Exploring San Diego


Exploring San Diego: Things to do May 25-29, Memorial Day weekend

Chill + Grill Festival
Posted at 9:55 PM, May 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 18:57:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Memorial Day is a holiday to remember those who died while serving in the U.S. military, and there are many events planned across San Diego County over the weekend, along with many other fun activities.

Check out some events and activities happening this long weekend:


Rooftop Cinema Club
Where: Manchester Grand Hyatt; Cost: $17 - $25
Movie lovers will again be able to enjoy a Hollywood blockbuster high above downtown San Diego. There's something for everyone, from romantic comedies to classic horror films to kid-friendly films. Guests receive wireless headphones, new lounge seats, food, drinks, and games.

WNDR Museum
Where: Gaslamp; Cost: $50
Enjoy an exclusive night of music, immersive art, and performances at WNDR Museum. Ten DJs will spin records all night across two stages while guests explore the immersive and interactive exhibits and enjoy performances from Connect San Diego’s repertoire of incredible artists. Performance highlights throughout the evening include armless monsters lurking around, a dazzling pole and aerial performance, a comical group of mimes, and a signature interactive exhibit that you won’t want to miss! Entry is every 15 minutes with the last entry being at 10 p.m. Alcohol will be available for purchase for guests 21 and older.

31st Annual Kuumba Festival
Where: South Bay; Costs: $0-150
(Thursday - Sunday) A safe return to the 4th district community of Encanto, Kuumba Festival San Diego’s longest-running celebration of black youth, family, community development, health, art, culture, and heritage.


Movies in the Park
Where: Waterfront Park; Cost: Free
San Diego’s Summer Movies in the Park series kicks off this holiday weekend. Food trucks, games, and crafts will be the backdrop for the first showing of the summer: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish! Dogs on leashes are invited too. Showtime is at 6 p.m.

Legacy Week
Where: USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum will host Legacy Week with a lineup of activities from a wreath-laying to the showing of Top Gun: Maverick to a band performance and mixed choir. The museum will also have interactive exhibits available celebrating military heroes and heritage.

4th Annual National Burger Day Competition
Where: Solana Beach: Cost: Varies
This year’s “Burger King” gets crowned during the 4th Annual National Burger Day Competition. The talented chefs of Ranch 45 have battled it out through multiple rounds until only three remain. On Friday, May 26, guests can try any of the top three creations at Ranch 45 before the winner is crowned later that day, with their creations featured as the daily special through the weekend.


Santee Street Fair and Craft Beer Festival
Where: Riverview Parkway and Town Center; Cost: Free
Visitors will get to enjoy more than 300 food and craft vendor booths, craft beer from local breweries, local art, a kids zone, live entertainment, a beer garden, and more.

San Diego River Cleanup
Where: Forester Creek Park; Cost: Free
Come lend a hand to keep our local river clean while supporting local veterans. Bags, gloves, buckets, and hand sanitizer will be provided. Recycle For Veterans and The San Diego River Foundation are spearheading this event.

North Park Music Fest
Where: North Park: Cost: $45-$60
(Saturday-Sunday) The 2nd Annual North Park Music Fest is Saturday and Sunday at the neighborhood’s North Park Mini Park and surrounding streets. The all-ages festival has three performance stages with 40 musical acts overall, featuring a variety of genres including indie, pop rock, hip hop, world music, blues, spoken word, and DJs. More than 15 local food vendors will be a part of the festival, as well as local craft breweries. Family-friendly interactive experiences include stilt walkers, magicians, circus-type performers, and a photo booth.


Grill + Chill BBQ Festival
Where: Big Bear Lake; Costs:
(Saturday-Sunday) In honor of Memorial Day weekend, Big Bear will be hosting a fireworks show at 9 p.m. on Sunday and their annual Grill + Chill BBQ Festival. Grill masters from across the nation will hash it out for a KCBS State Championship and People's Choice Award. Attendees can sample some of the best BBQ and craft beers around while enjoying live music.

Vista Strawberry Festival
Where: Downtown Vista; Cost: Free
The annual Strawberry Festival returns to downtown Vista, once called the Strawberry Capital of the World. Visitors will enjoy live entertainment across multiple stages, a craft beer garden, a frozen t-shirt contest, carnival rides, strawberry-themed pie eating contests, a 5K run, kids runs, a strawberry costume contest, and more.

Crawfish Boil at Ranch 25
Where: Solana Beach; Costs: Varies
Family and friends can indulge in an afternoon of celebration on Ranch 45’s spacious outdoor patio featuring all the tried and tested fixings including crawfish, potatoes, corn, and sausage, for $35 a pound, and the quintessential Cajun comfort food, Jambalaya, that can be made with either chicken or sausage, for $28 per quart. Beignets will also be available for $4 each. Beer and wine will also be available for pick up at purchase. This is a pre-order-only event and orders can be placed online for pickup between 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

National Burger Day Specials at Bun & Patti
Where: Little Italy; Costs: Varies
Sunday, May 28 is National Burger Day, and Bun & Patti will be offering 15% off all their burgers (dine-in only). The menu includes the Smoke Show featuring a Flannery Farm 14-day dry-aged beef patty, truffle aioli, and a salt & pepper brioche bun; the Notorious B&P made with two ⅓-pound all-natural beef patties, lettuce, tomato, sautéed onions, cheddar cheese, and housemade secret sauce on a toasted brioche bun.

Coronado Summer Concert Series
Where: Spreckels Park; Cost: Free
The 2023 series will feature 15 concerts at the historic Spreckels Park making it the perfect summer activity for music lovers. The opening show will feature local favorites the Coronado Concert Band and Side Traxx.

Miramar National Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony
Where: Miramar National Cemetery
This will be the first in-person Memorial Day Ceremony since 2019 and around 300-500 people are expected to attend. Honored guests will speak and hold services commemorating service members who gave their lives and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Women in Naval Aviation with keynote speaker, CAPT Tamara Graham. CAPT Graham, a U.S. Navy combat helicopter pilot who has served over 30 years in various positions including command, will share some of her experiences as a naval aviator and help pay tribute to the brave women whose shoulders we stand upon. 

MONDAY (Memorial Day)

Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day
Where: Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Cabrilla Memorial Dr. will hold its annual services to commemorate the fallen service men and women with war veteran organizations, auxiliaries, and patriotic groups. This is the first time in recent memory that the event will be held in person.

Mt. Soledad Memorial Day Ceremony
Where: 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive S., La Jolla
Mt. Soledad's annual ceremony will be held in person to pay tribute to a specific veteran in addition to service members. Navy Aviation Radioman 3rd Class Walter “Uncle Bert” Mintus will be honored this year. Mintus was a WWII radioman aboard a TBM-1c Avenger in the U.S. Navy Torpedo Squadron Fifty One (VT-51). In July 1944, while on a bombing mission in the islands of Palau in the western Pacific, his aircraft crashed into the waters there with three U.S. airmen onboard. All three aviators were declared mission in action. 72 years later, Project Recover located the Avenger. In June 2018, Mintus’ remains were accounted for and returned to his family.

Oak Hill Memorial Park Memorial Day Event
Where: 2640 Glenridge Road, Escondido
The Oak Hill Memorial Day Park Ceremony will begin at 9 a.m.

Fallbrook Memorial Day Celebration
Where: 1177 Santa Margarita Drive
Community members in the East County will mark a Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Masonic Cemetery followed by lunch at noon at Fallbrook Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1924.

The Veterans Association of North County
Where: VANC Resource Center, 1617 Mission Ave.
The group will host a ceremony featuring guest speaker Colonel Daniel M. Whitley - Assistant Chief of Staff G-7 Government & External Affairs, MCI-West-MCB Camp Pendleton. A complimentary lunch will be served after the program.