Holiday | San Diego Holiday Events Guide 2013

San Diego Holiday Events Guide 2013

grinch-imageFrom performances of The Nutcracker to boat parades to neighborhood winter wonderlands, we’ve gathered the best festive San Diego things to do and see this holiday season.

EVENTS
December Nights
Dec. 6-7. Gather together with friends and family to spread holiday joy and kick-off the most wonderful time of the year in Balboa Park. Watch top-notch music and dance performances, enjoy delicious and diverse food, and catch special events like the International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations Cottages, the annual Santa Lucia Procession at the Plaza de California and unique gift shopping at the museum stores and with the artisans of Spanish Village. Participating museums will open their doors free of charge from 5-9 p.m. each night. Balboa Park, 1549 El Prado, San Diego. balboapark.org/decembernights

South Park Walkabout
Dec. 7. Spread holiday cheer as you explore the locally owned shops, galleries and eateries in the crafty neighborhood of South Park at this quarterly neighborhood open house. Use a streetcar to tour or casually stroll at your own pace, savoring the arts, festive decorations and food along the way. A guided walking tour departs at 6:30 p.m. from Juniper and 30th Street. 6-10 p.m. 30th Street from Kalmia to Beech Streets. southparkscene.com

Winter Nights at Westfield UTC
Dec. 7, 14 & 21. On Saturday nights in December, Westfield UTC’s Palm Plaza will transform into a magical winter wonderland with live entertainment, snow cascading from the rooftops, complimentary s’mores and hot coco stations, and photo ops for the whole family.
 Performances include Jazz Night with Whitney Shay and Adam Johnson, scenes from The Nutcracker and carols from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Choir. 5-8 p.m. Westfield UTC, 4545 La Jolla Village Dr., San Diego. 858.546.8858. westfield.com/utc

Gingerbread House Decorating Classes
Dec. 7-23. Delight in building your very own work of art during one of Park Hyatt Aviara’s gingerbread house decorating classes. Classes are available for kids and adults, so it’s delicious fun for the whole family. Park Hyatt Aviara, 7100 Aviara Resort Dr., Carlsbad. 760.448.1234. parkaviara.hyatt.com

Christmas in the Village
Dec. 13-14
. Visit the village of La Mesa for back-to-back evenings of lively street performances, horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers and entertainment for the whole family. The village will be transformed into a Victorian wonderland complete with Santa, carnival rides, ponies and puppet shows. A holiday parade kicks off each night at 5 p.m. 5-10 p.m. La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa. lmvma.com

Holiday in the Park
Dec. 14-15. 
See Old Town State Historic Park decked out for the holidays with extended shopping hours, strolling carolers and special holiday treats. On Sunday, celebrate the 62nd year of Las Posadas—a centuries-old tradition in which actors reenact the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph through the town of Bethlehem. Old Town State Historic Park, San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street. 619.220.5422. oldtownsandiegoguide.com

Legoland Holiday Snow Days
Through Dec. 31. 
Snow in SoCal is possible with Holiday Snow Days at Legoland. Build snowmen adorned with Lego accessories, throw snowballs at targets and revel in Carlsbad’s very own winter wonderland. Spend time with Lego Santa and his little helpers, catch live holiday performances and see the nightly lighting of the world’s largest Lego Christmas tree. 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad. 760.918.5346. california.legoland.com/holidaysnowdays

W San Diego Hotel
Through Dec .31. Head to The W’s rooftop for Fire & Ice, a winter special event program that’s bringing real snowfall to San Diego. Every Thursday through Saturday, guests can cozy up next to the bonfire, sip on hot toddies and indulge in some s’mores bites while soaking up the winter wonderland. W San Diego Hotel, 421 West B Street, San Diego. 619.398.3100. thewsandiegohotel.com

PARADES
North Park Toyland Parade & Festival
Dec. 7. Bundle up in the historic neighborhood of North Park and delight in San Diego’s most joyful parade. Gliding down University Avenue between Utah and Iowa streets, this cheerful pageant will feel like a winter wonderland with a parade of marching bands, dance groups, vintage cars, beauty queens, city officials and more. 11 a.m. University Ave., San Diego. toylandparade.com

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
Dec. 8 & 15.
San Diego Bay will twinkle like never before as more than 80 private boats will be garnished with holiday lights for a night on the water. For those viewing the parade from the water, the best vantage point for viewing is where the parade turns west to Coronado, near the 10th Street Terminal. For those on land, try the Embarcadero or the pathway along Coronado. 5:30-7:30 p.m. San Diego Bay. 619.224.2240. sdparadeoflights.org

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade
Dec. 8. San Diego’s furriest parade returns to downtown as pet owners and their furry, feathered and scaled companions don their favorite holiday costumes. The pet parade steps off at 3 p.m. $15. The expo, which is open to the public, runs from 1-5 p.m. Free. 401 K Street, San Diego. 619.233.5227. gaslamp.org/pet-parade 

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights
Dec. 14. Celebrate the holidays with a distinct California twist—illuminated boats gliding around Mission Bay. This celebration features more than 100 boats decorated for the holiday. Best viewing is from Crown Point, the east side of Vacation Island or the west side of Fiesta Island. 7 p.m. 858.488.0501. mbyc.org

THEATRE
The Humbug Holiday Spectacular
Dec. 11-28. This comedic and colorful world-premiere musical spoof is full of witty songs, dance numbers and a little bit of everything to please even the grouchiest of holiday humbuggers. Follow Horatio the Humbug on a hilarious fun-filled adventure to create the perfect musical holiday spectacular in order to appease the malcontent Spirit of Christmas. North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987-D Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. 858.481.1055. northcoastrep.org

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
Dec. 12-22. 
If a Christmas card could come to life, it would sound like White Christmas by San Diego Musical Theatre. Based on the movie of the same name, this enchanting musical tells the story of two veterans who have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, they follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by their former army commander. Birch North Park Theatre, 2891 University Ave., North Park. 619.239.8836. birchnorthparktheatre.net

The Nutcracker
Dec. 14-22.
The classic holiday ballet about a young girl who dreams of a nutcracker prince comes to life this season with a cast of beautifully costumed dancers reveling in Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. Whether you’re seeing the leaping cossacks, flurries of snowflakes and dancing sugarplum fairies for the first time or the hundredth time, this classic ballet will bring magic to your holiday season. California Ballet at the Civic Theatre, 1100 3rd Ave., San Diego. 858.560.6741. californiaballet.org

The Nutcracker: Men in Tights!
Dec. 14-15. The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus presents a whimsical take on some holiday classics. The family-friendly show brings together the magic of traditional holiday songs with the fun and hijinks that make the SDGMC famous. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., San Diego. 619.570.1100. sandiegotheatres.org/the-nutcrackermen-in-tights

An American Christmas
Dec. 16-24. Experience dinner theater like never before as you step inside Hotel Del’s gorgeous ballroom and travel back 100 years for this one-of-a-kind Christmas feast and celebration. The three-hour evening is filled with music, dance, story, song and laughter, all woven throughout a delectable five-course holiday meal. Hotel Del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado. 619.435.6611. lambsplayers.org

A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play
Through Dec. 22.
Cygnet Theatre’s live “radio” presentation of the Charles Dickens classic returns. It’s Christmas Eve 1944, and you are part of the live studio audience as the “on-air” players bring the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his three ghostly visitors to life. Old Town Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town, 619.337.1525. cygnettheatre.com

Festival of Christmas
Through Dec. 29. Lamb’s Players presents a new work this holiday season, Catch a Falling Star, which follows Ella Eden and her attempt to create the perfect gift for her father—a musical Christmas card filmed at the remote cabin where he spent one magical holiday. Mishaps and mayhem ensue as her perfect plan goes hilariously awry. Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado. 619.437.6000. lambsplayers.org

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Through Dec. 29. 
Everyone’s favorite winter fable is back at the Old Globe for its 16th incredible year. See the famed Dr. Seuss book come to life with family friendly songs such as “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day” and “Fah Who Doraze,” the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe is once again transformed into the snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. 619.234.5623. theoldglobe.org 

DINING
The Prado
Dec. 25. Celebrate the season with a three-course meal in the heart of Balboa Park. Highlights of the holiday menu highlights include smoked salmon with truffled beets, Moroccan spiced roasted turkey breast and a chocolate-hazelnut mousse bar. 1-7 p.m. $49.95/pp, $12.95/child. The Prado, 1529 El Prado. 619.557.9441. cohnrestaurants.com/theprado

Marina Kitchen
Dec. 24-25.
Enjoy holiday favorites from Executive Chef Aron Schwartz at Marina Kitchen’s Christmas Buffet on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Inspired by American favorites, the menu includes classic holiday dishes such as Brandt Beef prime rib, Berkshire pork two ways and roasted chestnut soup. Christmas Eve 4-9 p.m. Christmas Day 2-9 p.m. $48/pp, $12.99/child. Marina Kitchen, 333 W Harbor Dr., San Diego. 619.699.8222. marriott.com/hotel-restaurants

Afternoon Tea
Through Dec 22. Join The Westgate Hotel for two different tea sessions this winter. Both the Teddy Bear Teas and Christmas Afternoon Teas offer a magical Christmas-themed afternoon tea with fresh home made canapés, paninis and other treats with live music. After tea, spend time with Santa and his magician elf. The Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Ave., San Diego. 800.522.1564. westgatehotel.com

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