by Maren Dougherty - 200 Reviews - 32 List
While tourists are out snapping photos of Surfing Santa at Seaport Village, what's a local to do? Throughout December, you can find nearly non-stop action--from wholesome daytime parades and cooking classes to nightclub events, where clubbers can opt to dress naughty or nice. We've combed through the options to find the best holiday events all around the San Diego area. (Photo courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado)
Updated: November 30, 2009
For the 12th year, the Old Globe presents ?Dr. Seuss? How the Grinch Stole Christmas.? Running through Dec. 27, the play is based on the classic Dr. Seuss book about Whoville and a miserable-turned-loveable main character who suffered from a heart two sizes too small.
The Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade begins in the park outside of the Hilton San Diego on Dec. 13 at 3pm. You can't just throw on a set of reindeer antlers--the parade is competitive with prizes for Best Costume, Cutest Critter, and Best Human Costume. There will also be a Pet Expo in Hilton Park from 1pm-5pm.
This year's December Nights festival is from Dec. 4-5 in Balboa Park. Most museums will be free from 5pm-9pm each day and San Diego Civic Dance performers will do hourly shows of jazz, tap, ballet, and hip hop. Don't forget to stop by the Old Globe for a photo with the Grinch. Take the trolley or go by bike to avoid parking headaches.
Of course you could head over to the performing arts center for a night of ?The Nutcracker? or Christmas carols, but how many chances will you have to see a live taping of Mystery Science Theater 3000? On Dec. 16, the MST3K stars join special guest Weird Al Yankovic to heckle some classic Christmas short films. The show, titled ?RiffTrax Live: Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza,? starts at 4:30pm and will be aired live in movie theatres across the country.
You have a month to get to the seaside skating rink at the Hotel Del Coronado, where skaters sip hot chocolate and tie their laces while watching the waves crash against the sandy shore. Now in its fifth year, the ice rink offers two- or three-hour skate sessions along with snacks and festive music. The rink will be open daily through Jan. 3 from 2pm-5pm and 6pm-9pm. Weekend matinee skate sessions are offered 11am-1pm. Go at night to see the Del decked out in more than 100,000 glittering lights.
On Dec. 12, radio station 94.9 is throwing its annual Holiday Hootenanny at UCSD's Rimac Arena. If constantly saying the word ?hootenanny? isn't enough to make you buy tix, there's also the music: Spoon, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, and Manchester Orchestra are the headlining acts.
Vavi Sport & Social Club hosts a Holiday Bar Crawl-iday on Dec. 5 that starts mid-day at Typhoon Saloon and continues in Pacific Beach to Tap Room, Cabo Cantina, and several other spots along Garnet Ave. And while you're guzzling the winter lager, you can know that a portion of the pub crawl proceeds benefit AJ's Kids, a program for kids at Rady Children's Hospital.
Even if the Chargers don't make it to Super Bowl XLIV, you can still catch some exciting bowl action. The 2009 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl brings together a Pac 10 team against a Big 12 team for a match-up on Dec. 30 at 5pm. The festivities start with the Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade at 10am through downtown. And if marching bands and giant balloons aren't enough to hold your interest, keep an eye out for the finals of the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals (wiener dog races) that will also be held during the parade.
This cooking school in Pacific Beach offers many festive classes this month, including the ?Celebration of Light? on Dec. 3 that features yam and rosemary latkes, cabbage rolls, and other Hannukah party foods. Later in the month, classes focus on Christmas favorites and New Years Eve cocktails.
On Dec. 6 from 12pm?6pm, more than 70 local craftsters will come together for this free art, fashion, and music event in Point Loma. Perfect for finding unique holiday gifts, the goods range from bow ties made from vintage fabrics to glittery vinyl dog collars.
Billed as bringing together 'the voices of more than 120 merry men,? the San Diego Men's Chorus and the Gay Men's Chorus of San Diego host a joint holiday concert ?Cool Yule? on Dec. 12 at 8pm. Held at Balboa Theatre in Horton Plaza, the guys will dress in extravagant costumes, singing and dancing their way through holiday classics.