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Whale festival, rugby tournament, and other happenings around Costa Rica

Whale and Dolphin Festival

One of the most magical events in Costa Rica is the arrival of humpback whales off the coast of Puntarenas – an advent so beloved that the area is called “Costa Ballena,” or “Whale Coast.” This mammalian migration is the perfect excuse to take a road trip along the Pacific coast, sign up for a whale watching tour, and join thousands of visitors as they celebrate all things cetacean. Encounter dolphins, whales, and gorgeous weather during this remarkable two-week fiesta.

The festival continues through Sept. 14 on the Costa Bellena, Puntarenas Province. Tours take place between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. and cost ₡10,000-20,000 ($20-40). Info: Festival website.

Rugby Tournament

The Rugby Federation of Costa Rica holds the final matches of this year’s National Championship, including 120 young players ages two to 18.

Tournament takes place Sept. 7 at the French-Costa Rican School, Concepción de Tres Ríos. Free. Info: Rugby Federation website.

Exhibit: “Toys, Memories, and Friends”

Feel the rush of nostalgia as you peruse vintage toys at the National Gallery.

“Juguetes, Recuerdos, y Amigos” continues through Sept. 30 at The National Gallery, downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Info: National Gallery website.

Theater: “Shark Smile”

Theater company ExÁnimo and The Shark Project join forces to create this kid-friendly show about marine biodiversity.

“Sonrisa de Tiburón” performs Sept. 10 at the Melico Salazar Theater, downtown San José. 10 a.m. & 3 p.m. ₡2,000 ($4). Info: Theater website.

Theater: “Sushi’s Journey”

In this case, “Sushi” is a cat – whose life is full of adventure. This children’s show by Pedro José Sánchez is an enlivening afternoon excursion.

“El Viaje de Sushi” continues through Sept. 14 at the Juan Enrique Acuña Theater, Barrio Escalante. Sat., 2 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). Info: RedCultura.

Music: Stranger Than Fiction

Costa Rican blues-rock band plays Jazz Café.

Concert takes place Sept. 5 at Jazz Café, Escazú. 9 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). Info: Jazz Café website.

Music: Sight of Emptiness

Costa Rican hard rock band plays from their albums “Trust is a Disease” and “Absolution of Humanity.”

Concert takes place Sept. 7 at Mundoloco El Chante, San Pedro. 4 p.m. ₡3,500 ($7). Info: Mundoloco Facebook page.

Theater: “The Collection”

Did Stella and Bill hook up on their business trip? The National Company presents this classic 1961 play by Harold Pinter, here in Spanish translation.

“The Collection” will be performed Aug. 28 – Sept. 21 at Teatro 1887, CENAC building, San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun, 7 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). Info: RedCultura.

“House and Street” Festival

Fourteen artists present multimedia works at this creative cooperative in Barrio Escalante.

“Casa y Calle” continues through Sept. 20 at Casa Batsú, Barrio Escalante. Free. Info: Batsú website.

Art: “Dirty Game”

Costa Rican artist José Miguel Rojas González explores the nature of winning and losing in this subversive series. Read our review here.

“Juego Sucio” continues through Oct. 11 at the Central Bank Museum, Plaza de la Cultura, San José. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 5,500 ($11). Info: Museos Banco Central website.

Theater: “Amadeus”

Peter Schaffer’s masterpiece about the life of Mozart (and his bitter rival, Salieri) receives an epic production at Teatro Espressivo.

“Amadeus” plays Aug. 7 – Oct. 12 at Teatro Espressivo, Curridabat. Info: Teatro Espressivo website.

Art: “The Day We Became Contemporary”

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design celebrates 20 years of cutting-edge arts with a comprehensive, retrospective showcase.

“El Día Que Nos Hicimos Contemporáneos” continues through Sept. 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Residents 1,000 ($2), foreigners 1,500 ($3), students 500 ($1). Info: MADC website.

Enamoráte de tu ciudad

Yes, you can go gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-round celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check out the event site for news on games, workshops, presentations and surprise performances.

Fall in Love with Your City takes place on Saturdays in various parks in downtown San José. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info: Enamorate de tu Ciudad website and Facebook page.

Contact Robert Isenberg at risenberg@ticotimes.net

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