‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the town, there were many creatures stirring including a mouse. Get into the holiday spirit this weekend with exciting events all leading up to the big day. Drop the kiddos off Kid Ventures for Kids Night Out: Polar Express Pajama Party. Ice stake at Liberty Station. Learn about Germany at the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum. Or check out Winter Nights at Westfield UTC. Have a great weekend!

U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud

Photo: U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud via Flickr CC

Kid’s Night Out – Polar Express Pajama Party
All aboard! Don’t miss the train to the North Pole! Structured play at Kid Ventures, costumes, games, crafts, dinner and a wonderfully fun time will be provided to the kids while parents have a night out to themselves! Fri., 5 – 8 p.m., Kid Ventures (4S Ranch and Eastlake locations), $20-$40/person. Ages 3 and up. Event details.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
Participants in this year’s highly anticipated holiday boat parade will adorn their boats to fit this year’s theme, “Christmas Around the World.” The parade begins at Shelter Island and proceeds to Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and ends at the Ferry Landing in Coronado. Approximate times at locations around the Bay. Sun., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., San Diego Bay, Free. All ages. Event details.

Fantasy on Ice
Enjoy frozen family fun at as Liberty Station is turned into a Winter Wonderland. Holiday-related activities, performances and “Holiday Gifts with a Creative Twist” will continue through the holiday season. Fri. – Sun., 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., NTC Arts & Culture District, $12-$14/person. All ages. Event details.

North County

Holiday Nights at Bernardo Winery
Meet Santa and Mrs Claus, enjoy a romantic carriage ride around the vineyards, sip hot mulled wine or take the kiddies on the Bernardo Winery Polar Express train and enjoy a hot chocolate or coffee beverage in the coffee shop. Carolers, live music, kid’s activities, Joe Micelli’s Miniature Train exhibit, and the Bernardo Winery Polar Express motorized 16 person train, a new addition to Holiday Nights. Thurs. – Sun., 4 – 8:30 p.m., Bernardo Winery, Free. All ages. Event details.

Winter Nights at Westfield UTC
Westfield UTC will celebrate the holiday season with live music, snow cascading from the rooftops, family caricatures/portriats, bites and sips, Santa (of course!), as well as matinees of holiday classics and ice skating. ArcLight Cinema features “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at 2 p.m. Sat., 5 – 8 p.m. (movie at 2 p.m.), Westfield UTC, Free activities. All ages. Event details.

Escondido Roots Celebrates Germany
Join San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum for a celebration of culture and community in this months presentation featuring Germany. The event will feature cultural performances and activities that highlight the diverse traditions of the European country. The afternoon will include a traditional dance performances, storytelling and German food samples. Sat., 2 – 4 p.m., San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, Free admission. All ages. Event details

East County

Parent’s Night Out at Elite Gymnastics: Winter Wonderland
Kids will have a great time with gymnastics, games, food and other fun winter-themed activities. This is a great chance for parents to get some holiday shopping done! Sat., 6 – 10 p.m., Elite Gymnastics, $25/person. Ages 3 and up. Event details.

What are you doing this weekend? Tell us in the comments!

– Leah R. Singer