photo: Sanrio

Happy Mother’s Day weekend! After you enjoy brunch at one of our favorite spots, there are plenty more ways to celebrate! From mother/daughter teas and the Hello Kitty Cafe pop-up to festivals featuring kites, art & music, chocolate and crawfish––read on for where to have a ball.

Mission Valley

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container
The Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container will open at Fashion Valley Mall on Fri. May 11th with festivities including giveaways, free drinks and a small gift with purchase for the first 50 customers. The fast-casual setting lets visitors pop in and out for a sweet snack or stay to enjoy their treats at bistro tables on the container’s pop out patio. Hello Kitty and her friends will welcome customers into the space that boasts bold character graphics on the container panels that will captivate kids. The cute menu includes pastries, cakes and the beloved strawberry mint lemonade as well as coffee drinks. Also on tap: a seasonal strawberry menu featuring a strawberry tart and frozen strawberry lemonade. A limited-edition Hello Kitty Cafe Chef plush will be for sale while supplies last. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

San Diego

Gator by the Bay, Food & Crawfish Festival
San Diego’s annual Gator By The Bay, the largest, most-authentic Louisiana-themed music and food festival this side of the bayou, will be held at Spanish Landing Park on beautiful San Diego Bay. This celebration features four days of live music with more than 100 musical acts and special performances on seven stages as well as a delicious array of southern cuisine, including 10,000 pounds of fresh crawfish trucked all the way from Opelousas, Louisiana! Since its inception in 2001, the festival has grown to showcase a diverse selection of music genres including blues, salsa, Zydeco, Cajun and country. The festival boasts five wooden dance floors, including two 3,000 square foot shaded dance floors at each of the two main stages. Special family fun activities include the costumed Mardi Gras parades, outrageous hat-making with the Rad Hatter and colorful face painting. Attendees can indulge their palates in Louisiana-raised crawfish, boudin sausage, catfish, alligator, barbecue and oysters from vendors in The French Quarter Food Court. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Mother & Daughter Teas at The Westgate Hotel
The Westgate Hotel’s afternoon tea, hosted in the Grand Lobby, is the perfect place to celebrate with pinkies up. While relaxing to the melodious sounds of a harp, guests will indulge in a delightful array of finger sandwiches and buttery pastries while they sip on traditional teas and a glass of champagne. Each mom will receive a gift of macaroons to mark the occasion. Reservations can be made here. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

Cardiff-by-the Sea

Scratch Day
Ada Harris Elementary School is hosting a computer programming event called “Scratch Day.” The event is open to all ages and abilities, and no previous programming experience is required. Scratch Day is a global collection of events where people of all programming levels congregate to meet, share and learn. Attendees can collaborate on different Scratch projects, attend workshops, share their ideas and experiences, and overall, have fun. Thousands of kids, parents, and teachers around the world will celebrate their love of computer programming on Scratch Day and San Diego residents will be among them. Scratch is a free computer programming platform and online community for kids developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). With Scratch, kids and adults can create their own video games, animate stories, and explore computer science concepts. San Diego Scratch Day is free, but attendees must have an admission ticket in advance. There are only a limited number of seats, so those interested are advised to get their admission tickets early. For Scratch Day admission tickets and more information, visit Sat. Event details.

North Park

SDCCU Festival of Arts
The (SDCCU) Festival of Arts in North Park is a free festival that celebrates the artistic craftsmanship of the community, from unconventional street art to live musical talent, offering a whole day of entertaining experiences that are free and highlight the local talents of North Park. This celebration of the historic and eclectic North Park neighborhood attracts more than 40,000 attendees from around San Diego and beyond. There’s something for all ages at this nine square block festival, including interactive exhibits, local makers, fine art and an array of live music along North Park’s busy University Ave. This year, the artistry goes beyond traditional mediums. Meticulously designed dishes, cocktails and craft brew recipes will also be highlighted in the festival’s new Craft Beer Block. For the first year ever, entry is free for this ages 21 and up experience. Attendees are invited to enjoy full 12 ounce pours of their favorite beer for purchase or enjoy a little bit of everything and buy a wrist band to sample and sip from North Park’s top chefs, distillers and brewers. All of this is in one place, plus free entertainment and the ever-popular Drag Queen Karaoke. The new Craft Beer Block is a sure crowd pleaser! There is something for everyone, including fun for the kids. The Kids Art Block will provide the opportunity to participate in interactive activities designed to stimulate, inspire imaginations and create masterpieces. Local dance troupes will perform throughout the day; face painters, crafters and family-friendly snacks will be available. Sat. Event details.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach Kite Festival
Both the young and young at heart will love making kites together at The Ocean Beach Kite Festival. Celebrating its 70th year, this is the oldest children’s kite festival in the U.S. All kite-making materials are provided and local Kiwanis volunteers are eager to help. Any handmade kite is eligible to earn prizes for the best decorated kites by age group. Carnival rides, games and professionals showing off kite stunts will delight little ones. Enjoy perusing the many artisan crafts and fill hungry tummies with food truck delights. Note: Park at Robb Field and take the free shuttle to the event. Sat. Event details.


Chocolate Festival at San Diego Botanic Garden
Spend the Saturday before Mother’s Day at San Diego Botanic Garden’s famous Chocolate Festival! Enjoy dozens of delectable chocolate tastings, demonstrations, a chocolate fountain and more. This family-friendly event also features lots of children’s activities and a variety of Mother’s Day gifts. “Tasting” tickets will be sold on site.
Tasting tickets are a $1 for 1 tasting ticket and will be sold at the event. Sat. Event details.

Liberty Station

Outdoor Movies at Liberty Station
Liberty Station welcomes back its free outdoor film series on the second Saturday of each month from May to October 2018. Evenings feature surprise pop-up performances or activities along with curated shorts preceding the feature film. Movie lovers are encouraged to arrive early and visit the Arts District Liberty Station galleries, studios and museums. Grab a picnic, blanket, or low back chair and spend an evening underneath the stars with friends, family, and neighbors. Movies begin after sunset. All ages are invited, and no alcohol can be brought into the venue. This weekend’s movie is Coco. Click here for a list of movies by date, each second Saturday of the month. Sat. Event details.

Del Mar

Mother’s Day Tea, Crafts & Styled Photo Shoot
Join Mint Studio for a Tea and Toast to Motherhood! Enjoy a gorgeous tea party with tasty pastries, teas and mini spring floral workshop. Capture a keepsake picture to remember the day spent together, celebrating motherhood! Styled shoot and photo included in ticket price. Seating is limited. Sat. Event details.


Mother’s Day Celebration at The Flower Fields
Take mom to The Flower Fields for the final day of their season to celebrate Mother’s Day. Rancho Buena Vista High School’s Ballet Folklorico will perform colorful dancing on stage and you can make mom a mixed bouquet for the bargain price of $5. Sun. Event details.

Where are you celebrating this weekend? Share in the comments!

––Beth Shea