Heritage Tree Lighting
The city-designated Heritage Tree, a 90-foot-tall towering Norfolk Island pine tree, will be covered in LED lights during the holidays in the Moonlight Beach parking lot. It was planted in 1952 by John & Peter Danforth as a Mother's Day gift for their mother Jane. Enjoy live music by the North Coast Singers, caroling, refreshments and good cheer. The tree will be lit Nov. 30 at 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2r9WWVW.
For the 61st year, Encinitas will kick off the holiday season at the Encinitas Holiday Parade on Dec. 1, with a tree lighting at 5 p.m. and the parade at 5:30 p.m. This year's theme is Botanical Oasis and honors Grand Marshall Julian Duval. Thousands of people will be on floats, on foot, in cars, and marching in bands while tens of thousands cheer them along Coast Highway 101. Many of the nearly 100 parade entries aim to win a prize in one of the judged categories for lights, creativity, performance, music, spirit and overall impression. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2Q5MWw8.
LIFE Foreign Film: Chunhyang
This film is based on the 13th-century folktale of a stunningly beautiful young woman torn between the man she loves and the governor she's obligated to marry. The movie flashes back and forth between the singer's presentation and scenes of Mongryong, a young nobleman who falls captive to the beauty of the commoner Chunhyang. It will be screened on the San Elijo Campus of MiraCosta College, 3333 Manchester Avenue, in the student conference room on Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holiday Bazaar by the San Dieguito Art Guild
Enjoy hot apple cider, yummy treats, a raffle, silent auction, and art for sale by Guild artists, including paintings, jewelry, photography, glass, ceramics, mosaics, fiber art, cards, prints and more on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2KF0sAI.
Healing Arts Class
For those recovering from brain injuries and/or neurological challenges, enjoy self-expression through art, increase skills, improve eye/hand coordination and enjoy the warmth and support of facilitator, Denise McMurtrie.Classes take place at Scripps Hospital, 354 Santa Fe Drive, in the Brain Injury Treatment room at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 1and 15; and at 4 p.m. on Dec. 4, 11 and 18. For more information, email email@example.com.
Cardiff Kringle Mingle
Cardiff 101 Mainstreet invites you to a special holiday celebration with Santa in his vintage "Camera Camper"sleigh with pictures, children's craft pavilion, live musical performances by kid favorite bands, food and drink, gift basket drawing, and a festive tree lighting ceremony. The event will take place Dec. 2 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Cardiff Town Center, 2031 San Elijo Avenue. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2P9OOhU.
Encinitas Ballet: 'The Nutcracker'
Candy canes leap through the air, giant mice doing battle with toy soldiers, dancing snowflakes, and the Nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince. This classic show, choreographed to the music of Tchaikovsky, will be performed Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. at Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1250Vale Terrace Drive in Vista. Colorful scenery, dazzling costumes, unmatched choreography and extraordinary dancers make this production the best in North County. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2FOzeJ7.
Pianist Chase Morrin to perform at Encinitas Library
Chase Morrin, a pianist, composer, and educator, will explore music by some of his heroes, such as Danilo Perez, Thelonius Monk and Tigran Hamasyan on Dec. 2 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Encinitas Library, 540 Cornish Drive. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2SiYUiy.
La Paloma Theatre
Now showing: Free Solo and Rocky Horror Picture Show. Tickets are $10. 471 Coast Highway 101. For showtimes, visit https://bit.ly/2rdgEA5.
Book Sale at Cardiff Library
The Friends of the Cardiff by the Sea Library present their holiday book and bake sale, Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Cardiff by the Sea Library Community Room and Book Nook, 2081 Newcastle Avenue in Cardiff. All books, including collectibles, and all media will be half price, and wonderful homemade baked goods will be available for purchase for eating and gifting. All proceeds go to support the Cardiff Library and its programs. For more information, visit www.friendscardifflibrary.org.
'Sounds of the Season'
The North Coast Symphony Orchestra will be joined by soprano Katie Polit and the Villa Musica Community Chorus to perform "Sounds of the Season" featuring festive holiday selections on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2:30 p.m. at the Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, Encinitas. The orchestra will perform holiday favorites including The Christmas Song, Jingle Bells Forever, Winter Wonderland, Russian Christmas Music, among others. Operatic soprano Katie Polit will perform O Holy Night and the Villa Musica Chorus will sing selections from The Polar Express as well as lead an audience sing-along of well-known carols. Tickets available at the door: $10 general, $8 seniors/students/military, $25/family max. For more information, visit www.northcoastsymphony.com. The orchestra, conducted by Dan Swem, is funded in part by the City of Encinitas and the Mizel Family Foundation.
Encinitas Library Book Sale
Encinitas Friends of the Library Bookstore holds a book sale Dec. 1. Most books will be from 25 cents to $1, with CDs for 25 cents and DVDs typically $1. Books range from current fiction, children’s selections, biography, self-help and spirituality to health, history, travel and science. The sale is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the general public and opens at 9 a.m. for members at the library, 540 Cornish Drive. Community members can join the Friends group at the door. Visit www.encinitaslibfriends.org for more details.
Encinitas Guitar Orchestra to perform Christmas classics
The Encinitas Guitar Orchestra, a group of 35 local amateur and professional guitarists, will perform in concert Nov. 30 at 7:30 pm at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 925 Balour Drive. The orchestra will perform favorite Christmas and holiday music including classical, jazzy and contemporary pieces. Selections include those by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Handel and Bach. For more information, visit www.encinitasguitarorchestra.com.
Park rangers invite all to explore the City of San Marcos when they lead two free intercity hikes on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to noon. An easy, three-mile hike starts at City Hall, goes east on the Inland Rail Trail and continues on urban trails in a loop through Hollandia Park and back. Or sign up for the 6.2-mile hike with a 470’ elevation gain to the northern city limits and back. Park your car and sign up for either hike at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the city’s Community Center, 3 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos 92069. Both hikes begin at 9 a.m., and both start and finish at this same location. Bring sun protection and plenty of water.
The Nutcracker: This year, San Diego Ballet extends the holiday season with its performance of “The Nutcracker,” featuring sugarplum fairies, leaping cossacks and flurries of snowflakes swirling in this magical journey through a young girl’s imagination, performed by an international cast of some 100 colorfully costumed dancers! 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30. Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St. Tickets: $40-$100. (619) 294-7311. sandiegoballet.org
Great Russian Nutcracker: For a different spin on the classic, Akiva Talmi presents the Moscow Ballet in “Great Russian Nutcracker,” with 40 world-class Russian artists bringing this story to life. Experience Tchaikovsky’s master score with the magic of larger than-life-puppets, a growing Christmas tree and life-sized matrioshka dolls, 3 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 at Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown San Diego. Tickets from $28. sandiegosymphony.org
City Ballet’s Nutcracker: City Ballet of San Diego presents 12 performances of “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 7-9, Dec. 14-16 and Dec. 21-23, accompanied by the City Ballet Orchestra and Chorus. Following each matinee show, members of the cast will be in the lobby to greet the audience and pose for photos. Tickets $50. Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, downtown San Diego. (858) 272-8663. cityballet.org
Botanic Garden of Lights
San Diego Botanic Garden’s annual Garden of Lights returns on Dec. 1 with a magical holiday experience. After the sun goes down Dec.1-23 and 26-30, the garden in Encinitas is transformed into a winter wonderland – Southern California style. More than 125,000 sparkling lights illuminate the flora of the 37-acre urban oasis each evening from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Garden of Lights also features live music, visits with Santa, snow for sledding every night, horse-drawn wagon rides (on selected evenings), food trucks, holiday crafts and marshmallow roasting. For more information visit sdbgarden.org.
‘Frosty Farm’ at Helen Woodward Animal Center
Kids and their parents are invited to Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 1-16, at Helen Woodward Animal Center's "Frosty Farm" where hands-on animal encounters are combined with family-friendly activities guaranteed to create cheerful memories this holiday season including an elf obstacle course; Cookie decorating; Personal meet and greet with Santa Claus – bring your letters! (a time slot will be assigned to your family based on your excursion time; Photo opportunities with fluffy, feathery, and scaled friends (including some petting time with sheep and goats; Winter-themed craft-making; Holiday music; Face painting; Hot chocolate and more.
Helen Woodward Animal Center’s "Frosty Farm" runs Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 1-16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Center’s Education Building (6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe).
The Year to Come
Switching gears from Christmas and Hanukah to another December holiday, La Jolla Playhouse’s “The Year to Come” centers on a Florida family that gathers in their backyard to ring in New Year’s Eve. In between dips in the pool, politically incorrect banter and a highly-anticipated onion dip, their relationships grow and fracture in moments that become family legend. Matinees/evenings Dec. 4-30, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, on UCSD campus. Tickets from $46. (858) 550-1010. lajollaplayhouse.org
Worth a Drive
December Nights is celebrating its 41st anniversary, 3-11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 in Balboa Park. December Nights is San Diego’s largest free festival with more than 350,000 attendees. Guests enjoy performances, feast on international culinary treats and experience Balboa Park museums with free admission 5-9 p.m. Carpool or public transportation encouraged, as parking is limited. sandiego.gov/december-nights
San Diego Symphony presents several family friendly performances of “Noel Noel.” For this series, San Diego Master Chorale and San Diego Children’s Choirs fill the hall with joy in traditional favorites like “Carol of the Bells,” “Silent Night” and “Sleigh Ride.” Broadway darling Bryonha Marie Parham (”Ragtime,” “Book of Mormon,” “Porgy and Bess”) uses her powerhouse voice and her 100-watt personality to give life to “Believe” from Polar Express and “White Christmas.” Take your turn during the audience sing-along. Concerts are 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15; 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21; 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22. For the “family friendly” concert (2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16) the concert is shortened, but includes music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and the story of “The Night Before Christmas.” 750 B St. Tickets from $24. sandiegosymphony.org
After receiving critical acclaim and delighting audiences as The Grinch in 2017, Edward Watts returns to The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park for the 2018 production of “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” on stage through Dec. 29 at 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Back for its 21st incredible year, the family favorite features the songs “Santa for a Day,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and “Welcome, Christmas (Fah Who Doraze).” Tickets from $19 for children, $29 for adults. (619) 234-5623. theoldglobe.org
For the first time, the San Diego Automotive Museum will present “Winter Jazzerland,” a holiday concert featuring Peter Sprague on guitar, Nina Francis and Savannah Philyaw on vocals, Beth Ross Buckley on flute, Bridget Dolkas on violin, Gunnar Biggs on bass and Duncan Moore on drums, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2080 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park. Hear jazz interpretations of “Winter Wonderland,” “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” “A Life That’s Good,” “The First Noel” and the famous “Hallelujah.”Admission $40 with discounts. (619) 231-3702. camarada.org