6 Free Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day with Grandma in San Diego

The beauty of living in San Diego is that we don’t have to travel very far to find adventure and entertainment here. At St. Paul’s Senior Services, many of our senior communities are based in prime locations, making it easy for residents to walk or travel to nearby events and attractions. Seniors who live at The Villa on Bankers Hill and The Manor on Bankers Hill for instance are just a few blocks away from Balboa Park, one of the most beautiful and historic sites in all of San Diego – which hosts an array of lively events all year long. From farmers markets in nearby Hillcrest and Little Italy to exciting festivals in and around Downtown, there is something for everyone in this city.

After moving to San Diego and working at St. Paul’s, I didn’t know where to go for entertainment that wouldn’t cost a pretty penny. I quickly learned that the seniors I served were very active in the community and provided me with great resources as to where to search for free events around town. This knowledge has come in handy, especially when searching for different ways to celebrate special occasions with loved ones.

Now that Mother’s Day is right around the corner – and mothers are spectacular and deserve to be spoiled, of course – here are six free events taking place this weekend that both Grandma and Mom are bound to love!

3rd Annual Coronado Art & Wine Festival

If you haven’t visited Coronado island before, here’s a great reason to go. The Coronado School’s Foundation and the Coronado Chamber of Commerce are coming together to celebrate the local community through art, food, music and wine. There will also be kid’s art and entertainment spots to keep the little ones engaged. Though the “Wine Village” requires tickets, the rest of the festival is free to attend! While on the island, you may also want to consider driving by the iconic Hotel del Coronado and see it in person. Grandmas or mothers who are a fan of the film, “Some Like It Hot” won’t want to miss this sight!

When: Saturday, May 11th
Where: Entrance is located at 10th & Orange Ave., Coronado, CA
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Website: https://coronadoartandwinefestival.com/#artists

Barrio Art Crawl

Mothers are in luck this year with yet another beautiful art walk opportunity! Every 2nd Saturday of the month, Barrio Logan hosts their own “Barrio Art Crawl.” This vibrant community is not in short supply when it comes to art galleries and creative artists. While you can visit these galleries every weekend (from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.), it’s all the more fun with live music, tasty food from vendors and featured artist showcases. If you miss this event during Mother’s Day weekend, don’t worry! It’ll be back around next month.

When: Saturday, May 11th
Where: 2113 Logan Ave., San Diego, CA 92113
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Website: https://www.instagram.com/barrioartcrawl/?hl=en , https://www.sandiego.org/campaigns/california-cultural-districts/barrio-logan.aspx

San Diego American Indian Health Center’s 36th Annual Powwow

There’s nothing like experiencing a Native American powwow, and while this one is a bit smaller in scale, it’s no less compelling! Both days will be filled with stunning performances of both traditional dance and music from members of various tribes. Special ceremonies will take place on each day with Sunday’s ceremony honoring all mothers. Check out the remarkable artisan booths or stop at one of the mouthwatering food vendors for lunch. If you haven’t tasted fry bread before, you’re in for a treat!

When: Saturday & Sunday, May 11th – May 12th
Where: Balboa Park, on the corner of Park Blvd. & President’s Way, San Diego, CA
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Website: https://www.sdaihc.org/powwow/

Spreckels Organ Concert in the Park

Exterior shot of a beautiful white building,

Sit in the famous Organ Pavilion and enjoy a relaxing concert in the park. According to the website (linked below), John and Adolph Spreckels gifted the giant organ to “the people of San Diego and the world” in 1915 at the Panama-California Exposition, and audiences are still enjoying its music to this day! If your mother or grandmother is a lover of music (and maybe a local history buff), this is the perfect opportunity to listen to both classical and theatrical songs played on this San Diego jewel of an instrument. If you go and find you can’t get enough, be sure to check back throughout the summer for their other special shows!

When: Sunday, May 12th
Where: Balboa Park, 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Website: https://www.sandiego.org/members/music/spreckels-organ-society.aspx

San Diego Epiphyllum Mother’s Day Flower Show

Of course, no Mother’s Day celebration is complete without flowers. This lovely floral show will be a joy for mothers and grandmothers who love to garden. Every year a theme for the show is given and members of the San Diego Epiphyllum Society (SDES) display their award-winning cactus flowers in creative ways. This year’s theme is “Rainforest Gifts.”  Even though this event takes place on Sunday, there will be an early bird sale on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (just in case this is mom’s favorite flower show and you don’t want to miss out on the sale).

When: Sunday, May 12th
Where: Balboa Park, Casa del Prado, room 101
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Website: https://sdepis.org/welcome-to-sdes/epiphyllums/mothers-day-weekend/

San Diego Farmers’ Markets

Elderly woman buying groceries.

When it comes to farmers’ markets, San Diegans are spoilt for choice! Each market is blooming with its own unique personality. Roam down the lanes past booths of sumptuous hand-crafted goods and sample fresh produce or delectable treats. Inhale aromas from gorgeous floral bouquets grown on nearby farms and dance to live music from local talent. Why not make a day of it and do a “farmers’ market crawl” to see what new delicacies or favorite shops you find? These markets aren’t only packed into the weekend either. While some of the ones that occur during the weekends are listed below, others take place regularly on weekdays. This is a great option for those who don’t have time to squeeze in a visit during Mother’s Day weekend. Click here for the full list and schedule of farmers’ markets throughout San Diego.

Little Italy Farmers’ Market

When: Saturdays
Where: 501 W Date St from Kettner Blvd to Front St, San Diego, CA 92101
Time: 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Hillcrest Farmers’ Market

When: Sundays
Where: 3960 Normal St from Lincoln Ave to University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The New Point Loma Farmers’ Market

When: Sundays
Where: Point Loma High School, 2335 Chatsworth Blvd., San Diego, CA 92106
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Encouraging active senior living at St. Paul’s Senior Services is what we do best, but it’s no secret that San Diego is an expensive city to be active in. That’s why it’s so important to have a number of cost-friendly entertainment options up your sleeve, especially ones that Grandma will love during Mother’s Day weekend.

The beauty of these free festivities is that they happen every year, thanks to the dedicated organizations who run them. The farmers’ markets, Spreckels Organ shows, and Barrio Art Crawl also take place at other times throughout the year as well; so if Mom prefers to stay in this year, you’ll have plenty of other opportunities to experience the fun! Keep in mind that dates, times, and locations for all annual events are subject to change from year to year. Be sure to mark your calendars— but remember to check the event websites in advance to confirm that the details haven’t changed.

If it weren’t for our adventurous residents finding clever ways to save money while enjoying all that San Diego has to offer, I would miss out on so much. To all the mothers, aunts, great aunts, and grandmothers out there—thank you for all that you do, and happy Mother’s Day from St. Paul’s Senior Services!

About the Author: K.M. Royal

K.M. Royal is an Administrative Assistant at St. Paul’s Senior Services and a freelance writer. She is proud to be a part of the St. Paul’s community.