Entertainment & Events

This Weekend in San Diego: Parade of Lights, Wrex the Halls and more

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The holidays bring lots of festive cheer to America’s Finest City. There are tons of family-friendly events and things to do if you need a night (or day) away.

San Diego Santa Run

Saturday, December 10th at 8:00 am
Location: Garnet Avenue and Bayard Street, Pacific Beach

They call themselves “San Diego’s most festive 5K.” Registration is still open for the 5K fun run and 1 mile run. The Run With Your Dog race is sold out. There will be a kids run and a competitive wave as well. You’re invited to wear your best/ugliest sweater or Santa costume.

Toast of Gaslamp


Saturday, December 10th, from 1 pm to 5 pm
Location: Gaslamp and East Village

The Toast of Gaslamp offers a great way to sip, savor and finish up all of your holiday shopping. All while enjoying time with friends and family and nibbling on the best food the Gaslamp has to offer.

Christmas in the Park

December 10th 3:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Old Poway Park

This free event features caroling, live music, horse-drawn hay rides, holiday treats and so much more. Children of all ages will enjoy the free crafts, model trains and of course a visit with Santa. Admission is free, train and pony rides are available for a nominal fee. The annual lighting of the community Christmas tree will take place at 5:15pm, followed by Santa’s arrival.

Wrex the Halls

December 10th and 11th
Location: Valley View Casino Center

91x’s holiday music tradition brings Beck, Band of Horses, Local Natives, Glass Animals and Bishop Briggs on Saturday night. Blink 182, Pierce the Veil, Jimmy Eat World and Kaleo hit the stage Sunday. Tickets are still available.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Parade of Lights

December 11th, 5 pm
Location: Along the San Diego Bay

The 45th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights will showcase a beautiful waterfront procession of lavishly decorated boats. The show will start at 5pm. The parade will head to Cesar Chavez Park before turning to Coronado. This year’s theme is “It Began with a Roar – San Diego Zoo Celebrates 100 Years.”

Did you know anyone can join the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights? All you need is a boat and some holiday spirit.

In North County? Try thee Oceanside Yacht Club’s annual Parade of Lights which will run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Garden of Lights


Now through Dec 23 and December 26 – 30 from 5 – 9 pm
Location: San Diego Botanic Garden

The San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland with more than 125,000 sparkling lights Enjoy nightly entertainment, food, coffee and treats and family-friendly activities like horse-drawn wagon rides, crafts, and a chance to play in the snow! FREE Admission for Active Duty Military and up to 5 immediate family members on December 11 – 15.

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Now through December 26th: Saturday, Dec 10 showtimes 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. | Sunday, Dec 11 showtimes 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Location: Old Globe Theatre

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is back for its 19th year at the Globe. Join the Whos down in Whoville for this beloved Christmas story.

The Nutcracker

This elegant production will take you on a magical journey from where toy soldiers come to life. Watch as the Sugar Plum Fairy dances through the enchanted Snow Forest in this Christmas presentation of The Nutcracker.

Location: Spreckels Theatre featuring the City Ballet of San Diego
Friday, December 9, 2016 at 7:30pm
Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 2:00pm

Location: The San Diego Civic Theatre featuring over 150 dancers from the California Ballet and the Classics Philharmonics
December 10, 2016 2:30 PM (Autism-friendly Performance) and 7:30 PM
December 11, 2016 1:00 PM and 5:30 PM

Before the 5:30 and 7:30 shows, enjoy professional Christmas carolers on the plaza. Meet the Cast following the 1:00, 2:30 & 5:30 performances.
The Saturday show at 2:30 pm will be Autism Friendly and will feature a 60 minute run time with recorded music.

Jungle Bells

Now through January 2nd
Location: San Diego Zoo

During the holidays the Zoo comes to life with twinkling lights, festive foods, and special performances. Ride the Twinkle Light Trolley, take a photo in the Holiday Forest, stop by Santa’s igloo, play in the Reindeer Games and carols on the Font Street Stage. There are so many family-friendly activities to enjoy this time of year at the Zoo.

San Diego resident for over 10 years, I now call this beautiful city home. Originally from the Bay Area, I'm a California girl at heart. I love the outdoors, fitness, food, and a good craft beer (from San Diego of course).

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