Hanukkah offers not just one or two days and nights to celebrate — but eight! This year’s Festival of Lights runs from sundown on December 6 through the 14th. From giant menorah lighting ceremonies, to latke and jelly donut eating, to crafts for kids — there’s something for every family member at one of the Southern California community Hanukkah events.

sophie-chanukiahPhoto Credit: Leah Singer

Hanukkah Party and Parade Preparations
Kids and parents are invited to celebrate Hanukkah with JFS, Shalom Baby/PJ Library, and Tarbuton. Enjoy storytime and songs, arts and crafts, dreidel fun, an Israeli/Hebrew activity, and yummy holiday treats. Decorations created will be used in our Jewish Life entry in the Encinitas Holiday Parade. Everyone who helps decorate is invited to walk together in the Dec.  parade.

Date: Dec. 3, 4 – 6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Temple Solel
3575 Manchester Ave.
Cardiff by the Sea, Ca
Online: www.jfssd.org/HanukkahPartyNorthCounty

Hanukkah Happenings
Celebrate Hanukkah with at the Lawrence Family JCC! Come on over for carnival games, art projects, a bouncy house, games, crafts, prizes, cake walk, arcade, a tremendous silent auction and much more! Don’t miss the special appearances by Elsa and Olaf from Frozen!

Date: Dec. 6, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Cost: $5 – $7/person (additional fees for activities)

Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center
4126 Executive Dr.
San Diego, Ca
Online: lfjcc.org/preschool/hanukkahhappening.aspx

hanukkah decorPhoto: Leah Singer

Annual Hanukkah Menorah Lighting
Kick off the Festival of Lights at the Annual Hanukkah Menorah Lighting ceremony at the UTC Shopping Center. The event also includes live music, donuts, dreidels, chocolate gelt and fun for the entire family.

Date: Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Westfield UTC Shopping Center
4545 La Jolla Village Dr.
San Diego, Ca
Online: chabaduc.org

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Hanukkah Fun at Kid Ventures
Each day of the week, Kid Ventures will feature a different activity and craft devoted to the celebration of Hanukkah. The week starts with learning about Hanukkah gelt. Tuesday Hanukkah puzzles and Thursday is all about driedels. On Friday, kids will dance the Hora and Saturday features dreidel hot potato.

Date: Dec. 7, 8, 10 and 11, times vary by day
Cost: Included in admission

Kid Ventures – 4S Ranch
10760 Thornmint Rd.
San Diego, Ca

Kid Ventures – Eastlake
851 Showroom Pl.
Chula Vista, Ca
Online: indoorplaysandiego.com

menorah lighting

Photo: Morguefile

Celebrate Hanukkah with Congregation Dor Hadash
Shmooze with friends, sing along with Shir Hadash, light your family hanukkiah, enjoy dinner by “all of us,” glow in the dark sticks for all the kiddos.

Date: Dec. 11, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $5 – $15/person

Congregation Dor Hadash
5440 Kearney Mesa Rd.
San Diego, Ca
Online: events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eboquagw15271c6f&llr=qkrgy7dab

How do you celebrate Hanukkah? Will your family attend a community event?

— Leah R. Singer