Current weather

San Diego, CA
Scattered clouds
84.2 °F

Cosmos' Doggie Blog

Anyone who follows my blog knows my love affair with the House of Pacific Relations (HPR) International Cottage’s Lawn Programs goes well beyond garden-variety puppy love. What’s not to love about a weekly mini-cultural festival that features paw-tapping music and dance performances, colorful costumes, traditional arts and crafts, and edible delicacies from many lands?

For those who have been hibernating too long, Lawn Program season generally runs from early March through October. During that time, nearly three dozen different member “Houses” each have a turn at highlighting their culture's unique offerings at a Sunday Lawn Program in the International Cottages’ courtyard.

While the Lawn Programs are known for being extremely pup friendly, many readers may not be aware there’s a pack of pups, aka the HPR Queens, that has a lot to do with that. In fact, the HPR Queens will once again kick off Lawn Program season with a diverse smorgasbord of food and entertainment from a variety of cultures this Sunday, March 6, from 12 noon to 4pm.

The HPR Queens is an organization of young ladies, aged 8 to 18, who represent each House of Pacific Relations. In addition to participating in the various activities of their respective House in Balboa Park, they also make their mark in the community through volunteer work for organizations like Mama’s Kitchen, MS Walk, and Father Joe’s Village. In the process, the HPR Queens (consisting of one queen and up to five princesses from each House) foster close relationships among the many packs represented in the House of Pacific Relations as well as a spirit of understanding, tolerance, and goodwill in their communities.

During Sunday’s Lawn Program, this year’s HPR Queens, Princesses, Junior Princesses, and Pee Wee Princesses will be introduced, and beginning at 2pm, they will perform in traditional costumes, promising many YouTube-worthy “aww” moments.

Posted in Festivals | add a comment

Rodin, The Prodigal Son, overlooking the Plaza de Panama in Balboa ParkWith another week of record-breaking heat in the forecast, we are clearly in the midst of the dog days of winter. I probably don’t need to tell anyone weaned in San Diego how to make the most of this not-so-unusual weather pattern. But instead of dragging your sun umbrella across a crowded beach, might I suggest pulling up a chair under one of the many colorful umbrellas already adorning Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama.

Recently this popular gathering spot for canines and their leash-bearers became even more picturesque with the addition of seven sculptures from the collection of The San Diego Museum of Art. Titled Art of the Open Air, the display consists of seven large-scale weather-resistant sculptures that have not been on view in a dog’s age.

The works include August Rodin’s remarkable bronze The Prodigal Son, the surrealist Solar Bird by Joan Miró, the brightly painted abstract aluminum Odyssey III by Tony Rosenthal, and a monumental painted fiberglass work, titled Border Crossing, by Luis Jimenez. Missing, unfortunately, is a three-dimensional interpretation of the classic Dog’s Playing Poker painting (dare to dream).

Doggie water dish outside Panama 66 restaurant in Balboa ParkBe that as it may, complementing the sculptures in the Plaza de Panama is a refreshed installation of the art museum’s Sculpture Court and Garden, aka the Panama 66 restaurant and bar. For my furry friends lacking pockets to carry the proper ID for ordering an adult beverage, there is a handy water dish located just outside the Panama 66 entrance. Both the water and entry to the Sculpture Court are free to the public.

Posted in Seen in the Park | add a comment

Randy the cat, Cosmos Blog, Balboa ParkRandy the Cat writes: Dear Cosmos, I’m hoping to make the most of Leap Day by enjoying an extra 24 hours of catnapping this month. However, with my frisky family constantly underpaw, it won’t be easy. Help me come up with a list of “can’t miss” activities in Balboa Park during the last two weeks of February that will chase them out of the house.

Cosmos: Since I’m living proof of how easy it is to spend an entire day thinking of (instead of doing) all the things one can do in Balboa Park on any given day, I’ll try to give you enough to sink your claws into without overwhelming that sleepy little head of yours.

Journey Into Space, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Balboa ParkMuseum Month

As I barked about in a previous blog post, Leap Day is the perfect time to pounce on 50% off regular admission prices at 13 different Balboa Park museums. Until February 29, area residents can retrieve a free Museum Month Pass at a Macy’s department store to receive discounted admission for up to four people. It’s a great way to get a leg up on new installations at many Balboa Park museums.

3D/4D and IMAX Films

February is also Hollywood awards season, which means most of the Oscar-nominated movies at the multiplex aren’t exactly pup friendly. Thankfully for pack leaders, Balboa Park boasts four state-of-the-art movie-viewing experiences. Through the end of the month, families can blast off into space or dive deep below the ocean surface at the Reuben H. Fleet’s domed IMAX theater, the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Giant-Screen 3D Theater, and the San Diego Air & Space’s 3D/4D Zable Theater.

Best in Show

Since your family obviously fancies the feline species, they won’t want to miss a new exhibition opening this month at the San Diego Art Institute. Best in Show is a multimedia display devoted to animalkind (dogs and cats specifically). They’ll also sleep like a kitten knowing that 10% of the proceeds from their $5 admission ticket will be donated to Four Paws Animal Rescue.

Of course I’m merely scratching the surface with these suggestions. To learn more, have them visit the Balboa Park event calendar.

Posted in Ask Cosmos | add a comment

It’s another Valentine’s Day weekend in Balboa Park and that can mean only one thing...

Sniffing through lush gardens on a romantic stroll with your sweetheart? you ask. —Nope.

Chowing down on brie and gluten-free bruschetta while picnicking on a bench shaded by a historic building? —Uh-uh.

Stealing a smooch in front of a beautiful work of art? —No again.

Give up? This Valentine’s Day is all about Bark in the Park. And with the annual charity event in Spreckels Organ Pavilion falling on February 14 (2–3pm), there will simply be no better time to prove your feelings go beyond puppy love.

Bark in the Park gives people who truly “must love dogs” the chance to show their pet pride by participating in a pooch parade across the Organ Pavilion stage, sing along to paw-tapping pup-friendly tunes played by San Diego Civic Organist Dr. Carol Williams, make a “love donation” to the San Diego Humane Society, and even extend your pack’s circle of love by taking home an adoptable pet.

If your relationship hasn’t celebrated its 10-year anniversary yet, then it hasn’t stood the test of time as well as Bark in the Park has. For the past decade, Bark and the Park has brought out the best in people and their pets through music, fun with furry friends, and laughter.

Bark in the Park is always free to the public, and leashed pets are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Posted in Festivals | add a comment

If there’s one thing I tell my bipedal readers is better than Macy’s Museum Month, it’s a leap year Museum Month. That’s because area residents and their packs have one full extra day to squeeze in all 40 San Diego County museums that are offering half-price admission during the month of February.

Saving a few bones is nothing to bark at, and the Museum Month Pass available at any area Macy’s Department Store (no purchase necessary) is the golden ticket to discounted admission for up to four pack members at dozens of San Diego County’s finest cultural attractions.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, exterior, Museum Month 2016If you feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew even with the extra day, I recommend taking puppy steps by starting with the 13 participating museums in Balboa Park:

With the 2015 Balboa Park Centennial celebrations coming to a close, a number of Balboa Park museums are installing new exhibitions for 2016. The Mingei International Museum, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Museum of Photographic Arts, The San Diego Museum of Art, and San Diego Automotive Museum, to name a few, already have (or will have by the end of the month) fresh displays in their galleries.

So don’t let another leap day go by without fetching a Museum Month Pass!

Posted in Museums | add a comment
Syndicate content