12 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Naughty or nice?

    Storefronts are becoming decked out in twinkle lights and tinsel.  Tri-color popcorn tins and gift sets are hitting the shelves.  The occasional holiday song plays on the radio, signaling the coming of the season. 

    While it may not exactly look like winter in San Diego, the holiday season is definitely here. The best part? There is plenty to do! Here are twelve festive events to check out -- hope your holiday is a cheery one!

    NOV. 26-JAN. 3: HOLIDAY OF LIGHTS
     
    Imagine this: you’re driving in your car and suddenly you’re engrossed in a sea of twinkle lights. Large-scale light displays are dancing outside your window and Christmas music is coming from your radio.
    This isn’t a dream -- its actually reality for visitors of the Holiday Lights at Del Mar.
    This yearly event consistently features the biggest displays and offers up some of the cheeriest experiences. New to the fairgrounds this year is also the Holiday Hayride, an actual hayride where visitors can jump on and take a cruise around the fairgrounds. 
    NOV. 27: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
     
    Re-live the tale of George Bailey and remember what really matters in life. Cygnet’s Old Town Theatre in Old Town is presenting It’s a Wonderful Life. 
    The show begins Nov. 27 and runs through Dec. 27.
    NOV. 27- DEC. 31: SEAWORLD’S HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
    SeaWorld is all decked out for the Holidays.
    New to the park this season is the Polar Express 4-D experience. Other holiday favorites will be there as well, including Shamu’s Holiday Night, the Night Before Christmas sea lion show and ice skating under the big Christmas tree.
    The holiday celebration runs Nov. 27–29, weekends Dec. 5–13 and Daily Dec. 19–31.
    DEC 4-5: BALBOA PARK DECEMBER NIGHTS
    Kick off the holiday season at Balboa Park’s December Nights. 
    This festival is chock-full of festive entertainment, yummy global fare and unique shopping from museum stores. Speaking of museums—their doors are open for free from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m both evenings!
    This year marks the 32nd year the event has taken place. 
    DEC. 5: USO HOLIDAY CONCERT
    The USO will be hosting their annual holiday concert at the Balboa Theatre. 
    This concert is free as a gift to the members of the community and features the Marine Band of San Diego. The event begins at 2:00 p.m.
    DEC 6: LA JOLLA CHRISTMAS PARADE
    Hop on over to La Jolla for the 52nd annual La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival. The fun starts at 2:00 p.m. 
    This year’s theme is “Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child.”
    DEC. 10: BLUE CHRISTMAS
    Blue Christmas is the Gaslamp Quarter’s gift to San Diego. 
    Catch performances by blues, rock and R&B musicians throughout the night at various venues. 
    The best part -- each participating venue has agreed to waive their cover charge to take part in the holiday spirit.
     
    DEC 12: OCEANSIDE HARBOR PARADE OF LIGHTS
    Boats of all sizes, adorned with ornaments and twinkle lights will circle Oceanside Harbor for onlookers to see from all around.
    Viewing tip: Stand along the side of Oceanside Harbor near the Harbor police and fishing dock. According to San Diego Coast life, from this vantage point, you can see the parade twice.
    The event takes place from 6 p.m to 9 p.m and the parade begins at 7 p.m
    DEC 13, DEC 20: SAN DIEGO BAY PARADE OF LIGHTS
    The Port of San Diego presents the 38th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. 
    This event has become a traditional Christmas present to San Diego from the Boating Community. This year’s theme is Christmas at the Zoo and the event lasts from 5:30 p.m to 9 p.m each night.
    Get ready to sing along to your favorite tunes, Holiday Pops returns to the San Diego Symphony is returning to the San Diego Symphony. 
    Michael Cavanaugh will be heading the performance on the piano. The concert will also feature San Diego Master Chorale and Mariachi Champaña Nevin. 
    VARIOUS: ICE SKATING AROUND TOWN
    You don’t have to know how to Ice Skate to hit the various outdoor drinks around town. 
    Head down to the beach and prance around the rink at the Hotel Del Coronado, dance under the skyscrapers at Horton Square, or head into the mountains and experience the fun at Viejas.
    VARIOUS: JULIAN COUNTRY CHRISTMAS
    Julian is arguably one of the best places in the county to experience the season. 
    Drive into the backcountry and you can’t help but notice the nip in the air, the scent of wood fires and the traces of a Winter Wonderland in the making. 
    If you’re planning on visiting, there are tons of events to choose from, including a tree lighting and a Victorian Christmas filled with lace and flowers.
    Happy Holidays!