Credit: Justin Brown / Flickr
Credit: Justin Brown / Flickr

6 Ways to Spend a Saturday Night in the Gaslamp Quarter That You Haven’t Tried Yet

From Live Flamenco Shows to Adult Arcades and Rooftop Pools—These Activities Won’t Disappoint

If someone asked you to go out downtown tonight, what picture pops into your mind? Probably something that resembles clubbing, dancing, bars…and more clubbing. Though dancing the night away in your most-frequented dark basement may seem like the easiest, most proven way to have a blast this weekend, we’re here to debunk that theory. Read on for the rundown on the best activities in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter that don’t involve a nightclub. It’s about time you trade in those stilettos for sneakers (at least just for tonight) and expand your horizons! Things to Do in the Gaslamp Quarter


See a Show at Balboa Theatre

Credit: David Mark / Pixabay

Recognized as a historic vaudeville/movie theatre by the National Register of Historic Places, Balboa Theatre has played a crucial role in keeping alive San Diego’s performing arts community. After 22 years of closure to the public, the space was refurbished and reopened in 2008, continuing to delight audiences just as effortlessly as back in the day. Showcasing everything from stand-up comedy to classic ballets and plays, enjoy really getting to know your performer in the fairly intimate space of 1,300 seats. Check the theater’s calendar, snag those tickets and support the arts—the show must go on!

Things to Do in the Gaslamp Quarter

Visit Trailer Park After Dark

Look, you’re already ditching the fancy clothing…why not fully commit? Come as you are to Trailer Park After Dark, the string-light filled, fully-themed underground bar that looks exactly as it sounds. Order your favorite all-American beer (served beautifully wrapped in a paper bag) and bring it along as you socialize among the questionable yet delightful decor. The space features three fully decked out trailers, but don’t be surprised if they fill up—these campers can be reserved for parties of eight or more, so plan ahead. Otherwise, enjoy open seating in the main bar area and order yourself a luxurious TV dinner of meatloaf and Jell-O shots. (We aren’t kidding—check the menu!)



Enjoy a Taste of Spain and a Flamenco Show at Cafe Sevilla

Allow art and the power of tapas to transport you straight to Spain at Cafe Sevilla, one of San Diego’s most authentic Spanish restaurants. Small but mighty, the authentic Spanish share plates, (otherwise known as tapas) create a fun, communal dining experience—but food isn’t the main event. Cafe Sevilla offers “The Art of Flamenco” dinner show experiences every Saturday night starting at 6:30 p.m., showcasing the passionate, soulful style of dance that originated in Andalusia, Spain. Tickets include access to the two-part show, a three-course dinner and entry to the attached nightclub for a nonstop night of fun. (We know we said no nightclubs, but hey—this one comes as an added perk!) 

Play in an “Adult Arcade” at Coin-Op Game Room

Credit: Brittani Burns / Unsplash

Grab your quarters and embrace your inner child—it’s time to unlock one of life’s greatest joysticks at the Gaslamp’s Coin-Op Game Room. Much like the name suggests, it’s an adult-friendly coin operated arcade with the added bonus of a fully stocked bar. Focusing heavily on the 80’s and 90’s classics, prepare for a knock of nostalgia when you play throwback classics like Galaga and Pac-Man, or break a sweat on the classic Dance Dance Revolution board. Re-fuel with a well deserved slice of pizza or burger paired with your specialty “Princess Peach” or “Super Smash” mixed drink! Beer lovers can also rejoice: there are 16 rotating brews on tap, which are mostly local San Diego microbrews.

Things to Do in the Gaslamp Quarter

Unlock an Escape Room

Behold: a brain game unlike any other. Put your relationships to the test at The Hour Room Gaslamp, where you’ll find yourself in an abandoned basement escape room with up to 11 of your closest friends. The only way out? Piece together all of the clues in your space, seemingly left behind from those who fought their way out before you. This thrilling, mysterious escape room is a race against the clock—you have to get it all done in an hour before the clock strikes zero. Book your escape room experience any day of the week, with prices ranging depending on party size. Decide your fate ahead of time—weekend spaces fill up quickly!


Things to Do in the Gaslamp Quarter

Sip Cocktails by a Rooftop Pool

Credit: Pendry Hotels

Discover your new favorite daytime destination: The Pool House, Pendry San Diego’s premier rooftop pool. Lounge luxuriously Thursday through Sunday in your previously reserved private daybed, sipping on as many signature cocktails as your heart desires. Pair that with the poolside lunch service beginning at 11 a.m, and you’ve got yourself a straight-up dream. Once you’ve properly established a base tan, take a dip in the pool as you take in the contemporary, open-air space surrounded by views of Downtown’s iconic high-rises. The laid-back atmosphere among the city space perfectly embodies the Southern California lifestyle, making it the ideal space to relax and recharge. Reservations are recommended for popular pool-house Sundays.

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Jaclyn is a sunshine chasing San Diego native with an extensive writing background. When she isn’t word-smithing, you can find her playing beach volleyball, skating the boardwalk, or on a rooftop enjoying a drink in the sunshine with her pals.


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