As the unofficial end of summer rolls in, there are plenty of ways to soak in the last bit of the season in San Diego.
From magnificent sand art and tall ships to a beach trip or a ball game, reward your year-round hard work with some fun on Labor Day. Here are a few things happening around our county:
Oceanside Labor Day Pier Swim
8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Oceanside Pier – Lifeguard Tower 1
Now in its 88th year, the annual Oceanside Labor Day Pier Swim is a tradition in San Diego’s North County. The one-mile course, marked with colored buoys, takes swimmers out and around the pier in a clockwise direction. Close out the summer with one last dip in the ocean. Registration on the day of the event is $70 per person. This event is open to swimmers age 12 and older.
U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Broadway Pier & Pavilion
The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition continues on Labor Day along downtown San Diego’s waterfront, showcasing incredible works of sand art made by sculptors from around the globe. The event includes live entertainment, an exposition featuring goods made by artists, activities for the kids and gourmet food trucks. Tickets cost between $9 and $15; you can save a few bucks by buying your tickets in advance online.
Festival of Sail
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Maritime Museum of San Diego
The Festival of Sail, an annual Labor Day weekend tradition at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, continues its run Monday with a fleet of awe-inspiring tall ships sailing the San Diego Bay. Come for the ships, stay for the cannon battles and activities. Tickets cost $11 for adults and $9 for children ages 3 to 12; kids ages 2 and under get in free.
Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego
9 a.m. to 9 p.m., San Diego Zoo
It’s your final chance of the season to visit the San Diego Zoo at night. Enjoy live music, special keeper talks and a parade of elaborate animal puppets near the entrance. The “Nighttime Zoo” runs through 9 p.m., and returns for a limited run every summer. All Nighttime Zoo activities are included with paid admission to the zoo or with zoo membership.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mission Beach
What better way to wrap up the summer than with a trip to this beachside amusement park? Invite the kids to a ride on Belmont Park’s famed Giant Dipper roller coaster ($6) or a round of mini golf ($9). The Mission Beach amusement park also offers unlimited one-day ride passes: $20 for kids under 48 inches and $30 for those 48 inches and taller.
Labor Day Lunch Cruise
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Grape Street Pier
Spend your extra day off on the water, enjoying the sights of San Diego, on this Hornblower Labor Day Brunch Cruise. The two-hour cruise includes free-flowing domestic beers, champagne, mimosas and sparkling cider and a buffet stocked with brunch, lunch and dessert items. As you sail along the bay, a knowledgeable guide will share interesting tidbits about San Diego’s landmarks. Boarding is at 10:30 a.m. at Grape Street Pier (1800 N. Harbor Dr.).
San Diego Padres vs. St. Louis Cardinals
1:40 p.m., Petco Park
Enjoy your Labor Day with an outing to the ballpark, where the Padres will take on the Cardinals in the first game of a four-part series. Tickets to the 1:40 p.m. game start at $15.