Entertainment & Events

Say goodbye to summer with a Labor Day event

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Ah Labor Day. The end of cookouts, lazy days, real chances for a suntan, and hopefully the beginning to the end of our relentless, sweat bathing, scorching heat. Labor Day has become a national sign for the conclusion of summer. Instead of beating yourself up all weekend because you didn’t get to do all the things you wanted, go out with friends, live it up and do anything on Labor Day weekend except actual labor. To get the ball rolling, here are a few pricey to actually free events in order to end the summer right:

taken by Rennett Stowe via Flickr

Photo from 'Rennett Stowe' via Flickr

Winner winner winner!

The races end Sept 9 at Del Mar so find all of the horseshoes, four-leafed clovers, and lucky undies available. It’s only $6 to get in and even if you don’t have clue about horse racing, it can make for a fun day when you bring friends. Many people at the track, employees and gamblers, are always willing to give tips and advice. To avoid paying for parking and an entry fee, take the Coaster into Solana Beach and hop on the bus shuttle directly to the track. It can become more pricey as more cash is put on the line.

Animals after dark

This is the last weekend to catch the Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo. Purchasing regular priced tickets ($35 for adults, $26 for children) offers all the same great shows and animals during the day, but also includes a chance to see the animals after dark. Since the sun is still blazing in San Diego, I would recommend heading there in the late afternoon. There will still be plenty of sights to explore and the nighttime shows minus the uncomfortable sunburned skin the next day.

More fun and affordable options after the break.

Starry night music

Ending the summer under the stars while listening to beautiful music can be a perfect option. The Summer Pop Series at Embarcadero Marina Park will end its season Labor Day weekend with the 1812 Overture Spectacular (Tchaikovsky & Friends). Cannon “shots” and fireworks over the bay create a magical evening for lovers and families. The best part is the price can be as flexible as it needs to be. Prices range from $15 to $75. I suggest the lawn seats for $15. Guests are allowed to bring in their own food and drinks, creating the perfect picnic under the stars.

Taken by shimonkey via Flickr

Taken by shimonkey via Flickr

The best coaster near the coast

Forget the cost of Disneyland and stay local with family fun at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. With free parking and free admission, the unlimited all day wristbands for the rides ranging from $13 to $20 are a great deal. Four $20 wristbands are around the price for ONE admission into Disneyland. Even if amusement park rides are a no-no because they like to say hello to your stomach, the beach is within walking distance along with plenty of stores to window shop.

Explore Puerto Rico in Balboa Park

Get a more hands-on experience by learning about different cultures in the Lawn Programs at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park. This FREE event includes ethnic food, music, and dance. Every Sunday at 2:00 the cottages presents a new culture and this Labor Day weekend features Puerto Rico. After you become more educated with food, music and dance, check out the rest of Balboa Park or bring a blanket and relax under the shade on one of their many gorgeous lawns.

Get a variety of entertainment

Seaport Village offers four-miles of pathways lined with shady coverings and a colorful array of artists and performers every day. It’s a fun place to take a walk and enjoy the different shows. Since it lies next to the ocean, you can enjoy the relaxing San Diego summer breeze as you stroll down the street. They have over 50 shops and the temptations are plenty. Word of advice: Eat before you go or else the temptations might take over.

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