1. Buy-a-little-something day
So, it's not Buy Nothing Day, the unofficial holiday that's replaced Black Friday for many people who are critical of capitalism's death-grip on our collective unconscious. However, if you're going to do some holiday shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend, check out Little Italy's neighborhood-wide event promoting locally owned small businesses.
"Anybody can go to a mall and buy a gift from a big chain store," said Little Italy Association district manager and event organizer Chris Gomez. "The beautiful thing about shopping locally is you're going to find a unique gift, whether it's arts, furniture or jewelry. That's the great thing about shopping in a neighborhood."
On Saturday, Nov. 29, during NoLI Nights Buon Natale (North Little Italy Nights Merry Christmas), folks can stroll down the sidewalk and check out art performances and a number of live musical acts at local businesses. The area's colorful boutiques, art galleries and eateries will stay open late, offering discounts.
"We'll start getting ready for the holiday season," Gomez said. "You'll start to see the transition of our neighborhood."
Participating businesses include modern-furniture and home-accessory store Mixture, which is going out of business and will be offering up to 90 percent off certain items. Visitors to pet spa Hairy and Merry can get a pet portrait by local artists. And those who grab a bite at Juniper and Ivy can throw back one of their signature holiday cocktails.
"We're showcasing the whole neighborhood with an emphasis on art and design," Gomez said. "It's an emphasis on the entire community."
The quarterly event replaced the monthly Friday event Kettner Nights earlier this year. Now once every three months, the event is bigger and usually held on Thursday. Find details here.
2. Art for environment
There's a new La Jolla gallery with some loftier-than-normal goals. Not only do the folks behind Dolphin and Hawk Fine Art Gallery (7742 Herschel Ave.) want to contribute to the vibrancy of the local art scene by showing contemporary, abstract work created by living artists; they also want to help improve the environment by supporting research while they're at it. Dolphin and Hawk's upcoming exhibition, La Jolla Post-Modern Art Exhibit, which opens with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, features the works of J.Hinos and Chobolits. Hinos is a local artist who uses recycled objects in his abstract work, and Chobolits' paintings dance delicately between landscape and abstract expressionism. Half the show's profits will be donated to local environmental organizations. dolphinandhawk.com
3. You're in Cider Town
Enjoying a locally brewed beer is a perennial activity in San Diego, but there's something uniquely autumnal about sipping on cider. But why choose when both will be poured in plentiful supply at the Craft Beer & Cider Fest in Del Mar, starting at noon on Saturday, Nov. 29, at the Del Mar Racetrack (2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.). Patrons can sample a number of local and international beers and ciders while munching on food-truck offerings and listening to jams spun by DJs. And at 4 p.m., alt-rockers Cake will perform live. Admission is $18 and includes five 7-ounce samples. dmtc.com
Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email Kinsee Morlan.