Event briefs: Dec. 26

Participants at a previous Penguin Plunge event.
Participants at a previous Penguin Plunge event.
(Jon Clark)

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.

Menorah Lighting events

 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.

 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.

Totally Tidepools

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and Living Coast Discovery Center present Totally Tidepools, a family-fun interactive presentation of the tough life animals have in the tidepools. Children will discover the amazing adaptations that help animals survive through animal encounters, a discovery table, and movement activities.

The event will be held Saturday, Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the La Colonia Community Center, 715 Valley Ave. Solana Beach 92075. This free program is funded by the City of Solana Beach and limited to 50 persons. Participants should arrive early for parking and finding a seat.

Registration is required: sdrvctotallytidepools2020.eventbrite.com

Questions: Email Ana Lutz-Johnson, ana@sdrvc.org, or call 858-755-6956.

Aquarium Holidays

Seas ‘n’ Greetings presents family activities — including appearances by Scuba Santa in a Kelp Dive Show — scavenger hunts, close-up animal encounters and live holiday music on weekends 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

It’s Christmas,

Charlie Brown!

“A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage,” produced by Gershwin Entertainment, is a fresh take on the timeless classic that gives audiences a new way of experiencing the storyline as portrayed by real actors who maintain the integrity and spirit of each Peanuts character. So, join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the gang in their journey to uncover the true meaning of Christmas, 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27 at Balboa Theater, 868 Fourth Ave., downtown San Diego. (855) 797-3952. eventticketscenter.com, acharliebrownchristmaslive.com

Last Call for ‘Nutcracker’

San Diego Ballet’s “Nutcracker” features an international cast of more than 100 dancers under the direction 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

Tickets for ‘Bloomsday’

If you’ve ever wished you could go back and have a second chance at a decision you made in your 20s, a winsome tale will simmer in your mind long after the play ends. The San Diego premiere of Steven Dietz’s “Bloomsday,” runs Jan. 8 to Feb. 2 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. Set amid tourists exploring the pubs and streets of James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” the love story promises to “transport audiences into a compassionate world of history, humor and heartache, capturing the intensity of experiences that pass by fleetingly as an older couple retraces their steps to discover their younger selves.” There’s a talkback with the cast and artistic director at the Friday, Jan. 17 performance. Tickets from $46. (858) 481-1055. northcoastrep.org

New Music Fest

The 13th annual soundON Festival of Modern Music, “Thresholds,” begins 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9 and continues 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla. Curated by guitarist and conductor Colin McAllister, the festival welcomes seven guest composers this year. San Diego New Music is a nonprofit dedicated to the public performance of notated music of the highest integrity and artistic caliber from the 20th and 21st centuries. Festival Pass (three concerts): $55 members, $70 nonmembers, $15 students. Single ticket: $20 members, $25 nonmembers, $5 students. (858) 454-5872. ljathenaeum.org/sound-on

Botanic Wonderland:

Holiday Nights

in the Garden

San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, will illuminate 37 acres of flora, including pine trees, Pony Tail palms and aloes, Dragon trees and bamboo, with more than 125,000 sparkling lights during its Botanic Wonderland Holiday Nights in the Garden. There’s nightly entertainment, visits with Santa, holiday crafts, twinkling light tunnel, and more. dazzling 10-foot poinsettia tower, a musical light show and Kids Fun Zone with nightly “snowfall.” There’s a food truck court, a beer, wine and mulled wine garden, hot chocolate, coffee and more. Visitors can stop by from 5 to 8:30 p.m. through Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 25) for the nighttime event. Tickets: $12-$25. sdbgarden.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.

Tickets: (619) 235-0804 or visit 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.”