Best Magic Shows in the World

BEST Magic Show San Diego California 2018

Everyone knows that San Diego is the baby bear to mamma bear L.A. and pappa bear San Fran... everything is just right! It has so much going for it. Mild weather, sandy beaches, Balboa Park, great Mexican Food and the world famous San Diego Zoo are just a few of its highlights. San Diego is also home to some fabulous places to see and experience magic. You'll find magic just around the corner. Whether it be a touring show, dedicated theatre, dinner show or something just for the kids, there is always something magical happening in this well-loved city.

CURRENT Magic Show San Diego, CA

San Diego Magic History

magic shows in San Diego history
From left to right: J.C. Wagner, James Kellog Jr., Honest Sid Gerhart

Ah, San Diego. White, sandy beaches and ideal temperatures are just a few reasons this coastal “Birthplace of California” boasts a spot on nearly every top 10 list for tourists. This diverse border town has much to offer its visitors. The art of magic is an exciting part of the eclectic mix that is San Diego's art scene (and we’re not talking about witchcraft or sorcery!). Things disappear. They reappear. Audiences are engaged and bewildered by sleight-of-hand entertainment and magicians that have spent a lifetime perfecting their craft.

One of the earliest magic clubs in San Diego started in 1948, the I.B.M. Ring 76. Early members were magic enthusiasts who met weekly to discuss and show off new tricks. Many balanced busy careers with their love of magic. It was often difficult through more turbulent years to keep the group thriving. A second magic group, a local chapter of the Society of American Magicians began meetings in 1956. Several of those members including Cecil "Sid" Gerhart decided that another night of sharing their love for magic was needed, and the original Ring 78 was revived. Honest Sid, as he was known, was an amateur magician well loved for his comedy magic act where he often played the part of a traveling medicine show salesman. He was dedicated to keeping the Ring going and sharing his love of magic with everyone, and Ring 76 is still going strong today.

One family in San Diego that has made magic a tradition, passed on from father to son, is the Kellogg family. There are now three generations of illusionists, all named James Kellogg (Sr., Jr., and James III), which is a magical feat all its own at family gatherings. They are busy keeping the art alive with both their intimate dinner theatre in the cities historic Gaslamp District, as well as running the family magic shop in the same location. The dinner theatre show (see above) takes you on a journey through the magical history of the Kellogg family, performing some illusions that are over 100 years old.

Another San Diego magic legend was J.C. Wagner. J.C. performed magic in his teens at Disneyland. His love of magic became well-ingrained, and after a stint in the air force in the 60s, he returned to San Diego to start a life in magic. Working as a bartender, J.C. often got a chance to do bar magic. After many day-trips up to L.A. to hang out with magic greats at the Magic Castle, J.C. eventually perfected his bar magic routine, and was one of the original owners of the once well-known magic bar The Magic Lounge which opened in the 1970s. It was known as a hip and lively place to hang out, get a drink and see some up-close magic.

The City of San Diego is dedicated to preserving its history and is a focus of arts and culture. Magic is no exclusion. Shops and theaters big and small, and magicians generations long have become staples in the community, thrilling patrons and bedazzling audiences with their love of this ancient art.

PAST San Diego Magic Shows

If Los Angeles is too crazy for you and San Francisco too cold, then San Diego is a California city that will have you saying, it was just right. Whether you already live there, or you are lucky enough to spend some time exploring this sweet city, we encourage you to take some time to see what magic delights San Diego has to offer. There's nothing like some sleight-of-hand, mind-reading and fluffy rabbits in hats to take your mind off your worries and bring a smile to your face.