San Diego

Weekend roundup

May 20-23

Outdoor Fun

“Lights On North Park” Ceremony

May 20. After a tough year for small businesses, North Park Main Street invites the public to a community-oriented gesture of solidarity—highlighted by a sunset ceremony during which the street corner just steps from the iconic North Park sign will be set aglow with a dynamic light display. The spectacle aims to show unity and support for the ‘hood’s 1,000 retail, restaurant, entertainment and service businesses; plus live music and artwork by visual collage artist Steve Haney. 7:15-8 p.m. (light display scheduled for sunset). Free. 30th Street and University Avenue, North Park. More Info

Compass Balloons

Open. Soar over San Diego at sunset with a hot-air balloon ride with Compass Balloons. Its private and semi-private tours (up to 10 people) take you up and over the beachfront and coastal canyons of Del Mar, and the rolling hills and luxury real estate of Rancho Santa Fe—with likely glimpses of the Torrey Pines Golf Course and Palomar Mountain in the distance. Tours last three hours and 30 minutes and include Champagne, cheese, fruit, water, soda and boundless photo opportunities. Starting at $225 per person. 1969 Villa Cardiff Drive, Cardiff, 760.704.7407.

La Jolla Kayak Tours

Open. Explore La Jolla’s spectacular sea cliffs, the Seven Caves and abundant marine life from the unique perspective of a kayak. Suitable for all skill levels, kayaking these natural wonders is easily accessible with La Jolla Kayak’s expertly guided tours. The two-hour Original Kayak Tour is our pick for first-timers, offering a mix of scenery and sea life. Kayakers have spotted dolphins, seals, sea lions, leopard sharks, garibaldi and more. (The company also offers snorkel and bike tours and rentals.) See website for hours and pricing. 2199 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla, 858.459.1114.

Food + Drink

Bordeaux Bash at Carruth Cellars

May 22. San Diego’s largest urban winery invites oenophiles to its Solana Beach tasting room for a celebration and exploration of Bordeaux varietals. Snack on charcuterie as you blend your own wine (with the help of a winemaker) to take home; taste Bordeaux wines straight from the barrel; and score up to 40 percent discounts on “futures” (aka bottles of wine yet to be bottled and released). Advance reservations required; see website to book a private time slot for up to six guests. $120 per person ($100 for Carruth members). 118 Cedros Ave., Unit C, Solana Beach, 858.847.9463. Tickets

Scoop San Diego Drive-Thru Ice Cream Festival at Balboa Park

May 22. Ice cream for a great cause? We’ll scream for that! Enjoy scoops from more than 20 local shops from the comfort of your car at this third annual event to raise money for Feeding San Diego—presented by MyPoint Credit Union and Chemistry PR. Participants include Salt & Straw, Mr. Trustee, Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream and GelatoLove; plus “pet stops” serving dog-friendly ice cream; and vegan, nondairy and gluten-free options. Donate a nonperishable food item and be entered into a raffle for a chance to win prizes. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Balboa Park.

AAPI Heritage Month at Vistal Bar + Restaurant

Through May 31. Order Kampachi for a cause throughout May, which is Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the U.S. To celebrate, diners at Vistal at the InterContinental San Diego (and other InterContinental properties nationwide) can enjoy an exclusive crudo preparation—Hawaiian Kampachi (yellowtail) sashimi served over Cara Cara navel oranges, with Nuoc Cham sauce, citrus oil, cilantro and yuzu tobiko. Sales from the dish—created by chef Kevin Tien—will benefit Stop AAPI Hate. See website for hours. 901 Bayfront Court, downtown, 619.535.0485.

New Happy Hour Menu at Rare Society

Now Available. Head to this retro steakhouse for the coolest happy hour in the ’hood. Sip select cocktails for $8, including the House Old Fashioned and the Daily Whim—a rotating libation made with the freshest ingredients of the moment. Discounted dishes include wagyu-asada fries; chickpea hummus with freshly grilled pita bread; and grilled shrimp with scampi sauce and garlic bread. If you’re especially hungry, we dare you to try the signature wood-grilled wagyu burger with truffle cheese on brioche—only available during happy hour. W-Su 5-6 p.m. 4130 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.501.6404.

Bernardo Winery

Open. As SoCal’s oldest operating winery (founded in 1889 and family-owned), Bernardo Winery offers it all. Enjoy a quaint wine-tasting experience amid landscaped gardens; and dine on wood-fired pizzas, salads and small plates at The Kitchen restaurant. It’s also an ideal place to shop for gifts for the wine lover in your life. Inside the Village Shops, you’ll find gourmet pantry items, home wares, garden accessories, artwork, bath products, jewelry, clothing, and sweets such as old-fashioned butter caramels—all locally made. 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, Rancho Bernardo, 858.487.1866.

Arts + Culture

Dance is in the Air Festival

May 21-June 13. Spring is in the air … and so are the dancing feet of three local outfits. Malashock Dance (pictured), San Diego Ballet and San Diego Dance Theater present this collaborative outdoor festival—with live performances at the ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station. The lineup includes San Diego Dance Theater’s Other Times, Other Places—a collection of works that include the premiere of two dances celebrating 1950s music; Malashock Dance’s premiere of The Bridge; San Diego Ballet’s premiere of Debussy Dances: Preludes and Arabesques; and more. See website for locations, dates and tickets.

San Diego Natural History Museum

Reopened. “The Nat” captures 70 million years of natural history—housed in one very cool building. Featuring a research collection of 8 million specimens, a giant-screen theater and four floors of exhibitions, the museum is a treasure trove of discoveries about the earth and its inhabitants. Our exhibit picks: Fossil Mysteries, a wonderland for dinosaur lovers; Living Lab, where you’ll meet scorpions and lizards; and Coast to Cactus in Southern California. And say hello to Mr. Megalodon (pictured). F-Tu 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $19.95 adults; $11.95 children (ages 3-17). 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.3821.

Photo credits: Dance is in the Air Festival / Malashock Dance by Ryan Beck. All other images are courtesy of the businesses and venues featured.

Let's Stay In Touch

with weekly roundups

Sign up for FREE to receive our exclusive Weekend Roundup!

Get the best things to do in our favorite SoCal spots delivered to your inbox every week

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego