Year We Go! The Best Pre-Spring Events Coming to Downtown San Diego

Valentine’s Day. Mardi Gras. St. Patrick’s Day. Restaurant Week. Padres Opening Day. And other notable urban happenings
Manny Machado is set to lead the 2023 version of the San Diego Padres.

January 2023 is in the books. Year we go! The downtown San Diego events calendar is starting to fill. Whether big-ticket happenings or smaller, eclectic events, here are February and March dates you ought to star on your calendar: 

Feb 14 

Valentine’s Day

Cali-Cream-Homemade-Ice Cream
The romantic effect of Cali Cream Homemade Ice Cream.

You know what to do on Valentine’s Day. But you waited too late to make a reservation at a romantic spot like Callie, Vin de Syrah or Lumi by Akira Back? Your ability to get prime time at a prime table is gone. Maybe one of downtown’s best restos can fit you in at 5:30 or 9:30 p.m. Here’s a date-saver: For dessert, head to Cali Cream Homemade Ice Cream. Show your sweet side over an old-fashioned couple of cones. Bonus: You can pre-order a Cupid Box (two heart-shaped cake pops, chocolate-dipped Rice Krispies and chocolate-covered strawberries).

More info: Cali Cream

Feb 17-18 & 21 

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp Quarter.

The celebration of Fat Tuesday spans three days in the Gaslamp Quarter–including the weekend nights prior to the main event. San Diego’s Mardi Gras festivities are billed as one of the largest on the West Coast. The cocktails, entertainment and revelry are inspired by New Orleans but have a distinctive SoCal spin. The party runs all night from 6 p.m. to 2 p.m.

More info: Mardi Gras

Wanna go on a special bar-hopping tour? 

More info: American Junkie

Feb 21-24

Symposium By The Sea

N. Scott Momaday at the Symposium by the Sea.

The 28th annual Writer’s Symposium By The Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University will bring four Pulitzer Prize winners to the stage this year. “These writers are giants in their own orbits and have changed the way we think about the world,” says Symposium host/founder Dean Nelson. The lineup includes: Maria Hinojosa, Anthony Doerr, N. Scott Momaday and William Finnegan. Most of the writers will be interviewed by Nelson, in lively discussions about their work, the craft of writing and the value of storytelling.

Tickets and info: Writer’s Symposium

March 12

Bubble Day

Yes, it’s National Bubble Day–no, not champagne. It’s the moment for family and community to gather and celebrate outdoor bubble making. The East Village Bubble Pop Up! Runs from 3 to 8 p.m. at Fault Line Park (1433 Island Avenue, between 14th and 15th streets). Bring: Rope bubble wands, sunscreen and a great attitude. Bubble solution and bubble-making instruction will be provided! Don’t bring: alcohol or glassware. Come to the after-party at The Lost Abbey. 

More info: Bubble Day

March 17-18

St. Patrick’s Day

ShamRock in the Gaslamp Quarter.

The Gaslamp Quarter turns green for St. Patrick’s Day during the ShamRock St. Paddy’s Day Music + Beer Festival. It’s a block party on Friday, March 17 offering nonstop stages of music and plenty of other shenanigans. 

More info: ShamRock

What’s that, you’re looking to celebrate your rediscovered Irish heritage with a couple of pub crawls? That can happen, too, on March 17 and 18. 

Deets here: Irish4ADay.

March 25

Country Fest

Lee Brice at Country Fest.

The KSON CountryFest moves from Viejas Casino & Resort to outdoor location Gallagher Square at Petco Park. Country artists scheduled to play include Lee Brice, Parmalee, Easton Corbin, Dillon Carmichael and Hannah Ellis. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and the crooning runs from 3:30 to 10:30 pm.

More info: Country Fest  

March 26-April 2

Restaurant Week

San Diego Restaurant Week 2023.

The twice-annual great excuse to explore local restaurants via the prix fixe-style of dining is here, again. Hundreds of eateries devise special menus and set discount prices all over town during Restaurant Week. Search the California Restaurant Association’s website by your favorite neighborhood or food type.

More info on participating downtown restaurants: Resto Week 

March 30

Padres Opening Day

Opening Day for the San Diego Padres.

Let’s Go Padres! Fresh off last year’s playoff run in which the Friars ousted the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team returns to Petco Park for the first game of the 2023 season. The Boys of Summer toss the first pitch on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. in the opener of a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies. Fans get an Opening Series Hat, along with the first glimpse of this year’s high-expectation-filled lineup.

More Info: Opening Day SDSun



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