San Diego Events: Your Guide for Things to Do in the City
So, is there anything to do in San Diego? Absolutely! This list will help you find your idea of a perfect event in this great big city by the sea.
Throughout the year, San Diego hosts quite a number of great events to celebrate the holidays, but also a lot of stellar events sprinkled throughout the year as well. Here are some ideas for some things you may want to try if you are needing some reminders about events to spark some ideas or are new to the area and want an introduction of what there is to do here.
1. San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
Ready for a Christmas parade...on the water? This unique parade is not your typical Christmas parade as you will get to see roughly eighty boats small and large follow along an ocean parade route all decked out in holiday decor. The route goes from Shelter Island and follows along different landmarks such as Embarcadero and Seaport Village and ends at Ferry Landing. The theme this year will be "Christmas around the World" and the boats are expected to decorate in accordance with this theme and will be judged and prizes awarded for the best entries. It will be crowded, but there should be many good viewpoints along the parade route to view this holiday spectacular.
Tip: If you want to know some added insight into each boat entry, station yourself near one of the announcers areas which are located at Coronado Landing, and the Maritime Museum at Embarcadero.
When: Sunday, December 13, 2015 and Sunday, December 20, 2015, starting at 5:30pm.
2. Comic-Con International
If you're interested in anything to do with either movies, comics, or art, you are likely to love Comic-Con International that takes place in San Diego each year at the Convention Center. That will probably include most of us! Attendance has been greater than 130,000 people in the past few years, and it's not very hard to see why. You will simply be blown away when you walk into the convention center and realize the magnitude and expanse of this event. You will find different programs and events, panels, special guests, costume competitions, prizes, portfolio reviews for large film companies, art shows, film screenings, autographs, and so much more.
During some of the panels, you will get to hear from top industry professionals who talk candidly about the different projects of film and art they are involved in. These professionals may include directors, authors, and producers and more! It is clear to see why this event has grown steadily since its beginnings in 1970!
Location: San Diego Convention Center
When: July 21-24, 2016
3. Let It Snow Legoland
Towards the end of November and on through December, Legoland comes alive with holiday Christmas magic! The kids will love being able to build a snowman with Legos or having their picture taken standing next to the life-sized Lego Santa and Reindeer.
Because southern California rarely gets snow, it's possible you may be feeling a little snow-deprived when the Christmas season rolls in. Cheer up! At Legoland, they have snow—real snow. Now you can sit back and smile as they make a snowman, take a turn in a sled, or even throw snowballs—something any child needs to experience!
They also have wonderful Christmas shows, and you can experience the lighting of a tree with its own kind of unique-a thirty foot Lego tree! And if you come towards the end of December (26th-30th), you'll get to see fireworks nightly to ring in the new year.
Address: LEGOLAND, California, One LEGOLAND Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: Winter Nights is from 5-7pm on select dates in November and December. Please see website for more info.
First official tree lighting is on November 30, 2015, and then nightly from December 3-25 at 5pm.
Phone: (760) 918-5346
4. San Diego County Fair
Over 1,500,000 people attended this fair in 2015. So what's the big deal anyway? It could be the huge array of rides for both young and old that light up the night and get the adrenaline pumping. Or maybe the crowds gather like crazy here because of the competitive nature of the fair and the contests held here. You know, the fun and crazy ones, like pie-eating, hula-hooping, or potato-sack racing. Or maybe it's some of the larger-scale contests, such as the Battle of the Bands, agricultural contests, or various other art competitions that draws the crowds. Either way, there is excitement galore here as you get to meet various neighbors from the San Diego area and realize just how much culture and talent resides within the city of San Diego.
And don't miss out on the food here. Oh, the food! You'll find many fabulous freshly cooked delights whose scents will waft through the air until you'll have a hard time resisting! And the music is something you won't want to miss out on either. The stellar musical entertainment here begins at the opening of the gates until the fair is closed at night. You will be able to hear the majority of these various popular musicians with the price of your ticket.
Address: 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: (858) 755-1161
When: June 3, 2016-July 4, 2016 (Fair not held on Mondays or first and second Tuesdays).
5. National University Holiday Bowl
Welcoming in the New Year is the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. This game, which is shown on ESPN, is a post-season NCAA Division I game that has been played at the Qualcomm Stadium every year ever since 1978. If you love football, or just large crowds celebrating the same thing, you'll want to head on over and join the excitement.
There are also numerous smaller events surrounding this main event. The Holiday Bowl Parade in the streets of San Diego also is a great family-friendly event that you won't want to miss around the time of the Holiday Bowl.
Location: Qualcomm Stadium
When: 7:30pm Wednesday, December 30th
6. Rock and Roll Marathon and Half Marathon
The Rock'n'Roll Race is a race that found its beginnings in San Diego back in 1998, and since then, it has grown larger and moves around to various cities in the country each year. There are various races within this race that you can choose from when signing up. You can choose either the 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, Marathon, or a relay race. So don't think you need to be able to run enormous distances to participate in this event, as it should cover a range of fitness and endurance levels.
The great thing about the Rock'n'Roll race is that it has great built in motivators because of volunteer groups who will cheer you on, cheering crowds, and bands that play all along the way to celebrate your efforts and to urge you on to the end. And afterwards, enjoy an after-race concert with top artists where you can sit back and relax and feel proud that you accomplished something challenging. You can also feel great about contributing to the charities that participate, knowing you've done something to benefit yourself, as well as others. You can also feel great that you've gotten to know San Diego city a little better because the race will take you through places like Old Town and Balboa Park.
Address: Various locations near Balboa Park. Please see website.
When: June 5th, 2016
7. Big Bay Boom
The Big Bay Boom is a celebration that is sure to awe and delight every moment, celebrating the birth of our country in a fashion that won't soon be forgotten. The fireworks are launched from four barges that are stationed around the bay. Some people will opt to see the fireworks from their boat. However, if you are one of these, make sure you keep a safe 300-yard distance from the barges at all times for safety.
Some of the great land viewpoints where you can watch the fireworks are at Seaport Village/Coronado Landing, Harbor Island, Shelter Island, and the Embarcadero zone.
Most people would probably agree that fireworks are beautiful. But mix these gigantic twinkling fireworks with an astounding bay view and this firework show far outshines the other fireworks shows out there. And it gets even better if you bring a loved one and some blankets to snuggle up with!
When: July 4th, 2016 at 9pm
8. Flower Fields Ranunculus Season
Ready for some breathtakingly gorgeous views? Come to the Ranunculus fields located in Carlsbad and take a stroll through the rainbow colored fields filled with this gorgeous blooming flower. There are benches located throughout the flower fields if you want to sit and daydream a little or take in all the splendor surrounding you. They offer a tour in a shuttle through the field as well, if you'd rather get a bird's eye view and rest your legs. After viewing the fields and taking some pictures, you may want to make a little visit to the gift shop where they sell flowers for an affordable price so you can bring a little splash of color home with you.
The Carlsbad Ranunculus fields are beautiful but you'll have to experience them firsthand before you can truly understand the serene peace and beauty you'll feel as you sit among the flowers. This place is so gorgeous that people even choose the Ranunculus Fields as a backdrop to their wedding ceremony!
Make sure to come between mid-March and through mid-April to see the blooms at their best!
Tips: These flowers are placed on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean so it can get a little breezy. You might want to bring a light sweater or jacket.
Address: 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Phone: (760) 431-0352
San Diego is awaiting your arrival, whatever your form of an enjoyable event may sound like. It's no wonder this place draws such huge crowds to its events! Whether you already live in San Diego, or are coming from out of town, these events may be something you'll find you want to return to year after year.
So there you have it, your introduction to some of the fun and interesting things to do in this large city. And don't forget to check out our other articles about San Diego and the surrounding areas for more great ideas for fun!
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