Best Bets for the Break: A quick guide to online entertainment and virtual experiences

City Ballet of San Diego presents “Raymonda” streaming online through Sunday, May 23.
(Courtesy of City Ballet of San Diego)

This is a continuing series of online activities to undertake on your computer or tablet during your quarantine quandary.

Lectures & learning

• Congregation Beth Israel presents its next Men’s Club forum, “A Conversation with Deputy Chief of Mission Eitan Weiss,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, online. Weiss, from the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, will discuss current issues posing challenges and opportunities for Israel and the region. Free and open to the public. Registration required.

• The San Diego County Bike Coalition presents “City Cycling” at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 20, online. The virtual class is designed to help riders become more comfortable sharing the road. Topics will include general bike safety, legal rights and responsibilities and emergency maneuver skills. Free.

Family & children

The San Diego Children's Discovery Museum presents “Roots: Portugal” online Thursday, May 13.
The San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum presents “Roots: Portugal” online Thursday, May 13.
(Courtesy of San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum)

• The San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum presents “Roots: Portugal” at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 13, via Facebook Live. The event will include a tour of the Portuguese Historical Center, a cooking demonstration, a language lesson and more. The museum also is offering free activity kits for children, inspired by Portuguese culture and traditions, in partnership with the San Diego Public Library.

• The Nature Collective presents “Virtual Connections: Oh, Octopus!” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20, online. Connect with the largest of all octopuses, the giant Pacific octopus, and learn about its nine brains and three hearts. High school environmental leaders will guide an online animal craft. Free.

Arts & culture

• The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus presents “A Meeting in Time — Bach And Messiaen,” streaming online beginning Friday, May 14. Selections of Bach’s “Cantata No. 106” will be arranged and performed by Steven Schick (percussion) and Ruben Valenzuela (keyboards). $18-$39.

• The San Diego International Film Festival presents the first San Diego International ShortsFest May 14-16 online. The three-day event will include 100 short films from around the world, 11 filmmaker panels and more. $29 and up.

The San Diego Women’s Chorus presents “Stronger on the Other Side” at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 15, on YouTube and 4 p.m. Sunday. May 16, on Facebook Live. The virtual concerts will feature newly recorded songs of hope, joy and resilience. Free.

• The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library presents the next “Jazz at the Athenaeum Streaming Live” concert at 7 p.m. Monday, May 17, online. The third event in a series will feature alto saxophonist Charles McPherson with pianist Randy Porter. $15 for Athenaeum members; $20 for non-members.

• The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library continues its lecture series on artist Joseph Beuys at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, online. The five-week course, led by art historian Victoria Martino, celebrates the centennial of Beuys’ birth. The second lecture will discuss his early training and education from 1946 to 1961. $14 per lecture for Athenaeum members; $19 for non-members.

A still image from "Guide On," one of the 38 films being screened during the GI Film Festival San Diego online May 18-23.
(Courtesy of GI Film Festival San Diego)

• The GI Film Festival San Diego presents its annual offerings May 18-23 online. The festival presented for, by and about active military service members and veterans will feature 38 entries. $10 each; $8 for military, veterans, students or KPBS members, with ticket packs and all-access passes from $40 to $125.

• The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego presents “Working Together: Perspectives on Collaboration, Diversity and Womxn in Print” at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 20, online. The panel discussion on women in printmaking is part of the museum’s exhibit “Experiments on Stone: Four Women Artists from the Tamarind Lithography Workshop” and will be moderated by MCASD assistant curator Alana Hernandez. Free.

• The San Diego Symphony presents a preview performance from The Shell, the orchestra’s bayside venue, at 7 p.m. Friday, May 21, online. The concert, titled “What’s That Sound? First Music from The Shell,” will be conducted by Music Director Rafael Payare and will feature Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll” and Mozart’s “Jupiter symphony. The Shell will open to the public for live performances in the summer. $25.

City Ballet of San Diego presents “Raymonda” streaming on demand through Sunday, May 23, online. The performance features ballets by Elizabeth Wistrich and Geoff Gonzalez. $29 and up.

Virtual galas & events

• The San Diego chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation presents “Raise Your Spirits” at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 14, online. The event, a curated in-home spirit tasting event, will feature libations from distillery Cutwater Spirits and an interactive streaming program. Proceeds will support local research and education and support programs. Tasting kits begin at $150.

• The National Conflict Resolution Center presents its 33rd annual Peacemaker Awards at 6:50 p.m. Saturday, May 15, online. The event will honor individuals and organizations dedicated to peacemaking in their neighborhoods and around the world. Dr. Anthony Fauci is the 2021 National Peacemaker. Free.

• Gelson’s presents a Wisconsin cheese virtual tasting event at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 20, online. Wisconsin cheese representatives will lead the event, which will feature a curated cheese plate for two people. Order by Monday, May 17, for pickup May 19 or 20 at Gelson’s Pacific Beach, 730 Turquoise St.; Gelson’s Del Mar, 2707 Via de la Valle; and Gelson’s Carlsbad, 7660 El Camino Real. $23.99.

• Soroptimist International of La Jolla and Soroptimist International of Mission Valley present “Dreams of Italy” at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 22, online. The event, an annual recognition of Live Your Dream award recipients, will feature an interactive evening of Italian wines and hors d’oeuvres with wine specialist Stefano Poggi. $20 and up.

What have you found for entertainment and other activity from a (social) distance? Email your leads to