Japanese Friendship Garden
The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park celebrates the Cherry Blossom Festival this weekend. Photo by Chris Stone

Whatever you do this San Diego weekend, do remember you’re losing an hour overnight Saturday, but gaining oh-so-much sunlight in return. Rest up Saturday for your evening revels, and you won’t be feeling the pain so much Sunday, right?

As for other signs of spring, oh, they abound. Festivals and flowers too? Yes and yes.

San Diego’s Cherry Blossom Festival, at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, opens Friday. It’s the chance to see a short-lived seasonal sensation – the garden said about half the trees are in bloom at this point – while also enjoying a cosplay contest with sake tasting options too. General admission for the fest, through Sunday, costs $14.

Another Balboa Park hot spot, the Fleet Science Center, turns back time beginning Friday. They’ll be rolling back admission prices to 1973 levels – $2.50! – through Tuesday, to begin the celebration of the museum’s 50-year anniversary. That’s 90% off! Exhibits include “Nano,” “Pulseworks VR Transporter” and the “Design Zone.”

Parades Balboa Park festivals
Get your green on early this year, well ahead of March 17. Photo credit: stpatsparade.org/

The San Diego Latino Film Festival continues this weekend in Mission Valley and the East Village. Films on tap include The Wind Blows the Border, Amor y Matemáticas and Dearest Eva. There’s a special event too – the Sabor Latino Food, Beer and Tequila Fest, at Westfield Mission Valley Mall at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. If you’re booked this weekend, check out the fest through March 19. Limited passes start at $50 and the per-screening price is $12.

Can’t get enough of “The Last of Us,” the apocalyptic hit everyone’s talking about? Harrah’s Resort SoCal in Valley Center hosts comedian Nick Offerman, one of the HBO hit’s stars, for “a night of deliberative talking, mirth and music” in its Events Center at 8 p.m. Friday. Of course you may know him from “Parks and Recreation” as well. Tickets start at $50.

Want to embrace your inner Irish early this year? The St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival take place Saturday. The fest stars at 9 a.m. in Balboa Park, near Sixth Avenue and Maple Street, with entertainment on two stages food and vendor booths, a beer garden and kids zone. Or head to Fifth Avenue and Laurel Street, the parade’s starting place, at 10:30 a.m. as it heads north. Parade watching is free, and fest entry costs $5.

The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla hosts the free Community Arts Open House at 1 p.m. Saturday with interactive goodness including dance workshops, crafts and drum circles. Enjoy performances from local choirs, jazz ensembles and San Diego Music Award winners, including Rebecca Jade, red fish blue fish and Culture Shock. Register online to take part.