, beer garden, and food booths offering everything from beef sandwiches to Guinness brats. 10:30 a.m. (parade); 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (festival). Free entry. Fifth Avenue at Laurel Street, Bankers Hill; Sixth Avenue at Maple Street, Balboa Park.

Food + Drink

Lakehouse Food & Wine Festival

March 12. Calling all foodies and oenophiles. Lakehouse Hotel & Resort has partnered with area restaurants, wineries and breweries for an afternoon of tastings and live music on its scenic lawn skirting Lake San Marcos. Sample refined bites from Ranch 45, The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Belmont Park, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and more. Wash it all down with offerings from CaliFino Tequila, Eppig Brewery, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., La Fleur’s Winery, South Coast Winery and more. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $60 per person (all you can eat and drink). 1105 La Bonita Drive, San Marcos. Tickets

Go Go Amigo at Liberty Station

Now Open. It’s south-of-the-border cuisine with a fun twist at Good Time Design’s newest culinary outpost. Go Go Amigo (located in the former El Jardin space) is a bright, colorful, festive gathering hub—complete with firepits and neon lights—serving Mexican-fusion fare by chef Todd Nash, margaritas and specialty cocktails. Choose from starters such as the stuffed chile relleno and signature Go Go Nachos; plus an array of tacos and salads. Mains include the chicken-tinga grilled cheese and the Amigo Bowl with red rice. See website for hours. 2885 Perry Road, Liberty Station, 619.795.2322.

New Spring Menu at Juniper and Ivy

Now Available. The Little Italy hot spot is celebrating its eighth anniversary, the recent designation of executive chef Anthony Wells as a James Beard Award semifinalist, and a new spring menu. Indulge in new dishes such as the pork belly ravioli (pictured), whole-roasted duck, lamb meatballs and local halibut. For dessert, pastry chef Lindsay Sipress debuts a refreshed take on the restaurant’s famed Yodel; as well as the flourless “Not an Ice Cream Sandwich” accompanied by white-chocolate-vanilla-bean cream and pomegranate molasses. See website for hours. 2228 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.269.9036.

Arts + Culture

San Diego Latino Film Festival

March 10-20. Movie buffs will love this 29th annual celebration of Latino film, art and culture. Check out more than 160 features and short film screenings—at the AMC Theatres at Westfield Mission Valley—from Latin America and the U.S. Festivities also include the Opening Night celebration at The Patricios Pub & Cantina; the Festival Village and artisan gallery; a food, beer and wine festival; celebrity guests and filmmaker panels; and live music nightly. See website for full event schedule, addresses and pricing for individual tickets and festival passes.

Busker Festival at Seaport Village

March 12. This Seaport Village tradition returns (after a one-year hiatus) for its 15th annual installment. The pageant showcases some of the world’s most talented street performers, spanning three stages and 12 acts throughout the Carousel District. Witness flame throwers, knife jugglers, magicians, acrobats and more as they perform jaw-dropping feats. New this year, the Lighthouse District will transform into a “Bubbles & Balloons” immersive pop-up, featuring Champagne tastings by San Pasqual Winery, bubble machines, balloon artistry and fun photo ops. Noon-6 p.m. Free admission. 849 W. Harbor Drive, downtown.

Maritime Museum of San Diego 

Open. Ahoy! One of our favorite slices of San Diego culture sits docked along the north embarcadero. This floating nautical museum is home to one of the larger collections of historical sea vessels in the U.S.—including the world-famous Star of India, an iron-hulled sailing ship built in 1863. Become immersed in more than 500 years of seafaring history—from dockside ship tours to insightful exhibits to San Diego Bay on-the-water adventures. See website to purchase tickets. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1492 N. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.234.9153.

Photo credits: Go Go Amigo by Patrick Samokhvalof. Busker Festival courtesy of Seaport Village. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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