Things to Do This Weekend in San Diego: March 16-19

Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend, San Diego! We certainly feel lucky to live here. From a stroll in the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch and the San Diego Latino Film Festival, to ShamROCK in the Gaslamp and other St. Paddy’s parties – cheers to another memorable weekend in America’s Finest City.

Thursday, March 16

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (season runs through May 14), Carlsbad Ranch
It’s here! The famous Flower Fields in Carlsbad Ranch officially opened for the season on March 1, offering visitors spectacular views of bright blooms in all of their gorgeous glory. The fields are open daily, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., through May 14. Patrons will enjoy nearly 50 acres of colorful displays of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers, which are in bloom for six to eight weeks. The famous fields also include roses, orchids, sweet pea blossoms, petunias and poinsettias. Keep checking the Flower Fields website, too, because the venue hosts special events throughout the bloom season.

Garden Tapestries Art Show
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., San Diego Botanic Garden
The “Garden Tapestries” art show continues its run in the Ecke Building at the San Diego Botanic Garden. The exhibit includes garden-themed tapestries from the Rameses Wissa Wassef Art Center in Giza, Egypt, which feature vivid flowers of the desert, villages and Nile River. The tapestries are available for purchase. Admission to this show is included with admission to the Botanic Garden. The art show runs through March 31.

San Diego Latino Film Festival
Times vary (March 16-26), AMC Fashion Valley 18
The 24th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival kicks off Thursday, running through March 26 at AMC Fashion Valley 18 in Fashion Valley mall. Explore the best of the best in Latino cinema, including short films and features, documentaries and more. The film festival will also feature panels with film experts, Q&A sessions and workshops. The first film (“Entonces Nosotros”) screens at 5:15 p.m. Thursday; click here for the full schedule of films. You can buy a single ticket for one screening, or packages, including a 5-film pass for $45.

Public Tours of USS John P. Murtha
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Friday) and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), B Street Pier
The USS John P. Murtha – one of only 10 ships in the United States that can accommodate both water and air landings – is hosting public tours this weekend at the B Street Pier on North Harbor Drive. Those who are interested in checking out the ship can do so on Friday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., or on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. While touring the ship, visitors will also have a chance to speak with sailors. The amphibious transport dock ship arrived in San Diego from its maiden voyage in November 2016. It was named after Vietnam veteran John P. Murtha, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 41 years.

Walkabout Wine Dinner
5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Decoy Dockside Dining
Decoy Dockside Dining at Lakehouse Hotel & Resort in San Marcos continues its series of Walkabout Wine Dinners Thursday night, this time showcasing DAOU Vineyards & Winery, with sommelier Daniel Brunner. Guests will enjoy a three-course dinner prepared by Decoy’s executive chef, David Warner, each course paired with wines. The chef and featured sommelier will offer their expertise on each course and pairing, and guests can mix, mingle and ask questions throughout the Walkabout. The dinner is priced at $65 per person; guests can reserve their spot any time between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. by calling (760) 744-0120.

Circus Vargas
7:30 p.m., Promenade Temecula
Circus Vargas continues its run of its newest big top spectacular, “Steam Cirque,” inspired by the worlds of steampunk and science-fiction. The show has moved all over San Diego County for the last couple of months and now it’s headed up north to Promenade Temecula, where it runs from March 16 through March 27. Tickets start at $17; arrive 30 minutes before show time and the kids can partake in an interactive pre-show where they can practice hands-on circus skills like juggling and balancing alongside the pros.

Friday, March 17 (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)

San Diego ShamROCK in the Gaslamp
6 p.m. to Midnight, Gaslamp Quarter
Downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter will be a sea of green Friday night as the 23rd annual ShamROCK block party rolls in. Each year, about 20,000 people flock to the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, which includes three stages, non-stop live music and lots of green beer. More than 50,000 square feet of Astroturf is rolled out for the occasion, too, adding some serious green to the festive scene. General admission is $45.

St. Patrick’s Day Hard Rock Hotel Bash
8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Hard Rock Hotel
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this 21+ party at the Hard Rock Hotel’s 207 Nightclub. The night includes DJ’s spinning tunes, drink special and party favors.

St. Patty’s Beer Fest
9 p.m. to 2 a.m., The Beer Company
Everyone must wear green to this St. Patty’s party at The Beer Company Friday night. The 21+ event includes drink specials, DJs and more. Admission on the day-of the event is $20 per person.

Saturday, March 18

San Diego Homebrew Festival & Competition
12 p.m. to 4 p.m., North Park Mini Park
Sample your way through 35 homebrewed beers and sips from nine San Diego craft breweries at this festival and competition Saturday going down at the mini park site (2896 North Park Way) behind The Observatory. Vendors will be selling food and beer pros will be chatting with attendees about the art of brewing. Tickets cost $40 per person; proceeds will help support the neighborhood non-profit, Friends of Jefferson.

Whiskey! A Grain & Oak Festival
2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Hiatus Lounge at Hotel La Jolla
In time for St. Patrick’s Day weekend comes Whiskey! A Grain & Oak Festival at Hiatus, the poolside lounge at Hotel La Jolla. The spirit fest will flow from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, pouring whiskeys and cocktails – from straight and blended to scotch and Irish in honor of the holiday. Hiatus will also offer a special tasting menu during the festival that will complement the notes in the whiskeys. Tickets are $15 person.

She’s Got That Swing: Women in Jazz
8 p.m., Copley Symphony Hall
In honor of Women’s History Month, the San Diego Symphony will present this toe-tapping show dedicated to the women in jazz. Performers include: program curator Holly Hofmann on the flute; Regina Carter on violin; Katie Thiroux on bass; Grace Kelly on alto saxophone; Tina Raymond on percussion; Dena DeRose on jazz vocals. Local trip Besos de Coco will open the concert. Tickets range from $20 to $65.

San Diego Cake Show
10 a.m., Del Mar Fairgrounds
Hundreds and hundreds of beautiful cakes will be on display at this cake show. This year’s theme? Comic Cake! The show will include celebrity appearances from the stops of TV baking competitions, clases taught by world-renowed teachers and free demonstrations. Don’t miss the display of incredible cakes from Food Network’s Cake Wars. The festival runs through Sunday. Tickets are $10. 

The San Diego Bridal Show’s Spring Wedding Event 
10 a.m., Westin San Diego
Brides looking for a little extra inspiration for their upcoming wedding can find extra help and new ideas at this Saturday event Downtown. Couples can walk through displays, watch fashion shows, taste cake, win prizes and meet wedding professionals. Tickets start at $7, though members of the military and veterans receive free admission.