Balboa Park Drum Circle
Every Sunday, in the Southwest section of Balboa Park, the Rainbow Drum circle takes place at 3:00 p.m. Bring a drum to participate, or a blanket and picnic lunch to watch and listen. It’s a family-friendly event. Directions: From the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street in Hillcrest, enter the park going east on Laurel (which becomes El Prado). Turn right on Balboa Drive, the last right before the Cabrillo Bridge. Follow Balboa Drive as it loops around and look for drummers near the Pine Grove Picnic Area and the restrooms. 619-677-0882; meetup.com/SanDiegoDrumCircle.
The Really, Really, Free Market takes place once every three months at local San Diego parks. It’s a giant garage sale, and there’s no entry fee. Bring your junk to swap, or donate, while picking up other people’s trashy treasures. You may find such oddities as a Dolly Parton Christmas cassette, or Cocktail on VHS. The market hosts free classes in politics, art, music, and crafts. On occasion, haircuts are offered. Anything left behind is donated to the Animal Protection and Rescue League. The next Really, Really, Free Market will be held on June 10, the location yet to be disclosed. Join their mailing list at sdrrfm.blogspot.com.
1410 Rosecrans Street, Point Loma
Every Wednesday evening at 8:00 p.m., sharp, the Pearl Hotel hosts a free “Dive-In Theatre” at their poolside lounge. Campy cult classics are projected on an outdoor 10-by-13-foot screen. The ’50s-inspired oyster-shaped pool is open to hotel guests or anyone that orders a cocktail. Food — their philosophy is “buy local, embrace sustainability, and let the food speak for itself” — is served until 10:00 p.m., with starters from $6–$16, mains $18–$25; the bar remains open until 11:00 p.m. All seating is first come, first served, priority given to parties over six. If you want to go all out, reserve a fancy poolside cabana (ten-person maximum).
4428 Convoy Street, Kearny Mesa
(No longer in business.)
If you are a fan of karaoke, head to Kearny Mesa: Convoy Street is home to numerous Korean karaoke bars. Order some Hello Kitty Wine and rent a private room at Chorus Karaoke and Café at 4428 Convoy Street. Choose from rock, pop, or anime songs, in English and Korean. Rooms range in price from $10–$20. If you’d rather bring your own food and alcohol, drive two blocks to J Music Studio, at 4620 Convoy. For $30 an hour you get a room complete with an oversized couch, disco ball, TV, and karaoke machine. Insert dollars into a machine and put on your own private smoke-and-light show.
Self-guided tour of Stuart Collection
The Stuart Collection is a series of outdoor art installations spread throughout UCSD’s campus. Download the free Stuart Collection app (for iPhones) for short videos about each piece; it’s meant to serve as a self-guided tour. The installations include vices and virtues flashing and overlapping in giant neon, a 560-foot-long tiled snake path wrapped around the spaceship-shaped library, and a 180-ton stone bear sculpture. The newest addition to the collection (completed after the app came out) is a crooked house dangling off the Jacobs School of Engineering building — as if it landed there after some disaster. Download the app from iTunes. 888-387-1470.
San Diego’s mild climate makes it the perfect location for outdoor weddings year round. Plan a patio lunch or dinner at the Prado in Balboa Park on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday at 11:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m., or 6:00 p.m., and you’re likely to spy a wedding in the garden. Walk along Coast Boulevard in La Jolla on a Saturday from April to November, and you might catch a bridal party at Ellen Browning Scripps Park, especially on weekends during the summer months. Don’t forget the beach in Coronado: weekend afternoons are prime time for weddings in front of the Hotel del Coronado, especially in the fall.
1500 El Prado, Balboa Park
Timken Museum One-Day Art Workshops
On the second Wednesday of every month, from 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., the Timken Museum in Balboa Park and the Losina Art Center come together for a series of workshops aimed at combining art viewing and art production. Each workshop begins inside the museum with a lecture by a docent on a chosen piece in the collection. Then artist Olya Losina guides participants through exercises in painting or drawing inspired by the piece. “Frustration is a productive state of mind,” Losina tells her students; beginners and seasoned artists alike will appreciate her “mistakes are helpful” philosophy. The $70 workshop fee includes all materials. Register ahead of time to reserve a spot. 619-239-5548; losinaartcenter.com.
79 Horton Plaza, Downtown San Diego
Surround Events at the Rep
At the San Diego Repertory Theatre, the show on stage is but one part of an extensive and enriching experience. Listen and take part in panel discussions with members of the production, or, sometimes, experts from fields related to a show’s theme. Prices range from $20–$57. Enjoy art, food-tasting with local chefs, stand-up comedy, and poetry readings — the events change with each production. Turn what many view as a passive experience into an interactive, stimulating affair.
4048 30th Street, North Park
Get handy with a blade and play with fire
The San Diego branch of Hipcooks regularly runs cooking classes for wannabe chefs, foodies, hipsters, and enterprising singles looking for a de facto dinner date. The three-hour, $55 classes include instruction and materials and end with eating what you’ve created — dishes like caldeirada (Portuguese seafood stew), goat cheese tart with berry coulis, and wild salmon stuffed with oyster mushrooms. Topics covered range from knife skills to French sauces and are designed to be accessible to people without the skills and experience of professional cooks.
4496 Park Avenue, University Heights
Brave performance anxiety at Dime Stories open mic
First Friday of the month, every month, at Lestat’s on Park, 7:00 p.m. Prepare a short story that takes three minutes to read (hint: that’s about 500 words) and throw your name in the box at the beginning of the show. Next thing you know, you’re reading. The three-minute rule is strictly enforced, so practice, practice, practice or risk being cut off mid-sentence. Any kind of story will do, fiction or non-, but it has to be prose, since there are plenty of other readings for aspiring poets. 4496 Park Boulevard. 619-501-6638; Dimestories.org has the basic information, but it’s easier to check Dime Stories on Facebook for updates. 619-501-6638; dimestories.org.