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13 Things to Do in San Diego This Weekend: May 9–12

Enjoy music festival fun on the waterfront, strike a pose at the Posh on Prospect fashion show, and see the Padres take on their LA rivals at Petco Park
Courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado

Whether you’re fêting Mom this weekend or chilling with friends, the lineup of things to do in San Diego is chock-full of shindigs for revelers of every stripe. Theater buffs can catch shows by local up-and-comers at UCSD’s Wagner New Plays Festival, while blues fans can boogie at the bayou-themed Gator by the Bay. Hanging with your mama? Spoil her with an indulgent brunch or an art-filled tour through eight North County homes. Here are 13 of our favorite San Diego events this weekend.

Food and Drink | Concerts and Theater | Festivals and Art | More Things to Do 

Interior of the Hotel Del Coronado where the 2024 Mother's Day Brunch will take place this weekend on May 12
Courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado

Food & Drink Events in San Diego This Weekend

Mother’s Day Brunch at Hotel del Coronado

May 12

Celebrate Mom with an all-you-can-eat brunch at one of San Diego’s iconic seaside spots. In the Hotel del Coronado’s Southpointe Ballroom, guests will enjoy live music and brunch stations featuring sweet treats like Polynesian vanilla buttermilk pancakes and chocolate chip breakfast bread pudding, plus made-to-order omelets, eggs benedicts, and avocado toast. Guests ages 21 and up will receive a complimentary glass of Champagne. Mother’s Day Brunch at the Hotel del Coronado is $185 for adults, $95 for children ages 4 to 12, and complementary for children 3 and under with a paid adult. Seatings take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and there are still several reservation times available here.

1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado

Coronado Art & Wine Festival

May 11

The Coronado Schools Foundation and the Coronado Chamber of Commerce invite residents to wine, dine, and admire the art on display this Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m. The festival will feature more than 80 artist booths, plus live music and a varied selection of sips and bites, all in an effort to fundraise for local art education. Admission to the art festival is free, but to try wine, you’ll have to purchase one of several tasting packages, such as the $50 wine village pass (which comes with six vino samples, bites, and live music) or the $275 all-inclusive VIP pass (it comes with 15 wine tastings, plus access to all three tasting areas and a “meet the artists” pre-party invite). For the entire list of ticket options, visit here.

1125 10th Street, Coronado

People standing infront of a light sign for the 2024 Wonderfront Music Festival happening this weekend in San Diego May 9-12 at the Embarcadero downtown
Courtesy of the Wonderfront Festival

Concerts & Theater in San Diego This Weekend

Wagner New Play Festival

May 8–11

San Diegans can support local playwrights on the rise at the 2024 Wagner New Play Festival, where five UC San Diego grad students will present their original works onstage at a trio of intimate theaters on UCSD’s campus. Highlights from this year’s showcase include the satirical military and musical theater mashup of Milo Cramer’s No Singing in the Navy and the dark coming-of-age comedy Dead Girl’s Quinceanera by Phanésia Pharel. Individual show tickets are $20 for general admission, $10 for UCSD students, and $15 for UCSD staff and faculty.

La Jolla

Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival

May 10–12

The Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival kicks off this Friday, bringing more than 80 musicians to downtown’s waterfront. In addition to headliners like Kaytranada, Dominic Fike, and Beck, expect appearances from a wide variety of local bands and Latin music artists. Wonderfont will also include pop-up sports and games at Ruocco Park, plus VIP boat cruises, yacht parties, art installations, and plenty of nighttime events to keep the party jumping all over the city. Wonderfront tickets are still available, with three-day general admission and VIP passes going for $329 and $399 respectively. Single-day passes are on sale for $135.

839 West Harbor Drive, Embarcadero

The Nowell Family Foundation Festivities 

May 11

The Nowell Family Foundation will sponsor a day full of activities in Oceanside, all aimed at promoting addiction recovery. A Sublime Life, a free sobriety festival featuring live music, workshops, speakers, and more at Oceanside Civic Center Plaza, takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. From 5 to 10 p.m., just down the street at the Oceanside Museum of Art, rock out at Sublime Family Jam, a benefit concert hosted by Sublime bassist Eric Wilson and new lead singer Jakob Nowell (son of original frontman Bradley Nowell) to raise funds for Bradley’s House, the foundation’s sobriety home. Tickets to the concert—which also includes a DJ performance from Troy Dendekker, a Sublime memorabilia exhibition, and an art competition highlighting artwork focused on addiction and mental health—are $115.

A Sublime Life – 300 North Coast Highway, Oceanside | Sublime Family Jam – 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside

The San Dieguito Art Guild weekend art, garden & studio tour happening this weekend May 11-12 in Encinitas
Courtesy of the San Dieguito Art Guild

Festivals & Art Exhibits in San Diego This Weekend

GI Film Festival San Diego

Through May 11

The annual GI Film Festival at The Museum of Photographic Arts recognizes veterans and active service members—including many residing or stationed in San Diego—working in front of and behind the camera to bring thought-provoking stories to the silver screen. The 2024 festival selections highlight the perspective of Black and LGBTQ+ veterans, soldiers grappling with the long-lasting effects of war, and the previously untold stories of fallen heroes. The festival also offers free interactive events like the Women Veterans in Film panel and filmmaker and fan happy hours. Tickets for individual screenings are $10 for general admission and $8 for active military and veterans.

1649 El Prado, Balboa Park

Border Blitz: Artistas del Cómic de Tijuana and Collaboration(s)! A Journey with John Jennings

Opening May 9

The San Diego Comic-Con Museum welcomes two new exhibits this Thursday. Part of the ongoing World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024 festivities, Border Blitz: Artistas del Cómic de Tijuana features artwork from Charles Glaubitz, Alejandra Yépiz Portillo, and Urbano Mata, Tijuana artists depicting life in the border region. Collaboration(s)! A Journey with John Jennings showcases graphic novels and comic art collections from artist and author John Jennings, director of the Abrams ComicArts’ line Megascope, which centers the experiences of people of color.

2131 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park

Gator by the Bay

May 9–12

Gator by the Bay returns to Spanish Landing Park for its 21st year with a familiar recipe: the tastes and tunes that define Southern Louisiana. The sounds of zydeco, rockabilly, and the blues will take over several live music stages, and attendees can indulge in a Cajun feast of epic proportions, featuring favorites like jambalaya, beignets, and, of course, 10,000 pounds of crawfish. Ticket options for Gator By the Bay include one-day ($70–$85), three-day ($185–$230), and four-day ($235–$295) general admission. Kids ages 17 and under get in free.

3900 North Harbor Drive, Point Loma

Community Arts Open House

May 11

From 1 to 5 p.m. this Saturday, the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center hosts an afternoon of free workshops, concerts, and interactive programs, from hip-hop dancing to a drum circle. San Diegans will be able to tap into their passions under the tutelage of local artists and collectives like Drummers Without Borders, Malashock Dance, and Studio ACE. Enjoy live performances from Chiara Capobianco and the Euphoria Brass Band, as well as local middle school, high school, and college ensembles and students from the LJMS’ Community Music Center. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP in advance here.

7600 Fay Avenue, La Jolla

Mother’s Day Weekend Art, Garden & Studio Tour

May 11–12

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, the San Dieguito Art Guild will host its 27th annual Mother’s Day Weekend Art, Garden & Studio Tour, with pop-up art exhibits tucked away in eight North County homes, gardens, and art studios. These properties will welcome more than 30 local artists selling paintings, ceramics, photography, and more, and scenic stops on the self-guided tour include various work barns, outdoor kitchens, and sculpture gardens. This unique Mother’s Day adventure also serves as the nonprofit’s major annual fundraiser, so everyone is invited to drop by each stop to enjoy refreshments, admire scenic outdoor spaces, and purchase some artwork. Tickets are $35 per person and are valid for the entire weekend.

937 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas 

Balboa Park Pow Wow happening this weekend on May 11-12 in San Diego featuring Native Americans dancing in traditional ceremony attire
Courtesy of the San Diego American Indian Health Council

 More Fun Things to Do in San Diego This Weekend

San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 

May 10–12

The Padres will kick off their first homestand of the month with a three-game set against the boys in blue, beginning this Friday night at Petco Park. New Padres acquisition Luis Arraez brings a stellar batting average and tremendous plate discipline to an already stacked Padres lineup, but will it be enough to outscore the Dodgers and their MVP-winning trifecta of Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, and Freddie Freeman? This series will likely come down to whoever’s more dominant on the mound, meaning the Friars will need strong outings from Yu Darvish and Michael King to fend off the league’s number-one offense and continue their charge for the NL West crown. Tickets for this weekend’s rival matchup start at $51.

100 Park Boulevard, Downtown

Posh on Prospect

May 11

The Living Room will host Post on Prospect, the latest fashion show from Fashion Week San Diego. The event will begin with photo ops at 11 a.m. At noon, models will strut the catwalk, showcasing looks from a variety of local boutiques and brands. Afterward, enjoy an all-day shopping spree at several nearby stores, where you can explore the couture and stroll the streets of La Jolla like they’re the Met Gala red carpet. The $49 Posh Pass gets attendees access to the whole event, as well as coffee, a baked treat, and promotions at participating boutiques. The $59 Posh Plus ticket comes with all those perks, plus a glass of champagne.

9850 Genesee Avenue, La Jolla

Balboa Park Pow Wow

May 11–12

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, the San Diego American Indian Health Center (SDAIHC) presents the 36th annual Balboa Park Pow Wow, a free community celebration of Native American culture, traditions, and heritage. The festivities will include Kumeyaay bird singing; gourd and intertribal dancing; Native American food, arts, and crafts vendors; and a special honoring of mothers, grandmothers, and maternal figures to commemorate Mother’s Day.

Corner of Park Boulevard and President’s Way, Balboa Park

By Ryan Hardison

Ryan Hardison is a freelance arts and entertainment writer and recent graduate of San Diego State. When he's not staring at his laptop, he's likely eating an adobada burrito or getting sunburnt at the beach.

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