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11 Things To Do in San Diego This Weekend: Dec. 14–17

Shop for gifts at the Gaslamp Holiday Market, celebrate a half-century of hip hop at the Fleet Science Center, and sing along to Christmas carols at the Rady Shell
Courtesy of Candlelight Concerts by Fever
Courtesy of Candlelight Concerts by Fever

December 13–14

Candlelight: Holiday Jazz Special

The Adams Avenue Theater will host four shows full of holiday jazz music surrounded by festive candlelight. Audiences will hear classics like “The Christmas Song,” “Christmas Time is Here,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Feliz Navidad,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Let It Snow.” Still need to send out Christmas cards? You can also get a professional photo that features the beautiful candlelit setting. Purchase tickets (which range in price from $39 to $69) here. Attendees must be 8 years old or older, and late entry is not allowed. | 3325 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights

December 13–23

Passage Into Fear

This new production at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido is a World War I–era story about a Christmastime train passage from Venice to Zurich. An American socialite and an orphaned child must solve the mysterious disappearance of a passenger who was on the verge of uncovering a conspiracy—think Murder on the Orient Express but with an upbeat dose of yuletide cheer. Tickets for Passage Into Fear are $19 (or $16 for students, military members, seniors, and children). | 340 North Escondido Boulevard, Escondido

The Gaslamp Holiday market is one of the best things to do in San Diego this weekend.
Courtesy of Gaslamp Quarter

December 14

Gaslamp Holiday Market

San Diegans can shop local for any last-minute presents this Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Gaslamp Quarter’s free holiday market. Peruse stellar stocking stuffers and uniquely crafted gifts while enjoying live mariachi music, seasonal photos, sweet treats, Santa meet-and-greets, and more. If you don’t get a chance to stop by this week, residents will have another chance to buy from San Diego–based vendors, artisans, and small businesses at the same time and place next Thursday. | 5th Avenue and Island Avenue, Gaslamp

December 14–30

Coastal Christmas: A Holiday Light Spectacular

The Del Mar Fairgrounds begins their 12 days of Coastal Christmas this Thursday with a massive holiday celebration featuring igloos, ice skating, and enough lights to fill the North Pole. There will be a holiday market, photo ops with Santa and his Christmas pals, seasonal cocktails and sweet treats, kids’ fun zones, fireside lounges, and Christmas music. Special theme nights include Thursday’s holiday skate party and Friday’s ugly sweater party. Veterans and active duty military members will receive free general admission this Sunday for military appreciation night. Tickets for Coastal Christmas are $19.95 for adults, $14.95 for kids ages 4 to 12, and free for children ages 3 and under. | 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar

December 15

50/50: Hip Hop After Dark

The Fleet Science Center hosts a shared birthday celebration: 50 years of the Fleet and 50 years of hip hop. The event will begin with a poetry slam and DJ battle inside the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater, then the crowd will head into the Center to hear DJs spinning records from throughout hip hop’s history. Wine and beer will be available for purchase. Entry to 50/50: Hip Hop After Dark is $25. For access to an exclusive lounge with special drinks and an additional DJ, tack on an extra $15 for a VIP ticket. | 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park

December 15–17

Noel Noel

The San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Master Chorale, the San Diego Children’s Choir, and guest vocalist Devin DeSantis will take their talents to the Rady Shell stage this weekend for Noel Noel. Led by guest conductor Christopher Dragon and director Jonathan Gilmer, this magical concert includes holiday sing-alongs and an abundance of Christmas spirit. Friday’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday’s shows start at 5 p.m. | 222 Marina Park Way, Embarcadero 

Noah Homes' Enchanted Village is one of the best things to do in San Diego this weekend.
Courtesy of Enchated Village

December 15–22

Enchanted Village

Housing nonprofit Noah Homes celebrates the Christmas season with their sixth annual Enchanted Village, a holiday haven complete with Christmas trees, cottages, light tunnels, and humongous candy canes. Additional festivities include interactive displays, live entertainment, and plenty of colorful decorations to feast your eyes on. All proceeds from this winter wonderland go towards Noah Homes’ efforts to provide housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Tickets for Enchanted Village are $25 for adults and $15 for children. | 12526 Campo Road, Spring Valley

December 16

San Diego Holiday Half-Marathon

This Saturday, San Diegans will trot 13.1 miles for the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon. The course starts in Rancho Peñasquitos, travels southwest on Carmel Mountain Road towards the coast, and finishes with a picturesque view at Torrey Pines State Beach. The route includes a 711-foot elevation drop, so participating runners can skip the incline and go all out for a personal best. | 14455 Penasquitos Drive, Rancho Peñasquitos

The Gaslamp Pet Parade is one of the best things to do in San Diego during the holiday season.
Courtesy of Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslamp Pet Parade

Local pet owners can show off their furry friends’ festive best at the Gaslamp Pet Parade this Saturday. There are plenty of pup-friendly activities in store from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, including the Gaslamp Holiday Expo, which includes photo ops, holiday music, and plenty of treats. Then, dogs clad in holiday costumes can march in the parade (shyer pets and people are welcome to simply spectate). Afterward, stop by the spirited Pups in the Pub Party at the Hilton San Diego in the Gaslamp from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  | 702 Market Street, Gaslamp

Almost Nakey SantaCon

From 1 to 10 p.m. at Beach House and Belmont Park, the second annual Almost Nakey SantaCon transforms the Mission Beach boardwalk into Santa’s Village. This Christmas-themed rave features snow cannons, live entertainment, inflatable Santas and Grinches, life-sized snow globes, a silent disco, VIP sky decks, and a holiday costume contest. General admission tickets to the 21-plus festival are $85. VIP passes are $140 and come with line-skipping privileges, private bar access, and VIP sections by both main stages. | 3146 Mission Blvd, Mission Beach

December 17

Nutcracker Tea Party

The Liberty Station Convention Center hosts a unique holiday experience starring a performance from the San Diego Ballet, a visit from Santa Claus, and plenty of holiday treats. Attendees can enjoy an intimate version of a holiday classic performed by some of San Diego’s best dancers. Ticket prices for the Nutcracker Tea Party range between $60 and $70, and performances take place at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. | 2600 Laning Road, Point Loma

By Ryan Hardison

Ryan Hardison is a freelance arts and entertainment writer and recent graduate of San Diego State. When he's not staring at his laptop, he's likely eating an adobada burrito or getting sunburnt at the beach.

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