San Diego Events

Dine In, Dip Out, or Dazzle a Crowd, Have it Your Way This Thanksgiving

Let’s take a quick tThanksgving Cabin Dinnerrip back in time, to the epic year of 1620. Picture this, a small ship, 102 Europeans, an Abenaki Native American, and then eventually an entire feast which has since resulted in one of America’s favorite holidays – Thanksgiving.

We can all “thank” the bond that developed between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims for both the fledgling beginning of one great nation, and the fledgling beginning of one incredible holiday.

From its origins to now, Thanksgiving is simply about giving thanks for all of our blessings, and spending time with loved ones.

Cheer Twice as Nice Surrounded by Loved Ones

family thanksNo matter where you’re hosting this year’s Thanksgiving meal, there are so many wonderful ways to enhance any celebration, and impress your guests. Whet your palette for a dinner to remember with a few of these ideas:

-Spice up the kids table and make them feel as special as adults by placing hand crafted name cards.

– Make some lovely, and easy, DIY pinecone decorations.

– Save yourself some fridge space by providing adorable leftover boxes for all of your guests!

Stay tuned as the holiday approaches for more ideas to come! For those with enormous families, or those who want to host a work banquet, or even a neighborhood get together, you’ll likely need a bigger space. There’s no better place to host an elegant Thanksgiving event than at the iconic and historic Horton Grand Hotel.

Put Your Party Pants On (The Ones With Elastic)

A holiday as delicious as Thanksgiving deserves to be celebrated more than once a year! Thankfully, San Diego has enough delectable and entertaining events on the horizon to keep you celebrating all month long! Here’s a quick sneak peek of the adventure to come:

photo credit:

photo credit:

-Ice skating, literally, next to the sea.

– Run your heart out and make space to eat more Thanksgiving dinners at the Del Mar Thanksgiving Family Mile Fun Run.

– Cruise around San Diego on a gorgeous ship while devouring a buffet.

America’s Finest City sure knows how to celebrate with the best of them. There’s an endless supply of events, parties, shopping, eating, and all around joy. Best of all, during all of the celebrations the weather stays sunny and bright, with warm temperatures and zero snow. For a luxurious stay throughout this holiday season, consider one of San Diego’s Historic Hotels, the elegant Horton Grand Hotel. Situated in the iconic Gaslamp District, the Horton Grand is serving up holiday cheer, and you’re due for an extra helping.


Eat Well, Celebrate Love: All In a Day’s Work for This SD Chef

imagejpeg_0When it comes down to it, food and cooking is really all about love. For San Diego’s Chef Nelson De Leon, that statement couldn’t be more true.

A longtime resident, Chef Nelson De Leon has been been cooking up magic in San Diego’s restaurant scene for over 25 years. He started out in the restaurant business as a busboy and waiter, and has worked hard ever since to gain the hands-on kitchen experience and culinary training that has enabled him to grow into the fine chef he is today.

Chef Nelson De Leon’s experience throughout San Diego at places like the famed local favorite Morton’s Steakhouse has enabled him to hone excellent culinary skills. But his extensive experience also gives him the ability to plan creative, enticing menus, organize and cook for banquets and catering events, direct an entire catering staff, and create memorable, meaningful experiences for those who enjoy the meals he crafts.

All of this serves him well in his role at the Horton Grand Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. As the catering chef for one of San Diego’s longest-standing and most highly regarded hotels, Chef Nelson is personally responsible for the deliHorton-Grand-cuisinecious cuisine eaten at special events–most notably weddings–that take place here.

Through his love of food, Chef Nelson has the joy of creating special memories for lovebirds who choose the Horton Grand Hotel as the perfectly elegant and classy wedding venue. Bride, groom, and guests enjoy savory entrees like grilled lemon and herb salmon and filet mignon with shallot-wine sauce, or get their fill of slow-roasted turkey and herb-crusted pork loin from the buffet. Creative, sophisticated combinations like brie and curried apple filo make mouths water as guests toast, chat, and enjoy the merriment of the occasion. Full, satisfied bellies perfectly match full, happy hearts.

“The secret ingredient is always love,” says Chef Nelson. “I am blessed not only because I get to cook, create, and do what I love, but also because I have the important job of contributing to one of the most special days of anyone’s life. I take great responsibility in that, and am overjoyed when I know that the bride, groom, and all their guests are savoring the food that the team and I have prepared for them,” he added.

As caHorton-Grand-cuisine2tering chef for the Horton Grand Hotel, Chef Nelson also creates quite a spread for breakfast and luncheon events. A love for both sweet and savory flavor profiles makes it easy for him to whip up everything from fluffy belgian waffles and caramel apple blossoms to beef encroute and mouthwatering dill potato salad.

Try some of Chef Nelson De Leon’s culinary creations by booking a special event at the Horton Grand Hotel. The classic Victorian-style building set amidst the bustling Gaslamp District is complete with an elegant New Orleans-style courtyard, ballrooms, restaurant/bar space, and other on-site meeting venues. Pack your bags–the hotel has incredible accommodations for an overnight stay as well!

Horton Happenings :: Event Extravaganza August 2015

tonight in san diegoTonight in San Diego: Monday night’s in August we will still have our Tonight in San Diego talk show. Doors open at 7:30pm, tickets are $7.00. Find out all the details regarding guests, show times etc. here.

mix tape 80Mix Tape 80’s: Our anchor tenant at the Horton Grand Theater, Lamb’s Players brings back the much loved Mix Tape 80’s musical next month for another run. (show is currently scheduled to run till the end of November and may be extended)  Find all the details here.

del mar racesDel Mar Racing: Now through September 7, 2015. Catch thoroughbred racing five days a week (dark Monday and Tuesdays). Post time most days is 2 p.m. and special events include the Four O’Clock Friday concert series, beer festival, family weekends and the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 22. Check out the website for event dates and times. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858.755.1141. More information on races and concerts here. 

old town logoStagecoach Days: Now through August 22, 2015. Old Town celebrates the history of San Diego on seven consecutive Saturdays with living history activities, demonstrations, stories and songs. On August 8 – “Soldiers and Citizens”– The military has been part of San Diego since its inception. Following the Mexican American War, dragoons, the Mormon Battalion and the Boundary Commission all had an impact on life in San Diego.  Attendees can do a self-guided tour of the state park and sample tastes of history along the way, while learning about the food preparation and cooking techniques of the 1800s. 12-4 p.m. San Diego Ave and Twiggs St., Old Town, 619.220.5422. For a list of Stagecoach events and weekly themes visit the San Diego visitors guide here.

maya hidden worldsThe San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT) – Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed: theNAT welcomes guests to explore ancient Maya. Their newest exhibition Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed opened on June 12 and will run until January 3, 2016. The exhibit showcases hands-on activities, immersive environments, large-scale replica monuments, bilingual text panels and more than 200 authentic Mayan artifacts. 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.3821. More information here.

night fightNight Flight: Every Thursday night through Labor day, visitors can catch a free performance from pro flowboarders at Belmont Park’s WaveHouse. The Night Flights start after sunset with a backdrop of bright neon lights. Viewers can enjoy drink specials and adrenaline fueled entertainment. 3146 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach, 858.228.9283. Find out what else is going on at Belmont Park here. 

little italyLittle Italy Summer Film Festival: June 27-Sep. 5. Starting Saturday, Little Italy kicks off its weekly tradition of showcasing an Italian film at the Amici Park Amphitheater. On June 27, guests will enjoy We have a Pope about a man’s confrontation with the great responsibilities of the papacy in the Vatican. English subtitles. 8 p.m. $5/pp. W. Date & State Streets, Little Italy, 619.233.3898. Find out more information here. 

kiss me kateKiss Me, Kate: Now through August 9, 2015. The beloved classic performance transports audiences into the wings as a touring company gets ready to open a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, starring a divorced couple whose offstage battles threaten to bring down the curtain. Featuring dance numbers, Shakespeare-quoting mobsters and a musical score that leaves everyone singing along, The Old Globe delivers another summer performance favorite from its stage. (Photo Charles Erickson) 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623. Learn more here. 

urban adventure questAmazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure- San Diego: Mar 14, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015 09:00 AM until 07:00 PM. Turn San Diego into a giant game board with this fun scavenger hunt adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart phone, teams make their way among well known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. Available 365 days a year, sunrise to sunset. Start when you want and play at your pace. Save 20%- Only $39.20 for a team of 2-5 people after Promotion Code: SDMAG. Sign up online here! 

horton musiciansThe Palace Bar: Whether you’re closing a business deal in the early hours of the day, looking for a drink after work or looking for a night on the town, the Palace Bar provides the perfect location to unwind. Join us on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings for live and local entertainment between 7-10pm. Below is our musician lineup for the month of August 2015. To find out more or listen to music samples from each musician, click on the artist’s name below. 





Saturday, August 1, 2015 Jay & Keri
Thursday, August 6, 2015 Kenny Beaumont
Friday, August 7, 2015 Sophisticados
Saturday, August 8, 2015 Jimmy Dean/Phil Diorio
Thursday, August 13, 2015 Kenny Beaumont
Friday, August 14, 2015 Sophisticados
Saturday, August 15, 2015 Ryan Brolliard
Thursday, August 20, 2015 Kenny Beaumont
Friday, August 21, 2015 Sophisticados
Saturday, August 22, 2015 Lele Rose
Thursday, August 27, 2015 Kenny Beaumont
Friday, August 28, 2015 Sophisticados
Saturday, August 29, 2015 Lele Rose


Some Things Get Better With Age. A Spirited Revival has Begun

Palace Bar Horton Grand Hotel Fermented grain mash. That doesn’t sound remotely appetizing, but those three little words actually create an entire world, lifestyle even, around a delicious liquid. A liquid that has been celebrated, prohibited, and revitalized over the course of history. We’re talking whisky, or whiskey depending on your preference.

It’s commonplace within San Diego to hear about wine and craft beer, but whisky? Oh yes, whisky is quickly becoming the hottest drink around town, and it’s no surprise that whisky bars are popping up all over to accommodate the developing thirst.

Scotch, bourbon, Tennessee, rye, Irish… what’s the difference? With whisky popping up all over the place, it’s a good idea to know some basic facts about the differences among whisky’s. That way, next time you order a drink, you won’t have to pretend like you know what you’re talking about, you’ll be a whisky pro.

Scotch is simple whisky produced 100% in Scotland, from malted barley.

Bourbon is made from a grain mixture, with at least 51% from corn, and must be made in the U.S.

Tennessee, if you can’t already guess, is a bourbon that must be made in the state of Tennessee. What makes Tennessee so special? Not sure, except they make excellent whisky.

Rye, is made with rye, but the Canadians, who were the first to make the stuff, didn’t set particular rules about it, so there are few regulations. In the U.S., it must have at least 51% rye in it.

Irish whisky is produced in Ireland, but other than that has no real rules concerning its development, so there’s much diversity among the drink.

Palace Bar at Horton Grand Hotel Fantastic, now you’re acquainted with the types, but are you acquainted with the culture? Of course, you could drink whisky wearing whatever you want, in any type of glass, anywhere, but that’s like saying you’re going to drink wine in a mug, while eating pizza in a junkyard. It’s possible, but it doesn’t quite honor the experience the way you could.

Tweed coats, lace gloves, pressed pants, crisp dresses, are among some suggestions for attire. Of course this isn’t the roaring ‘20s anymore, but still, classy is always an elegant choice.

It’s imperative to note, that whisky is not for chugging. Rather, whisky is for leisurely sipping. One’s intention should be to savor each flavor, the way the craftsmen intended. It’s up to you if you prefer to drink your whisky neat, meaning no ice, on the rocks – with ice, or mixed with other liquids. It’s always fun to drink whisky with a whisky stone, basically just one large ice cube that keeps the drink nice and cool, without watering it down due to melting quickly.

That’s quite enough information to get you started, now you just have to pick out a place to go enjoy some whisky.

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough,” well said, Mark Twain.

Well, good thing there’s a never-ending supply of not only good, but excellent, whisky at the Palace Bar. It’s only fitting that the romantically historical Horton Grand Hotel, where the Palace Bar resides, should house a bar befitting its class and style. To go along with the classical ambiance and satisfying drinks, there’s also live music to be enjoyed every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from 7-10 p.m. at the Palace Bar. Grab your cigars, don your favorite whisky attire, and join us any night of the week for the ultimate whisky experience.

Let The Champagne Corks Fly! Here’s Your New Year’s Eve Events Calendar.

Champagne And FireworksRinging in the very first moment of the New Year is an exciting and important moment! You don’t want to be just anywhere for the big night, this moment deserves a premeditated, calculated, decision. First let’s narrow it down to a city… ok, San Diego for sure. Great weather, no need for coats, scarves and the like, a chic, happening downtown area – The Gaslamp, and the beach. Where to begin though? The Gaslamp has MANY awesome events happening for NYE, so check out the comprehensive list below to discover which celebration suits you this year. Oh, and this list includes pre-party and after-party events as well.


Pajama Jam: New Year’s Family Night Out – Have a night out on the town with the family… in your pajamas! There will be fun events for both the kids and the parents! This event will take place at the New Children’s Museum on Saturday December 27th. For more information visit KPBS!

Big Night Events

I’m on a Boat

Few things are more exciting than partying on a boat. Luckily San Diego happens to be situated next to water, how convenient, so there are plenty of boat celebrations to go around. Whether you’re interested in a nice relaxing dinner-with-a-view, unlimited champagne, or unlimited craziness in general, there is a boat celebration for you!


smiling friends with glasses of champagne on yachtNew Year’s Eve Crystal Dinner Cruise – for those folks who appreciate dinner with a view, alongside a poppin’ dance floor!

Pop on over for more info here.

New Year’s Eve VIP Celebration Dinner Cruise – for those folks who are interested in free-flowing champagne…

Celebrate VIP style here.


New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise – dinner and dancing all night long!

Dance your way to more info here.

3rd Annual Moonlight NYE Cruise – for the luxurious partiers.

Cruise on over for more info here.


New Year’s Eve Yacht Party 2015 – absolutely everything is included, get ready.

All inclusive yacht party here.

Concierto de musica. Publico y escenarioMusical Events

Other than eating, and maybe drinking, what else really is there to do to ring in the new year? Listen to music of course! For those of you who are passionate about music, one of these events might be perfect for you.

House of Blues New Year’s Eve 2015 Block Party.

Get to know your neighbors at the block party right here.

Straight No Chaser Happy Hour Tour.

If you don’t need training wheels slide over here for more info.

Happy Endings Guaranteed NYE 2015 at the Shout House – if dueling pianos and live music are your thing, then this is the event for you!

If you’re in the mood to duel find out more here!

“Turnt Up” Events

“Turnt up” is a phrase used to describe those who’ve taken partying to the next level. So for those folks who enjoy such levels of celebrating, we recommend the following NYE activities: 

San Diego New Year’s Eve Pub Crawl – because you might not be able to simply walk.

Crawl your way over here for more info.

Parq NYE 2015 with Mario Lopez – Parq is San Diego’s newest club, and it’s definitely turning up this holiday season with Mario Lopez hosting the young partyparty.

Party with Mario Lopez here!

New Years Eve at Fluxx – hit-up one of San Diego’s most popular clubs to dance the night away to the beats of the one and only TJR, who will be headlining.

We have your most popular club events here.

New Year’s Eve at Sevilla Nightclub – Spanish themed venue with beats by DJ Kaos.

Enjoy beats by DJ Kaos here!

Diamond’s Are Forever New Year’s Eve at Sidebar – dance crazy like you would in a club, without being in a stuffy club.

Shine all night at Sidebar here!  

Tritonal at Bassmnt New Year’s Eve Party – if you’re into a dimly lit, exciting ambiance, check out this venue.

Get down low here!

For Those Who Can Still Function on New Year’s Day

If you don’t plan on being on a boat on NYE but would enjoy brunch on a boat on New Year’s Day…

Check out the these lovely brunch cruises:

Flagship Cruises New Year’s Day brunch info available here.

Hornblower Cruises & Events free-flowing champagne brunch info is available here. 

As you can see, it doesn’t matter what age you are, what your interests are, there’s a celebration for everyone and anyone! The Gaslamp is a great place to be all the time, but especially on New Year’s Eve! As always, if you’re in need of a comfortable and luxurious place to stay, we’ve got you covered (link to site.)