San Diego

Weekend roundup

October 1-4


“Haunted Aquarium Remix”

Opens Oct. 1. Creepy, crawly sea creatures and educational fun await at Birch Aquarium, which presents a monthlong Halloween celebration complete with alfresco activities and new animal encounters. Kids (who are encouraged to wear costumes!) can get close to—and actually touch, if they dare—sea spiders, several species of small sharks, slimy seaweed and more. Face coverings required and safety protocols enforced. See website for hours and pricing. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, 858.534.3474.

Moonlight Movie Series at The Lafayette Hotel

Begins Oct. 1. Get into the Halloween spirit with the hotel’s “Film & Float” moonlight movie series—poolside screenings of spooky-fun flicks every Thursday in October. The fun kicks off with a showing of The Addams Family; along with $5 appetizers and cocktails. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs as seating is limited. Or reserve a table for dinner on the veranda at Hope 46 restaurant for guaranteed prime seating. RSVPs required in advance. 6-9 p.m. Movie admission is free. 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park, 619.296.2101.

Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro

Oct. 3-4. Cheer on some of the world’s top-ranked surfers and U.S. Olympic team members as they hang ten in this 13th annual surfing competition near Oceanside Pier. The athletes will compete on two teams—Team CA versus Team Rest of U.S.—with participants including reigning four-time world champion Carissa Moore, Caroline Marks, Lakey Peterson, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Courtney Conlogue, Sage Erickson and more. Spectators are not permitted (due to the pandemic), but the event will be livestreamed on two websites. 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. |

Taste of Little Italy: Takeout Edition

Oct. 4-8. The 12th annual event has been redesigned this year to unfold over five days—with six different restaurants highlighted each evening, offering multicourse meals. To manage crowd sizes, a maximum of 300 tickets will be sold per night, with ticket holders assigned a time window to check in at the Piazza della Famiglia. They will then be given an insulated tote bag—in which to collect their meal from each featured restaurant that day—to enjoy at home or outdoors. A portion of the proceeds will help local restaurants facing pandemic-related hardships. 4-7 p.m. 523 W. Date St., Little Italy.

Food + Drink

Pop Pie Co.’s Holiday Pies

Begins Oct. 1. Pie season is here! And Pop Pie Co. is celebrating by releasing its holiday and seasonal pies in-shop. Choose from whole pumpkin, salted-caramel apple crumble, vegan apple crumble, honey-bourbon pecan and salted honey pie. (Oh my!) Open for takeout and delivery, the fast-casual restaurant and bakery is known for its savory pies such as the classic chicken pot pie and Green Hog & Cheese with braised pork shoulder; plus sweet pies, hand pies, quiches, craft coffee and beers on tap. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. 4404 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.501.4440.

Cocina de Barrio

Now Open. Did someone say popsicle margaritas? Spotlighting recipes and flavors of Oaxaca, the Mexican restaurant by chef Jose J. Flores features authentic dishes with fun twists. Feast on grilled Pacific oysters on the half shell; braised short ribs with mole negro; and toasted masa cakes with lamb birria and refried beans. Added bonuses: an ample alfresco dining patio, a vast selection of tequila and mezcal, and plenty of plant-based dishes. And don’t miss the blue corn pancakes for weekend brunch. D Tu-Sa; Br Sa-Su. See website for hours. 3707 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest, 619.677.2770.

Solomon Bagel & Donut Co.

Now Open. A happy place for carb lovers, this artisanal bakery serves up daily fresh-baked bagels and donuts. Bagel connoisseurs will love the New York-style, water-boiled, perfectly chewy creations—from tomato-basil to poppyseed to pumpernickel—accompanied by homemade spreads such as olive-pimento and garden-veggie cream cheese. Or choose from scratch-made gourmet donuts, apple fritters, bialys and other pastries; plus vegan sandwiches, salads and drip coffee. Open daily 6 a.m.-6 p.m (pickup and delivery available 7 a.m.-5 p.m.). 4152 30th St., North Park, 619.326.8248.

Polite Provisions

Reopened. Find “tonics, elixirs and cures” in the form of craft libations at this sleek, apothecary-style bar—reopened with an expanded patio and newly installed partitions to divide seating. Guests can expect the same expertly shaken and stirred cocktails they’ve grown to love over the years (with several drinks available to-go); while enjoying modern Chinese-takeout cuisine from Fortunate Son restaurant next door. We suggest pairing the classic Mai Tai with the pork-and-shrimp shumai wontons. 4-10 p.m. daily. 4696 30th St., North Park, 619.269.4701.

Arts + Culture

San Diego Italian Film Festival

Begins Oct. 1. More than just movies, the festival is a celebration of Italian history, culture, community and great cinema. The monthlong virtual event begins with online screenings of the film It Will Be Chaos—centered on two refugee stories that unfold between Italy and the Balkan corridor—Oct.1-3; followed by a live Q&A with directors Filippo Piscopo and Lorena Luciano on Oct. 4. The festival also includes the 2020 Ristretto Shorts Competition, with films screened online Oct. 1-Nov. 1. See website for tickets and full lineup of films.

SDCCU Festival of the Arts in North Park

Begins Oct. 3. The 24th annual festival goes virtual this year with cool events taking place on Thursdays and Saturdays in October. Our pick: the Battle of the Bands on Saturday, when competing bands will perform from the top of the North Park Parking Garage. The lineup includes The Colour Monday (pictured), Wicked Echoes, Ric Scales and The Letdown. Make the event semi-social by stopping by viewing locations in the ‘hood, such as True North Tavern, Bivouac Ciderworks, Working Class and Original 40. (Mention the festival and enjoy food and drink specials.) 3 p.m.

Photo credits: Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro by Pete Santos. Taste of Little Italy courtesy of Bencotto restaurant. Polite Provisions by Arlene Ibarra. All other images are courtesy of the businesses and people 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