Featuring Magic and Magicians from around the World

What are the BEST Magic Shows (in San Diego) for 2024?

Magician with crystal ball in san-diego

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, and The Prestige Magic Lounge. 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.

ALL San Diego Magic Shows TODAY

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.

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

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