Weekend, we've been waiting for you. From delightful street fairs to interesting events at beautiful Balboa Park, there's plenty to do this weekend in America's Finest City.
Thursday, May 26
Painting Under the Stars
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., The Loma Club
Paint under the stars on the patio of The Loma Club at Liberty Station, under the guidance of an art teacher. During this Paint Night session, participants will paint a masterpiece dubbed “Barrel Ride,” on their own 16X20 canvas. The painting is inspired by the rolling waves of the San Diego coastline, and participants will learn to blend colors to create a sunset and waves. This class is open to beginners and artists of all skill levels, and costs $25 per person. Arrive early to mix and mingle before the painting begins.
Tea & Tonic
1 p.m., Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Tonic & Tea, a gathering at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, includes champagne mixer, high tea and a VIP reception, all to benefit prevention and intervention programs focused on ending domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The fundraiser includes a raffle, entertainment and a discussion with keynote speaker, Hollywood actress AnnaLynne McCord.
Family Crafts at Ocean Beach Library
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Ocean Beach Branch Library
Each Thursday, the Ocean Beach Branch Library (4801 Santa Monica Ave.) hosts this free family craft hour. Projects are usually inspired by books, holidays, songs and seasons. At the end of the artistic session, attendees can take home their creations.
Friday, May 27
Park After Dark
5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Balboa Park
This summer, Balboa Park will come alive after 5 p.m. with extended evening hours at 10 museums, plus food trucks and entertainment throughout the landmark. The “Park After Dark” series runs Fridays, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Participating museums include the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Mingei International Museum, The San Diego Museum of Art and the San Diego Automotive Museum just to name a few.
Cruisin’ Grand Escondido
5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Grand Avenue
This vintage auto show returns Friday night with more than 500 cars lining Grand Avenue in historic downtown Escondido. The free event brings more than 5,000 visitors and car enthusiasts each Friday night through September.
Live at The Brooks: James Harman
7:30 p.m., The Brooks Theatre (Oceanside)
The Oceanside Theatre Company kicks off its 2016 Music Series with this concert featuring award-winning blues harp player James Harman, who will take center stage at The Brooks Theatre (217 N. Coast Highway). Harman brings his group, Bamboo Porch Revue, featuring longtime guitar player Nathan James and renowned percussionist Mike Tempo. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. for Happy Hour and the tunes start an hour later. Tickets are $20 per person.
6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., SEA180
SEA180, the Cohn Restaurant Group eatery in Imperial Beach (800 Seacoast Dr.), invites you to break out that grass skirt and Hawaiian shirt for this Sunset Luau on the restaurant’s beachfront terrace. Patrons will enjoy island-inspired appetizers, including poke, plus a seaside buffet of Hawaiian dishes, including Mahi Mahi, Huli Huli Chicken and Kalua Pua'a (a roasted pig). The evening includes fire dancers and live music. Admission is $59.95 per person; reservations can be made by calling (619) 631-4949.
Saturday, May 28
Garden Party at Balboa Park
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Balboa Park’s Central Mesa
Balboa Park celebrates its many horticultural wonders with its 2nd Annual Garden Party. The free, family-friendly event includes a kids’ floral wagon parade down the El Prado promenade, as well as interactive activities, live music, dance performances, gardening lectures and tours of Balboa Park’s gorgeous gardens. The schedule also includes a butterfly release every half-hour between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Zoro Garden, plus a 3 p.m. lecture about growing plants to eat. About a dozen food trucks will line the fest, too, so bring some cash to grab some grub.
8th Annual “Dress in White” Cruise
8 p.m. to 12 a.m., Inspiration Hornblower Yacht at San Diego Bay
Sabor on the Bay (SOTB), a Latin-inspired boat cruise event, will host its 8th annual “Dress in White” boat cruise aboard the Inspiration Hornblower yacht. The scenic excursion will feature three floors of music, including a live, 10-piece Salsa-Bachata band and a live Rock En Español Band, plus an outdoor cigar lounge. Attendees should dress in their best white clothing for this breezy summer sailing shindig. The event is 21+ and includes only 1,000 spots; tickets are $79 per person.
American Freedom Festival Concert
7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., USS Midway Flight Deck
Celebrate our U.S. military with this patriotic party with a purpose on the flight deck of the USS Midway. The 7th Annual American Freedom Festival Concert features the all-star rock band, World Classic Rockers, comprised of former members of legendary bands Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steppenwolf, Journey, Boston and Santana. The concert will raise money to benefit local military charities, including the USO, Support the Enlisted Project and San Diego Armed Services of the YMCA. Tickets start at $59.50 per person.
Santee Street Fair
10 a.m. to 6 p.m, Riverwalk Parkway and Town Center Parkway
The Santee Street Fair is open to all ages and will include 300 food and vendor booths, two stages of live entertainment, carnival rides and a 21+ craft beer garden boasting brews from Santee-based breweries and beyond. Entry is free; wristbands for the beer garden can be purchased ahead of time online (http://santeechamberca.chambermaster.com/events/details/craft-beer-garden-at-the-santee-street-fair-2827) for $20 per person, which includes 10 four-ounce samples of beer, plus your choice of a bacon-wrapped hot dog, Salvadorian pupusa or cheeseburger.
Memorial Day Weekend Pig Roast
4 p.m. to 7 p.m., SummerSalt Pool Lounge at Hotel Palomar
The SummerSalt Pool Lounge atop Hotel Palomar in downtown San Diego makes it’s splashy debut Saturday, kicking off the season with a backyard-style Pig Roast. A $15 ticket gets you entry to the party on the hotel’s fourth floor pool deck plus food, including slow-roasted pig and comfort food-style sides created by Saltbox Executive Chef Brad Kraten. Drink specials will flow throughout the night, too, and there will also be live entertainment. Cheers!
Carlsbad Dance Centre: Groove
11 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), California Center for the Arts Escondido
Carlsbad Dance Centre presents its annual recital, which typically draws a crowd of about 4,000 over the weekend, including dancers’ loved ones and arts enthusiasts. The Groove Dance Party 2016 recital has four show times over the weekend at the California Center for the Arts Escondido: 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Regular tickets are $23 and box seats cost $27, and can be purchased here.
Sunday, May 29
36th Annual Ethnic Food Fair
11 a.m. to 5 p.m., International Cottages in Balboa Park
Take a culinary trip around the globe at the 36th Annual Ethnic Food Fair hosted by the House of Pacific Relations at the International Cottages in Balboa Park. The cottages will serve unique treats from 33 different cultures, while the stage hosts lively entertainment, including performers in native costumes from the House of Israel and the House of India, to the House of Korea and the House of Columbia, to name a few acts. Entry to the fair is free; food can be purchased for a fee that benefits the non-profit House of Pacific Relations organization.
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Green Flash Tasting Room
Yoga and beer: ancient traditions with serious health benefits come together for another session of Hoppy Yoga at the Green Flash Tasting Room (6550 Mira Mesa Blvd.). The class includes a heart-pumping yoga session followed by a pint or flight of craft brews. The class costs $20 per person; bring your own yoga mat. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also reserve your spot here.
Guitarist Gregory Page Performs at Mission Trails
3 p.m., Mission Trails Regional Park
Acclaimed guitarist Gregory Page performs a free, hour-long concert at Mission Trails Regional Park Sunday, inviting listeners to relax with an afternoon of tunes at the Visitor Center Theater. Seating is limited and this event is on a first come, first serve basis.
Fine-Tuning & Creative Brewing Seminar
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., The Homebrewer
Award-winning homebrewer Brian Trout will lead this class at The Homebrewer in North Park (2911 El Cajon Blvd., Suite 2), focusing on fine-tuning and modifying homemade beers, meads and ciders. The seminar aims to elevate that average homebrew creation to a craft brew. The class is $20 per person.
The Ben Vereen Awards
6 p.m., Balboa Theatre
The Ben Vereen Awards will highlight the very best of high school musical theater talent in San Diego County. In collaboration with the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA), young, local performers will be presented with a unique scholarship opportunity to advance their educations and careers in musical theater. This year, the top five school performances nominees hail from: Canyon Crest Academy (“The Drowsy Chaperone”); Coronado High School (“Catch Me If You Can”); La Jolla Country Day School (“Cinderella”); SDSCPA (“Chicago”); San Dieguito Academy (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”). Tickets are $32.50.