Free community events for the holidays

Del Mar Highlands Town Center is decked out for the holidays.
(Eric Scire)

Check out the free and festive events in the area:

Ocean Air Rec Center’s Snow Day
Ocean Air Recreation Center is hosting its annual Snow Day on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Ocean Air Community Park. The event will feature a snow hill for sledding, arts and crafts, face painting and a pancake breakfast. The event is also an opportunity to give back with a toy and food drive benefiting Toys for Tots and San Diego Food Bank. The park is located at 4770 Fairport Way, Carmel Valley.

Christmas community event at Del Mar Highlands
Del Mar Highlands Town Center is bringing the community together for the holidays with its Christmas Giving Back Night on Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 5-7 p.m. Get ready for Christmas cheer with a visit from Santa, hot chocolate and seasonal treats, art and dance performances from hundreds of local students, and more.
The event will also include check presentations of over $20,000 donated by Del Mar Highlands Town Center to 17 San Diego schools and the San Diego Fire and Police Departments. This marks the 12th year of Del Mar Highlands Town Center’s donation toward local schools’ Save the Arts Program, with $250,000 donated since its inception. Families are invited to brighten a child’s Christmas through Toys for Tots, with opportunities around the center to donate toys to the organization.
Del Mar Highlands will also host Thursday Hullabaloo concerts at 10 a.m. on Dec. 12 and 19 and Santa visits on Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

S’mores and Santa visits at One Paseo
On Saturdays Dec. 7, 14 and 21, One Paseo invites guests to enjoy complimentary s’mores at the firepit near Salt & Straw from 5 to 8 p.m. To complement to the treats, guests can expect photo opportunities with festive characters while snow cascades from the rooftops.
In addition to the Saturday festivities, every Saturday and Sunday Santa will be on-site for visits and photos in One Paseo’s Plaza West.

One Paseo is serving up free s'mores and snowfall.
(Enjet Media)

Holiday happenings at Flower Hill Mall
Children can come play in the snow and meet Santa from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8.
On Dec. 14, Flower Child will host a Breakfast with Santa from 9-11 a.m. and there will be a special storytime at Geppetto’s from noon to 2 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 15, there will be photos with Santa in his chalet from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Tree lighting at Piazza Carmel
On Saturday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. Piazza Carmel will host its Christmas Tree Lighting event.

Santa visits at Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch
Santa is headed to The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch once again to make sure he meets everyone on his list! Bring the kids to pose with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 3- 6 p.m. There will also be live music and rides on the Village’s Holiday Train from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch's holiday train.

Dinner and ‘Grinch’ movie at the Carmel Valley Rec Center
On Friday, Dec. 13, the Carmel Valley Recreation Center will host a free community dinner with games, activities, pictures with Santa, train tides and to finish it all off, hot cocoa and a screening of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in the park. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. and the movie will begin showing at 7 p.m.

Letters to Santa at PHR Rec Center
On Saturday, Dec. 14, the Pacific Highlands Ranch Recreation Center will host Letters to Santa from 10:30 a.m. to noon. All ages are welcome to come write their own letter to Santa, enjoy a snack of milk and cookies. There will also be games and Santa photos. The Rec Center is located at 5977 Village Loop Road, Carmel Valley.

Caroling and music at the Village of Pacific Highlands Ranch
Come one, come all, and ring in the season with caroling and music at The Village of Pacific Highlands Ranch, performed by talented members of Saddleback Church on Saturday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 21 from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Free gift wrapping will be offered for of any purchase made at the village.

Chanukah event at One Paseo
One Paseo will host a Chanukah Celebration for the whole family on Thursday, Dec. 26. There will be a menorah lighting at 5 p.m. with hot latkes, donuts, crafts, a DJ and more. The event will take place near The Log between Tender Greens and Van De Vort and is hosted in part by Chabad Jewish Centerof Rancho Santa Fe. For more information visit

Del Mar Highlands Hanukkah Menorah Lighting
A Hanukkah Menorah Lighting will be held at Del Mar Highlands Town Center on Saturday, Dec. 28 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Congregation Beth Am will gather the community together at the upper plaza, near Cinepolis for the symbolic lighting of the holiday season, while they play songs. All are invited to celebrate Hanukkah with the community at Del Mar Highlands.

The menorah is ready to get light up the night at Flower Hill.
(Karen Billing)

Menorah lighting at Flower Hill
Flower Hill Promenade invites the community to come celebrate Hanukkah on Sunday, Dec. 29 from 4-7 p.m. with the lighting of a 10-foot tall menorah and the opportunity for children to play in the snow with the winter fairy and snow flurries. The event will also include music, spinning the dreidel, potato latkes and sufganiot. The lighting will be led by Rabbi Earne of Congregation Beth Am at 5:30 p.m.