Del Cerro Christmas Story Tree 1060

Quick links: 

December 1-7  |  8-14  |  15-21  |  22-28  |  29-31  |  Winter Camps

Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices.

Ongoing Events

Birch Aquarium’s “Seas‘n’ Greetings.” See the Birch Aquarium transform into a holiday wonderland full of SEAsonal activities for the family. Deck the Hall (of Fishes) and get into the holiday spirit with festive décor, music, crafts and special appearances by Scuba Santa. Dec.1-31, 9 am-5 pm. Visit website for admission. Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. www.aquarium.ucsd.edu.

All Aboard the North Pole Limited with Pacific Southwest Railway. All aboard the North Pole Limited! Trains depart from the Campo Depot at 5 and 7pm every Friday and Saturday Dec.1-23. Meet Santa, sing carols, eat cookies and sip hot cocoa! Visit www.PSRM.org for discounted tickets during the first two weekends.

FREE Family Festival at Village Walk EastLake. Featuring train rides and holiday crafts for ages 12 & under. Santa will give each child a coloring book and pose for pictures. Nightly-Dec.24 at 6 and 7pm. Don’t miss special daytime snowfalls on Dec.2 at 1,2 and 3pm. Noon-3 pm. Eastlake Pkwy. & Miller Dr., Chula Vista. www.shopvillagewalk.com.

Holiday Surprises at The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Join celebrity guest Shari Belafonte for the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, Dec. 3 at 5:30 pm. Santa will pay a visit on Dec.16 with free candy canes and photo opportunities. On Christmas Day, enjoy Ride ‘n’ Dine in Pines Café from 11:00 am. Extended tram hours Dec.18-Jan.1. Visit www.pstramway.com for details.

“Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into the snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash. Featuring songs like Santa for a Day, You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch and Welcome, Christmas (Fah Who Doraze), the delightful carol from the popular animated version. Nov.4-Dec.24; visit website for show schedule. Adult tickets start at $37; child tickets start at $24. Old Globe Theatre, Balboa Park. www.theoldglobe.org.

Cygnet Theatre Presents “A Christmas Carol.” Cygnet Theatre brings Charles Dickens’ most memorable characters to life each holiday season. Join Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and the Ghosts of Christmas for a beautiful lesson in hope and redemption, showing Nov. 29-Dec. 24. This delightful retelling includes original music, puppetry and live sound effects. Don’t miss the holiday classic, suitable for ages 5 and up. Find tickets and information at www.cygnettheatre.com. This show marks Cygnet’s 100th production!

Family Christmas Tree Farm. Open everyday, 9am-9pm through Dec.23. Experience a San Diego holiday tradition. Select and cut your own Monterey Pine. Farm animals and hayrides for the kids. See coupon in San Diego Family’s December issue for a free seedling tree with tree purchase, while supplies last. Visit www.FamilyChristmasTreeFarm.com for more info.

Traditional Santa Photos at Seaport Village. Head down to the East Plaza Gazebo for some holiday cheer. Nov.18- Dec.24; visit website for complete schedule. Photo packages available for purchase. Pets are welcome. 849 W. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. www.seaportvillage.com.

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirate’s Christmas. Step into the Balboa Theatre and embark on a wild quest with Tinker Bell, Wendy and Peter Pan, as they try to put a stop to the plot of dastardly pirates who plan to kidnap Peter as a present to Captain Hook. Filled with big laughs, magic, dancers and contemporary songs by everyone from Taylor Swift to the Bee Gees, this family show has something for everyone. Dec.21-31. Balboa Theater, 868 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101. Ticketmaster.com/PanChristmas

Winter Whale Watching. Starting Dec.9, get up close and personal with some of the most magnificent creatures on earth courtesy of Hornblower Cruises & Events. Meet trained docents from theNAT who will provide interesting facts about whales, enjoy 360-degree views of the San Diego skyline and get the chance to see dolphins, sea lions and sea birds. Daily cruises: 9:30 am & 1:30 pm. $21-$47; under 3 free. 970 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. www.hornblower.com.

Top Dog Limo Bus Christmas Lights Tour. See San Diego’s Holiday Lights with Top Dog Limo Bus and San Diego Family’s Map of Lights! www.topdoglimobus.com

friday  |  1

St. Nick at Night. Cookie decorating, animal encounters, hot cocoa, craft and group story time with Santa. Dec.1 & Dec. 8, 5-6pm & 6:15-7:15 pm. $9.99 per child. Register online. Helen Woodward Animal Center, 6461 El Apajo Rd., Rancho Santa Fe. www.animalcenter.org.

Cygnet Theatre Presents “A Christmas Carol.” See Ongoing Events.

Seas ‘n’ Greetings. See Ongoing Events.

FUNbelievable Play’s Family Fun Nights. Fridays, 5-8 pm. Regular admission prices apply. 11655 Riverside Dr. #155-157, Lakeside. www.funbelievableplay.com.

Santa Train at Orange Empire Railway. Join Santa and his helpers on the Santa Train! Ride the train, play games, take a photo with Santa and more. www.oerm.org. Dec.1-3, 8-10, 15-17.

All Aboard the North Pole Limited with Pacific Southwest Railway Museum. See Ongoing Events.

Lakeshore Learning. Get your holiday shopping done early! Stop by Lakeshore Learning in San Diego and San Marcos. Make sure to use the buy one, get one 50% off coupon from San Diego Family Magazine’s December issue. www.lakeshorelearning.com.

saturday  |  2

FREE Family Festival at Village Walk at EastLake. See Ongoing Events.

Scripps Ballet Theatre and Scripps Performing Arts Academy Present “The Nutcracker.” Dec.2-3, Dec.9-10, 2 pm. The 29th annual, all-youth production of the full length ballet, The Nutcracker, features dancers aged 31/2 to 17 years old. Based on the timeless holiday tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann, this classic tells the story of a young girl named Marie and her magical adventure one holiday evening. Visit website for tickets. David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre, 4126 Executive Dr., La Jolla. www.scrippsperformingarts.com.

The Starlight Parade and Children’s Faire. Kick off the holiday season in downtown Chula Vista on Sat. Dec.2 with free festivities for the whole family. Race down a snow hill, enjoy STEAM activities, yummy food and games. Parade starts at 6pm. www.starlightparade.com

Children’s Nature Retreat Christmas Tree Lighting: Visit scenic Alpine for holiday fun with the animals. Don’t miss the annual Christmas tree lighting on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. Guests gather around a 15-foot tree to experience breathtaking lights and festive tunes. Cocoa and cookies make the memory complete in this gorgeous outdoor space. Animals will be dressed in their finest coats. Be sure and bring yours, too! Event is free with admission. www.childrensnatureretreat.com.

Summers Past Farms Antique and Craft Fair. Dec. 2, 9 am-3 pm. More than 70 vendors will showcase unique designs and collectibles at this outdoor event. Visit all season long to experience the Barn Shoppe decorated for a country Christmas, and offering gifts like holiday-scented soaps, home decor and unique gardening gear. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Learn more at www.summerspastfarms.com.

FREE Crafts at the Lakeshore Learning Store. Dec.2. Frosty Friend Bookmark. Ages 3 and up. Every Saturday, 11 am-3 pm. 7510 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego & 702 Center Dr., San Marcos. www.lakeshorelearning.com.

sunday  |  3

Traditional Santa Photos at Seaport Village. Head down to the East Plaza Gazebo and bring your best smile! Through Dec. 24; visit website for complete schedule. Photo packages available for purchase. Pets are welcome. 849 W. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. www.seaportvillage.com.

San Diego Symphony “It’s a Wonderful Life” in concert. Dec.3, 2pm. Experience one of the most cherished holiday movies of all time like you’ve never seen it before. Enjoy the timeless classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” accompanied by the San Diego Symphony performing Dimitri Tiomkin’s sentimental score live. Visit www.sandiegosymphony.org for tickets and information.

Cygnet Theatre Presents “A Christmas Carol.” See Ongoing Events.

Teddy Bear Teas. Join this unique experience complete with storytelling by the Peppermint Princess. Each child is encouraged to bring a teddy bear to donate to the Ronald McDonald House at Rady Children’s Hospital. Dec.3, 9-10, 16-17, 20-21 & 23, 11 am-12:30 pm. $35-$50 plus tax and gratuity. Call for reservations. Vivace Restaurant, 7100 Aviara Resort Dr., Carlsbad. http://aviara.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining/Vivace.html; 760-448-1234.

Christmas Tree Lighting at The Palm Springs Aerial Tram. See Ongoing Events.

FREE Giant Snow Globe at Village Walk at EastLake. Looking for the perfect backdrop for your Christmas cards and social media posts? Take photos and videos inside a giant snow globe located near the children’s play area. Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 & 17, 5:30-7:30 pm. Eastlake Pkwy. & Miller Dr., Chula Vista. www.shopvillagewalk.com.

Dave & Busters Breakfast with Santa. Sun. Dec.3, 9-11am. The ultimate holiday event for kids and kids at heart. In addition to a delicious breakfast buffet and photo ops with The Big Guy, guests receive a $10 power card with unlimited video game play. Have a blast at hundreds of games and simulators before the restaurant opens to the public. Don’t forget your camera! Purchase tickets at https://dnb.ticketbud.com/breakfastwithsantasd.

Santa Train at Orange Empire Railway. See Dec.1.

wednesday  |  6

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Journey to the magical Land of Sweets with Clara and the Nutcracker Prince in this enchanting holiday production. Dec.6-17; visit website for schedule. $12-$18. Casa del Prado Theatre, Balboa Park. www.sdcyb.org.

Family Christmas Tree Farm. See Ongoing Events.

Parent Movie Morning & Baby’s Night Out at UltraStar Cinemas. Bring your baby to watch a movie and take advantage of valet stroller parking, dimmed lights and changing facilities in the auditorium. Wednesdays; Parent Movie Morning, 10 am; Baby’s Night Out, 7 pm. UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center, 7510 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego. www.ultrastarmovies.com.

friday  |  8

City Ballet of San Diego’s “The Nutcracker.” Dec.8-10, 15-17, 22-24. Spreckels Theatre, downtown San Diego. 121 Broadway, downtown San Diego. www.cityballet.org.

National City 10th Annual Tree Lighting & A Kimball Holiday Celebration. Dec.8, 4-8pm. Free family celebration in Kimball Park. Free ice-skating rink and a snow play area for the entire family. Stage performances, craft and food vendors, outdoor holiday movies, canned food drive and much more fun during this two-day event. www.nationalcityca.gov.

St. Nick at Night. See Dec. 1.

Santa Train at Orange Empire Railway. See Dec.1

Seas’n Greetings at the Birch Aquarium. See Ongoing Events.

FUNbelievable Play’s Family Fun Nights. See Dec.1.

saturday  |  9

Parent’s Nite Out at Elite Gymnastics Academy: Winter Wonderland. Kids, ages 4 & up, have a great time with gymnastics, games and lots of play! Dec.9, 6-10 pm. $20. Register online. 1817 John Towers Ave., El Cajon. www.elitegymnastics.com/pno.html.

“Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Don’t miss a sensory-friendly performance on Dec. 9, 10:30 am. See Ongoing Events.

Polar Express Family Day. Wear your PJs to a screening of this well-loved holiday movie, meet a special visitor from the North Pole, make a holiday keepsake and join themed activities. Dec.9, 11 am-3 pm. $5-$11; ages 5 & under free. San Diego Model Railroad Museum, Balboa Park. www.sdmrm.org.

The Super Dentists Kearny Mesa Grand Opening. Dec.9 12-3pm. Enjoy photos with Santa, food trucks, ice-skating, ornament and cookie decorating, sweet trucks and more! www.thesuperdentists.com, 858-609-8576.

Reindeer Dash Family Fun 1 Mile Run/Walk. Free reindeer themed event. Kids get reindeer race numbers to run/walk to the finish line. After the reindeer dash, take a picture with Santa and enjoy a free pancake breakfast. This is a free event located at Kimball Park E 12th St, National City. www.nationalcityca.gov

California Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Tchaikovsky’s extravagant score comes to life with a cast of more than 150 performers in this grand production. Dec.9- 23: visit websites for show schedule and tickets. Don’t miss a toddler-friendly performance Dec.9 at 10 am, and a sensory-friendly performance on Dec. 16, 10 am. San Diego Civic Theatre, www.sandiegotheatres.org; www.californiaballet.org.

Winter Whale Watching. See Ongoing Events.

FREE Nature’s Holiday Traditions. Get the real facts behind the mysteries of mistletoe and learn about other plants that showcase Southern California holiday traditions during this guided walk. Dec.9 & 23, 8:30-10 am. Meet by the flag poles at the Kumeyaay Campground Entry Station. Mission Trails Regional Park, Two Father Junipero Serra Trail, Santee. www.mtrp.org.

San Diego Ice Arena Presents “Christmas Classics on Ice.” Dec.9, 12, 3:30 and 7 pm. General admission $15, VIP admission $25. 11048 Ice Skate Place, Mira Mesa. www.sdice.com/holiday-show-page.

Teddy Bear Teas. See Dec.3.

FREE Crafts at the Lakeshore Learning Store. See Dec.2. Dec.9. Make a Face Frosty Mask.

sunday  |  10

FREE Giant Snow Globe at Village Walk at EastLake. See Dec.3.

Scripps Ballet Theatre and Scripps Performing Arts Academy Present “The Nutcracker.” See Dec. 2.

Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Frosty Farm. See Dec. 2.

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” See Dec.6

Santa Train at Orange Empire Railway. See Dec. 1

tuesday  |  12

Hanukkah, Dec. 12-20

Poinsettia Day

FREE Hanukkah Celebration & Menorah Lighting. Dec.12. Celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah with a menorah lighting in the early evening, music and more. Central Promenade between the ice rink and The Lot, Liberty Station, Point Loma. www.libertystation.com.

Lakeshore Learning. Get your holiday shopping done early! Stop by Lakeshore Learning in San Diego and San Marcos. Make sure to use the buy one, get one 50% off coupon from San Diego Family Magazine’s December issue. www.lakeshorelearning.com.

thursday  |  14

Holiday Night Lights. Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow! Celebrate the season with living light at this event featuring bioluminescence. Get hands on with glowing activities, meet scientists who study illuminating creatures and create a glowing path on a bioluminescent carpet. Dec.14, 6-9 pm. All ages welcome. Visit website for admission. Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. www.aquarium.ucsd.edu.

Family Christmas Tree Farm. See Ongoing Events.

friday  |  15

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

City Ballet’s The Nutcracker. See Dec.8.

Santa Train at Orange Empire Railway. See Dec.1.

All Aboard the North Pole Limited with Pacific Southwest Railway. See Ongoing Events.

Seas’n Greetings at the Birch Aquarium. See Ongoing Events.

Cygnet Theatre Presents “A Christmas Carol.” See Ongoing Events.

saturday  |  16

Breakfast with Santa at Harbor House Restaurant. Dec.16-17, 9-10:30 am. Includes full breakfast, carolers, kids show, face painting, balloon artist and gift bags for the kids! $25 per person. 831 W. Harbor Dr., Downtown San Diego. www.seaportvillage.com; Reservations required, space is limited. 619-738-1627.

Palm Spring Aerial Tramway. See Ongoing Events.

Wake Up Santa at Clairemont Town Square! Dec.16, 10am. Free family-friendly event. Wake up Santa at 10am, enjoy photos with Santa, kids crafts and activities, carolers, face painting, entertainment and more! www.clairemonttownsquare.com

California Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” See Dec.9. Don’t miss a sensory-friendly performance on Dec. 16, 10 am.

Teddy Bear Teas. See Dec.3.

FREE Crafts at the Lakeshore Learning Store. See.Dec.2. Dec.16. My Winter Headband.

sunday  |  17

San Diego Symphony’s “Noel Noel.” Dec.17, 2pm. Listen to timeless classics and sing along to your favorite carols at the Symphony’s holiday concert. Enjoy music performed by the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Master Chorale and San Diego Children’s Choir. You might even catch a glimpse of a certain jolly North Pole resident! Adult tickets (age 13 and up) $25; child tickets (ages 3-12) $10. Children ages two years and younger are free, but must sit in an adult's lap. www.sandiegosymphony.org

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” See Dec. 6.

FREE Giant Snow Globe at Village Walk at EastLake. See Dec.3.

monday  |  18

Answer the Telephone Like Buddy the Elf Day

Breakfast with Santa & Holiday Nights at Bernardo Winery. Dec.18- 23. Have a magical morning at Breakfast with Santa, a new holiday tradition at Bernardo Winery. Activities include a magic show, face painting and crafts during the event. Advance reservations required. www.bernardowinery.com.

thursday  |  21

Winter Solstice

San Diego Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” This holiday production delights with more than a hundred beautifully costumed performers dancing to Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. Dec.21-22, 7:30 pm; Dec. 23, 2 & 7:30 pm. Visit website for tickets. Mandeville Center, UCSD Campus, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla. www.sandiegoballet.org.

Teddy Bear Teas. See Dec. 3.

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirate’s Christmas. See Ongoing Events.

friday  |  22

Seas ‘n’ Greetings. See Ongoing Events.

Traditional Santa Photos at Seaport Village. See Dec. 3.

Pacific Southwest Railway Museum. See Ongoing Events.

Lakeshore Learning. Get your holiday shopping done early! Stop by Lakeshore Learning in San Diego and San Marcos. Make sure to use the buy one, get one 50% off coupon from San Diego Family Magazine’s December issue. www.lakeshorelearning.com.

FUNbelievable Play’s Family Fun Nights. See Dec.1.

saturday  |  23

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” See Dec. 18.

FREE Nature’s Holiday Traditions. See Dec. 9.

Breakfast with Santa & Holiday Nights at Bernardo Winery. See Dec.18.

Teddy Bear Teas. See Dec.3.

City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” See Dec.8.

FREE Crafts at the Lakeshore Learning Store. See Dec.2. Ugly Sweater Ornament.

sunday  |  24

Christmas Eve

FREE Christmas Eve at First United Methodist Church of San Diego. All are welcome at FUMCSD on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, for their two most popular holiday celebrations. The 3 p.m. Family Service offers carols and scripture readings followed by festive refreshments. The Christmas Pageant and Candle Lighting is at 5 p.m. This event features stunning choir performances that tell the story of Jesus’ birth. Free to the public. www.fumcsd.org.

FREE Christmas Eve Services at Newbreak Church. See website for service times and information. www.newbreak.org/christmas.

Cygnet Theatre Presents “A Christmas Carol.” See Dec. 1.

FREE Crafts at the Lakeshore Learning Store. See.Dec.2. Dec.16. My Winter Headband.

monday  |  25

Christmas Day

Hornblower Christmas Day Dining Cruises. Dec.25. Featuring a champagne brunch cruise (11:30 am-1:30 pm) and a dinner buffet cruise (4-6:30 pm) that offer traditional holiday fare, photos with Santa, music and breathtaking bay views. Visit website for fees and reservations. Cruises depart from Grape St. Pier, 1800 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. For more holiday cruises, visit www.hornblower.com

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. See Ongoing Events.

tuesday  |  26

Kwanzaa, Dec. 26-Jan. 1

Candy Cane Day

wednesday  |  27

FREE Carrier Johnson +Culture Holiday Bowl Marching Band Showcase. Marching bands and spirit squads from the universities participating in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl perform for a high-energy Battle of the Bands! Dec.27, 6 pm. Horton Plaza Park, 900 Fourth Ave., downtown San Diego. www.holidaybowl.com.

Rady Children’s Ice Rink at Liberty Station. See Dec. 10.

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirate’s Christmas. See Ongoing Events.

thursday  |  28

Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade. See world-class marching bands, impressive floats, drill teams, dance troupes and giant character balloons! Dec. 28, 10 am. Along Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. For parade route, visit www.holidaybowl.com.

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. Dec.28. Featuring a high-octane match-up of top teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences. Game kicks off at 6 pm. Fans can enjoy the ultimate pre-game party, FanZone, featuring food trucks, an interactive college football skills challenge, kids’ activities and more, starting at 3 pm. Visit website for tickets. SDCCU Stadium, Mission Valley. www.holidaybowl.com.

Winter Whale Watching. See Ongoing Events.

friday  |  29

Rady Children’s Ice Rink at Liberty Station. See Ongoing Events.

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirate’s Christmas. See Ongoing Events.

FUNbelievable Play’s Family Fun Nights. Fridays, 5-8 pm.

saturday  |  30

Honda Family Night Out: Pajama Jam. Celebrate the New Year with themed art activities, a dance jam, games, photo booth and their popular countdown balloon drop. Dec.30, 5:30-8:30 pm. $25-$35 includes dinner. The New Children’s Museum, 200 West Island Ave., downtown San Diego. www.thinkplaycreate.org.

FREE Crafts at the Lakeshore Learning Store. See.Dec.2. My Resolution Craft.

sunday  |  31

New Year’s Eve

Birch Aquarium’s “Seas‘n’ Greetings.” See Ongoing Events.

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirate’s Christmas. See Ongoing Events.

Winter Camps

Drama Kids Winter Mystery Camps: Everyone likes a good mystery! Learn what it takes to create and perform a wide variety of mystery drama scenes. Each camper is challenged to use their own creative thinking to act in and solve thrilling whodunit mysteries. Camps conclude with a fun and imaginative parent demonstration. Ages 6-11. Dec.18-22 and Jan.8-12, 9am-4pm. www.dramakids.com/san-diego-encinitas-ca/camps-events

Scripps Performing Arts Academy: The Best of Matilda Camp! Dec.18-22, (Ages 6-12). Students experience all aspects of the performing arts using music and scenes from Matilda! Students learn how to perform for a live audience, work as an ensemble, audition techniques, and staging a production number. Each camp concludes with a costumed performance. www.scrippsperformingartsacademy.com.

Media Arts Center Winter Youth Media and Tech Camp: Flex your creative muscles by creating an original movie from start to finish. Campers, ages 6-14, will learn how to operate a camera, edit in iMovie, create storyboards and use a Green Screen Studio! Dec.18-22, 26-29, Jan.2-5 and 8-12. Register at www.digitalgym.org/camps.

Helen Woodward Winter Critter Camp. Experience hands-on animal interactions this holiday season. Preschool-6th grade. Dec.18-22, 26-29 and Jan.2-5. Register at www.animalcenter.org/education.

Poway Gymnastics Winter Camps. Dec.26-29, 9am-3pm. Call to reserve your spot today! 858-748-1716. www.powaygymnastics.com/gymnastics.html

California Ballet School. www.californiaballetschool.org

San Diego Ice Arena: www.sdice.com

San Diego Junior Theatre: www.juniortheatre.com

Little Fish Comic Book Studio: www.lilfish.us

Bilingual Kids: www.bilingualkids-sd.com/Home.html

Published Dec 2017

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