From tree and menorah lightings to movie nights and one very festive beach run, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the season locally. Go ahead and get festive:
Dec. 1: Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch Annual Tree Lighting
The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch will host its tree lighting celebration on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 5-7:30 p.m. The event includes photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Village Square, live music, complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, holiday character and a stilt walker. The Village’s Holiday Train will also return this year, featuring complimentary rides from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 8-9.The Village is located at 13490 Pacific Highlands Ranch Parkway.
Dec. 2: Solana Beach Holiday Tree Lighting (postponed from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2 due to weather)
The Solana Beach Parks and Recreation Commission invites friends and neighbors to help celebrate the lighting the Holiday Tree on Sunday, Dec. 2 at Fletcher Cove Park. There will be live music, a visit from Santa Claus, cookies, cider and other treats. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and Santa arrives at 5:20 p.m. Fletcher Cove is located at 111 South Sierra Avenue.
Dec. 1: Snow Day at Ocean Air Park
The Ocean Air Recreation Advisory Group presents Snow Day at the Park on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Snow sled on the bunny slopes and enjoy a visit from Santa or a ride on the Polar Express Train at the annual event that includes toy and food drive as well as a pancake breakfast, supporting Toys for Tots and the San Diego Food Bank. Bring two unwrapped toys or two bags of non-perishable food until Dec. 1 to get four free tickets to the breakfast. Otherwise the breakfast is $5 per person on the day of the event. Ocean Air Park is located at 4770 Fairport Way.
Dec. 1: Piazza Carmel Tree Lighting
Help Piazza Carmel decorate Carmel Valley in time for the holidays with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 5-7 p.m. At this free event, guests can enjoy free pictures with Santa, games and more. Piazza Carmel is located at 3810 Valley Centre Drive.
Dec. 4: Hannukah Menorah Lighting at Flower Hill
Flower Hill Promenade will host a Hannukah Menorah Lighting celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 4-8 p.m. The lighting will take place at 6 p.m. but the event will feature play snow, a makers bazaar, stilt walkers, a visit from the Snow Fairy as well as hot cocoa and potato latkes. Mention the Hanukkah event at Milton’s and receive 20 percent off dinner on Dec. 4. Flower Hill is located at 2720 Via De La Valle.
Through Dec. 16: Teddy Bear Drive at Solana Beach Towne Centre
Solana Beach Town Centre tenants are participating in a teddy bear drive for the San Diego Center for Children. Through Dec. 16, donate a new teddy bear at Fusion Dance, Kahoots Pet Store or SDCCU.Solana Beach Towne Centre is located at 663-689 Lomas Santa Fe Drive.
Dec. 2: Santa By the Sea in Del Mar Village
Del Mar’s Santa By the Sea event and tree lighting ceremony will be held on Sunday, Dec. 2 in the Del Mar Village from 3 to 5 p.m.This free annual holiday event offers something for every member of the family featuring photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus; live music by the Original Dickens Carolers; make-your-own Rad Hatter holiday hats craft station sponsored by the Del Mar Foundation; a workshop for writing and sending letters to Santa at the North Pole; treats from local restaurants; and more fun surprises. The event culminates with the annual tree lighting at 5 p.m. The festivities take place in the L’Auberge Amphitheater at the corner of Camino Del Mar and 15th street in Del Mar. Guests are encouraged to bring unwrapped gift donations to benefit the North County Health Services
Dec. 2: Holiday Artisan Pop-Up Market at Del Mar Plaza
On Sunday, Dec. 2 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. kick off holiday shopping with the Del Mar Plaza shops and more than 15 local artisans. The event will include a make-your-own boho holiday ornament workshop with Uttu Design; live music from Godwin Sheils plus hot chocolate, wine tastings and more fun. Del Mar Plaza is located at 1555 Camino Del Mar.
Dec. 8: Gingerbread House Building at L’Auberge
On Saturday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m., L’Auberge Del Mar will host a Gingerbread House Building activity. Builders can decorate their special homes with colorful gumdrops, marshmallows and an array of festive candies. $35 per guest.
Dec. 9: Red Nose Run
The 27th Annual Red Nose Run 5K fun run and walk will take off on the beaches of Del Mar. The family and dog friendly event organized by the Low and Slow Running Club of Del Mar, benefits San Diego non-profits Fresh Start Surgical Gifts and the Semper Fi Fund. A post-race celebration features appetizers from Poseidon and this year every Rundeer gets a t-shirt and cooler bag. To register visit therednoserun.com
Dec. 9: sELFie Snow Day and Makers Bazaar at Flower Hill
On Sunday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the center will be full of picture-perfect snow activities to make your winter wonderful and capture the perfect “sELFie”. The event will feature snow play in the Starbucks plaza, Santa visit, a toy solider stilt walker, a bouncing reindeer corral and Pam’s Petting Farm as well as balloon artists and face painting. The Makers Bazaar will feature more than 20 local makers and the Voices of Our City Choir will perform.
Dec. 11: Del Mar Highlands Giving Back Night
Del Mar Highlands Town Center hosts Christmas Giving Back Night on Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 5-7 p.m. The free event will feature Santa meet-and-greets, hot chocolate and seasonal treats, art and dance performances from hundreds of local students and more. Stroll the center and have a conversation with “Delmer,” the talking penguin, take a tour inside a gigantic igloo, snap a selfie with huge festive starfish or send their wish lists to the North Pole with letters to Santa. Bring a toy to the center’s donate to Toys for Tots drive. Del Mar Highlands Town Center is located at 12925 El Camino Real.
Dec. 15: Hoodies & Hot Chocolate Movie Night at Flower Hill
On Saturday, Dec. 15 Flower Hill Promenade will offer a free screening of “The Grinch” in the courtyard theater from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hot chocolate and goodies will be offered from restaurants and there will be a special appearance by the Grinch himself.
Dec. 16: Movie Night at Del Mar Plaza
Del Mar Plaza is celebrating the season with a special screening of “Elf” on the ocean view deck on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m. Craft Corn will be selling popcorn and the public is invited to bring blankets, chairs, family and friends to enjoy the free film screening.
Dec. 20-23: Horizon Christian Fellowship’s Living Nativity
Be transported back in time to see the wonder and beauty of Horizon Christian Fellowship’s Living Nativity Dec. 20-23 with free nightly tours from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Along with nightly tours there will also be a marketplace full of activities for the whole family including camel rides, snow hill sledding, petting zoo, crafts, food trucks and more. Horizon Christian Fellowship is located at 6365 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.
Dec. 22: Moonlight, Marshmallows & Movie Night at Flower Hill
On Saturday, Dec. 22 from 4-8 p.m., Flower Hill will screen “Elf” in the courtyard theater. There will be a special appearance by Buddy the Elf during the movie as well as s’mores and food vendors. 4-8 p.m.
Dec. 24: Holiday Concert with Peter Sprague
On Christmas Eve, from 1-4 p.m. American jazz artist Peter Sprague will perform a free concert in the L’Auberge Del Mar Amphitheater.