Fun Things to Do in San Diego This Weekend

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, a woman-led chef’s dinner, and more things to do in SD this weekend.

Now that we’ve all survived the spring-forward time change, what will we do with that precious extra hour of sunlight? Hit the weekend running, of course! We’ve got a two-day St. Patrick’s Day party at the beach, San Diego Padres Pedal the Cause for cancer, an eco paddle to see endangered sea turtles, and six celebrated woman chefs collaborate to help refugee and immigrant women and children, and that’s just for starters. Here’s everything you can eat, drink and do in San Diego this weekend, but be sure to check out our favorite places for great pizza and other fun things to do in San Diego this weekend or anytime.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Friday, March 17
Various locations
It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without all our favorite watering holes getting into the spirit with barrels of green beer, delicious Irish-themed cocktails, and platters of corned beef and cabbage. And, since 9 am in San Diego is 4 pm in Ireland, day drinking seems like a no-brainer.

Draft at Belmont Park has you covered bright and early as doors open at 5:30 am to host Rock 105.3 The Show’s 10th annual Kegs N Eggs event. The live broadcast runs from 6 am to 10 am, with a limited breakfast menu that includes beer. After the live broadcast, enjoy local brews and views at the full bar or on the open-air patio, along with plenty of food, fun, and shenanigans!

Nason’s Beer Hall at Pendry San Diego pulls out all the stops on St. Patrick’s Day with a special green beer, Barrio Lager, Bushmills shots and drinks, and Ballpark Pudding (chocolate custard, Madagascar vanilla whipped cream, and salted pretzel crunch). Novo Brazil Brewing Company celebrates the wearin’ o’ the green in South Bay with green beer and kombucha at the Lane Avenue taproom from 5 to 9 pm, plus live music from SoCal Chicano band Wapacheros and the house band from School of Rock Otay Ranch, as well as the specialty beers, specialty kombuchas, and food vendors.

Head to the Duck Dive for food and drink specials like the Corned Beef & Hash breakfast, made with corned beef, crispy potatoes, cheddar cheese, salsa verde, and two over-easy eggs, or opt for the traditional Corned Beef Hash plate with cabbage and potatoes, available during lunch and dinner. Wash it all down with Jameson espresso martinis, Irish Slammers, green beer, and green tea shots. Can’t make It in on Friday? Lucky you—Duck Dive will celebrate St. Patricks’s Day from Thursday, March 16 to Sunday, March 19.
Cost: Varies

Thursday, March 9–Sunday, March 19
Mission Valley
This is the final weekend of the 30th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival, presenting screenings with 160+ films from Latin America, the United States, and Spain, all conveniently shown at the AMC Mission Valley 20. There will also be a closing night party, Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers, Sonido Latino concerts, and more. You can purchase tickets to individual screenings on the film schedule or get passes with varying levels of VIPness.
Cost: $12-$300.

Friday, March 17
Gaslamp Quarter
San Diego shamROCK, the city's biggest Saint Patrick’s Day bash, is back to celebrate its 27th year. This long-standing San Diego tradition transforms the bustling San Diego downtown neighborhood into a Celtic carnival for the senses with an abundance of pub-style seating, traditional Irish stepper performances, Celtic/Irish rock bands, photo-ops, shenanigan games (with prizes!), a leprechaun contest and more. Over 50,000 square feet of astroturf will be rolled out to accommodate three stages, non-stop music, and plenty of green and craft beer as well as whiskey libations to ensure it's a night to remember...or not, as the case may be. Grab your tickets online. 21+.
Cost: $49-$99.

Saturday, March 18
Petco Park
Start your weekend with a great workout and help the San Diego Padres Pedal the Cause raise money for cancer research. Participate in your choice of events—pedal one of four cycling courses from 25, 55, 88 and 100 miles, run or walk a scenic 5K in downtown San Diego and finish on the field at Petco Park, or spin on the rooftop of the historic Western Metal Supply Co. building overlooking Petco Park in one of three 50 minute spin classes, led by some of San Diego’s most popular teachers, and pumped up with music by the Pedal DJ. Not able to join in person? You can still fight cancer with their virtual option. All of the funds will go toward collaborative cancer research at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Rady Children's Hospital, and more. Register online.
Cost: $49-$150

Saturday, March 18
Chula Vista
Did you know that a small population of endangered Eastern Pacific green sea turtles forages among the Chula Vista Wildlife Reserve residents? Ocean Connectors and their marine biologist guides will take you on a kayaking journey in search of these beautiful creatures, along with bat rays, round rays, and dozens of bird species on its 2.5-hour eco-tour. Great for beginners as well as experienced kayakers, this gentle ride through the reserve focuses on environmental education and conservation, with 10% of sales going to nonprofit environmental education programs which directly support youth in underserved Pacific coastal communities. Your ticket gets you the complete package— kayaks, paddles, life jackets, waterproof binoculars, and even sunscreen. Book online.
Cost: $55 for adults-$35 for kids 12 and under.

Saturday, March 18
Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach does things its way, including St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, San Diego style. The St. Paddy’s O’Beach Party provides plenty of shenanigans in the 21+ beer garden, including a Corned Beef Invitational cornhole tournament, a pot o' gold hold, lucky charm flip cup, and leprechaun limbo. On Friday, the first 500 people will receive gold coins redeemable for prizes, including green beer, car bomb shots, exclusive merch, and a $500 cash gift for one lucky winner. Saturday features a 5K beach fun run at noon, and the first 500 guests will judge samples of guacamole from 10 area restaurants, who’ll be throwing down in a Guac Off to see whose guacamole reigns supreme. All that and non-stop live music make it a St. Paddy’s party to remember. VIP tickets must be purchased in advance and include admission to the event, two drink tickets, an exclusive VIP bar, upgraded restrooms, and priority re-entry.
Cost: $20 at the door for general admission, $50 for all-inclusive VIP status.

Saturday, March 18-Sunday, March 19
Liberty Station
The Liberty Public Market has established itself as both a beloved destination for locals sharing happy hours, date nights, family outings, and culinary adventures, as well as a stop on almost every vacationer’s must-do list. You’re invited to celebrate the seventh anniversary at a free, weekend-long party. Head to Bottlecraft and play Beer Bingo for prizes and freebies on the Boat Patio. They’ll be tapping a special Anniversary Brew and a Centennial Punch (LPM location only), along with draft specials, cider, seltzer, cocktail tastings, and live music. There’ll also be a scavenger hunt for an LPM gift card.
Cost: Free to enter; other costs vary.

Sunday, March 19
The 25th annual Rolando Street Fair returns with five stages of live music, including headliners and San Diego favorites, Buck-O-Nine, plus openers Lady Dottie & the Diamonds, The Sleepwalkers, Sara Petite, and Kid Tributes provide all-day entertainment. In addition to all that music, there’s a beer garden pouring San Diego’s finest brews, a $5 play-all-day Kids Zone with a climbing wall, inflatables, and interactive fun, 100+ craft and vendor booths, and more than a dozen food trucks and other eateries.
Cost: Free to attend; other costs vary.

Sunday, March 19
Six of the West Coast’s most esteemed woman chefs come together at Animae to host the second annual MAKE Projects Dinner, benefitting MAKE Projects, a local employment program for refugee and immigrant women and youth. Hosted by Animae’s chef Tara Monsod, the roster also includes Rasika Venkatesa of Mourad SF, Melissa Miranda of Musang, Laura Warren of Puffer Malarkey Collective, Cesarina Mezzoni of Cesarina, and Marissa Williams of Herb & Sea collaborating on this year’s six-course dinner. The chefs proudly highlight female producers, including wine pairings from Niner Winery and Hall Napa Valley and a welcome dessert cocktail developed with the team at Botanica. The evening will begin with welcome cocktails and small bites, followed by a formal dinner and wine pairing from 7 pm to 9:30 pm. Tickets are available online.
Cost: $295 per person, with alcohol, tax, and gratuity included.

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Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer.