Thursday | 8
Jewish Film Festival
This is billed as “the largest Jewish cultural event in San Diego,” with 37 feature films and 21 short films screened in five locations across the county. The 28th annual event runs February 8 to 18 with San Diego premieres, international guest filmmakers, and juried and audience-choice awards featuring contemporary Jewish-themed films from around the world. In addition to documentary and narrative films, genres and topics include thrillers, social activism, romance, religion, LGBTQ+, Israeli-Arab relations, history, ethics, current events, and comedy. This year there are four “San Diego Connection” films, directed by or starring local talent. Venues include Edwards Mira Mesa and San Marcos Stadium 18, The Lot, Wavelength Brewing Company, and the David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre. $16; festival passes available.
Friday | 9
- Friday, February 9, 2018, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
9449 Friars Road,
$4 - $6
Lunar New Year
This Asian holiday has been celebrated for thousands of years throughout the world. 2018 marks the Year of the Dog, “a modest and loyal animal that represents honesty, intelligence, and reliability” — free admission for those born in 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, or 2006. The event attracts over 30,000 guests each year with firecrackers and lion-dance shows throughout each day, a cultural village with replicas of famous landmarks and unusual structures in Asia, carnival rides, Asian delicacies, and (for 2018) a dog-costume contest. Produced by the Little Saigon Foundation of San Diego, a nonprofit for the betterment of the Little Saigon Cultural and Business District along El Cajon Boulevard, from Highland to Euclid. Also on Friday and Saturday.
Secret Society of Adultologists
Remember your first crush? Your first kiss? The feeling of butterflies in your stomach as you got up to talk to that person across the room? This event invites you to “explore courtship, love, and sex in the natural world.” The museum will be packed with activities, including a Valentine-making station, a natural history–inspired “prom photo” station, love jam music, access to the rooftop bar, live animal encounters, games to test your love IQ, and museum scientists sharing treasures from a collection of more than eight million specimens.
Saturday | 10
Hillcrest Mardi Gras
An all-new neighborhood-wide Party Bus event. Hop on/off any one of five party buses hitting seven themed party stops for no-cover admission to Hillcrest bars, clubs, and music venues with drink specials, collectible beads, and giveaways. Businesses promise to deck out each party bus with drag queens, entertainment, and guests “whose only objective is to entertain you in the most decadent and flamboyant way possible.” Each stop will have street performers and buskers and will be themed after a New Orleans landmark: Bourbon Street, the French Quarter, the Garden District, Royal Street, the Voodoo Courtyard, Jackson Square, and Frenchmen Street.
Paper Theatre Fest
This three-day exhibit at the UC San Diego Library features replicas of paper theaters and modern versions of the toy. Paper theater dates back to the Victorian era — families would construct them from poster kits that included scripts, scenery sheets, and paper-doll actors. Impromptu performances throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday; formal performance at noon on Monday.
- Saturday, February 10, 2018, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Del Mar Fairgrounds,
2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard,
$5 - $15
“It’s like a gluten-free Disneyland!” Sample and purchase hundreds of products, meet with local and national brand representatives, get coupons, and attend presentations. All products at the expo are gluten-free, and many are also free from the top-eight allergens. There is also a dedicated nut-free section. Also on Sunday.
Sunday | 11
- Sunday, February 11, 2018, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Leichtag Commons, 800 Ecke Ranch Road, Encinitas
$30 - $45
San Diego Fermentation Festival
A makers’ marketplace with three dozen local artisan businesses that produce sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, mead, beer, coffee, and chocolate; workshops and demos on how to make fermented foods and beverages; DIY sauerkraut and pickle stations; a keynote address by Dr. Rob Knight (UC San Diego) about latest research on the human microbiome (healthy gut!), a Wellness Pavilion with yoga classes, sound healing, acupuncture, and massage, live music from the Coral Bells Band, and an Ambrosia Garden with tasters of local and regional beer, wine, kombucha cider, and mead.