San Diego

Weekend roundup

December 16-19


“Christmas with The Beatles” Concert

Dec. 19. There’s nothing like the music, wit and charm of The Beatles to add some holiday cheer to your evening. The nationally touring tribute band, Abbey Road, takes the stage at the Music Box, performing mashups of holiday classics and The Beatles’ holiday hits—including “Run Run Rudolph,” “Silent Night,” “Wonderful Christmas Time” and “Happy Christmas (War is Over).” Abbey Road’s members are known for their spot-on Liverpool dialect, cheeky onstage personae, custom costumes and vintage instruments. 7 p.m. $22 per person. 1337 India St., Little Italy, 619.795.1337. Tickets

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

Dec. 19. It’s “pawty” time! Dress up your pet (and yourself!) to the holiday nines for a spirited stroll up Fifth Avenue under the Gaslamp Quarter archway. The parade includes a costume contest, with awards given for “Best Matching Costumes,” “Best Christmas Spirit,” “Best in Show’ and more. Afterward, head over to the free-entry “Pups in the Pub” party on Island Avenue (between Fourth and Fifth avenues) for craft-beer tastings, food, photo ops and live music. 1-5 p.m. Parade registration is $20 per pet. Corner of Fifth Avenue and K Street, Gaslamp Quarter.

“Wild Holidays” at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Through Jan. 2. See Safari Park aglow with family-friendly holiday fun (on select dates)—including festive lights, music, treats and experiences. The entertainment includes “Light Up the Holidays,” an area of trees that illuminate in a choreographed show set to a holiday soundtrack; visits and photos with Santa at Village Market; firefly stilt walkers (pictured) around the lagoon; the Turtle Doves violin duo; a roaming holiday troubadour; the Bridge of Lights lighted archway; and much more. See website for hours and admission info. 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, 619.231.1515.

Food + Drink

Holiday Boozy Garden Tea Time at Estancia

Dec. 18. Dress up in your most festive attire and get ready to party at this decadent holiday tea experience, filled with seasonal treats and flowing libations. Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa has transformed its outdoor secret garden into a whimsical winter wonderland for the occasion. Guests can indulge in gourmet Smith Tea selections, tableside bottle service featuring gin craft cocktails, finger sandwiches and petite pastries. Hotel guests and locals are welcome. Noon-4 p.m. $80 per person (space is very limited). 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, 855.430.7503. Tickets

Holiday Cheer at Cesarina

Through Jan. 1. Point Loma’s beloved trattoria is celebrating the holidays … and its new full liquor license! Order from a new cocktail menu of eight craft libations, such as the Margherita Calabrese (pictured) with Calabrian-chile-infused tequila, elderflower, blood orange and lime. And Cesarina’s over-the-top holiday decor is an “Italian Alps ski chalet” theme this year—featuring oversized ornaments, cascading garland, faux furs and fleece blankets. Snuggle up with a knitted lap warmer around one of two custom chiminea fireplaces. See website for hours. 4161 Voltaire St., Point Loma, 619.226.6222.

Breakfast Republic Hillcrest

Now Open. Savor the most important meal of day at Breakfast Republic, which has opened its 12th outpost. San Diego-based restaurant group Rise & Shine picked a prime location on Fifth Avenue—offering indoor and outdoor dining and all the eatery’s favorite dishes. The menu boasts the popular breakfast burger, breakfast jambalaya, shrimp ‘n’ grits, buttermilk pancakes, Mr. Presley’s French Toast and much more. Wash it all down with a wide selection of espresso and coffee drinks, bloody marys, mules and mimosas. Open daily 7 a.m.-3 p.m. 3681 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest.

Tuetano Taqueria

Now Open. The brand-new Old Town Urban Market food hall welcomes Tuetano Taqueria among its first tenants. Owner Priscilla Curiel has relocated her quaint taco shop from San Ysidro, where her tacos filled with birria (a spicy beef stew) and topped with roasted bone marrow caught the attention of the Michelin Guide—which named Tuetano Taqueria an “an inspiring new discovery” in 2020. Feast on Curiel’s signature tacos and tortas with a side of salsa macha; while sipping a michelada on the ample dining patio. Open daily 11 a.m.-8 p.m. 2548 Congress St., Old Town. More Info

Punch Bowl Social

Open. Makers Quarter’s 23,000-square-foot bar venue is a downtown playground for adults. Sip seasonal cocktails around its famous 360-degree bar while watching sports; and enjoy arcade games, a photo booth, Skee-Ball, bowling, ping-pong, bocce ball and karaoke. The menu of elevated pub fare includes tacos, burgers, sandwiches, wings, salads, fried chicken and steak frites; plus weekend brunch featuring the popular Punched-Up Mimosa Bowl (serves four), raspberry waffles and biscuits ‘n’ gravy. See website for hours. 1485 E St., East Village, 619.452.3552.

Arts + Culture

Golden State Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Dec. 16-23. No holiday season is complete without a dancing sugarplum fairy. Golden State Ballet presents Tchaikovsky’s timeless holiday classic at the Civic Theatre, complete with live orchestra accompaniment by the San Diego Symphony. Centered on Clara and her nutcracker prince, the family-friendly production includes exquisite costumes and staging, with choreography by Jared Nelson and artistic direction by Raul Salamanca. John Stubbs conducts. See website for safety protocols and showtimes. $25-$109. 1100 Third Ave., downtown, 619.241.2565.

An Irish Christmas at Balboa Theatre

Dec. 19. Kick up your heels for the holidays with a special one-day-only, matinee performance of An Irish Christmas at Balboa Theatre. World-champion dancers Tyler Schwartz (pictured) and Emily MacConnell lead a talented cast—including Colm Alba and the Kerry Dance Troupe—who transport us to Christmas in Ireland. The family-friendly show channels an international holiday vibe, with stellar dancing, carol singing by the Kerry Voice Squad, and festive music by the Kerry Traditional Orchestra. See website for safety protocols. 2:30 p.m. Tickets start at $33.50. 868 Fourth Ave., downtown.

Photo credits: Cesarina by Arlene Ibarra. Golden State Ballet / The Nutcracker by Sam Zauscher. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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