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13 Things To Do in San Diego This Weekend: Dec. 7–10

Shop local at holiday craft markets, sing Christmas tunes with the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, and have an illuminating time at the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
Holiday events in San Diego this weekend
Jingle Terrace - Courtesy of Moonlight Amphitheatre

December 7

Liberty Station Hanukkah Menorah Lighting

To ring in the first of eight Hanukkah nights, the Chabads of Downtown San Diego and Pacific Beach will hold a public menorah lighting in Liberty Station’s Central Promenade. This free, family-friendly event begins at 5 p.m. this Thursday and will feature music and live entertainment. | 2640 Historic Decatur Road, Point Loma

Al Fresco Feast with Nancy Silverton

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa hosts chef Nancy Silverton for a family-style Italian meal this Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. Silverton is an award-winning chef known for her heavenly pastries and mastery of Italian cuisine, and her multi-course feast will utilize local ingredients from Chino Farms and Taj Farms. Reservations for this scenic culinary event are $475, which covers all food, beverages (including select Baja California wines), tax, gratuity, and valet parking. | 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe

December 8–9

Carols by Candlelight

The California Center for the Arts’ 34th annual family concert, Carols by Candlelight, takes place this Friday and Saturday. Country music artists Deana Carter and Charlie Worsham headline a show packed with country hits and Christmas essentials. You can also catch performances from Anna Vaus, Steve Vaus, and Back to the Garden. At the end of each concert, audiences are invited to join the musicians for a candlelight singalong of “Silent Night” in the courtyard. There will also be a live auction, along with silent auction items and raffle prizes. All proceeds benefit Rady Children’s Hospital. | 340 North Escondido Boulevard, Escondido

Christmas in the Park

Poway’s classic Christmas celebration takes place at Old Poway Park from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. this Friday and 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. this Saturday. Experience caroling, live music, children’s crafts, model train displays, and a visit from Santa. Attendees can also buy holiday treats and explore the craft boutique for gifts and stocking stuffers or take a ride around the park on the Poway Midland Railroad. | 14134 Midland Road, Poway

Jingle Terrace Live is one of the best things to do in San Diego this weekend.
Courtesy of Moonlight Amphitheatre

December 8–23

Jingle Terrace Live

This festive two-week event from the city of Vista and Moonlight Amphitheatre offers fun holiday experiences through December 23rd. The free fête includes holiday decorations and lights, photo opportunities, maker’s markets, and holiday characters, plus appearances from Santa Claus and live reindeer, straight from the North Pole. | 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista

December 9

Mission Bay Parade of Lights 

The Mission Bay Parade of Lights will begin with a bang at 5:30 p.m. this Saturday: SeaWorld will shoot off fireworks before several local sailors take a trip around Mission Bay in decorated boats. Along the water, there will be several viewing areas with perks like fire pits, live music, falling “snow,” complimentary hot cocoa, and more. After the parade, catch the afterparty at the San Diego Mission Bay Resort from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. | 1215 El Carmel Place, Mission Bay

BirdStock Music Festival & Holiday Artisan Market

After a successful inaugural event in 2022, BirdStock returns to La Jolla Boulevard for an all-day community party from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The shindig includes live music and entertainment, refreshments from local restaurants, discounts at local shops, and a holiday market featuring a variety of local artists. Proceeds from the event support local businesses and Bird Rock Elementary School. | 5509 La Jolla Boulevard, La Jolla

Courtesy of San Diego Tourism Authority

A Pair of Holly Jolly Holiday Runs

The 11th annual San Diego Santa Run aims to be the largest one yet, and there are plenty of ways to get in on the action, with a 5K run beginning at 8:30 a.m., followed by one-mile races for kids and pups and, finally, the Pacific Beach Holiday Parade. Runners are encouraged to dress in their best Kris Kringle couture, and 5K runners will receive a sunny St. Nick suit, Santa Run sunglasses, and a complimentary drink ticket. Up the coast in Del Mar, the Red Nose Run celebrates its 31st year, donating proceeds to Semper Fi and America’s Fund and San Dieguito River Park. The beach race on the sand kicks off at 1 p.m. Choose from 3K and 5K options and enjoy appetizers and a cash bar from Poseidon Restaurant for some post-run fun. | 1658 Coast Boulevard, Del Mar | 912 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach

Street Level: Holiday Edition

The Oceanside Museum of Art’s Street Level series returns this Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m. with a special holiday party. Attendees can peruse the festive craft market for unique jewelry, pottery, and art from vendors like Isabella Rose Design Co., Petals for Jean, and Isiko Pottery. Also check out live music from Teelyn, a plethora of food vendor options, and a make-your-own wrapping paper workshop. Tickets to Street Level are $10 for adults, and museum members and all children receive free admission. | 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside

Evan Apodaca: The Secret City

The Athenaeum Art Center’s Catherine and Robert Palmer Gallery hosts a free opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. this Saturday for The Secret City, a new exhibition from local artist Evan Apodaca. Confronting San Diego’s military legacy and its social and environmental impacts, Apodaca’s work will be on display through February 23, 2024. | 1955 Julian Avenue, Barrio Logan

East Village Tree-Lighting & Holiday Market

From 3 to 7 p.m. in East Village, explore a holiday-themed market, enjoy live music, and witness a festive tree-lighting ceremony. The Luvalot Band, Elizabeth Bowerso Duo, and Jaden Guerrero and Friends will perform, and families can also enjoy kids’ activities, photos with Santa Claus, festive food, and an abundance of holiday cheer. | Quartyard and 13th Street, East Village

December 9–10

Jingle: A Super Gay Sing-Along

The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus kicks off its 39th season with a spirited show full of holiday favorites. The chorus’ song selection will include Christmas ballads from artists like Mariah Carey, Ru Paul, Darren Criss, and Celia Cruz, plus plenty of interactive elements like line-dancing and sing-alongs. There will be two performances of Jingle at the Balboa Theatre: an evening show on Saturday at 8 p.m. and another on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. | 868 4th Avenue, Gaslamp

December 10 & 17

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Aquatic vessels of all shapes and sizes will brighten up the bay during the 53rd annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., view the cruise from several vantage points along the parade route, which starts at Shelter Island and traverses through the Embarcadero before ending at the Ferry Landing on Coronado. Arrive early to secure a good spot to see nearly one hundred boats decked out in holiday décor (this year’s theme is “Christmas Traditions Around the World”). | San Diego Bay

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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