National Park Service
The statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at San Diego’s Cabrillo National Monument, which sports one of the region’s top views. Photo credit: T. Jordan,

Some of the big harbingers of spring happen this San Diego weekend, as Easter comes around and baseball returns to Petco Park. And hey, gas prices may be pushing you toward a staycation – how about a chance for free admission to some of the best spots to enjoy the season’s mild weather and burgeoning blooms?

A reminder, first: Coachella is starting, and well, ticket-wise, you’re outta luck. But next weekend, when the fest concludes? Some tickets do remain, according to Billboard. Act fast.

Let’s swing to the Padres, who started their season last week, but began their home schedule Thursday. Opening weekend continues against the Atlanta Braves through Sunday, but don’t fret if you haven’t scored a ticket – the Friars are settling in at Petco Park for a home stand that lasts through April 24.

Southwestern College in Chula Vista hosts a free 6 p.m. screening Friday of the documentary We Still Here/Nos Tenemos about the spirit of Puerto Rico’s young people in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017. Director Eli Jacobs-Fantauzz will appear at the campus Performing Arts Center, and participate in a Q&A. Register online ahead of the event.

The hunt will be on throughout the county for Easter eggs this San Diego weekend. Photo by Chris Stone

Easter weekend means special services at churches, but for the youngsters it also means an annual rite of spring – the hunt. Eggs, that is. Some community hunts this weekend:

  • Carlsbad – The EGGstravaganza Spring Festival, 10 a.m. Saturday, Poinsettia Community Park, with multiple hunts scheduled for 10:30 a.m., for those 5 and under, 6 and older and those with special needs. Also features face painting and crafts.
  • Encinitas – Spring Egg Hunt, 10 a.m. Saturday, Encinitas Community Park, with hunts scheduled for 10:15, 11 and 11:45 both for younger and older children. Features live music.
  • Imperial Beach – Spring Egg Hunt, four hunts, depending on age, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, IB Sports Park Softball Field.
  • Lakeside –Eggstravaganza, 10 a.m. Saturday, at Louis A. Stelzer County Park, where there will be 2,000 eggs to hunt, along with photo opps with the Easter B himself.
  • Ramona – also dubbed Eggstravaganza, 10 a.m. Saturday, Dos Picos County Park; the egg hunt begins at 11:30 a.m. while kids also may enjoy crafts, a bounce house and scavenger hunt.

Spring also means it’s the Bard’s b-day. The Old Globe Theatre kicks off its annual “Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!” celebration at 11 a.m. Saturday. The free event, at the outdoor Copley Plaza, includes a masquerade ball, puppetry, sonnet writing, live music and for the more ambitious among us, an Elizabethan dance workshop.

Olivewood Gardens in National City boasts the Cooking for Salud community nutrition program, the subject of a documentary at the San Diego Latino Film Festival last month. The venue hosts an Open Garden event at 10 a.m. Saturday – and it’s become a popular South Bay spot, with more than 100,000 having toured the grounds since 2010.

Finally, soak in the beauty for National Park Week, which begins Saturday with a bang – free admission at the more than 420 spaces designated by the government or Congress as worthy of preservation. How many are in California? That would be 33 parks, including the Cabrillo National Monument, which offers unparalleled views of San Diego from Point Loma. Whether you choose to stay close or take a day trip, the week of special events continues through April 24.