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How to Play This May

Looking for a great party, a sweet way to celebrate mom, or even just a fun diversion this month? We’ve got the perfect remedies all over San Diego to fill your May calendar with fun

Image Credits Go Go Amigo, The Blind Burro: Courtesy of Good Time Design; Invita Café's Spring Maker’s Market: Courtesy of Invite Cafe; Ranch 45: Chris Costa; Herb & Wood: James Tran; Garibaldi outdoor: Diana Rose Photo, Garibaldi cocktail: Victoria Perez; Lakehouse Resort: Courtesy of Lakehouse Hotel & Resort; Herb & Sea Interior: Dustin Bailey, Herb & Sea Lobster Roll, Patio: Kimberly Motos; Animae interior: Dustin Bailey, Animae Tuna Kinilaw, exterior: James Tran; Pupapalooza: Erin Wiese Photo; BeerFest: Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres

What greater incentive is there to embrace Cinco de Mayo (and a margarita) than when it also falls on a Friday? It’s the perfect excuse to venture out and celebrate with nary a thought of a next-morning alarm clock. Good Time Design’s south-of-the-border-inspired restaurant Go Go Amigo in Liberty Station celebrates classic Mexican fare and distinctive fusion items paired with special Cinco de Mayo drink deals like $9 Modelo Spicy Michelada, 50 percent off tequila flights, or turn a flight into margaritas for just $10 more. DJ Kiki will also be playing from 4-8pm on the back patio, transforming Go Go Amigo into a fiesta to remember.

The Padres kick off a three-game home series against the Dodgers on May 5 — a great reason to celebrate downtown. Just steps away from Petco Park, The Blind Burro will offer a Cinco de Mayo special of an Estrella Jalisco Tallboy with a shot of Casamigos Tequila for $20. Or, get fired up to beat L.A. with a “Casa-Machado,” a blend of Casamigos blanco tequila, Grand Marnier, passion fruit puree, orange juice, and lime juice crafted in honor of star third-baseman Manny Machado, perfected with a tajin rim and served in a special 16-oz glass. 

At Nason’s Beer Hall at Pendry San Diego, tacos and churros are on the menu while a mariachi band plays from 4-7pm for the full Cinco de Mayo experience. Drink specials include “Strawberry Fields by Cody” mixed with Pendry Select Maestro Dobel Reposado Tequila, strawberry, agave, and black pepper. 

Nason’s Beer Hall, Pendry San Diego

With the Kentucky Derby just one day after Cinco de Mayo, it’s worth considering staying the night at Pendry so you’ll have your own pole position to watch the race on Saturday, May 6 at the hotel’s elegant cocktail bar, Fifth & Rose. Guests will enjoy “Taste of the Derby” specials like Kentucky Butter Cake topped with Maldon sea salted caramel and candied pecans, Veuve Clicquot, artisanal bourbon cocktails, and — of course — a refreshing mint julep. 

Mint Julep, Fifth & Rose

Also on May 6, Parrotheads can flock to Snapdragon Stadium to sing along with all their favorite tunes as Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer band take the stage at this stunning Mission Valley venue with special guest (and San Diego area resident) Jason Mraz. 

Then, May 11-14 ushers in the return of the annual Gator By the Bay festival at Spanish Landing Park. This four-day festival is the region’s largest celebration of the culture of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou, boasting over 100 musical performances on seven stages, real cuisine of the region, and more. The family-friendly event highlights some of the best Zydeco, roots, blues, Cajun, rockabilly, swing, salsa, and New Orleans jazz directly from the region and a vast array of Cajun and Creole cuisine, including 10,000 pounds of crawfish brought in directly from Louisiana. 

Moms will be celebrated all over town not just on Mother’s Day, May 14, but all weekend long. 

On Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13, Kensington French bistro Bleu Bohème will entice mamans to enjoy an indulgent dessert pairing. When ordering a martini au chocolat, a decadent blend of Absolut Vanilla vodka, Dorda chocolate liqueur, Irish cream, and crème de cacao, moms will receive a complimentary mousse au chocolat, a dark Callebaut chocolate mousse and seasonal berries. 

Family-owned Italian-inspired coffee bar Invita Café invites the community to its Rancho Santa Fe location for a Spring Maker’s Market on Saturday, May 13 from 9am to 2pm.This 50+ vendor market will feature one-of-a-kind handmade goodies, perfect for any last-minute Mother’s Day gifts.

Ranch 45, the Solana Beach eatery and butcher shop, is offering two options to spoil mom this Mother’s Day including special meal kits along with their full breakfast and lunch menus. The meal kits take the work out of cooking up a special Mother’s Day meal with options including quiche, smoked salmon, strawberry crepes, Brandt Beef Rib Roast, and an assortment of pastries. Consider adding on a mimosa kit complete with a bottle of sparkling and cold pressed orange juice. The Mother’s Day meal kicks are available for pre-order online and must be placed by Wednesday, May 10 for pickup on Saturday, May 13 or Sunday, May 14.

Downtown, Pendry San Diego’s Provisional Kitchen will host “Moët for Moms, A Mother’s Day Brunch” from 9am-2 pm on Sunday, May 14. Toast to Mom with a complimentary glass of Moët Champagne before indulging in special brunch stations, including chef-carved miso glazed salmon, chef-carved prime rib, charcuterie boards with chef’s selection of artisanal cheeses, Mother’s Day crepe station, chocolate station, and more. Plated entrees will feature Mom’s omelet, breakfast lasagna, and strawberry French toast, and desserts include raspberry panna cotta, roasted pineapple trifle, and key lime cookies with brown sugar vanilla. For some family fun, jump into the photo booth or enjoy crafts with the kids. Reservations can be made on OpenTable or by calling 619.738.7300.

On Sunday, May 14, Puffer Malarkey Collective’s iconic restaurant Herb & Wood will offer a special two-course brunch menu crafted by Chef Carlos Anthony. The meal will begin with a bread service of freshly-baked lemon blueberry danishes from Executive Pastry Chef Laura Warren. Options for the first course include a crab cake with Old Bay aioli and lemon; butter lemon salad; or pork belly with eggs, bacon, and béarnaise. For the second course, options include Filet & Eggs with rosemary chimichurri and mustard greens; Baja shrimp and polenta; brioche French toast with strawberries and ricotta cream; or the lobster roll with heirloom tomato, lemon aioli, Old Bay, lettuce, and salt & vinegar chips, all served with a choice of crispy potatoes or seasonal fruit on the side. For children under 10, there will also be a kids menu available. Reservations can be made on Open Table

Herb & Wood
Herb & Wood

Enjoy the flavors of Sardinia and Sicily with the Festa Della Mamma Mother’s Day Brunch at Garibaldi, the al fresco restaurant located within the InterContinental San Diego on the San Diego waterfront. On May 14, soak up the sunshine on the restaurant’s terrace and enjoy items likeLasagna al Uovo with potato sheets, eggs, truffle fonduta, spinach, summer squash, yellow tomato, and buffalo mozzarella; and Toast alla Francese with crema al mascarpone, figs amarena, berries, and maple syrup. Moms can indulge in the relaxing bubble bath that they deserve in the form of a cocktail, with the ultra-premium “Sophia and Rose.” Served in a miniature bathtub, the cocktail combines Carbonadi Vodka, Campari Cask Tales, Torbato Brut, Planeta Moscato Passito, and a bubbly topping of rose foam. Reservations are available via Resy.

In Mission Valley, the completely transformed Town & Country Resort will honor mom this Mother’s Day with brunch at Arlo. Taking place from 10am–2pm, ARLO’s brunch reception will include buffet-style delicacies created by Chef Josh Mouzakes, live music from Richard Galiguis, and a complimentary glass of prosecco for guests 21+.   

On Shelter Island, Vessel Restaurant + Bar at Kona Kai Resort & Spa will offer a Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet from 10am-3pm, where bottomless beverages will pair with a carving station, hot breakfast bar, sweet treats, and more. Reservations can be made on Resy

Nearby, Covewood at San Diego Mission Bay Resort presents two celebratory experiences, beginning with a Mother’s Day Tea Party on Saturday, May 13. From 2-4pm, families can gather on the property’s main lawn to bond over games, crafts, jewelry-making, and more. Then, on Sunday, May 14, celebrate mom at Covewood with a  family style three-course brunch from 11am-2pm featuring a selection of plates for the whole family to share. Brunch tickets bookable through OpenTable

With its signature Pacific Ocean views, the beautiful al fresco deck at Adelaide at L’Auberge Del Mar is the setting for a Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 9:30am-2pm. Highlights include a breakfast bar, made-to-order omelets, a chilled seafood spread, a selection of hand-carved meats, and seasonal desserts. Reservations can be made online through OpenTable

Along the bluffs of Torrey Pines, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa will feature a brunch buffet spread on May 14 from 10am-2pm. Guests can indulge in traditional and savory breakfast favorites, made-to-order omelets, desserts, and more, complemented by bottomless mimosas and garden views. Tickets are bookable through OpenTable.

Lakehouse Resort, the charming San Marcos lakefront destination, will offer a buffet-style Mother’s Day brunch from 10am-4pm followed by lawn games and live music for the entire family. Menu highlights include a smoked salmon station with capers, sliced tomato, shaved red onion, whipped cream cheese, and bagels; a carving station featuring herb crusted prime rib, garlic thyme over roasted chicken, and blackened salmon with charred lemon cream; and traditional breakfast favorites such as an omelet station and buttermilk pancakes. Pair dishes with specialty Mother’s Day cocktails, including the Strawberry Margarita made with Califino Tequila Blanco, Triple Sec, Fresh Strawberries, and margarita mix; an Empress Cucumber Gimlet with Empress 1908 gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, cucumber slice, and basil leaves; or an Espresso Martini. Tickets can be purchased on Open Table. Moms who want a bigger taste of #lakelife can book the Bad Moms Getaway Package, a getaway available throughout the month of May that includes lush room accommodations, a Pontoon boat ride on Lake San Marcos, and a bottle of Champagne to enjoy on the lake.

This year, Encinitas’ chic coastal escape Herb & Sea will bring back brunch for a special Mother’s Day. The vibrant prix-fixe three course menu begins with a bread service of fresh lemon blueberry danishes from Executive Pastry Chef Laura Warren. The eclectic offerings include Gin Cured Salmon Toast with whipped ricotta, avocado, shaved red onion, celery, lemon, dill, and mint or Peach & Arugula Salad with radish, burnt grapefruit, toasted macadamia, and lemon vinaigrette. Next, diners can choose from dishes like Hangar Steak and Poached Eggs, East Coast Lobster Roll, or Grilled Portobello, all served with sides of fried potatoes or seasonalfruit. Reservations can be secured via OpenTable

In honor of AAPI month, Chef Tara Monsod and her team at Animae have curateda special all Filipino Mother’s Day dinner menu inspired by Chef Tara’s mom.Available only onSunday, May 14, the four-course menu begins with Pan De Sal with garlic confit butter, followed by first course options like Tara’s signature Tuna Kinilaw with coconut, calamansi, cucumber, and cilantro oil and Heirloom Tomato Salad. Second course options include Spicy Roasted Eggplant Dip, Arroz Caldo Arancini, and PEI Mussel Sinigang, a Filipino stew with tamarind broth, green beans, and bok choy. Pan Seared Snapper Filet and Mushroom & Tofu Sisig are a couple of choices for the third course, with the option to treat mom to luxurious upgraded dishes like A5 Wagyu or Lobster Tail. The meal concludes with a choice of dessert, including Animae’s beloved Turon Tart with brown sugar custard, banana ice cream, and jackfruit gel. Reservations are available via OpenTable

Then, on Saturday, May 20, it’s time to go from celebrating Mom to loving on your favorite pet when Second Chance Beer Company, the award-winning “Seize a Pint, Save a Pup” brewery in Carmel Mountain Ranch, hosts its third annual Pupapalooza Festival from 2-6pm with more than 20 locally-owned dog-themed vendors, adoptable pups from The Animal Pad, food trucks, and a live DJ. The leashed pet-friendly event is free to attend, with additional Silver VIP ($100) and Gold VIP ($150) ticket options available that include special perks such as a 10-minute professional photo session for pets in a Puppy Picnic Co. “pupnic” setting, exclusive gift bags, access to a VIP lounge, and more. For the first time in the event’s history, Second Chance will be releasing a special beer specifically for the festivities, a Guava Wheat Ale that will be available on draft and in 16-ounce cans. Event proceeds will benefit The Animal Pad, a San Diego-based, all-breed, nonprofit dog rescue organization. Tickets at all levels should be reserved in advance here


That same evening, May 20, as part of its Summer Concert Series, Lakehouse Resort welcomes Wanted: The Bon Jovi Tribute Band to its lakefront lawn at 4:30pm for a family friendly performance recreating the extensive catalog of legendary rock band Bon Jovi. Concertgoers are invited to bring a low-back chair to take in the concert, which opens with accomplished San Diego artist Mike Myrdal before Wanted takes the stage. 

Gray or not, May in San Diego never looked so good!


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