Local San Diego Festivals and Fun Celebrations

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As well as the regular public holidays and large events that are celebrated country-wide, San Diego, like almost any other city, has its own special festivals throughout the year.  Some are celebrated throughout the state, whilst others are specific to the city.  There are also those that are particularly relevant to the different ethnic and cultural groups that make up the diverse city’s population, with some mainly focused within a certain neighbourhood or area.

There are celebrations that cover a variety of themes, with several relating to food and drink, music, film, and art.

Experiencing a local festival can be a great way for old and young alike to get a better feel for the local culture, people, and way of life … and they are also, more often than not, lots of fun!

Some great festivals and celebrations in San Diego include:

San Diego Restaurant Week


This is a perfect time for foodies of all ages to visit San Diego, when you can try a rich assortment of favourite cuisine at hard to beat prices!  Let your kids sample a wide variety of different dishes in numerous participating restaurants across the city.  The fixed price menus really are a steal!   And, don’t worry if you miss restaurant week – it happens twice a year!  It is held in January and September each year and is well publicised.

Shakespeare Festival


For kids that love all the fun of the classical world of theatre, the Shakespeare Festival can be a great time.  Whilst certainly not every child’s cup of tea, you may be surprised by the effect that the beautiful outdoor Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park, the period costumes, and the sense of drama can have on young minds.

San Diego ArtWalk

art (1)

A terrific option for fans of the visual arts, the San Diego ArtWalk is a large festival in the Little Italy part of the city.  As well as being able to admire a vast and varied selection of works, including paintings and sculptures, by local, national, and international artists, there are plenty of workshops for kids and adults to unleash their inner creative side!  There are opportunities to buy exhibits that catch your eye, and diverse performances and shows are sure to captivate all.  There are great musical performances too, and plenty of hands-on activities at KidsWalk are sure to keep the little ones entertained for hours.

Fleet Week

051001-N-1722M-103 San Diego (Oct. 1, 2005) Ð Two F/A-18E Super Hornets and two F/A-18C Hornets perform a fly-by of Harbor Island during the ÒSea and Air ParadeÓ held as part of Fleet Week San Diego 2005. Fleet Week San Diego is a three-week tribute to Southern California-area military members and their families. U.S. Navy photo by PhotographerÕs Mate 1st Class Michael Moriatis (RELEASED)

Honouring the armed forces and military, Fleet Week hosts a number of excellent and interesting events.  See large and impressive ships floating in the waters, watch in awe as daring pilots take to the skies in the air show, and more!  Full of life and energy, this is usually a big hit with kids.

San Diego Parade of Lights


A stunning winter festival, you can see many brightly illuminated boats making their way through the bay in spectacular fashion.  There is a different theme each year, with the vessels decorated in accordance to the theme, shimmering and shining on the water.  Jovial and somewhat rather magical, this is a fabulous festival for the whole family to enjoy together.

Would you recommend any other events in San Diego for people not to miss if they are around at that time?  What are you favourites?

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