Holiday Time!

Even though here in San Diego we don’t really have winter, or seasons for that matter… we just have “nice”, I still love this time of the year none-the-less! I am compiling all the San Diego local events that are going on this season that I wanna do! Some are yearly traditions, most are things I’ve never done. Similar to “The List”, I will attempt to participate in all of these fun events, and blog about them!…. So here it goes!

1. Holiday of Lights at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

We San Diegans are notorious for using the drive-thru lanes, so why not to see Christmas lights? With more than 400 lighted and animated scenes, this 1.5-mile drive around the world-famous Del Mar Racetrack is sure to get everyone from ages 1 to 100 into the holiday spirit. With returning holiday favorites such as Toyland, Candy Cane Lane, Treasures by the Lake and Elves at Play, the holiday tradition continues with opening night on November 25 (Thanksgiving) and running through Sunday, January 2, 2011.

2. December Nights at Balboa Park (Click for Blog post)

Traditionally, the holiday season kicks off with a grand celebration in Balboa Park. Balboa Park December Nights is a two-day gift to the community that brings out the holiday spirit in all, this year taking place December 3 and 4, 2010. The beloved San Diego event features sparkling lights, theatrical and musical entertainment, and exotic Food/Spirits throughout the Park.

3. San Diego Parade of Lights

Now this is quintessential San Diego: the 39th annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. On Dec. 12 and 19, 2010, 5:30 – 9 p.m., see over 100 boats, all decked out in lighted glory, cruise a 7.5 mile route on San Diego Bay. This year’s theme is a “The Sounds of Christmas” and it promises to be better than ever. Best vantage points from the shore are along the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Harbor Island and Coronado.

4. The Grinch at The Old Globe

The Old Globe Theater production of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” has quickly become an annual holiday classic in a mere 5 years. The musical, directed by acclaimed director Jack O’Brien, brings to life the classic Dr. Seuss book with incredible sets and memorable performances. The 2010 production runs through Nov. 15 through Dec. 28.

5. The Holiday Bowl Parade

The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Parade at 10 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2010 is known for one thing: balloons. Dubbed “America’s Largest Baloon Parade,” more than 30 giant ballons will float down the one-mile route along the Embarcadero, along with bands, drill teams and more. It’s the precursor to the evening’s main event: the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium, one of college footballs most exciting and successful bowl games. After the parade, hit the Family Festival at the Broadway Pier.

6. Ice Skate

It’s our own version of the Rockefeller Center ice rink – the downtown ice rink at Horton Square is a perfect holiday setting, nestled between Horton Plaza and the NBC 7/39 TV studios (can you see the Rockefeller Center parallels?). Beginning Nov. 18 through Jan. 11, 2011, bring the family downtown, in the evening, so you can bundle up in stocking caps and mittens, pretend you’re Manhattanites and skate away. It’s only $14/$12 and proceeds benefit Children’s Hospital. In addition, the Hotel del Coronado offers ice skating by-the-sea with an outdoor ice rink overlooking the ocean from 11/24-1/2. And Viejas Outlet Center boasts San Diego’s largest outdoor ice skating rink.

7. Neighborhood Christmas Lights

Who doesn’t love to see Christmas lights? Several neighborhoods around town put on annual displays (competitions?), but none more venerable than Christmas Circle in Chula Vista, a tradition for over 46 years. People come from all over San Diego to see the wonderful displays. I like the one in Santee over by Mast.

8. Traditions of Christmas

San Diego’s favorite holiday show – now in it’s 18th year!
Traditions of Christmas has a whole new look. CCT is moving San Diego’s favorite holiday show to the beautiful and historic Balboa Theatre right in the heart of downtown San Diego in Horton Plaza. Along with the move downtown comes a fantastic show with new scenes, a new storyline, and lots of new music. There is something for every age from 1 to 100! Come experience the sights, sounds and magic of the holiday season. You will be enchanted by customs from around the world. All your favorite Christmas stories come to life on stage and you’ll be singing along with your favorite holiday songs. There is something for everyone as we visit Santa and Mrs. Claus up in the North Pole.  Enjoy the all new Christmas Countdown of the greatest Christmas songs of all time. Christmas is not complete without a Living Nativity with its inspiring carols, choirs and majestic pageantry. Come see why over 300,000 people come back year after year to this colorful family spectacular.

9. Christmas Movie Line-up

These are some of my favorite Christmas movies: Elf, The Grinch, The Santa Clause, The Holiday, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Family Stone, and The Family Man.

10. Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks

It’s so strong, you can have only about 1 per season.

11. Decorate Holiday Cookies!

Ha!!…. last year at our 1st annual friends christmas party we had a cookie decorating station that, well, ended up being ALOT funnier than any of imagined when we made “cookie porn”. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Lucky for you, we have the whole thing on video, narrated by my best friends Mike and Cristina, with my loud voice in the background (and foreground sometimes). Enjoy:

12. Wear a really ugly/fabulous Christmas Sweater!

You’ll find Christmas Circle between First and Second Avenues, just south of H. Street and I Street. Read my list of other residential holiday light displays around the county. 

3. Drive-Thru Christmas Lights

We San Diegans are notorious for using the drive-thru lanes, so why not to see Christmas lights? With more than 400 lighted and animated scenes, this 1.5-mile drive around the world-famous Del Mar Racetrack is sure to get everyone from ages 1 to 100 into the holiday spirit. With returning holiday favorites such as Toyland, Candy Cane Lane, Treasures by the Lake and Elves at Play, the holiday tradition continues with opening night on November 25 (Thanksgiving) and running through Sunday, January 2, 2011.

4. Ice Skate Outdoors

It’s our own version of the Rockefeller Center ice rink – the downtown ice rink at Horton Square is a perfect holiday setting, nestled between Horton Plaza and the NBC 7/39 TV studios (can you see the Rockefeller Center parallels?). Beginning Nov. 18 through Jan. 11, 2011, bring the family downtown, in the evening, so you can bundle up in stocking caps and mittens, pretend you’re Manhattanites and skate away. It’s only $14/$12 and proceeds benefit Children’s Hospital. In addition, the Hotel del Coronado offers ice skating by-the-sea with an outdoor ice rink overlooking the ocean from 11/24-1/2. And Viejas Outlet Center boasts San Diego’s largest outdoor ice skating rink.

5. See Boats On Parade – At Night

Now this is quintessential San Diego: the 39th annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. On Dec. 12 and 19, 2010, 5:30 – 9 p.m., see over 100 boats, all decked out in lighted glory, cruise a 7.5 mile route on San Diego Bay. This year’s theme is a “The Sounds of Christmas” and it promises to be better than ever. Best vantage points from the shore are along the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Harbor Island and Coronado.

6. The Holiday Bowl Parade

Speaking of parades…the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Parade at 10 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2010 is known for one thing: balloons. Dubbed “America’s Largest Baloon Parade,” more than 30 giant ballons will float down the one-mile route along the Embarcadero, along with bands, drill teams and more. It’s the precursor to the evening’s main event: the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium, one of college footballs most exciting and successful bowl games. After the parade, hit the Family Festival at the Broadway Pier.

7. Take in the Grinch

The Old Globe Theater production of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” has quickly become an annual holiday classic in a mere 5 years. The musical, directed by acclaimed director Jack O’Brien, brings to life the classic Dr. Seuss book with incredible sets and memorable performances. The 2010 production runs through Nov. 15 through Dec. 28.

8. See Sugar Plum Fairies

Of course, what’s Christmas without the Nutcracker? This year, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet is proud to present the premiere of a totally revised Nutcracker. Performances will be held at the Casa del Prado Theater in Balboa Park on December 10 – 19, 2010.

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9. Go Shopping

It kind of goes without saying during Christmas, right? But shopping over the holidays is often more than just buying gifts. For many it’s a way to hook up with friends and family, making the shopping trip more of a social outing. Plus, doing it this way makes the crush of humanity just a little more tolerable.

10. Give A Gift

Lest we get all wrapped up in the material aspect of Christmas, how about buying one extra gift and donating it to someone needy? Whether it’s through the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots or one of the many gift drives conducted by local TV stations, giving to those less fortunate helps remind us all what the holiday season is really about.

11. Ring in the New Year

Celebrate at any of the many parties at hotels and nightclubs to revel in the New Year (the Gaslamp Quarter is a natural setting for this). Or, if you would rather bring along the kids as well, First Night® Escondido presents a premiere celebration of community, the arts, and the New Year.

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Who doesn’t love to see Christmas lights? Several neighborhoods around town put on annual displays (competitions?), but none more venerable than Christmas Circle in Chula Vista, a tradition for over 46 years. People come from all over San Diego to see the wonderful displays.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: December Nights « Twentysomething Life

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