Event briefs: Dec. 19

Holiday Nights at the Botanic Garden continue through Dec. 30.
Holiday Nights at the Botanic Garden continue through Dec. 30.

Holiday Classic basketball tournament

The Holiday Classic, presented by the Torrey Pines High School Foundation/Boys Basketball Booster Club, is a nationally-sanctioned high school basketball tournament played annually in San Diego.

This year’s tournament will be held Dec. 26, 27, 28 and Dec. 30. The 2019 event will feature 76 top tier high school basketball programs from around the country.

The tournament games are played at five different high school gyms in North County and each team is guaranteed four games with a total of about 140 games played over the four-day event.

For schedules, locations and more information on the Holiday Classic, visit theholidayclassic.org.

Del Mar Lifeguard Penguin Plunge

The Annual Del Mar Lifeguard Penguin Plunge will be held New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020 at 11 a.m. on the beach in front of City of Del Mar Beach Safety Center,1700 Coast Blvd., Del Mar.

Donuts and refreshments will be provided courtesy of Poseidon Restaurant. Participant certificates are available to those who take the plunge. For more information, call Del Mar Lifeguards at (858) 755-1556.

Garden All Aglow

San Diego Botanic Garden presents its annual Holiday Wonderland: Holiday Nights in the Garden with 37 acres of illuminated flora and more than 125,000 sparkling lights. There’s live entertainment, holiday crafts, a twinkling light tunnel, 10-foot poinsettia tower, musical light show and Kids Fun Zone with nightly “snowfall.” Visitors can stop by from 5-8:30 p.m. Photos are available with Santa, Dec. 19-23; and photos with the Snow Princess, Dec. 26-30 at 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas. Tickets: $12-$25. sdbgarden.org

Menorah Lighting events

 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 songs and the menorah lighting event. Address: 12925 El Camino Real Suite J-28, Carmel Valley.

 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. Address: 2720 Via De La Valle, Del Mar.

 Chabad Jewish Center of Rancho Santa Fe will hold a Chanukah Celebration, “Light Up the Night,” for the whole family on Thursday Dec. 26, at One Paseo in Carmel Valley. The Menorah lighting is at 5 p.m. The event will also include hot latkes, doughnuts, gelt, crafts, a music DJ, and more.

The event will be held near The Log (between Tender Greens and Van De Vort). For more information, call 858-756-7571 or visit jewishrsf.com. One Paseo is located at 3725 Paseo Place, Carmel Valley. Visit onepaseo.com.

Holiday Concert

San Diego Symphony will perform a Noel Noel Concert, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20-22, with Christmas gems and choral favorites. Tickets: $25-$84. Tickets: $13-$28. Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown San Diego. (619) 235-0804. sandiegosymphony.org

Aquarium Fun

Seas ‘n’ Greetings features family activities, including appearances by Scuba Santa in a Kelp Dive Show, scavenger hunts, close-up animal encounters and live holiday music on weekends, continues through Dec. 31 at Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Dec. 25.) Admission: $16-$19.50. (858) 534-3474. aquarium.ucsd.edu

Nutcracker Ballets

 City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” is on stage through Dec. 22 at Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, downtown San Diego. Tickets from $32. Post-concert Champagne On-Stage Reception Saturday, Dec. 21 for an additional $25 per person. (858) 272-8663. cityballet.org

 San Diego Ballet’s version of “The Nutcracker” features an international cast of more than 100 dancers under the directon of Javier Velasco, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29 at Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown San Diego. Tickets: $49-139 (619) 294-7311. sandiegoballet.org

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

The Theatre School @ North Coast Rep will stage “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” directed by Benjamin Cole and based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19 and 20; 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and 2 p.m. Dec. 22 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. Tickets: From $12. (858) 481-1055. northcoastrep.org

Pirate Adventure at Maritime Museum San Diego

Maritime Museum of San Diego, home to one of the world’s largest collections of historic vessels from sail to steam to submarine, announces its final performance of the year for “Boarded” on Saturday, Dec. 28.

Participants will be sworn in as part of the ship crew, trained how to navigate, sword fight, bail water from a sinking ship, escape from the King’s Jail, swab the deck and other pirate skills.

Performances are 90 minutes and check-in times are 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Tickets to this live pirate performance of “Boarded,” staged aboard the Museum’s tall ships, are available at $40 for adults and $25 for children age 12 and under. 1492 N. Harbor Drive, downtown San Diego. (619) 234-9153. sdmaritime.org.

Regional events

• LEGOLAND California, 1 LEGOLAND Drive in Carlsbad, holds its Holidays at LEGOLAND through Jan. 5, 2020. The theme park’s Fun Town area features a 30-foot, fully decorated LEGO Christmas tree. with more than 400 LEGO ornaments. After sunset, a LEGO tree light show with singers and dancers perform throughout the evening.

Photo opportunities include a giant LEGO Christmas tree and meet-and-greets with human-sized LEGO Santa, toy soldiers and gingerbread people aboard a giant LEGO sled.

Throughout its Miniland area with sprawling LEGO replicas of major cities like New Orleans, New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., holiday scenes and numerous hidden Santas have been added to the giant dioramas. On Tuesday, Dec. 31, LEGOLAND will hold a Kids’ New Year’s Eve with live bands, party favors and a 6 p.m. giant LEGO-brick drop countdown, followed by fireworks. Tickets from $90. (760) 918-5346. legoland.com

• San Diego Zoo Safari Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido. (619) 231-1515. sdzsafaripark.org — Wild Holidays, select days Nov. 29-Jan. 5. Experience seasonal entertainment and special activities in a festive atmosphere. $46-56.

• San Diego Zoo, 2920 Zoo Drive in Balboa Park, San Diego. (619) 231-1515, sandiegozoo.org — “Jungle Bells,” 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 13-Jan. 5 (not Dec. 24 when the Zoo closes at 5 p.m.). Twinkling lights, animal-shaped light sculptures, special animal experiences and music, high-flying acrobats, Dr. Zoolittle and the Zoo’s costumed characters.

Santa will also be present. $56 adult, $46 ages 3-11.

• SeaWorld, 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego. (619) 222-4732, seaworld.com — Christmas Celebration, Nov. 23-Jan. 5, holiday music fills the air, a sea of 1 million lights sparkle, two new shows: Cirque Christmas and Winter Wonderland on Ice, Rudolph’s Christmastown and new Sesame Street Christmas Village. Included with admission, from $73.99.

San Diego Symphony events in the new year

The San Diego Symphony kicks off the New Year starting with its fifth annual January festival titled “Beethoven: Iconoclast, Innovator, Genius”, which celebrates the composer’s 250th birthday. Looking ahead to February, there are a variety of concerts to put the audience in the Valentine’s Day spirit, including Love Me Tonight and Beethoven vs. Coldplay. Visit www.sandiegosymphony.org.

January highlights:

JAN 10, 11, 12 | Emanuel Ax: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1

The Beethoven Festival begins! Seven-time Grammy-winning pianist Emanuel Ax will take the stage to reveal the surprising delight of Ludwig van Beethoven’s first (published) piano concerto.

JAN 17, 18 | Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5

Join renowned principal guest conductor Edo de Waart on a journey through three monumental works.

JAN 24, 25 | Beethoven’s Pastoral

From the powerful and expressive strains of Egmont to the natural beauty of the Pastoral, experience Ludwig van Beethoven’s mastery of musical drama.

FEB 15 | Beethoven vs. Coldplay

Steve Hackman’s Beethoven vs. Coldplay transforms Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony into an oratorio, weaving the melodies and lyrics of Coldplay. Many of the band’s most well-known songs are interpolated, including “Paradise” and “The Scientist.”

Visit www.sandiegosymphony.org.