8 Fun & Free Activities in San Diego

October 2, 2015

Keep reading to find some of the best free activities in San Diego.

I remember my mom telling me that “nothing comes for free”, but boy was she wrong! I enjoy free things regularly like the San Diego sunshine, the beautiful San Diego sunsets, a dip in the ocean, concerts, food, and classes. You don’t need to break the bank to have some fun in San Diego, and this post will guide you to enjoy some of my favorite freebies.

1) Organ Concert at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park

Spreckels Organ Pavilion / Wikimedia

The Spreckles’ Organ Pavilion is the world’s largest outdoor organ, and they offer free concerts every Sunday at 2pm.

2) Jazz Bands at Local Restaurants and Bars

Sure, you have to buy your own food and drinks, but you won’t have to pay for the entertainment. Watch blues at Partick’s II every night starting at 9pm, or jazz at any of the Eddy V’s locations any night of the week. The Westgate Hotel also offers up Latin jazz on Monday nights, or grab a chair at the historic Palace Bar any night of the week for some live music and a tasty whiskey flight.

teacher and student taking a free dance class at World Beat Center in San Diego, California, USA3) Dance Classes
Shake your body, and loosen those hips, because the people at the World Beat Center offer free samba class nights every Wednesday from 7:30-10pm. Check out their events calendar for more free classes and events!

4) Mexican Folk Dance Show
In Old Town’s Fiesta de Reyes, you can enjoy authentic Mexican Folk Dancers as they twirl, stomp, and bounce with their colorful dresses, large sombreros, and big, white smiles.

Timken Museum of Art

5) Free Museums
For the art enthusiasts, visit the family-owned Timken Museum in Balboa Park. They’ve offered visitors peeks at their private art collection in this awesome Mid-Century Modern building since 1975. If you still have the itch to see some fine art but don’t want to pay admission to the museums, you can take a stroll in the Village of La Jolla. There are about 30 art galleries showcasing anything from animation, to sculptures, to photography, and paintings…and they are all free to visit!

6) Free Tours
Get historical at one of the free tours in Old Town and in Balboa Park. The tours in Old Town happen every day at 11am and 2pm, and last for about an hour. The Balboa Park tours vary, but they showcase the gardens in addition to the history of the park. Liberty Station was a huge Navy Training Center, and you can do a free audio tour of the different buildings there by calling (619) 342-8021.

7) Free Food

Dining tables inside Acqua al 2 - San Diego, California, USAYou read correctly. There is such a thing as free food! Every Thursday, Acqua al Due in the Gaslamp offers patrons free appetizers from 6pm-8pm. They will serve bruschetta, salad, and sometimes pasta dishes.

8) Balboa Park Festivals
Our urban park is so cool because it’s where we host the world’s largest Earth Day festival as well as one of my favorite festivals: December Nights. These festivals are both free, and are perfect for people of all ages. They do get crowded, however. Expect to rub elbows with 50,000-60,000 fellow San Diego, world, and holiday enthusiasts.

It’s great to be a part of a city that has so many passionate people that are willing to offer their talents and services for free to the public. It’s impossible to get bored here! Now that you have a good idea of free activities in San Diego you can start exploring. Just don’t forget about the free things we have available to us that we tend to take for granted. Have fun!

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