San Diego

Weekend roundup

November 17-20


Rady Children’s Ice Rink at Liberty Station

Nov. 17-Jan. 8. Skate into the season with the return of the Rady Children’s Hospital ice rink, located on the central promenade at the Arts District Liberty Station. All net proceeds from ice-rink admission will benefit the Thriving After Cancer program at the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s. Tickets include helmet and skate rentals (see website for safety protocols). Open daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas day). $20 adults; $15 kids; $10 Rady Children’s staff and military (with ID). 2875 Dewey Road, Liberty Station.

Skating by the Sea at Hotel Del

Nov. 17-Jan. 1. This celebrated tradition at the historical Hotel del Coronado—which will be decked out with its “Frosted by the Sea” holiday celebrations—is back. Skating by the Sea is a unique San Diego experience—a beachfront ice rink on the resort’s lawn, offering views of world-famous Coronado Beach and the Pacific. Guests can also reserve a spot at Frostbite Lounge—a rink-side hangout offering holiday-themed cocktails, bites, a firepit and cozy seating. Ice-rink proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish San Diego. See website for hours and to reserve tickets. 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.435.6611.

“Lightscape” at S.D. Botanic Garden

Nov. 18-Jan. 1. Go walking in a one-of-a-kind winter wonderland at San Diego Botanic Garden, which presents the internationally acclaimed show “Lightscape.” The garden’s 37 acres will be transformed into an illuminated, 1-mile walking trail—filled with artsy installations that come to life after dark. The experience also comprises more than one million holiday lights, tunnels, fire features and sculptures. (And wear comfy shoes, as the walking trails span some steep hills and uneven dirt pathways.) See website for all details and tickets. 300 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, 760.436.3036.

Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival

Nov. 18-20. It’s hands down the biggest music festival to ever take over San Diego’s downtown waterfront. Wonderfront spans multiple venues—including Seaport Village, Broadway Pier, Ruocco Park and Marina Park North. (Water taxis and Old Town Trolleys will be standing by to take guests from one venue to the next). More than 80 bands and musicians will perform across seven stages‚ with headliners including Zac Brown Band, Young the Giant, Kings of Leon, Swae Lee, Gwen Stefani and Cage the Elephant. See website for full schedule and tickets (which are going fast!).

Food + Drink

Whiskey & Wine Bash at Estancia

Nov. 18. Sample whiskey, wine and barbecue fare as you mingle and dance under the stars at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa. The resort’s quaint terrace morphs into a southern-style soiree filled with comfort food, live music, a bonfire and tastings of premium whiskey, bourbon and vino. Sample from brands such as Woodford Reserve, Elijah Craig, Wild Turkey, High West, Nelsons Green Briar, Westward Whiskey, Jim Beam, Foley Family Wine and Longbranch. 6-9 p.m. $150 per person (includes complimentary valet parking and unlimited food and drink tastings; 21+). 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla. Tickets

Baked Cafe

Open. Find all things freshly baked and delicious at this urban cafe, beginning with bagels—cinnamon-raisin, sesame, poppy, jalapeño and more. We suggest The Chosen One bagel with lox, cream cheese, red onions, capers and tomatoes. Or build your own bagel, bialy or bowl; or choose from specialties such as the “bunz” sandwiches, filled with goodies such as chicken-andouille sausage, eggs, cheese and spinach. To drink: house-brewed coffee and an array of specialty teas. Order to-go or dine outside on one of two patios. Tu-Su 7 a.m.-1 p.m. 1000 Island Ave., East Village, 619.310.6628.

Birria El Rey

Open. Drive too quickly past its unassuming outpost in Golden Hill, and you might miss the magic that is Birria El Rey. With a quaint walkup window and a few outside tables, the eatery is small in frills but big in heart and flavors. The menu offers authentic, Tijuana-style birria that is loaded into burritos, tacos and tortas; plus specialties such as the “Birriamen” with shredded-beef birria and ramen noodles, and the cheesy “Quesabirria.” Another favorite: the consommé; slurp it or dip the “Quesataco” in it. Tu-F 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sa-Su 8 a.m.-4 p.m. 1015 25th St., Golden Hill, 619.230.5990. More Info

Arts + Culture

San Diego Symphony Concert at The Shell

Nov. 17. Music is in the air on Thursday, when San Diego Symphony presents a special concert as part of its popular Jacobs Masterworks series at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. Maestro Rafael Payare leads the orchestra in Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68; along with Richard Wagner: Prelude & Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde; and Franz Liszt: Concerto No. 2 in A Major. The concert features renowned pianist and composer, Marc-André Hamelin (pictured). 7:30 p.m. See website for ticket pricing. 222 Marina Park Way, downtown, 619.235.0804.

Scrooge Theater Show at The Old Globe

Nov. 18-Dec. 24. The Old Globe is back with a theatrical holiday favorite: Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show. Set in San Diego circa 1919, the family-friendly comedy is a fast-paced parody of the Dickens play—featuring the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future. There’s a local twist: Scrooge is now a British émigré who moves to San Diego from England to seek his fortune at the Panama-California Exhibition—which means the entire play is set in Balboa Park and surrounding communities. Expect some localized jokes. 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623.

A Christmas Carol at Cygnet Theatre

Upcoming | Nov. 22-Dec. 24. Step inside a Victorian Christmas card and follow cantankerous banker Ebenezer Scrooge through a ghost-filled night that changes his outlook on the holidays and life itself forever. Back for its eighth season at Cygnet Theatre in Old Town, A Christmas Carol gets a musical makeover by artistic director Sean Murray—featuring original music, live sound effects and puppetry. Murray is also directing, and this year is even stepping into the lead role of Scrooge for the first time. (Pictured: the cast during rehearsal.) 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town, 619.337.1525.

Photo credits: Scrooge / The Old Globe by Jim Cox. A Christmas Carol / Cygnet Theatre by Karli Cadel Photography. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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