SPRECKELS ORGAN PAVILION CONCERTS
Located in Balboa Park, Spreckels is regarded as one of the largest outdoor pipe organs in the world. Donated in 1914 by John D. and Adolph Spreckels, this distinct organ contains 4,530 pipes that range in size from just a few inches to 32 feet. Spreckels hosts free concerts on Sunday afternoons at 2, featuring various local civic organists. The organ sits center-stage in the pavilion, with beautiful ivory and taupe detailing that highlights the elaborate designs. With more than 2,400 outdoor seats, Spreckels makes for a perfect Sunday afternoon with the whole family where you can enjoy the unbeatable San Diego weather and a relaxing concert by top local organists. An added bonus is the abundance of free parking near the Pavillion. Spreckels is maintained by the nonprofit Spreckels Organ Society.
Sundays at 2
U.S. OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER
Find out how the best athletes in the world train by taking a free tour of the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. This is one of only three centers in the United States where Olympic hopefuls can train, eat and sleep while perfecting their talents and preparing for the most important games of their lives. The center sits on 150 acres of property neighboring Lower Otay Resevoir complete with training facilities, a dining hall and bedroom suites for the athletes. The center boasts venues and programs for soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, archery, canoeing and kayaking, field hockey, rowing and cycling. Opened in 1995 thanks to the philanthropic support of the San Diego community, the center has provided the necessary facilities and resources for thousands of Olympic hopefuls, and hosted clinics and competitions for local youth athletes. No reservation is needed to take a guided tour of the center and its surrounding complexes.
Saturdays at 11
2800 Olympic Parkway, Chula Vista
SELF-REALIZATION FELLOWSHIP TEMPLE & ASHRAM CENTER
Find peace of mind at the Self-Realization Fellowship’s meditation gardens. Just north of San Diego, these serene gardens offer a spectacular view of the surrounding Encinitas area. Perfect for a relaxing meditation, the waterfall and koi ponds add to the tranquility of the gardens, drowning out all outside stresses.
Tues-Sat 9-5, Sun. 11-5
939 Second Street, Encinitas
A DAY AT THE MUSEUM
With many of San Diego’s finest museums offering free admission, there’s no better opportunity to see the best in artwork, history, sciences and more. Balboa Park allows free entrance for locals and active military to some of its major museums every Tuesday on a rotating monthly schedule. Also located in Balboa Park, The Timken Museum of Art, which houses masterpieces by European and American artists alike, offers free entry year-round. If contemporary art is your passion, visit the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s two locations on the third Thursday of every month.
Reuben H. Fleet Center: free admission first Tuesday every month, 9:30-5. 1875 El Prado, 619-238-1233, rhfleet.org.
Natural History Museum: free admission first Tuesday every month, 10-7. 1788 El Prado, 619-232-3821, sdnhm.org.
Museum of Photographic Arts: free admission second Tuesday every month, 10-5. 1649 El Prado, 619-238-7559, mopa.org.
Museum of San Diego History: free admission second Tuesday every month, 10-5. 1649 El Prado, 619-232-6203, sandiegohistory.org.
San Diego Museum of Art: free admission third Tuesday every month, 10-5. 1450 El Prado, 619-232-7931, sdmart.org.
San Diego Museum of Man: free admission third Tuesday every month, 10-4:30. 1350 El Prado, 619-239-2001, museumofman.org.
San Diego Air & Space Museum: free admission fourth Tuesday every month, 10-4:30. 2001 Pan American Plaza, 619-234-8291, aerospacemuseum.org.
San Diego Automotive Museum: free admission fourth Tuesday every month, 10-4. 2080 Pan American Plaza, 619-231-2886, sdautomuseum.org.
San Diego Hall of Champions: free admission fourth Tuesday every month, 10-4:30. 2131 Pan American Plaza, 619-234-2544, sdhoc.com.
Timken Museum of Art: Tuesday–Saturday, 10-4:30; Sunday 1:30-4:30. 1500 El Prado, 619-239-5548, timkenmuseum.org.
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego: free admission third Thursday every month, 5-7. 700 Prospect Street, La Jolla, 858-454-3541. 1001 Kettner Boulevard, downtown, mcasd.org.
PICNIC AT ORFILA VINEYARDS
Bring a full lunch or merely a few snacks to Orfila Vineyards & Winery. The stunning vineyards and landscaping make for an ideal date at no cost aside from your tasty treats, of course.
13455 San Pasqual Road, Escondido
760-738-6500, ext. 27
MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARK
Forget the beach. Hit up the mountains. San Diego may be known for its ocean-friendly activities, but why not opt for an inland excursion instead? Mission Trails Regional Park has more than 40 miles worth of trails for everyone from beginners to experts. Start out with the reasonable 1.7-mile Oak Canyon Trail that begins in the Old Mission Dam parking lot. Head downstream along the river until you cross the footbridge that marks the start of the trail. Follow the signs, but don’t forget to head up the forested stairs on theright for a fantastic panorama of the Old Mission Dam.
Visitor Center: One Junipero Serra Trail, Tierrasanta
POINT LOMA'S TIDE POOLS
At Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, the ocean comes to life with extensive tide pools. View the thriving ecosystem during low tide, but make sure to handle the sensitive creatures with care. From various sea anemones to octopuses, these tide pools offer a glimpse into a lively underwater world. To access the tide pools, drive south on Rosecrans Street and turn left on Canon Street. Follow uphill and turn left onto Catalina Boulevard, and enter through the Navy base. Parking costs $5.
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, Point Loma
619-557-5450, ext. 0
OCEAN BEACH FARMERS' MARKET
Fresh fruits and vegetables mixed with an eclectic community make the Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market a fun-filled, healthy occasion. Started in 1978 and booming ever since, the OB Farmers’ Market aims to support community businesses while providing nourishing and wholesome foods to patrons. Stroll through the numerous vendors and enjoy the unique sights, smells and sounds.
Wednesday, 4-8 (4-7 during winter months)
Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach
STONE BREWING CO.
The Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido offers a peek into its brewing process with complimentary tours. The 45-minute tours showcase the 55,000-square-foot brewery followed by tastings of their superb brews. Early arrival is recommended as the tours tend to fill up quickly during weekend hours.
Monday–Friday at 2 and 6; Saturday every hour from noon to 6; Sunday every hour from 1 to 4
1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido
RAY AT NIGHT IN NORTH PARK
A nighttime gallery walk, Ray at Night is held monthly in North Park, featuring a display of jewelry, blown glass, paintings, sketches and much more. This event flaunts the enchanting diversity of the North Park area, presenting visitors with various types of art and music.
Second Saturday of every month, 6-10
Ray Street, North Park
Hop in your car and embark on a mini-road trip two hours north of San Diego to visit the Palomar Observatory. Operated by the California Institute of Technology, the observatory is an astronomical wonder. Make sure you view the 200-inch Hale telescope as well as the fascinating exhibits.
Monday–Sunday 9–3 during Standard Time and 9–4 during Daylight Savings Time
35899 Canfield Road
BONFIRES ON THE BEACH
Break out the marshmallows and chocolate and indulge yourself in some yummy s’mores while snuggling up to a bonfire on the beach. Fires pits are available on Mission Beach with a general curfew of 10 p.m. With the sound of crashing waves as music and twinkling stars for a backdrop, this toasty evening is a great way to catch up with friends or the whole family.
Multiple entrances from Mission Boulevard
WILLIAMS-SONOMA COOKING CLASSES
Brush up on your culinary skills with free cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. All are taught by Williams-Sonoma culinary professionals, with each class focusing on a different technique, including holiday-themed lessons during the winter months. Call ahead of time to reserve your spot for the complimentary classes, which vary by month.
Sunday at 10, Wednesday at 11
7007 Friars Road, Mission Valley
4417 La Jolla Village Drive, University City
Meander through the Gaslamp Quarter and soak up the urban-chic culture and liveliness that is downtown San Diego. Window-shop and peruse the blocks of restaurants, boutiques and colorful characters that call this diverse area home. A leisurely walk through the Gaslamp Quarter shows the bustling nightlife and unique culture of San Diego.
Downtown San Diego
With its rich history, Old Town offers a glimpse into the past, making for a worthwhile and educational visit. Check out many of San Diego’s firsts such as Mason Street School, the first-ever public school in San Diego, and the first San Diego Courthouse among other historical venues. Beware, the tantalizing smell of Mexican food just might lure you into one of the nearby restaurants.
Mason Street School Monday–Sunday 10-4
3966 Mason Street
First San Diego Courthouse Monday–Sunday 10-5
4346 Witherby Street
Embark on a modern-day treasure hunt throughout San Diego. Geocaching is a game played all over the world where participants log onto the official Web site and choose a geocache they want to find. They’re then given the GPS coordinates of the “mini-treasure” that has been hidden by other people. With tons of geocaches hidden all over San Diego, geocaching can be done at anytime and is great for thrill-seekers who love the outdoors.
HOTEL DEL CORONADO
Sophistication and elegance epitomize the style of Hotel del Coronado. Around for 120 years and counting, the Hotel Del is considered one of the most cherished and impressive resorts in the world. Take a gander at the luxurious and extravagant property that has welcomed the likes of celebrities, families and royalty as well as serving as the setting for Marilyn Monroe’s Some Like It Hot.
1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado
Try bowling in an unconventional way: outdoors. The San Diego Lawn Bowling Club offers one free lesson for individuals and couples — the only catch is you need to be a San Diego resident. Different from traditional indoor bowling, lawn bowling is a team sport with a mass appeal for all ages. During the lesson the trained staff members provide an introduction to the sport, breakdown of the rules and practice.
Call to schedule the time and date of your free lesson
702 El Prado