What are the BEST Magic Shows in San Diego California for 2020?
Everyone knows that San Diego is the baby bear to mamma bear L.A. and papa bear San Fran... everything is just right, including great magic with acts such as Nick Ivory, Red Spade Theatre, and Illusions Theatre and Bar! San Diego has so much going for it. Mild weather, sandy beaches, Balboa Park, great Mexican Food and the world famous San Diego Zoo, but it 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 San Diego magic happening in this well-loved city.
What are the Top Magic Shows in San Diego Now?
Vin de Syrah
901 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
Magician and mentalist Nick Ivory is a hard working illusionist who performs close-up magic at the restaurant Vin de Syrah and three other SDCM restaurants in the San Diego area. Check his website to find locations, days and times for his live appearances. He even has a $50 gift card offer on his site if you plan to visit him at one of his restaurant venues (quantities are limited). He has worked extensively in Las Vegas and Chicago and now calls San Diego home. A popular entertainer with over 30 years experience.
Red Spade Theatre
B, 2539 Congress St,
San Diego, CA 92110
The mainstay of the Red Spade Theatre is the show Intimate Miracles with Sebastian. This 60 minute show is for adults 18 and up, and makes for a fantastic date night or way to celebrate any occasion. One Sunday a month, you will find something for the whole family, including kids 5 and up, with the Family Magic Show. Check the website frequently to see when special guests will be performing, if you wish to catch something different. The Red Spade Theatre provides some great choices for seeing magic in San Diego.
Food and Drink: There is no food or drink available in the theatre.
Age Restriction: Check each show for any age restrictions.
Parking: There are several paid parking lots nearby.
Illusions Theatre and Bar
827 Fourth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
An upscale dinner theatre of magic. Some of the evenings highlights includes a 3 course meal, an escape room, table magicians and a main show, as well as some pretty spiffy decor. There are a few surprises, including magical cocktails and a very unique dessert. Created by the Kellogg family, which includes 3 generations of magicians, the final show of the evening stars James Kellog Jr. (featured in the video below), who performs some great parlour magic with lots of audience participation.
Show Duration: The evening lasts 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on your personal arrival time.
Food and Drink: A 3-course meal is included in the ticket price. Drinks are extra.
Parking: Parking options include street parking when available, or the Horton Plaza parking structure across the street.
San Diego Magic History
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.
Another San Diego magic legend was J.C. Wagner. J.C. performed great magic tricks 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
California Center for the Arts
340 N Escondido Blvd
Escondido, CA 92025
The Clairvoyants are the duo Amalie van Tass and Thommy Ten, originally from Austria. They wowed American audiences in 2016 on America's Got Talent and almost grabbed first place! They came in second, but they certainly had a huge number of people voting for them. Their talents include mentalism and illusion, and their show The Clairvoyants will have you believing their powers are real. See the show to decide for yourself if they really can read minds!
Penn and Teller
Agua Caliente Casino, Rancho Mirage
32-250 Bob Hope Dr
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
The "bad boys of magic" have been wowing audiences for several decades. Why bad boys you say? Well, they have the bad habit of revealing how it's done! But it never seems to take away from the amazing wow factor of what they do! Their act is surprising, clownish, and well... unconventional. They have been making headlines for years with their many TV shows, Broadway performances, and sold out runs. The chemistry between this duo is magical. They love to meet their fans, so don't miss the "meet and greet" after the show. If you miss them in San Diego, they regularly perform a Vegas illusion show.
Pechanga Resort and Casino
45000 Pechanga Pkwy
Temecula, CA 92592
Lance Burton is one of the 20th centuries most famous magicians. As far as stage magicians go many think of him as the best, after ruling the Las Vegas scene for over 30 years! Lance officially retired in 2010, but often performs for charity. Now Lance returns to the stage for a few special shows. So although this show is not specifically in San Diego, we think this one is totally worth checking out. If you love magic, you'll want to be able to say, "I saw Lance Burton!"
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 experience the San Diego magic delights. 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.