With Thanksgiving just barely behind us, it’s time to start focusing on the next holiday… right? At least, all of the holiday-themed events in San Diego would have you think that. If you’re not too exhausted form Black Friday shopping, kick of the season San Diego style by getting your photo with Surfin’ Santa or see the largest drive-through light show on the West Coast. If you’re in the mood to enjoy more holiday-appropriate weather, drive up to Julian for the Christmas tree lighting.
Surfin’ Santa in San Diego
While Santa isn’t technically surfing to town – he actually arrives on a pirate ship – he is decked out in his finest surf board shorts. What could be more fitting for San Diego? We all know 65 degrees is a little warm for that red velvet Santa suit! Grab a photo with San Diego’s Surfin’ Santa this weekend and watch the parade and festivities. Sat, 1:00 pm. Seaport Village. Free. All ages. Event Details.
Santa and the Ho! Ho! Ho! Thief
Catch a fun puppet show at Balboa Park with your preschooler. Santa and Christmas are getting all of the attention, so Wanda the Witch has a plan: She’s going to ruin Christmas! Make this a Thanksgiving weekend tradition – at least while your kids are little. Sun, 11:00 am. Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater. $4 for children, $6 for adults. 5 and younger. Event Details.
Holiday of Lights
Driving around and looking at Christmas lights is an annual tradition for many families. Kick off the season by seeing the Holiday of Lights at Del Mar, where you’ll find the largest animated drive-through light show on the West Coast. We’re talking serious lights. Over 400 themed displays light up the grounds. Sat, 5:30 pm and later. Del Mar Fairgrounds. $12 per car for up to 5 people. All ages. Event Details.
Did you ever see The Nutcracker as a child? If so, you likely have fond memories of the magic and Sugarplum Fairy dance. Start your season by seeing this classic Christmas play with your kids. Sat, 2:00 pm. Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Price varies. All ages. Event Details.
Out of town
Julian Country Christmas Tree Lighting
Enjoy the day old-fashioned holiday style in Julian, where the higher altitude will put you in the winter spirit. After all, while we love our San Diego weather, it is lacking the cool crisp air that helps put you in the spirit. On Saturday evening, Julian kicks off its holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting, carols and Santa’s arrival — on a fire truck, of course. Sat, 4:00 pm. Pioneer Park. Free. All ages. Event Details.
— Laura Willard