Del Mar’s Holiday Wonderland event benefits local schools

By Diane Y. Welch

To kick off the holiday season, the Del Mar Village Association (DMVA), in partnership with L’Auberge Del Mar, and three local schools, has organized Del Mar’s annual family holiday event for Sunday, Dec. 4, from 2-5 p.m.

Many seasonal, fun activities — especially for children — are planned for the “Old Fashioned Holiday Wonderland Event” that will take place at Del Mar Plaza, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, and along the historic corridor of downtown Del Mar.

Check in is at L’Auberge amphitheater, located at 1540 Camino del Mar, where tickets may be purchased for $1 each. The majority of the attractions cost two to four tickets, according to a DMVA representative.

In the parking lot at Bully’s there will be a carnival fun zone organized for children with pony rides, inflatable jumpers, carnival games, face painting, henna body art, and holiday crafts, said April Dornback, vice president of programs for the PTA at Del Mar Heights Elementary School.

Children may also participate in a cake walk with cakes donated by parents from the three participating schools — Del Mar Heights Elementary School, Del Mar Hills Elementary School, and the Winston School — that will benefit from the event ticket sales. “By the end of the cake walk, every child pretty much will have won a cake,” said Dornback.

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church will present its children’s choir – the St. Nicholas Choristers – who will be singing Christmas carols from 2-3 p.m. both at the much-anticipated snow area at St. Peter’s Church and down at the corner of Camino Del Mar and 15th Street.

“We have seven tons of snow being delivered to the north patio at the church and it will be open to the community from 2 - 4:30 p.m.,” said Anne Page, the Children and Young Families Minister from the church. “We will also have complimentary hot chocolate, cookies, children’s Christmas crafts, and our church thrift shop will have a booth with Christmas items for sale.”

At L’Auberge’s amphitheater, a special guest has been invited. Santa Claus will be visiting and children may pose with him for a keepsake photograph. And harking back to holidays past, guests may experience a leisurely horse and carriage ride from 11th Street to 13th Street.

Live entertainment will be provided by the Torrey Pines High School Jazz Band, and dancers from the Hammond Studio of Dance, the Living Studio, the Royal Dance Academy, and Torrey Pines Dance Team will perform at the Plaza.

For foodies, tasty treats will be available from several local restaurants. Included in the line up are Sbicca Bistro, Seaside Yogurt, Board and Brew, Jake’s Del Mar, Smashburger, Sushi Japone, Café Secret, En Fuego Cantina and Grill, Il Fornaio, Flavor Del Mar Restaurant and Sip Wine Bar, and Zel’s Del Mar. Tables will be set up outside the restaurants with Plaza restaurants’ tables either located on the Plaza deck or at street level. Cost is one ticket per tasting.

The highlight of the afternoon will be the traditional tree lighting at the L’Auberge Amphitheater. This year, Mike Slosser, general manager of L’Auberge, will light the tree at 5 p.m., after a communal count down. Complimentary cocoa and cookies will be offered to all who attend.

“It’s our way to say thank you to the community and to launch the Holiday Season,” said a spokesperson for L’Auberge.

This is a family-friendly event and everyone is invited to attend, even the family pet. For more information contact; or call (858) 755-1179.