San Diego

Weekend roundup

March 28-31


San Diego Padres 2024 Opening Weekend

March 28-31. Baseball season is officially in full swing (pun intended) as of this Thursday—when the San Diego Padres take on the San Francisco Giants for their season home opener. Presented by Sycuan Casino Resort, the Padres 2024 Opening Day includes celebration of Petco Park’s  20th anniversary. There’s also Party in the Park on Friday; the Padres House Band performing at Gallagher Square on Saturday; and KidsFest on Sunday. See website for tickets, parking guide and other helpful info. Opening Day game on Thursday begins at 1:10 p.m. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. More Info

Belmont in Bloom Spring Festival

March 30-May 27. Spring is in the air at Belmont Park, which presents its annual Belmont in Bloom Spring Festival. The landmark beachfront property will be decked out with floral installations and festive photo ops, themed treats (including peach-cobbler funnel cake!) and spring-inspired cocktails available at its boardwalk restaurants; plus live music and entertainment. The kiddos will love chasing colorful bubbles through the park; posing with the Dancing Tulip Stilt Walkers (pictured); meeting other colorful characters like the flower princesses; and face painting. 3146 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach.

Circus Vargas

Through April 8. “The Big One is back!” Welcoming adults and kids of all ages, Circus Vargas is in town, offering a thrilling spectacle under the “Big Top” at Mission Valley Mall. Led by ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, the show features jaw-dropping aerialists, acrobats, contortionists, flying-trapeze performers, the Faltyny jugglers, the famous Wheel of Death by the Marinelli Brothers, the Globe of Death, comedians, electrifying music and much more. See website for showtimes and tickets, 1640 Camino del Rio North, Mission Valley. More Info

“Spring Safari” at S.D. Zoo Safari Park

Through May 12. As part of its “Spring Safari” programming, San Diego Zoo Safari Park invites guests to its Butterfly Jungle Safari. The 20-minute experience lets guests stroll through a hidden jungle aviary filled with butterflies, promising unforgettable photo ops. Spring fun also includes performances by juggler Bee Plus; high-octane dance crew The Bee Team; story time with Safari Parker; interactive songs and stories by African entertainers; exploring the park’s blooming botanical gardens; strolling acoustic guitar duo The Bluebirds; and more. 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, 760.747.8702.

Food + Drink

The Amalfi Llama

Now Open. The Collection at UTC welcomes its newest culinary offering. A fusion of Mediterranean and Patagonian cuisine, The Amalfi Llama (known for its original location in Miami) specializes in rustic, live-fire cooking. Think: wood-fired wagyu tomahawk, branzino and pizzas; along with pasta dishes such as baked tagliolini with prosciutto and bechamel; and cocktails like the Kingston Negroni and Amalfi Martini. The space is pretty, too—mod farmhouse accents, Peruvian llama tassels, a large circular bar and a patio with fire pits. Open daily at 5 p.m. 4575 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite 1155, UTC, 858.224.9606.

Lotus Thai Marks 20 Years in Business

Open. “Staying power” is a challenge no matter the restaurant or its location. A restaurant in business for 20 years in downtown San Diego, particularly East Village, is a remarkable feat. Opened in 2004, Lotus Thai celebrates its 20th anniversary. Owner/chef Piyawat Sangkapong’s award-winning restaurant—with Somly Khounnoraj as head chef—honors regional recipes from Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Southern Thailand, offering curries, noodles, soups, vegetarian dishes, entrees and more. Try the Chicken on Fire (pictured) and the signature Lotus sampler platter. 906 Market St., East Village, 619.595.0115.

Easter dining options in San Diego

Arts + Culture

The Old Globe: Ride

March 30-April 28. Ready to ride? Making its U.S. premiere, the smash-hit London musical, Ride, opens at The Old Globe on Saturday. Based on the book by Freya Catrin Smith (pictured)—with music and lyrics by Smith and Jack Williams—the story centers on Annie Londonderry, who sets out to ride a bicycle (even though she’s only ridden one twice) around the world. She and her secretary Martha travel to four continents on a jaw-dropping adventure. Sarah Meadows directs. See website for showtimes and tickets. 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623.

Diversionary Theatre: Hand to God

Closes March 30. Who could use a good laugh? Dubbed as a “hilarious and shocking theatrical experience,” The Roustabouts Theatre Co. brings us Hand to God at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights, closing on Saturday. Written by Robert Askins and directed by Phil Johnson, the provocative comedy follows Jason—a quiet young man in a small conservative town—who has a hand puppet that takes on a life of its own. Foul-mouthed hilarity (read: strong language advisory) and havoc ensue. See website for showtimes and tickets. 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights.

La Jolla Playhouse: Redwood

Closes March 31. Broadway icon Idina Menzel makes her La Jolla Playhouse debut in the world-premiere musical, Redwood. Menzel stars as Jesse—a successful businesswoman, wife and mother—who finds herself at a critical juncture in life, gets into her car, and drives away from it all … and toward the respite of Northern California’s redwood forests. The musical is written and directed by Tina Landau with music by Kate Diaz, but was conceived by Landau and Menzel—who also made additional contributions to the songs. 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, 858.550.1010.

Broadway San Diego: Disney’s Aladdin

Upcoming | April 3-7. Hailed by USA Today as “Pure Genie-Us,” the hit Broadway musical Disney’s Aladdin returns to the Civic Theatre. The glittering new production from the producer of The Lion King—and directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of MormonSomething Rotten!)—centers on the magical possibilities of one lamp and being granted three wishes. Sing along to favorite songs from the movie, as well as new music by Tony and Academy Award winner Alan Menken. See website for showtimes and tickets. 1100 Third Ave., downtown.

Photo credits: Hand to God by Daren Scott. Redwood / Idina Menzel by Rich Soublet. Disney’s Aladdin (pictured: Adi Roy as Aladdin) by Deen van Meer. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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