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San Diego Weekend Guide: Sept. 3-5 – Labor Day Edition

Balboa Park, the bayfront beyond, Petco Park to the south and Del Mar to the north are a few places to be this Labor Day weekend. Photo credit: Visit San Diego, via Facebook

Ah, Labor Day. It’s wistful – summer’s end is in sight – but take heart. We’re in Southern California, people! Our San Diego summer – whew, thankfully – can be endless.

But summer celebrations aren’t. Two come to a close this weekend, while at Balboa Park there’s a new beginning. Meanwhile, you can get your “I Love Lucy” on in Julian.

The San Diego Zoo’s Nighttime Zoo wraps up on Labor Day, meaning it’s the last chance to enjoy the animals through 9 p.m., along with rock, cover bands and world music. There’s also Dr. Zoolittle and animal characters in costume for the young’uns. Admission starts at $62.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club heads into its final weekend of the season too, with first post at 4 p.m. Friday, for eight races, followed by 11 each day through Monday, beginning at 2 p.m. Grandstand admission starts at $5.

Balboa Park has more going on than just the nighttime zoo this long weekend:

  • Enjoy free entry to Mingei International Museum beginning Friday as the curtain rises on the venue’s $55 million revamp. Free admission continues through Monday.
  • Meanwhile, at the Fleet Science Center, there’s the IMAX Film Festival beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday, with eight films screening in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater, which is set for a big upgrade of its own. Adult admission costs $22 and includes one screening.

Cheer the Padres as they enter the heat of the pennant race in September in their fight for a wild-card spot. They welcome the controversial Houston Astros at 7:10 p.m. Friday, as they open one of their last two home stands of the season at Petco Park. Don’t miss part of Fernando Tatis Jr.’s possible MVP season, or hey, if you lean more toward craft suds, BeerFest, which also takes place Friday.

But how about tacos, tequila and a little beer too? Barrio Logan hosts the Tacos & Tequila Festival at HottMess and Sideyard BBQ Friday and Saturday. More than 15 breweries join in, along with food trucks, bands and bartenders serving up tequila pours. Tickets cost $40 for the evening event, starting at 6 p.m. each night.

Classic comedienne Lucille Ball – first thing that comes to mind is either wine or chocolate right? If the grapes occur to you first, head out to Julian’s Menghini Winery for the Grape Stomp Festa at 11 a.m. Saturday. Stomp to your heart’s content, and enjoy sips and music too. Admission is $20, and tastings cost $1 each.

Heading into the home stretch on the weekend with barbecue? Yes, please. Our Lady of Light in Descanso hosts its 84th annual barbecue, at 11 a.m. Sunday. A plate will cost you, but admission is free, and includes live music, crafts, a rummage sale and a raffle too.

(This story originally appeared in Times of San Diego, which is part of the CalMatters Network.)