Happy Thanksgiving weekend! A very cool jazz festival, a pop-up speakeasy party and some pre-turkey 5K runs will leave you feeling energized and, of course, thankful for another fun-filled weekend in America’s Finest City.
Thursday, Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving Day)
36th Annual San Diego Jazz Festival
Times Vary (Nov. 25-29), Town & Country Resort & Convention Center
The Town & Country Convention Center will host this 36th annual celebration of jazz set to feature performances by dozens of musicians across traditional jazz, Dixieland, ragtime, swing and rockabilly styles. Some artists will perform in large concert rooms, while others in smaller, intimate “listening” rooms. The San Diego Jazz Festival runs through Sunday, and five bands will play between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Thursday. The music continues Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Encinitas Turkey Trot & Food Drive
7:30 a.m., Coast Hwy. 101 (under the famous “Encinitas” sign)
Jumpstart your Thanksgiving “wobble” with a scenic 10K and 5K along the Pacific Coast in Encinitas. The Turkey Trot starts and ends under the “Encinitas” sign along Coast Hwy. 101. The route then passes by the famous “Cardiff Kook” statue before rising above some epic surf breaks and winding down to Cardiff State Beach. Participants are encouraged to dress up in costumes, and three prizes will be awarded to those with the best getups. Bonus: many of the proceeds from this race will benefit North County Community Services Food Bank.
San Diego Run for the Hungry
7 a.m., Horton Plaza Mall in downtown San Diego
Work up an appetite for that Thanksgiving meal while also helping hungry San Diegans with this 10K and 5K run through downtown San Diego. The 10K is at 7 a.m. and the 5K is at 8:15 a.m., both starting from Horton Plaza Mall on Broadway. Bring the family – including your pooch. Each registered dog receives a bandana and treats along the course. All profits from the race are donated to the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and hunger-relief programs such as the JFS Food Mobile and HandUp Food Pantry managed by Jewish Family Service of San Diego. For each registered runner’s fee, at least 185 meals will be provided to San Diegans in need.
Del Mar Thanksgiving Family Mile Fun Run
8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Del Mar Racetrack
While waiting for the turkey to cook, head over to the Del Mar Racetrack for a little family fun run – a one-mile lap around the track. Registered participants will receive racetrack admission, parking and a special T-shirt. A portion of the proceeds from this run will benefit the Helen Woodward Animal Center and its equestrian therapy program for children and adults with special needs.
Friday, Nov. 27
San Diego Gulls vs. Ontario Reign
7:05 p.m., Valley View Casino Center
Enjoy a little hockey the day after Thanksgiving as the San Diego Gulls take on the Ontario Reign at this home game at Valley View Casino Center on Sports Arena Boulevard. Available tickets, at this point, range from $18 to $60 per person, depending on the section.
USO Giving Tree Ceremony
6:30 p.m., The Headquarters at Seaport
The Headquarters at Seaport has joined forces with USO San Diego to kick off a three-week fundraising and donation program that benefits active-duty military families, and it all begins with this holiday celebration featuring a performance by the All-American Boys Chorus, free hot chocolate, a visit with Santa Claus and the lighting of a 25-foot-tall holiday tree known as “The Giving Tree.” Visitors can donate toys and gift cards for military children, and those gifts will go under The Giving Tree. More than 1,000 local military families will benefit from this program this season, which runs through 12 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Pop-Up Speakeasy: Rendezvous Lounge
9 p.m. to 11 p.m., The US GRANT Hotel
This pop-up speakeasy in a secret location within The US GRANT hotel in downtown San Diego will be led by Chef de Bar, Cory Alberto. Guests will enjoy unlimited Prohibition-era cocktails while enjoying live jazz music and mixing and mingling in the historic space. Tickets are $60 per person and include a personalized password and directions to the top secret Rendezvous Lounge location. Fun fact: from 1920 to 1933, during the Prohibition years, The US GRANT housed a popular San Diego speakeasy where, under the ownership of Baron Long, barrels of booze made their way into the hotel via underground tunnels leading directly to the bay where smugglers would rendezvous to acquire alcohol.
7 p.m., the Irenic
Thanksgiving leftovers got you feelin’ immobile? Perfecto! Copeland is the band for you, then, because they won’t make you do much but stand there and listen to the soft alt-rock stylings the Florida-formed band offer. Hell, the Irenic’s got that carpeted, cleanish floor – why not bring a blanket, stake out your favorite piece of floor, and just wrap yourself in warm Copeland coos?
Saturday, Nov. 28
6th Annual Pomegranate Days Festival
12 p.m., Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona Friday through Sunday
East County residents, stop by this favorite annual tradition throughout the weekend with the whole family for some post-Thanksgiving fun. The festival will features a wild west turkey stampede, a cirque event with high-flying acrobats, a barbeque, a camel Q&A and, of course, pomegranate feeding with the camels! General admission costs $15; kids get in for $10 and kids under three are free. Paid admission includes parking, all shows and a pomegranate feeding ticket.
Fall Beer and Cider Festival
11 a.m., Del Mar Racetrack
Beer lovers, this one’s for you! This unique fest will showcase more than 100 different craft brews from around San Diego, including special seasonal beers and a variety of ciders. Admission into the Beer Fest area is free with the track admission of $6, and you can buy full sized beers or pay for a sampling price.
Adams Avenue Spirit Stroll
2 p.m., University Heights to Kensington on Adams Avenue
The first annual Spirit Stroll will highlight 24 local businesses in a festive walk for those 21 and older. Twelve local eateries and bars will mix, pour and serve spirits during the adventure. Advance tickets cost $18.
Julian Country Christmas
1 p.m., Julian Town Hall
With Thanksgiving officially over, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. Julian will light their tree in an annual ceremony at Pioneer Museum Park as musical performers sing carols. Starting at 1 p.m., enjoy sweet treats, a living nativity and shopping from local vendors. Once the tree is lit – get ready to spot Mr. and Mrs. Claus coming through to say hello! The event is free.
Surfin’ Santa’s Arrival at Seaport Village
1 p.m., Seaport Village
It’s official – Surfin’ Santa is coming to town! Stop by Seaport Village to celebrate the beloved character’s arrival in sunny San Diego during a holiday parade. Children and adults of all ages can stop and take photos with him and his wave. The event is free.
Sunday, Nov. 29
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
5 p.m., Old Globe Theatre
Time to march on down to Whoville! It’s a classic holiday movie, written by a beloved San Diegan. The Old Globe’s whimsical musical, now in its 18th year, will play at the Balboa Park theater. Tickets start at $24.
The Peach Kings
8:30 p.m., Casbah
Whatever you do for holiday weekend, make sure it ends with the Peach Kings at Casbah. This sultry L.A.-based duo translate noir love stories into musical landscapes scratchy with a satisfying buzz. There’s something inherently sexy at work here, and for just $10 at the door, the whole night just got that much better looking.