Cool on the Coast: School picks up but fun doesn’t slow in September

A roundup of events in Encinitas, Carlsbad, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Oceanside and Escondido

Michele Leivas

2016_COLUMN_LEIVASSeptember has returned and fall is just around the corner. September brings many reasons to celebrate, not least of which is the beginning of the new school year and, my personal favorite, the return of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice latte. Even though, for many families, life has resumed its normal pattern, there are still plenty of events and activities in in the region to keep life anything but routine.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 5-8 p.m. — Taste of Del Mar: Hosted by the Village of Del Mar Association and located at Del Mar Plaza, this event will celebrate the local flavor of Del Mar, from restaurants to craft brewers and vintners. Tickets are available online and cost $25 or $35 per person. With the $35 ticket, guests will enjoy “Sip Stops” (10 beer and/or wine tastings included in their admission). More information is available at

Friday, Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m. — Taste of Yoga and Community Potluck: Come unwind at this free event hosted by the Carlsbad Village Yoga Co-Op, 2801-B Roosevelt St. in Carlsbad. The evening will include three 20-minute yoga sessions of varying difficulties for everyone to enjoy. A potluck will be held following the hourlong workshop for guests. Yoga mats are available to rent for $2; admission is free, but attendees are asked to bring a dish for the potluck. For more information, visit

Saturday, Sept. 10, 6-9 p.m. — End of Summer Concert and Movie Night: Bring the family for a sunset screening of Disney’s live-action 2016 adaptation of “The Jungle Book” at Escondido’s 4th of July Park, 2815 Starry Night Drive in Escondido. Live music will begin at 6 p.m. and children can let out that final burst of energy in the bounce house before settling down for the movie, which will begin at sunset. More information is available at

Sunday, Sept. 11, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. — Giro di San Diego: Cycling enthusiasts still have time to register for this fifth annual two-day event in Solana Beach. Participants can choose from three routes of varying length and difficulty along North County’s scenic coastline. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Expos will be held the day prior (Sept. 10) as well as the day of, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; guests can also enjoy live entertainment, beer, wine and food both days. Online registration remains open until 2 p.m. on Sept. 10; day-of registration will open at 5:30 a.m. until the start of each route. More information on the event, route maps and registration details is available at

Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-11, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. & 11 a.m.-9 p.m. — Cardiff Greek Festival: Stop by this two-day event at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church and immerse yourself in the fascinating Greek culture. Admission is $3 and free parking is available at nearby Mira Costa College. Enjoy authentic Greek food, live music and dancing, cooking demos and do some shopping in the open-air market and deli. Games and entertainment is also available for young guests to enjoy. More information is available at

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 10-11:30 a.m. — Creative Kids: After dropping off the big kids at school, bring the little ones to the Oceanside Museum of Art for some craft and culture time. Designed for children ages 2 to 5, the event’s craft project is a “leaf man” collage, followed by music and story time. Non-members must pay $10 for admission to the museum and the event; museum members, students and military (with ID) will pay $8 for the event (admission to the museum is free). More information is available at

Thursday, Sept. 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m. — Encinitas Classic Car Night: Bring the family to Downtown Encinitas to check out hot rods, classic cards and Woodies. Live music will be played as you peruse these vintage vehicles during this evening of free fun. Be sure to stay until the end for the award ceremony, beginning at 7:15. More information can be found at

Saturday, Sept. 17, 7-9 p.m. — 17th Annual Summer Slam Competition: If you love poetry, come check out this evening of slam poetry at La Paloma Theatre in downtown Encinitas. The evening is presented by Full Moon Poets and 101 Artists’ Colony / Arts Alive Foundation and is free for both participants and audience members. Poets wishing to participate in the event must be at the theatre by 6 p.m. to enter their names in the drawing. The evening’s lineup will consist of the first 17 names drawn from the popcorn bucket. Doors open to the public at 6:30 p.m. Competition rules and event details are available at

Thursday, Sept. 22, 5-8 p.m. — Carlsbad Village ArtWalk: This free event is held the fourth Thursday of each month at Carlsbad Village and allows guests to go on a self-guided tour of the art the village has to offer. Guests can download a PDF map of the village at so they don’t miss out on any of the art during the evening.

Thursday, Sept. 22, 6-8 p.m. — Wonderful World of Wine and Cheese at Del Mar (21 and up): Hire a babysitter for the kids and come attend this evening of wine and cheese at Venissimo at the Shops of Del Mar. Learn more about the basics of cheese as you enjoy six of Venissimo’s favorite wine-and-cheese pairings. Admission to the evening is $60 per person; guests will also enjoy a 10 percent discount off any purchases during the evening. More information is available at

Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. — Oceanside Harbor Days: The whole family will enjoy this weekend-long event of sun, sand and fun. Peruse booths filled with items crafted by local artisans and enjoy food and beverages from local vendors. Guests can also wander through the Pirates Village and check out the entertainment stage for live music. This event is free to attend and is located at Oceanside Harbor. Details can be found at

Saturday, Oct. 1, 12-10 p.m. — Oktoberfest Family Fall Festival: Bring your appetites and your dancing shoes for this family-friendly event at Carlsbad’s Holiday Park. Admission is $15 and includes your entry and meal, if purchased online in advance. Regular admission at the gate (without the meal option) is $5 for guests ages 10 and up. The fun won’t stop with a full lineup of live music and costume contests for all ages. Little ones can enjoy bounce houses, face painters, a jaunt through the pumpkin patch, arts and crafts (and more). Adults can sample fine craft and domestic brews as they enjoy delicious and authentic German food. Free shuttles will run every 20 minutes from the nearby The Shoppes at Carlsbad (formerly Westfield Plaza Camino Real) parking lot. Ticket purchases and event details are available at

Michele Leivas is a San Diego freelance writer