Friday, Aug. 11
Time: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Balboa Park’s “Food Truck Friday” is a summertime event that brings more than a dozen food trucks to the Plaza de Panama and El Prado walkway every Friday evening through Sept. 29. As you grab some food, you’ll also be able to enjoy live entertainment at the park. Stick around and check out “Balboa Park After Dark” (see below), happening simultaneously at the park Friday nights this summer.
Time: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Downtown Escondido’s free, weekly vintage car show continues, running every Friday night through Sept. 29. Cruisin’ Grand Escondido takes over historic Grand Avenue, with more than 500 cool cars lining the streets. The event, now in its 18th year, draws thousands of attendees. Each Friday night, awards are given to the most impressive pre-1973 American-made cars. Musical entertainment includes performances across four stages: Broadway; Juniper Street; Maple Street Plaza; Kalmia & Grand.
Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Balboa Park’s sundown summertime program continues, with eight museums offering extended late-night hours every Friday through Sept. 29. Some museums are even offering $5 admission deals. Food vendors and live entertainment will also fill the landmark during this “Balboa Park After Dark” series.
Time: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
San Diego’s fun and free “Summer Movies in the Park” presents family-friendly movies Friday night at several places across the county, usually at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. This week, the lineup includes “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” at Otay Lakes County Park and “The LEGO Batman Movie” at Robert Egger Sr. South Bay Community Park and at Pine Valley County Park. “Sing” will screen at both Sage Canyon Neighborhood Park and 4S Ranch Patriot Park, while “Ratatouille” plays at Nobel Community Park.
Time: 5 p.m.
The Point Loma Summer Concerts series wraps up its 17th season with bands paying tribute to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The Battle of the Brits-themed evening will put hits from the Fab Four and The Stones on one stage for “the greatest show that never was.” The concert is free.
Time: 6 p.m.
Dreaming of Hawaii? The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa in Pacific Beach hosts its 16th season of Sunset Luaus on the shores of Mission Bay, a Friday night event complete with tropical drinks, Polynesian cuisine, and authentic island-inspired music and dancing. The Sunset Luau series runs through Sept. 1; tickets are $69 for adults, $32 for kids ages 5 to 12, and free for little one 5 and younger.
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Rockers Incubus and pop punk pioneers, Jimmy Eat World, join forces Friday night for this concert in Chula Vista. Tickets start at $38.
Time: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Loma Club in Point Loma (2660 Truxtun Rd.) will host another installment of Glow-in-the-Dark Golf Friday night, accompanied by craft brews from 32 North Brewing Co. The $35 ticket includes a pint at check-in, plus nine holes of golf, four beer tastings, and a glow necklace. The event also includes live music.
Time: 7 p.m.
Head over to Lyric Court at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido Friday for an evening of jazz music performed by Temecula-based bassist and composer, Darryl Williams. The event is free, but reservations are recommended.
Time: 7 p.m.
The Young Actors’ Theatre tells the story of the ambitious and bubbly Elle Woods and her journey from the sorority house to the courtroom. The musical runs through Aug. 13; tickets to the Friday night performance are $32.
Relive the magic of Steven Spielberg’s family classic, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” in a new way: with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra performing the film’s entire Oscar-winning score live, while the movie is shown on a big HD screen at Embarcadero Marina Park South. The concert – part of Bayside Summer Nights – will be led by conductor Sarah Hicks. Tickets start at $25; there will be family-friendly activities for the kids before the concert.
Saturday, Aug. 12
Time: 8 a.m.
It can be difficult to wake up early on a Saturday morning. But here’s something to help get you out of bed this Saturday morning: DayBreak at the racetrack. Grab some breakfast while watching morning workouts at the racetrack. Horse racing fanatics will also be able to pick the brain of former jockey and event announcer Jeff Bloom. Bloom will be there answering questions. Tickets cost $10.
Time: 8 a.m.
It’s a unique experience you don’t want to miss. Join aquarium naturalists as they head out off of the La Jolla coast to snorkel with leopard sharks in their natural habitat. To participate, you must have intermediate knowledge of swimming and have previous snorkeling experience. Participants must be 10 years or older and must supply their own gear. Tickets start at $25.
Time: 9 a.m.
Natural, healthy food and beverages come together at this local showcase along the Coronado Bay. San Diegans who attend will be able to participate in a bootcamp class, a Vinyasa Yoga class, and CorePower Yoga. There will be prizes, a photo booth, live music, and tastings. The $7 ticket is a donation to support Heartland San Diego and the American Diabetes Association.
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Arts District at Liberty Station will celebrate local artists in the fields of visual arts, music and more at this ArtWalk in the Ingram Plaza (2751 Dewey Rd.) on Saturday. The event is free; there will be food available for purchase in a street food vendors area, plus a wine and beer pavilion for the 21+ crowd.
Time: 12 p.m.
Head over to the Imperial Beach Pier this Saturday for a fun-filled back to school carnival. More than 40 vendors will set up shop with food, local products and more. As you grab some lunch, listen to live music, or even play outdoor laser tag. The event is free.
Time: 2 p.m.
What’s better than burgers and beer at one of San Diego’s classic spots, the Racetrack? Stop by the Del Mar Racetrack this Saturday to sample some of the city’s best burgers from favorites like Hodad’s, Salters 50/50 and more. Plus, pair your meal with local craft beer. A $40 ticket gets you unlimited burgers, a gourmet fry, five craft beer samples and admission to the track.
After the Final Race
Rapper Ludacris performs at the Del Mar Race Track Saturday night, at the Seaside Stage, right after the final horse race of the day. The 18+ concert is free with paid admission to the track.
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Sunshine, sailing, and cocktails come together on this Hornblower cocktail cruise. Hop on board for a two-hour cruise with champagne, light Hors oeuvres and more as you enjoy a beautiful view of the Bay during sunset. The boat leaves at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $37.50 per person.
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Treat yourself to a lovely evening on the Bay this Saturday for the all-new Spirits at Sunset cruise. Board an 82-foot yacht for an evening for 360 views of the beautiful San Diego and bay and your favorite cocktails. Tickets start at $42.50.
Time: 7:30 p.m.Location: Humphreys by the Bay
Classic rockers, America, celebrate their 47th anniversary making music with this show at Humphreys on Saturday night. Founding members Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell will be on stage, along with new band members, grooving to tunes like “A Horse With No Name,” “I Need You,” and “Ventura Highway,” to name a few.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Comedy icons and “Saturday Night Live” pals Steve Martin and Martin Short bring their variety tour to San Diego for a night of laughter, skits and live music. Tickets start at $39.50.
Time: 8 p.m.
Every Saturday night this summer (through Aug. 26), stop by San Diego’s Little Italy Amici Park and enjoy a series of Italian films with English subtitles. The screenings start at 8 p.m. The entry fee is a $5 donation.
Sunday, Aug. 13
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Local, regional and national performers will come together on Sunday at the Maritime Museum of San Diego for the 25th annual Sea Chantey Fest, which celebrates “Songs of the Sea” and the “chanteys” sung by sailors for centuries. Traditional folk music will be performed by groups like The Jackstraws and The Bilge Pump Band while sail crews from the Star of India demonstrate shipboard skills. Visitors will even get a chance to join in and raise the sails of the ship. The festival is included with admission to the Maritime Museum: $18 for adults; $13 for seniors, military and students ages 13 to 17; $8 for children ages 3 to 12. A family package for two adults and two children costs $45; kids age 2 and under get in free.
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Catch a glimpse of some of the wild birds in Mission Trails Regional Park this Sunday morning during a guided walk. A tour guide will take you along a trail, explaining parts of the park to you. The trek is free.
Time: 9 a.m.
Two blocks from the beach this Sunday, you’ll find an open-air art experience like no other. This annual festival features more than 120 local and regional fine artists exhibiting their work, from oil painting to watercolor to contemporary sculpture and more. You’ll find more than just art, though: there will also be jewelry, woodworking, furniture, pottery and so much more. As you browse, listen to live acoustic music, artist demos and more. The event is free.
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Settle into the New Year in style by hopping abroad a luxury yacht and cruising around the San Diego Bay. The two-hour cruise will take brunchers past the Downtown San Diego bay as they enjoy a gourmet buffet, mimosas, and live music. Tickets start at $38.70.
Time: 1 p.m.
Ceviche fans, this one is for you! Taste and vote for your favorite ceviche in the region during this casual, walk-around ceviche competition. This year, restaurants from Mexico to San Diego will participate in the competition. A panel of local celebrity judges will conduct blind tastings and present an award, plus, attendees’ votes will be tallied for a People’s Choice award. Tickets start at $25.
Time: 2 p.m.
This Broadway classic, considered one of the greatest musicals of all time, comes to San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. The show follows Nathan Detroit, New York's infamous game organizer, who makes a bet with a notorious gambler: take mission girl Sarah Brown to dinner in Cuba. The beloved upbeat musical is directed by rising director and choreographer Josh Rhodes, who tells NBC 7 he went back to basics for his fresh take of a classic musical. The final show is on Sunday.
Time: 3 p.m.
A bright-eyed Princeton graduate comes to New York City with big dreams and a small bank account in this Tony Award-winning musical, back by popular demand. Laugh and cry-laugh as you follow the (often slightly raunchy and outrageous) lives of the neighborhood’s residents. The show is billed as a Sesame Streets for adults. Tickets start at $29; its run at the OB Playhouse ends Sunday.
Time: 7 p.m.
See the timeless story of hero Robin Hood in a new light: on stage, in this brand-new, Globe-commissioned play by Ken Ledwig. Ludwig, a playwright whose works have appeared on Broadway and London's West End ("Crazy For You," "Lend Me a Tenor," "An American in Paris," and more), comes back to The Globe in this world premiere comedy. Ludwig most recently premiered "Baskerville" at the Globe, bringing Sherlock Holmes to San Diego. The piece promises thrills, romance, laughter and more. The piece runs through Aug. 27.
Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego
Times and locations vary
Looking to save some cash, but still enjoy the city? In San Diego, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy for free or on the cheap. Go for a hike at Torrey Pines State Park or Cowles Mountain, stroll Balboa Park, try a new craft brewery, admire the murals of Chicano Park or read a book at a downtown park. Get out there and explore America’s Finest City.