Everything Fun You Can Do in San Diego This Weekend

Celebrate the long weekend with rooftop movies, a cocktail party to raise funds for veterans, and a salute to National Hamburger Day!

Rooftop Cinema Club
Photo courtesy of Rooftop Cinema Club

As we kick off the first long weekend of summer, our hearts and minds are in Uvalde, Texas, mourning the 19 children and 2 adults who lost their lives in yet another mass shooting. If you’re feeling similarly hopeless and frustrated, know that there are ways to help the families of the victims, including donating blood and supporting verified fundraisers. You can also contact your Congress Members and demand sensible gun reform or get involved with organizations like Everytown that are working to prevent gun violence in America.

We get it if you’re not in the mood to celebrate this weekend, but we also think that getting outside and enjoying beautiful weather, spending time with loved ones, and remembering all of the things that make living in this city so great are some of the best ways to honor the memories of those who can no longer experience such simple joys. If you do decide to venture out, we’ve got a full slate of fun stuff, including an anniversary dance party, a wine and cheese happy hour, and classic beach drinks to put you in an island state of mind. Here’s everything you can eat, drink, and do in San Diego over the long weekend:

Thursday, May 26
Pacific Beach
PB’s favorite country bar is turning six years old! Famous for its indulgent drinks and popular with both locals and visitors to San Diego, Moonshine Beach is celebrating with a DJ, line dancing, all-night drink specials, and raffle prizes throughout the event. Doors open at 8 pm, and there’s no cover charge.
Cost: Free to enter, other costs vary.

Thursday, May 26–Friday, May 27
Mission Beach
Get your weekend off to a sunny start, just a few blocks from the beach at Miss B’s Coconut Club. All day on Thursdays they’re shaking up rotating daiquiris made with rare and unique Central and South American rums for a wallet-friendly $7. Friday from 3-6 pm you’ll get either (or both) mojitos and daiquiris for the same low price. Pair them with Caribbean-inspired favorites like Cuban sandwiches, jerk chicken and coconut shrimp and you’ll feel like you’re on a tropical mini vacation!
Cost: Varies

Thursday, May 26-Sunday, May 29
Celebrate the start of summer at Rooftop Cinema Club Embarcadero at the Manchester Grand Hyatt with the ultimate outdoor cinema experience. Fifteen fantastic films are lined up for Memorial Day Weekend, starting with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer, on Thursday and concluding with the Steven Spielberg blockbuster Jurassic Park on Memorial Day. Celebrate prom season with a line-up of high school dance hits like Cinderella Story, 21 Jump Street, and Back to the Future, or bring your pet along to watch the “Wooftop” summer classic, The Sandlot. Rooftop Cinema Club gives you a luxe movie experience with panoramic views of downtown San Diego, state-of-the-art wireless headphones, and brand-new Adirondack chairs and loveseats. Craft brews, movie-themed cocktails, and upscale noshes are available. Check out the full Memorial Day Weekend schedule and buy tickets in advance here.
Cost: $17.50-$24.50, student and military discounts are available.

Saturday, May 28
Normal Heights
“Mindful” adult beverages aren’t exactly a new thing, but it’s definitely a growing segment of both draft and canned or bottled options. San Diego’s own Boochcraft Organic Hard Kombucha, which recently became the first hard kombucha brand in the world to achieve the coveted B Corp status, is opening their second tap room, the second in just under a year, inside the Maya Moon Collective in Normal Heights. Join them starting at 10 am, for flight pairings, giveaways, and drink specials. If you’re new to this category of hard beverages, or just want to find some great places to drink them, check out our handy guide.
Cost: Varies

Eat your weight in burgers

Saturday, May 28
Various locations
May 28 is National Hamburger Day, and we couldn’t be happier, since our favorite spots all over the city are celebrating it with us. Bleu Boheme in Kensington opts for a Frenchified take on our favorite hand-held meal with the Croque de Garçon, an open-faced, house-ground Angus patty smothered in brie, crispy Duroc ham, caramelized onions, and a fried egg atop a brioche bun, and a side of Bleu’s famous pommes frites. One of the best deals in town can be had at GoodBar in Point Loma, where they’ll be grilling up a $10 burger and beer combo, the signature GoodBurger, a Black Angus beef patty topped with American cheese, lettuce, pickles and “That Good Sauce” specialty sauce, and a refreshing locally brewed craft beer to wash it down. Head to Belmont Park’s signature sports bar, Draft, grab a seat at the bar, and chow down on their one-day-only special burger, a Brandt beef patty topped with bacon jam, egg, spinach, blue cheese crumbles, pickles, and tomato. Order your favorite San Diego craft beer, sit back, and enjoy one of life’s perfect moments. Still craving more burgers? Check out the rest of our favorite burger joints.
Cost: Varies

Saturday, May 28-Monday, May 30
Gaslamp Quarter
One of the Gaslamp’s favorite hangouts, barleymash, is pairing with Tito’s Vodka and The Honor Foundation, a nonprofit that is dedicated to assisting veterans. They’ll be shaking and stirring themed cocktails such as the Bunker Hill, Yorktown, Gettysburg, and Midway from Saturday through Monday. For the easiest, tastiest barbecue ever, hit them on Memorial Day Monday for executive chef Kevin Templeton’s all American feast—Baby Back Ribs coated in a tamarind-BBQ glaze, served with baked beans, corn bread, coleslaw, and strawberry shortcake trifle.
Cost: Varies

Sunday, May 29
Del Mar
The Cheese Bar at Venissimo Del Mar invites you to their Sunday Funday Happy Hour, a delectable cheese and wine pairing that gives you three luscious cheeses paired perfectly with three wines, plus accouterments. Enjoy your feast outside on the Piazza del Formaggio patio, or inside the shop in our Posto del Formaggio. For $5 more, you can get your wine in a fun, take-home “Talk Curdy To Me” acrylic glass, and purchase a few for future summer picnics at the same price. You can also get just the cheese, sans wine.
Cost: $20 for the wine and cheese pairing, $25 with the take-home glass, $12 for the cheese plate only.

Sunday, May 29
Little Italy
Finish your weekend on a celebratory note at Vino Carta Wine Store and Bar’s sixth anniversary, all day Sunday in Little Italy. Relax in the indoor/outdoor space with a glass or bottle from their extensive selection while DJ Mr. Shoeshine provides the vinyl soundtrack and Big Night Pizza serves up signature pies from their wood-fired oven. To make the event even more special, Vino Carta will be opening some cellar wine bottles from 2016 to mark the year the shop opened!
Cost: Varies

Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice

Monday, May 30
Wherever you are
On Memorial Day we celebrate the beginning of summer with picnics and happy get-togethers, but it’s important to take a few minutes to remember and honor the members of our armed forces who have paid the ultimate price in service to our country. If you are able, reach out to an active duty soldier or veteran and thank them for their service. Remember the words of the late Robin Williams, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

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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.