10 Actually Fun Things to Do in San Diego This Weekend

A tiki takeover, a celestial light show, and cider sipping in Julian.

Is it August already? Where did the summer go? Don’t worry, it’s still right here, with endless blue skies, breezy beach days, and plenty of fruity cocktails to be enjoyed while gazing at a spectacular sunset. This weekend is packed with tropical drinks filled with pineapples and rum, a candlelit soundtrack played by a string quartet, and a beer anniversary that’ll make up for lost time. And while you’re gallivanting around town, don’t forget that the CDC just updated their mask guidelines, recommending that fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people plus kids (so everyone!) continue wearing masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, which unfortunately applies to San Diego County. Now that that’s out of the way, here is everything you can eat, drink, and do in San Diego this weekend:

Sip fruity drinks and dream of tropical sunsets

Wednesday, July 28-Sunday, August 1
Mission Valley
Tiki culture has always been a big part of San Diego's culinary landscape, and this weekend the world’s original and largest tiki event is happening at Town and Country Resort in Mission Valley. Join them for five nights of live music, dancing, pool parties, sunset dinners, and the most delicious tropical cocktails from top mixologists. There’s also educational seminars, a marketplace, art exhibit, book signings, and more. Reserve your spot online
Cost: $30-420

Let a string quartet take you to the movies

Thursday, July 29-Friday, July 30
Liberty Station
Imagine your favorite movie soundtrack, brought to life by a string quartet, surrounded by candlelight, all in a stunning, intimate chapel. The Velveteen Ensemble plays the most beautiful and beloved film and television themes, from Star Wars to Game of Thrones in the historic Chapel in Liberty Station. Two performances are held per night, and the concert will be repeated August 12-13.
Cost: $40-60

Check out the first meteor shower of August

Thursday, July 29-Friday, July 30
Outdoors
The Southern Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower is the smaller, fainter of the two celestial events this month, but it can still produce around 20 meteors per hour, barring interference from the waning gibbous moon. Get into a dark area, away from the city lights, give your eyes about 20 minutes to adjust, and then scan the sky for trails. 
Cost: Free

Keep San Diego Pride alive

Friday, July 30-Sunday, August 1
Your home
The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, comprised of more than 200 singers, dancers and musicians, brings Pride Week back with their continuation of SEASON 36 and their newest online concert, UNMUTED. It features highlights from past Pride performances at the Balboa Theater and two new virtual productions, free and online via their YouTube channel
Cost: Free

Celebrate a beerversary

Saturday, July 31
Kearny Mesa
Kilowatt Brewing didn’t get to celebrate their 5th anniversary, so they’re making up for it with a 6th & 5th Year Anniversary Party and Beer Festival at their Kearny Mesa venue. They’ve brewed 12 rare, small-batch beers, including five single-batch IPAs, a 5X Dryhopped IPA, five Barrel Aged Library Beers, and a Quintuple IPA that clocks in at 14+% ABV especially for the occasion, plus another 20+ beers on tap, 20+ food trucks and vendors, live music, games, and a giant Jenga bracket-style tournament. Tickets can be purchased in advance online
Cost: $10-60

Get on your feet for the Marines

Saturday, July 31
Little Italy
The popular Marine Band San Diego Summer Concert returns to the Piazza della Famiglia at West Date Street between India and Columbia Streets in Little Italy to get you grooving to tunes from the 45-piece Marine Band San Diego, along with their party band music group, Sound Strike and New Orleans-style band, Double Time Brass Band from 6 pm–dusk. 
Cost: Free

Go for ganache at a chocolate workshop

Saturday, July 31
San Marcos
Making your own chocolates isn’t difficult, but does require a few specific techniques and a bit of careful handling. Learn the ins and outs at D’Liteful Chocolat’s Chocolate Workshop—you’ll get hands-on experience making beautiful ganache-filled confections with a simple piped garnish. Once you’ve packed your treasures in a pretty custom box, you’ll have to decide whether to give it to a special person or keep it for yourself.  
Cost: $50

Drink your apples in Julian

Saturday, July 31
Julian
Not all of the apples grown in Julian are destined for their famous pies—some are pressed and fermented into delicious hard cider. At the 6th Annual Sip of Julian, you can taste offerings from places like Julian Hard Cider and Calico Cidery, plus samples of beer, wine, craft cocktails, and small food pairings from some of the best tasting rooms in Julian. Purchase tickets online in advance; options include a self-guided day or add shuttle service and relax between stops. 21+ only.
Cost: $35 for self-guided, $50 includes shuttle service.

Enjoy an al fresco Italian film

Saturday, July 31
Little Italy
The Amici Park Amphitheater at West Date and State Streets hosts Little Italy’s Italian Film Festival, featuring outstanding Italian movies (with English subtitles) every Saturday night through September 18. Bring your own picnic or hit the Little Italy Food Hall located at the Piazza della Famiglia, grab a blanket, and enjoy this week’s feature, Loose Cannons, under the stars with friends and family. Sorry, no outside alcoholic beverages or animals (other than licensed service animals) are permitted.
Cost: $10 donation

Visit a national park for free

Wednesday, August 4 
Any national park
Some midweek events are too good not to share, and free admission to our national parks is one of them. August 4 marks the first anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act, and as part of the celebration, we can all enjoy a fee-free day, so get out in nature to refresh and recharge. Find a list of national parks here.
Cost: Free

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Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer by way of Chicago and Los Angeles. Her hobbies include yoga, pickling and fermenting stuff, reading cookbooks, and drinking fabulous gin. Keep up with her experiments @MaryBeth_Abate.
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