San Diego

Weekend roundup

December 10-13


Holiday Toy Drive at One Paseo

Through Dec. 14. ‘Tis the season to give. One Paseo has partnered with Home Start—a local nonprofit centered on child abuse prevention and strengthening families and their communities—to host a charity toy drive. The shopping center has transformed its trolley into a “gifting sleigh” decked out in holiday decorations—inviting the public to donate new, unwrapped gifts for children from infants to age 18. (Donations of wrapping supplies are also welcome.) Open daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m. 3725 Paseo Place, Del Mar, 858.523.2298.

“Ailey Forward” Dance Performances

Through Dec. 31. All hail the healing power of dance. The first-ever online season for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is in full swing. The lineup includes a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Revelations (pictured)—a stunning capture of African-American culture, choreographed by Ailey when he was 29—including rarely seen video and film excerpts from over the last six decades. The season also showcases several world premieres—including A Jam Session for Troubling Times by resident choreographer Jamar Roberts, set to the music of jazz legend Charlie Parker. See website for schedule. Free.

Cygnet Theatre’s A Christmas Carol

Upcoming | Dec. 14-27. What’s a San Diego Christmas without A Christmas Carol? Cygnet’s annual staging of this holiday classic at Old Town Theatre goes virtual—thanks to artistic director Sean Murray (pictured), who refused to let it be canceled entirely. Filmed in black and white, the streaming production follows the 1843 Charles Dickens novella. We get to know (and eventually love) Ebenezer Scrooge—a cold-hearted miser who has an epiphany after being visited by ghosts on Christmas Eve. Murray wrote and stars in this one-man adaptation—portraying all the characters, from Tiny Tim to Scrooge himself. $25.

Food + Drink

Campfire Smokehouse

Now Open. Campfire in Carlsbad is one of so many resilient restaurants that have earned a black belt in pivoting. Amid the state’s latest lockdown, Campfire has launched a to-go concept focused on barbecue. Offerings include pastured chicken, brisket, pulled pork and andouille sausage; along with a variety of sauces; sides such as coleslaw and mac ‘n’ cheese; and s’mores kits for dessert. All tips will go directly into Campfire’s employee-relief fund, which helps staff who are facing short-term financial difficulties. Th-Su for pickup and delivery (while supplies last). 2725 State St., Carlsbad, 760.637.5121.

Mr. Moto Pizza

Now Open. The local chain continues to open locations at an impressive pace—this time at Seaport Village. Located just steps from the bay, the quaint outpost serves a variety of white pies with homemade garlic paste; and red pies with homemade marinara sauce. We suggest the Stuffed Belly white pie with chorizo salami, jalapeno, caramelized onion and a ricotta-stuffed crust. Or build your own pizza, with a choice of “drizzles” that include truffle oil and a raspberry-chipotle glaze. And be sure to try its famous stuffed knots. Open daily 11 a.m.-8 p.m. for takeout and delivery. 879 W. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.326.8733.

Festive Flavors at Stella Jean’s Ice Cream

Now Available. We’re screaming (on the inside) for all the new creations at this small-batch shop. Try the peppermint-dark-chocolate-candy-cane-bark ice cream; and sweet-ginger ice cream made with ginger-snap cookies. New vegan flavors include Italian spumoni with pistachio, cherry and chocolate; as well as chai-sweet-potato with candied pecan and toasted marshmallow. You can also order classic flavors via pints to-go, such as salty-caramel-corn and mango-sticky-rice; and custom, hard-packed pints. Open daily noon-9 p.m. for pickup and delivery. 4404 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.501.8252.

Holiday Offerings at Communal Coffee

Now Available. We love the South Park outpost of this community-oriented coffee shop—from its service counter in the form of an adorable vintage trailer; to its onsite artisanal retailers (open at reduced capacity) offering home wares, bath products, jewelry, gift items and fresh flowers. Enjoy festive coffee drinks such as the gingerbread-maple latte, peppermint mocha and eggnog latte—all topped with fresh whipped cream and spices. To eat: locally made baked goods, avocado toast, chia pudding and more. Open daily 7 a.m.-5 p.m. for takeout, curbside pickup and delivery. 2221 Fern St., South Park, 619.313.0679.

Holiday Shopping

Gifts at Bernardo Winery

Now Available. It’s an ideal place to shop for the wine lover on your list, but Southern California’s oldest operating winery (founded in 1889 and family-owned) offers much more. Onsite wine-tasting and dining are currently closed, but its Village Shops are open at limited capacity. You’ll find gourmet pantry items, home/garden accessories, artwork, botanical bath products, jewelry, clothing, sweets such as old-fashioned butter caramels and more—all locally made. We also love the themed gift baskets, which can be ordered online. 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, Rancho Bernardo, 858.487.1866.

Gifts at Gold Leaf 

Now Available. Every corner of this rustic-chic boutique is filled with a treasure you never knew you needed. Gift ideas abound—from home decor, kitchen wares and furniture; to jewelry, candles, bath products and books; to baby clothes and arts & crafts for kids. To really get into the holiday spirit, snag a Roland pine candle as a stocking stuffer and for your own home, and be transported to a Christmas tree forest with every sniff. Online shopping and curbside pickup available. Open daily 10 a.m.-7 p.m. 2225 30th St., South Park, 619.738.8120.

The Ox Box at The Wise Ox

Now Available. Spoil your favorite carnivore. The butcher shop offers premium proteins to-go, such as dry-aged wagyu, poultry, marinated meats and seafood. Or choose from made-to-order sandwiches, salads, cheese and charcuterie plates, and craft beer and wine. For a holiday gift, go for The Ox Box—10 pounds of restaurant-quality, vacuum-packaged beef, heritage pork, free-range chicken and sausages. Choose a one-time box purchase or a discounted month-to-month subscription that delivers different items each time. See website for hours. 2855 El Cajon Blvd., North Park, 619.564.8976. | The Ox Box

Photo credits: Cygnet Theatre / Sean Murray by Karli Cadel. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater / Revelations by Paul Kolnik. All other images are courtesy of the businesses and venues featured.

Let's Stay In Touch

with weekly roundups

Sign up for FREE to receive our exclusive Weekend Roundup!

Get the best things to do in our favorite SoCal spots delivered to your inbox every week

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego