San Diego has no shortage of options for fun in the sun. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly outing or an adventure with your friends, this is a city that has you covered. From nature walks to surf-perfect waves, and breweries to theme parks, San Diego always delivers. Labor Day is the final holiday of the summer season, and you should do your research to figure out how you’ll make it a great time. Many of these events have been ongoing since June, and culminate with final events on Labor Day. This Labor Day, enjoy your time off with one of these awesome events in San Diego:
U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge & Dimensional Art Exposition
When: August 31 – September 2, 2019
Where: Broadway Pier
Cost: $12 (children under 2 free)
This is an event that has no age boundaries: no matter what you like, these impressively intricate sand sculptures will wow you. This annual event brings together thousands of people from around the world each year, and world-class sculptors (from Russia to Netherlands to Latvia) create three-dimensional pieces of art using just sand.
During this event, a beach is essentially built high above the water, as 300 tons of sand are brought into the Broadway Pier. Some of the sculptures weigh up to 10 tons each. In addition to checking out the sand creations, there’s also plenty of other fun things to do. There’s a sandbox and rides for children, live entertainment, and gourmet food trucks.
Night Swim at Hard Rock Hotel
When: Saturday, August 31st
Where: Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
Cost: Free – $20
This Labor Day weekend, enjoy the Night Swim event at FLOAT, a rooftop pool lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel. This massive event brings together over 1,000 people and some of the best DJs. This year, DJ Oren closes the show. And in addition to the four different DJ acts, the atmosphere is half the fun. The Hard Rock Hotel is surrounded by beautiful, panoramic views, and the poolhouse oasis creates a sophisticated vibe—complete with firepits and private poolside cabanas.
Labor Day Stickball Tournament
When: Aug 31st – Sept. 1st.
Where: Outside of the San Diego Firehouse Museum
Cost: Free to watch
The Annual Labor Day Stickball Tournament is a two-day event that takes place on the weekend of Labor Day. During this time, anywhere between 8-12 teams compete for the Jillie Trophy. If you’re looking for a fun, nostalgic time, this is the place to be. Relive some childhood memories as you watch on cheering for different teams. This year, the West Coast Invitational brings in teams from Puerto Rico and New York. This long-standing tradition will leave you in good spirits!
Labor Day Harley-Davidson Demo Truck Weekend
When: August 31st, 10am – 4pm
Where: San Diego Harley Davidson
Every year, the official Harley-Davidson Demo Truck takes place in San Diego. At this event, you’ll find the newest 2020 Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. You’ll even be able to demo ride some of the motorcycles. Not only will you be able to rest ride some of the bikes, but you can also enjoy music, food, and raffles at this event.
Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo
When: June 16-27 open until 8:00 PM. June 28 -Sept 2 open until 9:00 PM
Where: San Diego Zoo
Cost: Included with regular admission to San Diego Zoo
The Nighttime Zoo is the perfect place to celebrate the end of the summer. Though this after-hours celebration happens throughout the summer, it culminates with Labor Day. Right before the sun goes down, an amazing trampoline act begins, followed by African-themed entertainment and special live performances. In addition to an exclusive menu over at Albert’s you’ll find savory food stands throughout the zoo. From interactive exhibits for children to live musical entertainment, this special, educational event series is a fun-filled adventure everyone will love.
Open Cockpit Day
When: Select weekends until Labor Day; check website for dat4es
Where: Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
If you’re looking for a fun adventure, the Open CockPit Days at the Flying Leatherneck Museum is the perfect fix. Enjoy a unique experience where you and your family can sit back in comfy cockpit seats and enjoy the vantage point of a real Marine. You can strap into the ejection seat, talk to pilot, and try it on a helmet. From here, imagine yourself flying high over the ocean and city. At the museum, you’ll also be able to see and explore 31 historical aircrafts. There are also hundreds of aviation artifacts you can learn about.
The Art of Summer
When: Throughout the summer
Where: Various San Diego locations
Cost: Ticket prices vary depending on event
The Art of Summer in Balboa Park has a little something for everyone. Of course, this isn’t just a single event. Instead, it’s a combination of fun events that take place throughout the city from the beginning of the summer until just after Labor Day, Sept 2nd. On Friday nights, head over to Balboa Park for food trucks galore. On this night, many museums, including the San Diego Natural History Museum and the San Diego Museum of Art—all of which offer live entertainment and fun game nights. On Saturday, August 31st, enjoy the Finale of the Summer Organ Festival—the festival’s most popular concert series.
Big SoCal Euro
When: September 1st 2019
Where: SDCCU Stadium
The Big SoCal Euro is one of the longest-running car events in history; this all-European car event has been around since 2001. Bring your friends and family to gawk at the 3,000+ cars from the region. You can also expect a swap meet, amazing food vendors, automotive vendors, raffles, and even drag racing. With raffle tickets, you’ll get the chance HRE wheels, custom European plates, K1 Speed racing certificates, and much more.
Del Mar Racing Season
When: Select Summer days; check website for schedule
Where: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Cost: $6 – $10
The Del Mar Racetrack is known as the place where the “surf meets turf.” Every summer during racing season, fans flock here to watch their favorite horses hit the track. This horse racing tradition dates back as far as 1937, when the renowned horse named Seabiscuit won by just a hair. This summer season, which ends after Labor Day weekend, brings together some of the most popular horses from across the nation. At the Seaside Stage, with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, enjoy the Summer Concert Series, which are included with admission to the track. During Saturdays, bring your children along for free rides, games, and other activities.
The Oceanside Pier Swim
When: September 2nd, 7am-11:30am
Where: Oceanside Pier
Cost: $52.50 for participation; free to watch
If you love the water, this is an event for you. The annual Oceanside Labor Day Swim started way back in 1929 and has been kicking ever since. During this challenging event, swimmers run into the water towards the surf, circle the pier for a mile, and dash across the sand towards the finish line. All proceeds from the event will go to the City of Oceanside, and the event is the main fundraiser for the Oceanside Swim Club, a non-profit swim team for kids.