San Diego

Weekend roundup

December 7-10


Mission Bay Parade of Lights

Dec. 9. Literally boatloads of fun, this family-friendly parade along Mission Bay is back and bigger than ever. Pick your spot among a handful of designated spectator-viewing areas—including Catamaran Resort & Spa, The Bahia Resort and Paradise Point Resort & Spa—and watch as dozens of illuminated, decorated vessels cruise by. The fun includes holiday music, bonfire seating, food and beverage offerings, a visit from Santa, giveaways and a SeaWorld fireworks show. And be sure to cast your vote for the best-decorated “People’s Choice” boat. 5:30 p.m. See website for full parade route. More Info

North Park Winter Wonderland Festival

Dec. 9-10. Go walkin’ in an urban winter wonderland at North Park’s second annual holiday festival, taking place in the heart of the ‘hood. Guests can purchase holiday gifts from local artisans and shops; sip hot cocoa, wine and local craft beers; sample fare at the international food court; enjoy live music; strike a pose in the holiday-themed photo booth; meet Santa; and more. All ages welcome. See website for more details. Sa noon-8 p.m.; Su noon-4 p.m. Free entry. North Park Mini Park (behind Observatory Theatre), 3812 29th St., North Park. More Info

The Red Nose Run

Dec. 9. “Run, run, Rudolph!” This 31st annual run/walk on Del Mar Beach is a family-friendly (and dog-friendly) tradition, where participants can choose their pace and distance (3K or 5K). Proceeds benefit two local nonprofits: Semper Fi & America’s Fund and San Dieguito River Park. Holiday costumes are encouraged, and stick around after crossing the finish line for some more fun in the sand—with appetizers and a cash bar provided by Poseidon Restaurant. See website for all details and to register. Race starts at 1 p.m. 17th Street Lifeguard Tower, Del Mar Beach.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec. 10 & 17. See San Diego Bay twinkle with around 80 private boats decked out with holiday lights for a festive night on the water. Now in its 53rd year, the parade begins at Shelter Island, continues to Harbor Island, then heads along the embarcadero, Seaport Village and The Pier at Cesar Chavez Park; and then finishes at Ferry Landing on Coronado. And the theme this year? “Christmas Traditions Around the World.” See website for procession schedule; as well as a list of sponsors and businesses offering prime bayfront viewing. 5:30 p.m. Free.

“Snow Day” on Adams Avenue

Dec. 10. Who says it never snows in central San Diego? Make Sunday a snow day with this annual all-ages celebration at Kensington Park, presented by the Adams Avenue Business Association. The park’s main field will be converted into a winter wonderland of actual snow for the afternoon. In between snowman-building and snowball fights, guests can enjoy a cup of hot cocoa provided Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant. And be on the lookout for Old Saint Nick. Noon-3 p.m. (or until the snow melts). Free entry. 4121 Adams Ave., Kensington. More Info

Peppermint Beach Club at Westfield UTC

Now Open. Head to Westfield UTC for some holiday cheer at Peppermint Beach Club. The fun includes live entertainment, snowfall and lights; retailer pop-ups; photos with Saint Nick at Santa’s Villa (furry friends are welcome!); a gift-wrapping station; a curated seasonal menu at Queenstown Bistro, including specialty cocktails and the popular Holiday Sandwich with oven-roasted turkey, brie cheese, stuffing, gravy, cranberry and jalapeno relish; a holiday gift with purchase (see website for details); and ice skating at the UTC Ice Sports Center. Open daily 10 a.m.-9 p.m. 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, UTC.

Food + Drink


Now Open. The owners of Cesarina bring us a new concept: Elvira—a Roman osteria and pizzeria now open in the former Bo-Beau Kitchen + Bar space. Named after the great-grandmother of co-owner Niccolò Angius—who operates both establishments along with chef Cesarina Mezzoni and business partner Giuseppe Capasso—the cucina offers classic Roman dishes, Italian cocktails and wines, pizzas, daily specials, and desserts. Try the “pizzottelle” antipasti, the rigatoni alla carbonara, and the oven-baked cod. See website for hours. 4996 W. Point Loma Blvd., Ocean Beach, 619.224.2884.

Arts + Culture

San Diego Zoo’s “Jungle Bells Aurora”

Dec. 9-Jan 1. Take a walk on the wild side at San Diego Zoo, which is aglow with decorations, music and live performers, including the return of “Aurora”—a magical experience filled with lights and 3D projections. Entertainment also includes the Jingle Brass musical ensemble; the Toy Shop Hop acrobatic elves; the interactive “Reindeer Games” to get the kiddos dancing; The Tinseltones a cappella group (with “snow” falling at the end of each performance); photos ops at Santa’s Factory; and more. See website for hours and admission info. 2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park.

“Winter WNDRland” at WNDR Museum

Dec. 10. Make your Sunday an artsy one at WNDR Museum—an immersive, multidimensional experience, boasting multisensory installations and exhibits by acclaimed designers, technologists and artists. As part of its “Sunday Market LIVE” programming, the museum presents a special “Winter WNDRland,” where visitors can shop for one-of-a-kind artisanal gift finds at a curated market; as well as enjoy a live DJ set; partake in an immersive sound bath; gain insight on their futures via tarot readings; and more. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. See website for tickets. 422 Market St., downtown.

San Diego Musical Theatre’s Plaid Tidings

Through Dec. 24. The holiday spinoff of the 1950s homage jukebox musical Forever Plaid returns. The legendary Francis, Jinx, Smudge and Sparky at first aren’t really sure why they’ve been brought back to Earth for another posthumous performance. A phone call from a ghostly Rosemary Clooney sets them straight about their mission: to spread holiday joy in an uncertain world—with a program of Christmas songs that have all been “Plaid-erized.” Jonathan Sangster directs. See website for showtimes and tickets. 4650 Mercury St., Kearny Mesa, 858.560.5740.

Photo credits: All images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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