Things to Do

Site Seen: ADDO Art Festival

The annual student-run ADDO Art Festival — UCSD’s largest art exposition — begins today. This three-day festival, which takes place from May 29 to May 31, gives all students, staff and faculty the opportunity to showcase their works of art in free gallery and performance spaces. ...

Site Seen: North Park Festival of the Arts

Patrons of the arts may already have this Sunday, May 20, marked for the 16th annual North Park Festival of the Arts. Centered around the intersection of 30th Street and University Avenue, this free festival (free parking in the North Park Parking Structure included) celebrates various artistic forms — music, dance and artwork — while satisfying foodies and beer-lovers alike. ...

Site Seen: San Diego Restaurant Week

Cash strapped foodies, rejoice. San Diego Restaurant Week is back — it’s time to dust off that blazer, ditch the dining hall and take full advantage of this twice annual, prix fix extravaganza. With 180 participating restaurants stretching from Chula Vista to Oceanside, from classic steakhouses to well, Nobu, it won’t be too difficult to persuade your persnickety suitemates to finally go on that oft-promised suite dinner. ...

Site Seen: Ocean Beach Oktoberfest

San Diego, Calif. and Munich, Germany are exactly 6,010.99 miles apart. They have two different definitions of football, speak two different languages and opt for two different foods — fish tacos and bratwursts, respectively — but there is one common love among the cities: beer. ...

Site Seen — Belmont Park: Adventureland

Belmont Park in Mission Beach offers all the perks of the happiest place on earth — rides, games, shockingly overpriced snacks — at a fraction of the scale. An entertainment megalopolis located 20 minutes from campus, the park even boasts an athletic club, Wave House San Diego Bar and Grill, carnival games and over a dozen other attractions — and, located right on the coastline, the smell of the Pacific to boot. ...

Site Seen — Action Sport Rentals: I’m on a Boat

If your eyes have started to burn from studying under the harsh fluorescent Geisel lights, Action Sport Rentals in Mission Bay is a welcome escape. After a short 13-minute drive down the I-5 from UCSD to the Mission Bay Hilton, you’ll find yourself far enough from Dr. Seuss’ namesake to forget the economics midterm you haven’t started studying for. After a quick walk through the outdoor patio of the Hilton’s concierge desk — don’t forget to stop at the hotel’s bayside bar and grab an $9 strawberry daiquiri on your way back —hit the Action Sport sands of Mission Bay. Because the rental office is secluded behind the Hilton, patrons are predominantly hotel guests. Most rentals range from $20-$40 per hour for everything from kayaks to jet skis, with all the necessary equipment included (wetsuits, life jackets, kayaks, paddles, etc) — just don’t forget your sunscreen. Pick a day with clear weather and dress appropriately for open-water kayaks (and cute dock boys): a T-shirt, shorts, flip-flops and sunglasses are your best bet. Once you’re on the beach, the Action Sport cabana is perched on a dock surrounded by motorboats and small sailboats, a 15-yard walk from the Hilton. Aside from a few hotel guests basking in pod-shaped wicker chairs, it’s practically a private beach for action sport enthusiasts. The crew has open cubbies to put your bags in, but because they’re located right behind an open-faced desk, be careful. Security is questionable. For $20, you can kayak around the bay and Fiesta Island (which, curiously, is not an island, but a peninsula). The locale’s also ideal for shell collectors and those looking to escape the crowds at La Jolla Shores. Across the water from the Action Rental hut is the foliage-covered Fiesta Island. If your inner child strikes while you’re at sea, feel free to dock your kayak on the island’s shores and climb in their play structure. The friendly Action Sport staff are eager to give beginners a tutorial. The hardest part is getting in the kayak without falling in the water — though the staff are more than willing to hold your boat steady as you climb in on the shore. Once you’re situated, a crewmember will hand you a paddle and show you how to stop the kayak, as well as different rowing techniques. It’s just you and the Pacific from there. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous. You have the entire Mission Bay to explore, so feel free to move outside the Action Sport buoys. Even an hour-long rental should be more than enough to circle the bay and visit Fiesta Island. Action Sport Rentals are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ...

Site Seen — Barona Casino: Betting High

For a fraction of the cost of a weekend Vegas trip, Barona Resort and Casino offers a fraction of the gluttony. Located 40 minutes east of La Jolla in not-so-scenic Lakeside, the casino fills a useful niche: on-demand, somewhat-classy entertainment. The moment you drive onto the grounds, you’re greeted by a handful of smartly dressed employees in suits and name tags, ready to pull your car around to the free valet lot, lest you waste a moment of potential gambling time in the five-story parking garage. One of the most alluring aspects of the place is the staggering amount of free swag you’re offered on arrival. More greeters still are tasked with arming gamblers mid-bet with complimentary bowls of chocolates, matches and wetnaps (all emblazoned with the Barona logo, of course). At Barona, it pays to be under 21 — drinks of the non-alcoholic variety are also free. And here’s the clutch: Most ATMs have no withdrawal fees, so you don’t have to think twice before diving into your savings to claw out of blackjack debt. Even with all the freebies, you don’t have to worry about your arms being too full to pick up the chips: Barona has picked up on chipless betting, so many of their minimum bet tables use electronic touch pads. Minimum bets for blackjack and certain poker games can run as low as five bucks, but if card games aren’t your style, there’s no shortage of slots. In case the casino-standard, stroke-inducing supply of flashing lights didn’t already clue you in, slot machines fill every crevice of the torturously overwhelming building. Grannies, frat boys and the middle-aged sit side by side in front of the machines, engulfed in a perpetual cloud of cigarette smoke. With an ever-expanding array of penny slots, Barona caters to the stingy gambler who enjoys losing five dollars a night to a flashing machine. When you’re tired of losing money, head over to the surprisingly affordable food court, featuring the Pizza Place, Barona Coffee Co., Rubio’s and Feisty Kate’s Burgers & Malts. No one under 18 is allowed in the casino, but dining areas are fair game before 8 p.m. Barona also features 11 formal restaurants (four of which serve alcohol) and a Vegas-style buffet, but skip them if you’re on a tight budget. The $20.99 Seasons Fresh Buffet doesn’t quite live up to its titular promise, though it’s the perfect place to find the equivalent of three Panda Express meals. Head over to the hot dog cart and Barona Coffee Co. for their gelato instead. A hot dog costs $1.50, and a small scoop of gelato is 50 cents. Coffee drinks and hot chocolate from Barona Coffee Co. sell for a dollar. If you’re feeling swanky, most restaurants are open until 10 p.m. (midnight on weekends), but dine any later and you’ll be confined to food court fare. Barona also offers game-side dining for the addict, reasoning that, “When you’re at the top of your game, the last thing you want to do is take a time-out.” And like your average flashy, smoke-filled casino, Barona knows that time is money. Barona is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ...

Mesa Rim: Hanging Around

If you’re not a rock climbing enthusiast, recent box office smash “127 Hours” may have you even less enthused about a foray into the world of sharp, jagged rocks. Luckily, the Mesa Rim Climbing and Fitness center has the 52 feet and highstakes adrenaline of “Southern California’s Largest Indoor Climbing Gym,” minus the part where you saw your arm off after a 900-pound boulder crushes it beneath you. ...