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13 Things To Do in San Diego This Weekend: May 23–26

Spend your three-day weekend sampling craft beer in Santee, attending a concert in the park in Coronado, or sinking your teeth into a strawberry celebration in Vista
Petco Park Events, Gallagher Square
Courtesy of Petco Park Events

Happy Memorial Day weekend! With an extra day to rest, there’s no excuse not to make the most of all the fun things to do in San Diego, from a Pulitzer-winning Hamlet retelling to a festival celebrating native plants and the critters that help them thrive. Here are 13 of the best upcoming events in the city.

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

Things to do this week and events in San Diego this weekend including the Vista Strawberry Festival on May 26, 2024
Courtesy of The Vista Strawberry Festival

Food & Drink Events in San Diego This Weekend

Havana 1920 Diplomático Rum Pairing Dinner

May 23

Cuban cuisine crafters Havana 1920 are launching a new dinner series, pairing their eats with a variety of cocktails that feature Diplomático Rum. This Thursday at 7 p.m., guests will enjoy an off-menu, three-course meal with mixed drinks designed for each dish. GBOD beverage director Ryan Andrews and Diplomático Rum brand ambassador Evan Charest will guide diners through their tasting experience with flavor facts and insights about each rum. The dinner costs $65 per person, including a $25 reservation deposit to secure your spot. 

548 Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp

Cutwater Mezcal Cocktail Class

May 23

Curious if you could hold your own behind the bar? Test out your mixology skills with a special cocktail-making class led by bartender Hayley Wilcox this Thursday at Cutwater Tasting Room & Kitchen. Wilcox will teach attendees how to make a fresh and flavorful mezcal paloma and give them the chance to add a special twist to the drink with items from the garnish bar. Guests will also get to sample Mezcal Joven and take home a Cutwater cantarito mug. Spots for this class, which begins at 6 p.m., can be reserved for $35.

9750 Distribution Avenue, Miramar 

Vista Strawberry Festival

May 26

The community of Vista—once the strawberry epicenter of California—hosts its annual ode to the scrumptious red berry with a free fruit festival this Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Attendees can enjoy a craft beer garden, contests, a community short film festival, and a smorgasbord of fresh strawberries plucked from local fields. The festival also includes a 5K and kids’ run (one mile or a quarter-mile) the morning of the festival; all runners aged 21 and up will receive one free beer at the festival.

170 Eucalyptus Avenue, Vista

Things to do this week and events in San Diego this weekend including a concert by Maggie Rogers at Petco Park's Gallagher Square on May 23, 2024
Courtesy of the East Village Association

Concerts & Theater in San Diego This Weekend

San Diego International Fringe Festival 

Through May 26

As the San Diego International Fringe Festival enters its second week, see some of the event’s most innovative productions, such as No Regrets. Held at the Les Girls Theater in Point Loma, the show marries live jazz and burlesque to tell the true story of strippers standing up to corrupt local cops. The Best Man Show at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre will make you squirm with secondhand embarrassment as a drunken best man speech turns into a full breakdown. Admission to each show is $13, plus the required $7 Fringe Tag. 

3790 Riley Street, Midway | 2130 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park 

Maggie Rogers at Petco Park’s Gallagher Square

May 23

Fresh off the April 2024 release of her album Don’t Forget Me, folktronica artist Maggie Rogers—whose music moved Pharrell in a viral video taken when he visited her NYU classroom in 2016—will perform at Gallagher Square at Petco Park this Thursday night at 7 p.m. Before Rogers takes the stage, catch a supporting set from dream pop artist The Japanese House. Tickets range from $40 to $65. 

840 K Street, Downtown

Fat Ham at the Old Globe

Opens May 25

The winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, playwright James Ijames’ Hamlet retelling follows Juicy, a queer Black college student tasked by the ghost of his father to pursue vengeance on his killer. Watch him decide whether to heed the call in this tender dramedy. The Old Globe will host 34 performances of Fat Ham during its month-long run on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage. Tickets for this weekend’s pair of shows start at $42. 

1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park

Coronado Promenade Summer Concert Series

Begins May 26

The City of Coronado’s free annual concert series returns this Sunday with the first of 16 shows at Spreckels Park. The tunes kick off with a performance from the Coronado Concert Band at 4:30 p.m., followed by Laurie Beebe Lewis & The Electric Underground at 6:30 p.m. Lewis, formerly of The Buckinghams and The Mamas & The Papas, will perform a repertoire of ’60s rock n’ roll hits from the biggest artists of the psychedelic era

601 Orange Avenue, Coronado 

Things to do this week and events in San Diego this weekend including the Kuumba Festival from May 24-26, 2024

Festivals & Art Exhibits in San Diego This Weekend

Colors of Home Exhibit at Gallery 21

Through June 3

While venturing Balboa Park’s many cultural offerings, locals and visitors can check out a new exhibition from Encinitas-based artist Denise Cerro at Gallery 21, located within the Spanish Village Art Center. Cerro’s mixed-media works depict abstract yet familiar objects and spaces awash in hues of orange, green, and blue. The gallery will hold an opening reception for Colors of Home from 12 to 4 p.m. this Sunday.

1770 Village Place, Balboa Park

Kuumba Festival at the Educational Cultural Complex

May 24–26

Held in the heart of San Diego’s Black Arts and Culture District, the 32nd annual Kuumba Fest centers Black arts, culture, and dance. The three-day programming includes an African marketplace, reggae musicians, DJs, panels, keynote speakers, and many choreographed dance performances.

6727 Imperial Avenue, Encanto

Undocumented Times / Queer Yearnings at Oceanside Museum of Art

Opens May 25

On display at the Oceanside Museum of Art through October 6, Undocumented Times / Queer Yearnings is a collection of poems and paintings depicting Mexican-American artist Alexa Vazquez’s coming-of-age story as an undocumented queer and trans woman immigrant. On Saturday, June 8, see Undocumented Times and the upcoming More Disruption exhibition at a dual opening reception that is free for museum members and $15 for visitors. 

704 Pier View Way, Oceanside

Pollinator Festival at Native West Nursery

May 25

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, amateur botanists and green-thumb gardeners can help nurture nature at The Little Barn at Native West Nursery. Shop and take home more than 100 native plant species and enjoy live music, local craft vendors, educational booths, kids’ activities, and food from The Go Go food truck. Attendees can also buy herbal products, flower bouquets, candles, and glass art and learn about conservation, pollinators, plant species, and local environmental programs. RSVP for this free event here

1849 Leon Avenue, Tijuana River Valley 

Things to do this week and events in San Diego this weekend including astronaut Terry Virts speaker series in La Jolla
Courtesy of NASA

More Fun Things To Do in San Diego This Weekend

Terry Virts: How to Astronaut at The Baker-Baum Concert Hall

May 23

Out of the billions of people to ever walk the Earth’s surface, less than a thousand have ever ventured through the Earth’s atmosphere into outer space. Astronaut Terry Virts is part of this esteemed club. As part of the La Jolla Music Society’s Speaker Series, Virts will reflect on his time as commander of the International Space Station and journey from flying F-16s to guiding the Space Shuttle Endeavour. He’ll share photos and videos shot on his zero-gravity expedition, giving the audience a glance at what life is truly like among the cosmos. Tickets for Thursday’s speaker event at The Baker-Baum Concert Hall, beginning at 7 p.m., range from $23 to $48. 

7600 Fay Avenue, La Jolla

Santee Street Fair & Craft Beer Festival

May 25

TThe Santee Chamber hosts a day of free, family-friendly fun at the 14th annual Santee Street Fair. In addition to exploring live music, art exhibitions, carnival rides, and more than 300 craft vendor and food booths, San Diegans can enjoy a pancake breakfast served up by local Boy Scouts and taste the best of local breweries at the craft beer garden. Ticket options for the beer garden include five six-ounce beer samples for $15 or 10 samples for $20. VIP beer and lunch tickets cost $25 and come with 10 tasters and a bacon-wrapped hot dog courtesy of Doggos Gus.

198 Riverview Parkway, Santee

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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